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Samuel Dravis
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Since we haven't had one in quite a while -

 

I just read Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand Of Darkness. It was really, really good. There's no wonder it won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

 

This is a review from amazon, since I'm really lazy:

 

Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender--or both--this is a broad gulf indeed. The inventiveness and delicacy with which Le Guin portrays her alien world are not only unusual and inspiring, they are fundamental to almost all decent science fiction that has been written since. In fact, reading Le Guin again may cause the eye to narrow somewhat disapprovingly at the younger generation: what new ground are they breaking that is not already explored here with greater skill and acumen? It cannot be said, however, that this is a rollicking good story. Le Guin takes a lot of time to explore her characters, the world of her creation, and the philosophical themes that arise.

 

If there were a canon of classic science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness would be included without debate. Certainly, no science fiction bookshelf may be said to be complete without it. But the real question: is it fun to read? It is science fiction of an earlier time, a time that has not worn particularly well in the genre. The Left Hand of Darkness was a groundbreaking book in 1969, a time when, like the rest of the arts, science fiction was awakening to new dimensions in both society and literature. But the first excursions out of the pulp tradition are sometimes difficult to reread with much enjoyment. Rereading The Left Hand of Darkness, decades after its publication, one feels that those who chose it for the Hugo and Nebula awards were right to do so, for it truly does stand out as one of the great books of that era. It is immensely rich in timeless wisdom and insight.

 

The Left Hand of Darkness is science fiction for the thinking reader, and should be read attentively in order to properly savor the depth of insight and the subtleties of plot and character. It is one of those pleasures that requires a little investment at the beginning, but pays back tenfold with the joy of raw imagination that resonates through the subsequent 30 years of science fiction storytelling. Not only is the bookshelf incomplete without owning it, so is the reader without having read it. --L. Blunt Jackson

 

 

So any good books you've read lately?

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Not many. The Eyre Affair was pretty good

 

Pirouetting on the boundaries between sci-fi, the crime thriller and intertextual whimsy, Jasper Fforde's outrageous The Eyre Affairputs you on the wrong footing even on its dedication page, which proudly announces that the book conforms to Crimean War economy standard.

 

Fforde's heroine, Thursday Next, lives in a world where time and reality are endlessly mutable--someone has ensured that the Crimean War never ended for example--a world policed by men like her disgraced father, whose name has been edited out of existence. She herself polices text--against men like the Moriarty-like Acheron Styx, whose current scam is to hold the minor characters of Dickens' novels to ransom, entering the manuscript and abducting them for execution and extinction one by one. When that caper goes sour, Styx moves on to the nation's most beloved novel--an oddly truncated version of Jane Eyre--and kidnaps its heroine. The phlegmatic and resourceful Thursday pursues Acheron across the border into a Leninist Wales and further to Mr Rochester's Thornfield Hall, where both books find their climax on the roof amid flames.

 

Fforde is endlessly inventive: his heroine's utter unconcern about the strangeness of the world she inhabits keeps the reader perpetually double-taking as minor certainties of history, literature and cuisine go soggy in the corner of our eye. The audacity of the premise and its working out provides sudden leaps of understanding, many of them accompanied by wild fits of the giggles. This is a peculiarly promising first novel.

 

and had the big advantage of being mostly set in the town in which i'm currently living. He's written a numer of sequels and seems to have quite a following, but i've only read the first one. There is actually a Jasper Fforde festival here next week, including an open-top bus tour of the seven wonder's of swindon:

http://www.swindonweb.com/life/jasperfforde3.htm

:D

 

I read Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide too, but didn't like them as much as Ender's Game. Next on the list is Jennifer Government, but i'm too busy playing games and watching dvds (plus looking for a new job and a new house) to start on that yet.

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Just started Getting into Stephen King, atm ive read 1 -6 dark tower (waiting for number 7), immsomina, eyes of the dragon, the stand, bag of bones, IT, cujo and the tommyknockers. Finaly got round to reading 1984 and Gormenghast as well. All very good reads.

 

Also i started doing some external reading for my poltics coures and thourgaly enjoyed Gorden brown by Tom Bower, Blairs wars by john kampferner (Spelt wrong probaly) and Alan clark - Into poltics.

 

Im also just starting the Odyssey and the Iliad.

 

Oh by the way, does any one know when Thud is out?

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lords--front.jpg

 

Quite an interesting read, but very subjective, so you really have to read with a critical mindset... Still, I learned some new facts about, amongst other things, the murder of Sandro Beyer... Written in an entertaining way too, so I had problems putting it down. :)

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Just started Getting into Stephen King, atm ive read 1 -6 dark tower (waiting for number 7), immsomina, eyes of the dragon, the stand, bag of bones, IT, cujo and the tommyknockers. Finaly got round to reading 1984 and Gormenghast as well. All very good reads.

 

Also i started doing some external reading for my poltics coures and thourgaly enjoyed Gorden brown by Tom Bower, Blairs wars by john kampferner (Spelt wrong probaly) and Alan clark - Into poltics.

 

Im also just starting the Odyssey and the Iliad.

 

Oh by the way, does any one know when Thud is out?

 

If your into steven king then try Desperation Desperation.jpg

 

Its superb keeps you right on the edge of your seat. :sithk:

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X-Wing: Rouge Squadron (1)

X-Wing: Wedges Gamble (2)

Splinter Cell

Fall of Berlin: 1945

WRAETHTHU (Trilogy book)

 

Finished X-Wing 1 and the first book of Wraeththu, so I'm taking a short break from it. Reading X-Wing 2 and Splinter CEll right now. I havent gotten far into Berlin, so its in limbo right now.

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Since we haven't had one in quite a while -

 

I just read Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand Of Darkness. It was really, really good. There's no wonder it won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

 

I have this book. I got it from my uncle but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Maybe I should get on it already.

 

Right now I am reading Shadow Puppets by Orsen Scott Card. I am a big fan of his. I just finished Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, another author that I have really enjoyed reading.

 

I also want to read State of Fear by Michael Crichton.

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Lilies of The Field by William Barret and The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Both were for my honors english, of course. Reading for pleasure is only a myth, like intercourse with a woman without the requirement of beer.

 

Lilies in the Field was pretty dull, but I actually like the symbolism in The Pearl. Go me.

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Just started Getting into Stephen King, atm ive read 1 -6 dark tower (waiting for number 7),

 

Dark Tower/Gunslinger are some really good ****. Among my favorites if not right there at the top.

 

If your into steven king then try Desperation Desperation.jpg

 

Its superb keeps you right on the edge of your seat. :sithk:

 

Desperation was great. I loved the cop. What was that **** he always said? Thak? Some **** like that. There was an alternate universe companion book that went with Desperation. It sucked bad enough that I didn't bother remembering the name.

 

As for badass SK books, I'm not much of an authority, as I've only read a few. But when I was a kid, I made a point of reading The Running Man at least twice a year. Awesome book. Don't let the ****ty Governator movie fool you. The only thing the book and the movie have in common are the names of two of the main characters. You'll find no mention of glow in the dark "pro-wrestler" types in the novel. And it's gory and gritty as hell. Awesome read, highly recomended.

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Ditto on waiting for book 7 of S.K.'s Dark Tower series (in paperback.). Really good stuff!

 

In the meantime I'm reading Dreamcatcher, also by King. Also very good... a bit trippy.

 

Speaking of trippy; I started reading "The Castle" by Kafka... but I put it down for a while to give my brain a break. Not exactly light summer reading...

 

I'm also reading "The Mists Of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Extremely well written re-telling of the Arthurian legends from the female's point of view. I heard the mini-series they made of it wasn't too good, but the book is great.

 

Recently finished all of the Jason Bourne books. Great stuff. NOTHING like the movies (which are also cool, in a very different way.)

 

I also recently read Black Hawk Down. Amazing! Better than the movie!

 

Other than that I've been occsionally going back and re-reading all of my H.P. Lovecraft collection. I had forgotten how good some of them were (my fave: The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kadath.)

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I would say one of his best, or even his best book. If you havent read Angels and Demons, i would recomened it, Better then the Da Vinci code :).

 

I really enjoyed Angels and Demons. I agree that is was better than DaVinci Code. I have Deception Point and hope to get to it soon but school has slowed down my non-school related reading immensely.

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So any good books you've read lately?

 

Yup. :D

 

I read Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and I'm almost finished with Shadow of the Giant; all by Orson Scott Card for those who don't know. They've all been absolutely awesome, and it'll be interesting to see how things wrap up in Shadow of the Giant. :) Great reads. Very addictive. :D

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