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Old 10th November 2021, 03:11 PM   #801
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I read A Wrinkle in Time a few times when younger. Imagine my surprise many years later to find out that there were three more in the series. I got it as a paperback set with lovely covers by Jody Lee. Obviously I liked AWIT enough to reread it -- I'll save any comments on the rest until you're done with the series.
If you liked the book, avoid the recent movie.
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Old 11th November 2021, 01:11 PM   #802
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I started reading the Dune set again. It's been years, so I figured I'd give it a go.

It fits right in with Wrinkle in Time and the Warhammer 40,000 books that my spouse and I have been going through. All the special-mind-skills to traverse space bit and all.
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Old 11th November 2021, 02:36 PM   #803
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I just started reading "Tales from Alternate Earths", the first in a three volume set of alternate history short story anthologies.
An interesting story early on, "Twilight of the Mesozoic Moon". Sixty-five million years ago, the asteroid hit the Moon instead of Earth, resulting in a world ruled by intelligent evolved therapods. The impact cracked part of the Moon, and at the time of the story, a chunk is finally breaking free and hurtling toward Earth. A time travel experiment attempts to save the world. Yes, time traveling intelligent dinosaurs.

They divert the asteroid, but not enough, resulting in what is likely our world.
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Old 11th November 2021, 03:43 PM   #804
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Just finished the latest Reacher novel. Looks like Lee Child is handing off to his son? Maybe that's why some passages seem like a pastiche of Reacher books. It also has a really bad case of everyone talking in a parody of Reacher's typical laconic voice. Different characters should have different voices. Can't all talk like Reacher. That would be bad. Not good. People are different. Have different voices. Think different ways. That comes out in their expression. How they talk. How they walk. How they fight. That's how it is. Always has been. Since caveman times.
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Old 12th November 2021, 01:56 PM   #805
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Started with Tom Rachman - Imperfectionists today.
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Old 19th November 2021, 11:50 AM   #806
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Herman Hesse, 'strange news from another star' and other short stories.

Its available in penguin paperbacks.

Also I purchased a book today, 'The complete works of Hieronymus Bosch'

It was only twenty pound from Taschen books. It is a lovely book with all Bosch paintings and his drawings.
I have never seen his drawings before and they are fascinating.
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Old 19th November 2021, 12:42 PM   #807
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I just read "Triplanetary" and "First Lensman" by E. E. Smith, which are the first two Lensman books (going by the chronology of the stories). I've never read any of the Lensman books before, or anything by Smith at all despite him being one of the early giants in Sci Fi.

Also just finished "The War of the Worlds" by H. G. Wells. I have read this before, but not in forty or more years.

All were fun despite being way behind in the sciences of today. But honestly they held up pretty well. I think they both go beyond what we're used to today in describing what I think might now be considered minutia, and I swear some sentences seem to be two paragraphs long. But those minor stylistics matters aside, I thought they were all fun and still worth reading.

I'm now reading "A Voyage to Arcturus" by David Lindsay. Older than the Lensman books but newer than War of the Worlds. It's a little slow going so far, but I'm still in the early chapters. We'll see how it turns out.
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Old 26th November 2021, 03:30 AM   #808
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Also I purchased a book today, 'The complete works of Hieronymus Bosch'
It was only twenty pound from Taschen books. It is a lovely book with all Bosch paintings and his drawings.
I have never seen his drawings before and they are fascinating.
They are! Is there much in the way of commentary on the works in that book?
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Old 26th November 2021, 06:37 AM   #809
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
I just read "Triplanetary" and "First Lensman" by E. E. Smith, which are the first two Lensman books (going by the chronology of the stories). I've never read any of the Lensman books before, or anything by Smith at all despite him being one of the early giants in Sci Fi.

Also just finished "The War of the Worlds" by H. G. Wells. I have read this before, but not in forty or more years.

All were fun despite being way behind in the sciences of today. But honestly they held up pretty well. I think they both go beyond what we're used to today in describing what I think might now be considered minutia, and I swear some sentences seem to be two paragraphs long. But those minor stylistics matters aside, I thought they were all fun and still worth reading.

I'm now reading "A Voyage to Arcturus" by David Lindsay. Older than the Lensman books but newer than War of the Worlds. It's a little slow going so far, but I'm still in the early chapters. We'll see how it turns out.
Cool! One of my favorite epic series. (I'd skip the forgettable continuations by David Kyle.) The Japanese anime movie blew me away when it first came out. Quite different from the books but fun. Anime has come a long way since then, but it set some standards.
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Old 26th November 2021, 09:10 PM   #810
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Cool! One of my favorite epic series. (I'd skip the forgettable continuations by David Kyle.) The Japanese anime movie blew me away when it first came out. Quite different from the books but fun. Anime has come a long way since then, but it set some standards.
I enjoyed them, and they are definitely epic is scale. I'm going to see if I can get more of them in the 99 cent Kindle section.

I had no idea there was an anime movie. Any idea if it's available online anywhere?
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Old 27th November 2021, 08:28 AM   #811
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
I enjoyed them, and they are definitely epic is scale. I'm going to see if I can get more of them in the 99 cent Kindle section.

I had no idea there was an anime movie. Any idea if it's available online anywhere?
Since I already have the Japanese and English dubbed versions, you'll have to do your own searching. I even have an original cel from the movie.
I'd suggest finishing the books first though, as the character depictions are quite different in the movie. One thing I remember thinking at the time was that from about 45 minutes on it's nonstop action. Since then, a lot of movies have used that formula, times ten.
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Old 28th November 2021, 04:51 AM   #812
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
I just read "Triplanetary" and "First Lensman" by E. E. Smith, which are the first two Lensman books (going by the chronology of the stories).
Available free on Project Gutenberg https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/9515
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Old 28th November 2021, 06:12 AM   #813
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It has been maybe 40 years since I read these -- but it now won't be 41.


Thanks Wudang for the link and thanks to JimofAllTrades for mentioning them here.
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Old 28th November 2021, 10:24 AM   #814
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I have been reading 'The last man' by Mary Godwin*. This is about how towards the end of the 21st century a global pandemic associated with climate change leads to the extinction of human life. Not a joyous read, but very prophetic from the founder of science fiction.

*For those who do not know her, she is the daughter of Mary Godwin author of 'Vindication of the Rights of a Woman', and wife of the poet Shelley. She also wrote a number of other novels, most but not all forgotten.

If you do not believe in prophecy this should give you pause for thought, she got the name of the British royal family correct nearly a hundred years early - Windsor.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18247
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Old 28th November 2021, 01:19 PM   #815
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
I have been reading 'The last man' by Mary Godwin*. This is about how towards the end of the 21st century a global pandemic associated with climate change leads to the extinction of human life. Not a joyous read, but very prophetic from the founder of science fiction.

*For those who do not know her, she is the daughter of Mary Godwin author of 'Vindication of the Rights of a Woman', and wife of the poet Shelley. She also wrote a number of other novels, most but not all forgotten.

If you do not believe in prophecy this should give you pause for thought, she got the name of the British royal family correct nearly a hundred years early - Windsor.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18247
Wikipedia has a page about this book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Man, written by Mary Shelley, who also wrote: "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein.
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Old 29th November 2021, 04:43 PM   #816
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Since I already have the Japanese and English dubbed versions, you'll have to do your own searching. I even have an original cel from the movie.
I'd suggest finishing the books first though, as the character depictions are quite different in the movie. One thing I remember thinking at the time was that from about 45 minutes on it's nonstop action. Since then, a lot of movies have used that formula, times ten.
I'll definitely finish the books first, hopefully during the next few months.

Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Available free on Project Gutenberg https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/9515
Thanks! I've found several pretty interesting things on Project Gutenberg. Very cool place.

Originally Posted by xterra View Post
It has been maybe 40 years since I read these -- but it now won't be 41.


Thanks Wudang for the link and thanks to JimofAllTrades for mentioning them here.
I've been reading science fiction since the mid 60s, and have been told about these and heard good things about them many times. Don't know why I never got around to them sooner. I'm looking forward to the rest.
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Old 30th November 2021, 04:53 PM   #817
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As of today, Leviathan Falls - the 9th and final novel in The Expanse series. It feels kind of weird knowing that this is the last novel.
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Old 1st December 2021, 04:48 AM   #818
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Originally Posted by TofuFighter View Post
They are! Is there much in the way of commentary on the works in that book?
Hi ! yes, there is a substantial amount of scholarly text in the book 'Hieronymus Bosch' by Taschen books,

I recommend Taschen art books and I have four. The complete works of Van Gogh and Vermeer and Salvador Dali, as well as Bosch.
They not only have all the works of the artists in pictures , but a lot of informative text.

One word of caution, do not buy a Taschen book online without checking the price, as they have some books at one and a half thousand pounds, and even one book costing ten thousand pounds.
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Last edited by Scorpion; 1st December 2021 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 1st December 2021, 11:56 PM   #819
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Thank you Scorpion.
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Old 2nd December 2021, 03:28 PM   #820
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
I'm now reading "A Voyage to Arcturus" by David Lindsay. Older than the Lensman books but newer than War of the Worlds. It's a little slow going so far, but I'm still in the early chapters. We'll see how it turns out.
Finished it last night. It's a mess. I guess it supposed to be some philosophical story about the nature of good and evil and growing, but it's just boring.

Oh well, time to find the next book to read.
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Old 2nd December 2021, 03:55 PM   #821
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"Dolphin Junction" - Short stories by Mick Herron. I know him best for his cynical, sarcastic deconstructions of the espionage thriller (Slow Horses) and the noir detective thriller (Zoe Boehm). This collection runs to similar themes, and even includes some stories about characters from those other series. Halfway through, I'm realizing that "couples in conflict" is a recurring theme.
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Old 2nd December 2021, 05:36 PM   #822
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Finished War and Peace about a week ago. Held up to its reputation.

Recently I've been reading The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age, which is a mix of crazy and interesting.
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Old 2nd December 2021, 09:05 PM   #823
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
I just read "Triplanetary" and "First Lensman" by E. E. Smith
Masters of the Vortex is rubbish! I've read the rest many times but I skip that one.

Currently reading Asimov's Pebble in the Sky.

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Old 2nd December 2021, 09:18 PM   #824
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Originally Posted by Emily's Cat View Post
I started reading the Dune set again. It's been years, so I figured I'd give it a go.
I first read those decades ago. I and bought read the some of the prequels and sequels quite recently. I can't find my copy of Heretics of Dune, the book in the saga where I managed to get confused.
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Old 3rd December 2021, 07:43 AM   #825
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I got a copy of “Ancient Israel, what do we know and how do we know it” by Grabbe.

We field tons of biblical questions on Quora, and one of our members is a very well-informed gentleman from Australia… He recommended this one as perhaps the most comprehensive.

It’s pretty dense, with tons of references on every page…. And it illustrates just how complicated the research is, with many rather-biased researchers competing with many dispassionate ones.
As Grabbe says, the early research tended to be conducted by people with a “spade in one hand and a bible in the other.”
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Old 3rd December 2021, 12:23 PM   #826
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
Masters of the Vortex is rubbish! I've read the rest many times but I skip that one.

Currently reading Asimov's Pebble in the Sky.
I have Masters of the Vortex, it came in the $0.99 ebook I downloaded. But it looks like kind of a side story, and it's not next in the story chronology, so I haven't started it yet. I'll have to see what I'll do when I come to it.

Pebble in the Sky is a good story, well worth reading.
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Old 3rd December 2021, 12:45 PM   #827
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I've just started "The Brick Moon" by Edward Everette Hale. This is an old one, published in 1869. It's apparently the first, or one of the first, depictions of launching an artificial satellite. I'm only a couple of chapters in but so so far it's actually kind of fun.
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Old 7th December 2021, 01:44 PM   #828
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The Jennifer Morgue (The Laundry Files, book 2)

Magic is real and mathematics is the key to unlocking it. The governments of the world have established secret treaties and special agencies to manage the inherent risks. (Did you know Don Knuth had a fourth volume of "The Art of Programming", but it was suppressed because it included algorithms for singing the song that ends the world?)

In this installment, NotJeffBezos deploys a wide-area reality distortion field that forces everyone involved in stopping him to act like characters in a James Bond spoof. No, seriously. That's the premise. It's also the style in which the story is written, which is kind of a nice touch.

If you liked the Dresden Files, and are interested in more urban fantasy with a sarcastic tone, but less Faerie and more Cthulhu, you will probably enjoy the Laundry Files.
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Old 7th December 2021, 02:02 PM   #829
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The Jennifer Morgue (The Laundry Files, book 2)

Magic is real and mathematics is the key to unlocking it. The governments of the world have established secret treaties and special agencies to manage the inherent risks. (Did you know Don Knuth had a fourth volume of "The Art of Programming", but it was suppressed because it included algorithms for singing the song that ends the world?)

In this installment, NotJeffBezos deploys a wide-area reality distortion field that forces everyone involved in stopping him to act like characters in a James Bond spoof. No, seriously. That's the premise. It's also the style in which the story is written, which is kind of a nice touch.

If you liked the Dresden Files, and are interested in more urban fantasy with a sarcastic tone, but less Faerie and more Cthulhu, you will probably enjoy the Laundry Files.
I think you've just persuaded me not to bother. I read a short story set in this universe ('Equoid', I think), based on a recommendation from someone here, and quite liked it but found his merciless cramming in of references to other works and nudging you in the ribs about it hard to take. It sounds like it's a feature of the books from your description so probably not for me.

I'm currently reading the final part (Offering to the Storm) of Dolores Redondo's Baztan trilogy. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it, but it's an interesting mix of implausible police whodunnit and a little bit of Basque legend magic realism. Which is different.
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Old 8th December 2021, 09:34 AM   #830
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Medieval Monasticism, C. H. Lawrence, 4th edition, 2015. 300 pp to cover a topic like that! No wonder the type is so small.

Nothing lurid; quite respectful, loaded with scholarship, engrossing, even fast-paced.

It confirms something most of us have already been pretty sure of: All priesthoods grow corrupt.

I define "priesthoods" to mean any body of professional god-botherers, and that sure & hell includes monks. Ugh.
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Old 9th December 2021, 04:09 AM   #831
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
It sounds like it's a feature of the books from your description so probably not for me.
It is but it's a wide range of geekery. I probably get more than most as I remember as a kid reading Dennis Wheatley, Lovecraft etc. My wife has read none of these, stumbled on The Rhesus Chart and laughed her head off at the pisstake of Agile methodology. There's a lot of books out there so why struggle to get to like books you probably won't.
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Old 9th December 2021, 07:41 PM   #832
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Just finished "On Every Saturday", by David Crook, a history of parkrun in Australia since it began there in 2011.

A good mixture of statistics, interviews, and commentary, which conveyed the real feeling of community, reward, and belonging that is parkrun.

Loved the speech by founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt at the end, made when he was presented with the Albert Medal.
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Old 10th December 2021, 05:07 PM   #833
The Common Potato
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Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
I have Masters of the Vortex, it came in the $0.99 ebook I downloaded. But it looks like kind of a side story, and it's not next in the story chronology, so I haven't started it yet. I'll have to see what I'll do when I come to it.

Pebble in the Sky is a good story, well worth reading.
Seems so - as it did when I first read it about 35+ years ago.
Lensman side stories

The Vortex Blaster (1960. Published with the title Masters of the Vortex in 1968)

Originally, the series consisted of the four novels Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen, and Children of the Lens, published between 1937 and 1948 in the magazine Astounding Stories.[2]: 40  In 1948, at the suggestion of Lloyd Arthur Eshbach (publisher of the original editions of the Lensman books as part of the Fantasy Press imprint), Smith rewrote his 1934 story Triplanetary to fit in with the Lensman series. First Lensman was written in 1950 to act as a link between Triplanetary and Galactic Patrol and finally, in the years up to 1954, Smith revised the rest of the series to remove inconsistencies between the original Lensman chronology and Triplanetary.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lensman_series
  • Triplanetary (1948)
  • First Lensman (1950)
  • Galactic Patrol (1950)
  • Gray Lensman (1951)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (1953)
  • Children of the Lens (1954)

I'd assumed that Masters of the Vortex came after Children of the Lens, chronologically. It doesn't. It might might have been my expectations that made the book disappointing.

Last edited by The Common Potato; 10th December 2021 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 10th December 2021, 05:08 PM   #834
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Rereading The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis.
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Old 10th December 2021, 05:39 PM   #835
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
It is but it's a wide range of geekery. I probably get more than most as I remember as a kid reading Dennis Wheatley, Lovecraft etc. My wife has read none of these, stumbled on The Rhesus Chart and laughed her head off at the pisstake of Agile methodology. There's a lot of books out there so why struggle to get to like books you probably won't.
Agreed (I think it was you actually that recommentded Equoid) It's just it sounds like the sort of thing I'd like, but has that annoying (to me) flaw so I've been dithering about whether they are in the 'don't bother' pile or the 'maybe the others don't have so much of the flaw in them' pile. The Prestige just confirmed they are in the don't bother pile.
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Old 11th December 2021, 06:32 AM   #836
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Originally Posted by The Common Potato View Post
Seems so - as it did when I first read it about 35+ years ago.
Lensman side stories

The Vortex Blaster (1960. Published with the title Masters of the Vortex in 1968)

Originally, the series consisted of the four novels Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen, and Children of the Lens, published between 1937 and 1948 in the magazine Astounding Stories.[2]: 40  In 1948, at the suggestion of Lloyd Arthur Eshbach (publisher of the original editions of the Lensman books as part of the Fantasy Press imprint), Smith rewrote his 1934 story Triplanetary to fit in with the Lensman series. First Lensman was written in 1950 to act as a link between Triplanetary and Galactic Patrol and finally, in the years up to 1954, Smith revised the rest of the series to remove inconsistencies between the original Lensman chronology and Triplanetary.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lensman_series
  • Triplanetary (1948)
  • First Lensman (1950)
  • Galactic Patrol (1950)
  • Gray Lensman (1951)
  • Second Stage Lensmen (1953)
  • Children of the Lens (1954)

I'd assumed that Masters of the Vortex came after Children of the Lens, chronologically. It doesn't. It might might have been my expectations that made the book disappointing.
New Lensman is rather good, IMO.
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Old 12th December 2021, 08:49 AM   #837
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My girlfriend is reading Medieval Monasticism now. She too finds it engrossing, and she's a classicist, not even a medievalist. Am I glad! Medievalism is like entomology or the Mafia: once in, never out.
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Old 13th December 2021, 06:53 AM   #838
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The Baron of Magister Valley by Steven Brust.
A fantasy adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo" set in Dragaera, the same setting as his Vlad Taltos series. Like the earlier Khaavren Romances series, it's written as an in-universe historical novel by Paarfi of Roundwood, full of florid language, asides by the in-universe author, and commentary on the politics and society of Dragaera at the time.
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Old 13th December 2021, 10:58 AM   #839
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Feathers: The evolution of a natural miracle, by Thor Hanson. Hanson is a conservation biologist.


Discusses the evolution of feathers; the different types of feathers (flight vs. contour, for example); the structure of the types; the use of feathers as decoration and the subsequent extinction or near-extinction of several species of birds; feathers in fly-tying; the economics of feathers as product; and a host of other topics.
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Last edited by xterra; 13th December 2021 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 13th December 2021, 11:10 AM   #840
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
The Baron of Magister Valley by Steven Brust.
A fantasy adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo" set in Dragaera, the same setting as his Vlad Taltos series. Like the earlier Khaavren Romances series, it's written as an in-universe historical novel by Paarfi of Roundwood, full of florid language, asides by the in-universe author, and commentary on the politics and society of Dragaera at the time.
That sounds interesting. I read the Vlad Taltos series years sgo.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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