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#551 2020-02-27 14:14:46

glittersloth
...village idiot
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 1,156

Re: What are you reading right now?

^ Ties in nicely with this quote I found in the "overheard on twitter" section in one of the newsletters I'm subscribed to;

Global insect biomass is falling at exactly the same rate that global GDP is growing. Turns out GDP is an accidental indicator of how quickly we are unraveling the web of life. Perhaps we should replace GDP with insect biomass as our primary indicator of progress.

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#552 2020-02-27 21:16:52

obscurant
Member
Registered: 2017-08-06
Posts: 146

Re: What are you reading right now?

Dobbie03 wrote:
clusterF wrote:
Dobbie03 wrote:

The first book of the Witcher series in preparation for the Netflix series.

What did you think of the Witcher series over the books? I havent read the books but am 3 episodes in watching the Netflix series. I dont mind it, bit confusing for me as they seem to be telling a different story each episode. Probably should read the books maybe.

I haven't finished either but I like that they are similar but not.

I'm watching the series while playing the first game. They sync well, it's super immersive, but I still have no idea what a Witcher is, what a mutagen is, etc. Think I might need to read the books.

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#553 2020-03-04 08:42:18

clusterF
Member
Registered: 2019-05-07
Posts: 539

Re: What are you reading right now?

^ Just started reading the books of the witcher, well worth the time and effort the writing and story telling is very good.

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#554 2020-03-04 20:32:31

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,666
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

Tommyknockers by Stephen King and when I'm not reading that I am making my way through HP Lovecraft's Necronomicon.


One of the ArchLabs dudes
Obssesive Metalhead and practiced beer drinker
\m/
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#555 2020-03-12 20:39:28

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,963

Re: What are you reading right now?

twoion wrote:

Next in my queue is Seveneves, another novel by Neil Stephenson of, as far as I am concernced, Snow Crash and most importantly The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer fame. Curious how it'll turn out.

I finished Seveneves today (literally bathtub literature; it makes soaking 2hrs go by really quickly), so here are some comments on it:

It's a very good book, from many points of view; most  storytelling problems, if there are any, lie in part III but if you look at the whole composition virtually all go away because of the way the overall story is structured, and because there are not many better ways to work with what parts I & II set you up with.

The story is set into motion right at the beginning of the book: a mysterious Agent, an object acting as a bullet, is shattering the moon into pieces. In consequence, a physicist and stastician observes, humankind has about two years to get away from the Earth's surface and into space, underground or into the deepest sea trenches (this last aspect of the Plan is only revealed but copiously hinted at in part III) as this event will inevitably result in a state called the White Sky wherein the pieces of the Moon continue to collide with each other in orbit, exponentially splitting and increasing in their numbers, making the sky look white from Earth's surface. This debris, however, won't stay in orbit but rain down onto the surface of the planet in the form of bollides of various size, causing extensive damage through impact but most importantly the atmosphere to superheat and burn off all life, be it flora or fauna.

The concerted world effort that takes up parts I and II as the major focus of the tale is the Cloud Ark Project, the aim of which is, using the ISS as a core, to lift enough resources, both technical (information + equipment) and genetic, into space and into an orbit that is out of reach of the superheated atmosphere as well as a potential base for waiting out the Hard Rain (thought to last millennia) and preserving, as well as rekindling and reexpanding human civilization later. This story line touches on very heavy topics as in: who is allowed and required to go into space, what about authority, leadership, technical possibilities, and so on. Part I ends with the onset of the Hard Rain, 2 years after Zero (the shattering of the Moon).

The subject of part II is about the post-apocalyptic situation the remaining humans find themselves in, space politics, treason, space combat, murder, and long-term survival strategy – the latter is a huge gambit: spend scare and irreplacable resources now and make irreversible decisions in the moment that would determine the course and survival options of mankind for thousands of years in the future. Part II ends with the completion of the second to last major project of the original astronauts: Lifting the orbit of Endurance, which is the name the post-modification ISS took after its many transformations and addons, into the orbit of the former Moon and settling the space ship / space station into a huge Moon fragment, allowing it to rest protected from space debris and radiation. The final situation is dire: All men in space have died, with seven women remaining. Those seven women become the seven Eves (hence the book's title) and by way of genetic engineering manage to clone themselves and later even produce a Y chromosome, reviving men. Thinking about the future, they decide, rather than to revive basic humans, to genetically engineer races of people with properties that they are positive would ensure long-term survival of the human species. All races have distinct properties which are embodied by characters appearing in part III.

Part III skips 5000 years into future, the existence of which alone signifies that the seven Eves' project has been successful. The Hard Rain has ended, the planet cooled off and terraforming has transformed the planet into an emerging, rich ecosystem. Most of humankind is living prosperously as Spaces in a habitat ring spanning around Earth in an orbit, but split into Red and Blue factions, and the contest for who owns and does do what with Old Earth is an ongoing issue. Spacer surveys discover that humans have not survived only in space, but also hidden deep in mines underground as well as submerged into sea trenches. This last part is a story about discovery and moving forward.

Though while people end up being busy with themselves all over again, smart people have long been thinking about the origin of the Agent, speculating about its nature and its origin. Thinking about the greater scheme of things like this called serving the Purpose, and the introduction of this concept might very well be the link that Stephenson could use for a sequel if he might so desire.

This summary is incomplete; the story is complex and rich in details, and of course much more well written than my ramblings here. You should really read this book if you can stand science fiction and afford the time. I give it 10 out of 10 points.


Per aspera ad astra.

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#556 2020-03-12 20:47:18

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,666
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

Magician.  I haven't read this in a few years and I got the urge last night.


One of the ArchLabs dudes
Obssesive Metalhead and practiced beer drinker
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#557 2020-03-13 13:39:49

ratcheer
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2015-10-05
Posts: 309

Re: What are you reading right now?

I just finished The Silent Patient, a psychotherapy thriller, of all things! The ending blew me away!

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#558 2020-04-18 02:05:45

ovum
Member
Registered: 2020-04-17
Posts: 39

Re: What are you reading right now?

"the giver"

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#559 2020-04-18 12:28:24

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,926
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

I finally finished Steve Winton's Eyrie.
That writer has got some talent both for expressing himself and telling an emotional & suspenseful & extraordinary story.
"Bruised revelation" and "disillusionment and salvation" it reads on the cover. Yeah.
Recommended (the book, and I'll surely read more by him).


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#560 2020-04-18 18:18:17

Martin
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 475
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

"The Labyrinth of Spirits" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I got it as a present. I had not heard about Zafón before and didn't know what to expect. Least of all I expected a Spanish Fredrick Forsyth but that is what it turned out to be -- so far. Some of the dialogue makes me think of some old Humphrey Bogart film.

/Martin


"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth by hitting back."
Piet Hein

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#561 2020-04-18 19:55:08

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,963

Re: What are you reading right now?

I have ordered John Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire and will start on it soon. After that, I'll get Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit. In case you're wondering: yes, I went through the list of Hugo and Locus award winners and nominees on Wikipedia again and ordered what seemed interesting. Can't wait.


Per aspera ad astra.

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#562 2020-04-19 07:27:32

dbvolvox
Member
From: England
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 79
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

Bone Silence by Alastair Reynolds, third novel in his Revenger series.

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#563 2020-05-03 20:26:48

Martin
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 475
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

Martin wrote:

"The Labyrinth of Spirits" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I got it as a present. I had not heard about Zafón before and didn't know what to expect. Least of all I expected a Spanish Fredrick Forsyth but that is what it turned out to be -- so far. Some of the dialogue makes me think of some old Humphrey Bogart film.

/Martin

Up-date when 3/4 through the book. My impression has moved from Forsyth to some overloaded action movie with a far too complex plot. There is far too much effort spent on detailed descriptions of torture and what it is like getting your gut cut open by a murderer for my taste but this seems to a be a thing nowadays -- at least when authors are hoping for film contracts. I am only guessing but that is how I feel about this book right now.

I read on out of curiosity -- how will this end and who is pulling the strings behind the scenes -- but I don't look forward to the journey.

As always when it comes to taste, your mileage may vary.

/Martin

Last edited by Martin (2020-05-03 20:27:01)


"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth by hitting back."
Piet Hein

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#564 2020-06-13 09:55:21

m1rr0r5h4d35
Member
Registered: 2017-01-08
Posts: 56

Re: What are you reading right now?

Entropy Angels by Mark Harritt


"A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding."

- William Gibson

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#565 2020-06-16 04:53:14

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,666
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

The Terror by Dan Simmons


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Obssesive Metalhead and practiced beer drinker
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#566 2020-07-08 11:40:13

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,926
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

Kim Gordon - Girl in a Band

This was gifted to me. It's a better read than I thought it would be.
Perceptive description of relations, but in an easy, direct language.

A typical life story, it starts with the divorce (I didn't even know she'd been married to Thurston Moore for 27 years, basically during the whole existence of Sonic Youth) and then flashes back to her childhood... that's as far as I got so far, but her style makes me want to read more.

PS: The German translation I'm reading seems to concentrate on structurally precise translation instead of readability and feels stilted, but I think I can sense the original through it.


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#567 2020-08-29 21:07:50

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,926
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

Not technically reading, this is an audiobook:
Scaramouche by Raphael Sabatini
(BTW I heartily recommend this podcast)

It takes place during the French Revolution. 
The reader said that they wanted something from that era, with swords & romance, but disliked the usual "swashbuckling" (and misogyny) a lá Three Musketeers. 
This novel was written in the early 20th century as I'm only now finding that out. 
I guess that explains why the language and expression is so easy to comprehend, but a big praise goes out to the reader. He is very good at it. He makes it entertaining, heartfelt.
The depiction of the time of the 1st French Revolution is subtle, nuanced, enlightening, captivating.


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#568 2020-08-30 15:11:19

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,107
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

A New Kind of Science (2002)
Best-selling book by Stephen Wolfram.

The remarkable feature of simple programs is that a significant percentage of them are capable of producing great complexity. Simply enumerating all possible variations of almost any class of programs quickly leads one to examples that do unexpected and interesting things. This leads to the question: if the program is so simple, where does the complexity come from? In a sense, there is not enough room in the program’s definition to directly encode all the things the program can do. Therefore, simple programs can be seen as a minimal example of emergence.

Not far, but 'cellular automaton' seems neat, also not sure what to think about it.

Wolfram argues that one of his achievements is in providing a coherent system of ideas that justifies computation as an organizing principle of science. For instance, he argues that the concept of computational irreducibility (that some complex computations are not amenable to short-cuts and cannot be "reduced"), is ultimately the reason why computational models of nature must be considered in addition to traditional mathematical models. Likewise, his idea of intrinsic randomness generation—that natural systems can generate their own randomness, rather than using chaos theory or stochastic perturbations—implies that computational models do not need to include explicit randomness.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2020-08-30 15:28:32)

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#569 2020-08-30 16:37:05

Martin
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 475
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

http://www.wolframalpha.com/ is a favorite of mine.

/Martin


"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth by hitting back."
Piet Hein

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#570 2020-08-30 18:06:12

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,107
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

^ Took me 4ever to make a correct input

Tyrannosaurus rex weight /elephant weight

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#571 2020-08-30 21:47:24

Martin
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 475
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

brontosaurusrex wrote:

^ Took me 4ever to make a correct input

Tyrannosaurus rex weight /elephant weight

But, were else can you ask that question and actually get an answer?
:-)

/Martin


"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth by hitting back."
Piet Hein

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#572 2020-09-29 17:32:38

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,963

Re: What are you reading right now?

twoion wrote:

I have ordered John Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire and will start on it soon. After that, I'll get Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit. In case you're wondering: yes, I went through the list of Hugo and Locus award winners and nominees on Wikipedia again and ordered what seemed interesting. Can't wait.

Change of plans. After a fiction reading break, I'll be enjoying these four books (read the Collapsing Empire to its half point last weekend) over the next few months:

Frederik Pohl: Gateway (1977)

Scalzi: The Collapsing Empire - The Consuming Fire - The Last Emperox (2017-2020).

It also has been made known that the final book of the Expanse ennealogy is titled Leviathan Falls and will only come out in 2021. A bit of a disappointment, as I really hoped to be able to read it this year, but not entirely unexpected in its delay.


Per aspera ad astra.

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#573 2020-09-30 10:35:06

phuturism
Member
From: Jakarta, Bali, Singapore, Melb
Registered: 2016-07-15
Posts: 75

Re: What are you reading right now?

Dobbie03 wrote:

The Terror by Dan Simmons

Read this recently - really wanted to watch it after seeing the excellent AMC series...    pretty good, nice historical flavour and detail.


L I N U X  -  M O T O R B I K E S  -  B O O K S  -  T R A V E L  -  A S I A

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#574 2020-09-30 12:28:29

Sector11
Conky 1.9er Mod Squid
From: Upstairs
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 6,438

Re: What are you reading right now?

two thumbs up tknomanzr.  The Silmarillion was exactly as you said.

Just started:
WarPeace.jpg


The sun will never set if you keep walking towards it. - my son
Being positive doesn't understand physics.
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#575 2020-10-01 04:41:47

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,666
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

The new Ken Follett book, The Evening and The Morning.


One of the ArchLabs dudes
Obssesive Metalhead and practiced beer drinker
\m/
Dobbie's Suckless

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