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General Category => General Chaos => Topic started by: Thorn on June 14, 2014, 08:32:44 PM

Title: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on June 14, 2014, 08:32:44 PM
Laird Barron's The Croning.  Excellent stuff.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on June 14, 2014, 09:04:05 PM
On Ross's recommendation from awhile back  I am reading Grimoires by Owen Davis and Tour De Lovecraft by Ken Hite.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on June 14, 2014, 09:08:08 PM
I think Ken Hite wrote that book while he was also working on Trail of Cthulhu.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on June 15, 2014, 02:50:30 AM
I have just started (in the intro actually) but yes it started as him reading all of HPLs fiction as he wrote Trail and then writing blog posts about each story. He cleaned them up and consolidated them into a book.

I almost never seem to only read one book. Always have 2-4 inflight so I bounce around as the mood strikes me
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Teuthic on June 15, 2014, 10:16:35 AM
I'm currently bouncing between The Divinity Student by Michael Cisco, re-reading Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (really interesting mind-bending stuff), and Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on June 15, 2014, 04:45:59 PM
I've actually been on a reading tear lately. In the last month I've read:

Bitter Seeds http://www.amazon.com/Bitter-Seeds-Ian-Tregillis/dp/0765361205

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Boiled-Wonderland-End-World-International/dp/0679743464

Cities Under Siege: http://www.amazon.com/Cities-Under-Siege-Military-Urbanism/dp/1844677621

Fiend http://www.amazon.com/Fiend-Novel-Peter-Stenson/dp/0770436331

Equoid: http://www.amazon.com/Equoid-Laundry-novella-Tor-Com-Original-ebook/dp/B00EWZCTD0

Currently working on Blueprints of the Afterlife: http://www.amazon.com/Blueprints-Afterlife-Ryan-Boudinot/dp/0802170919/

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on June 15, 2014, 05:22:59 PM
I'm currently bouncing between The Divinity Student by Michael Cisco, re-reading Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities (really interesting mind-bending stuff), and Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.

Enjoy Calvino although I have not read nearly enough of him. If on a Winter Night a Traveller was one of the books my wife gave me as part of a book exchange we did early on in our dating to feel the other out. It is pretty geeky (and admittedly sort of pretentious) but a good way to get to know someone.

The Divinity Student is on my amazon wish list which has become my on deck circle for my next book(s). I attended a panel with Michael Cisco at the HP Lovecraft filmfest in Portland and was very impressed with his level of insight into HPL and weird fiction in general. Very sharp guy and am looking forward to his fiction.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on June 15, 2014, 09:10:36 PM
Interesting that this just popped on my RSS reader. I have has a few project books in my time although I did not call them that. I do go through dry spells on occasion that can last months were I read almost nothing of consequence. May need a project book on the back burner to help me pull out of those dry spells.

http://fredrikdeboer.com/2014/06/15/in-order-to-read-start-reading/ (http://fredrikdeboer.com/2014/06/15/in-order-to-read-start-reading/)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on June 15, 2014, 09:17:46 PM
Working my way through the Death Gate cycle by Weis and Hickman.  The books are actually good reads; light, but with solid characters (female ones no less) and some interesting morality.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: ethan_dawe on June 16, 2014, 08:21:00 AM
I just re-read "The Name of the Wind" and it's sequel "Wise Man's Fear" by Patrick Rothfuss. Both are good reads with lots of details on the magic of the world.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Dom on June 16, 2014, 10:41:10 AM
I've actually been on a reading tear lately. In the last month I've read:

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Boiled-Wonderland-End-World-International/dp/0679743464

I'm a huge Haruki Murakami fan, I have almost all his books on my book shelf and some of those books I've read more than twice.

As to what I've been reading recently:

Tokyo Vice - An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan by Jake Adelstein: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RYXA0Y/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title
 I bought it during the Tribes of Tokyo APs but just only read it about two months ago. Great book and it reads like a thriller.

Big Boy Rules: America's Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq by Steve Fainaru: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001M5JV98/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title
Great book about a side of wars that is normally glossed over or ignored. Could make for some great RPG material in some senses.

Tai-Pan by James Clavell: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001L4Z6YE/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title
By the same author that wrote Shogun, Tai-Pan is an amazing historical novel about the Opium Wars, the British colonization of Hong-Kong and the merchant houses that dominated all Oriental matters.

The Lies of Locke Lamorra by Scott Lynch: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JMKNJ2/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title
The requisite fantasy book, it's set in fantasy-Venice and is mostly about the street-urchin-turned-con-man Locke Lamorra that gets dragged into a larger conflict. It's some pretty great low-fantasy and if you're a fan of the Thief series of videogames then you will love this book.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: edwardian_adventurer on June 16, 2014, 04:05:37 PM
I started reading Fool Moon, the second book of the Dresden Files. I enjoy the banter between characters and the book is generally a lot of fun, but man does Jim Butcher love his commas.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Lordsloth on June 30, 2014, 03:34:16 PM
Currently- Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide.

Next- A Season in Carcosa.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on July 01, 2014, 01:07:55 AM
Currently- Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide.

Next- A Season in Carcosa.

 :o
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Lordsloth on July 01, 2014, 01:22:11 AM
Which one is shocking, Ross?  ;D I know you guys worked on KtWS: APG, and Planetary was a completely amazing series, one that graces the top shelf of my bookshelf, along with Sandman and Transmetropolitan. And all the Delta Green books.  8)

A Season in Carcosa- I'm working my way through True Detective, and a Real Estate agent recently sold me a small cabin on Lake Hali. Also, I wear no mask. No mask? No Mask!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Vivax on July 01, 2014, 11:13:29 AM
I'm reading:

 The Southern Reach Trilogy http://www.amazon.com/Annihilation-Novel-Southern-Reach-Trilogy/dp/0374104093

Beating Back the Devil: A Year in the Epidemiology Intelligence Service http://www.amazon.com/Beating-Back-Devil-Maryn-McKenna/dp/1439123101/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404227549&sr=1-1&keywords=beating+back+the+devil

And I just finished Windup Girl http://www.amazon.com/Windup-Girl-Paolo-Bacigalupi/dp/1597801585/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404227575&sr=1-1&keywords=windup+girl



Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 01, 2014, 12:04:18 PM
Just finished The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17568771-the-inconvenient-indian) by Thomas King, a must-read for all Canadians and Americans in my opinion.

I'll probably read another story out of The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8498076-the-black-lizard-big-book-of-black-mask-stories) next, but I'll probably be digesting that book, one story at a time, for another year.

I'm not sure which book on my to-read (https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/25827301-bryan-rombough?shelf=to-read) list I'll get into next.  I haven't found a paperback copy of The War That Ended Peace: The Road To 1914 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17345257-the-war-that-ended-peace) yet, I may just dive into Tim Cook's At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914-1916 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10134691-at-the-sharp-end) right away.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 06, 2014, 11:21:24 AM
And instead of that, I've started in on Michel de Montaigne's On Solitude (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6887561-on-solitude) --one essay at a time-- and Henry Hitchings' The Language Wars: A History of Proper English (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13513472-the-language-wars).  I'm loving The Language Wars, just in the second chapter, I found a new favourite quote: "'Logic' is often a mask for smugness and jingoism".
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 20, 2014, 10:13:18 AM
Finished Language Wars yesterday, then picked up a copy of Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18505764-lost-girls) which I've been been meaning to read since reading a review over a year ago.  But I won't be starting Lost Girls right away though: Before going to see The Wind Rises I was browsing in a used bookstore across the street from the theatre when I found a used copy of  Roadside Picnic (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1255118.Roadside_Picnic).  I know when to take a hint.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: RadioactiveBeer on July 21, 2014, 02:33:50 PM
CADMonkey, you might enjoy what I've been reading lately: The Surgeon of Crowthorne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgeon_of_Crowthorne) (apparently the US title is The Professor and The Madman), which is about part of the history of the first edition of the OED. Apparently it was an early example of crowdsourcing - lots of amateur linguists were tapped to find quotes as early as possible that demonstrated the meaning of key terms. And one of the most prolific contributors was, well, in Broadmoor at the time of his work.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on July 21, 2014, 03:10:01 PM
I did enjoy The Professor and the Mad Man quite a bit. Scholership was a very different beast in that era.

Based on a Ken Hite Zoom I just finished On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. Not his best but decent and pretty fun.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15670.On_Stranger_Tides (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15670.On_Stranger_Tides)

Not sure where I got this recommendations but it seems to fit with the AP of No Sense of the Slight of Hand Man and am reading Confessions of an Opium Eater. Not a giant fan of it but it is pretty short so will be done fairly soon.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19195286-confessions-of-an-english-opium-eater? (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19195286-confessions-of-an-english-opium-eater?)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 04, 2014, 01:26:39 PM
CADMonkey, you might enjoy what I've been reading lately: The Surgeon of Crowthorne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgeon_of_Crowthorne) (apparently the US title is The Professor and The Madman), which is about part of the history of the first edition of the OED. Apparently it was an early example of crowdsourcing - lots of amateur linguists were tapped to find quotes as early as possible that demonstrated the meaning of key terms. And one of the most prolific contributors was, well, in Broadmoor at the time of his work.

Yeah, Hitchings mentioned the history of the OED and the solicitation for input from readers.

So I finished Roadside Picnic a while ago and have been catching up on a pile of Architectural magazines that has been growing for a while.  A couple of days ago, I was in that used bookstore again and came across, amongst other things, a copy of In the Midst of Life and Other Tales (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16150903-in-the-midst-of-life-and-other-tales), a collection of Bierce's short stories, including An Inhabitant of Carcosa.  So I've added again to my pile of ongoing short story collections.

And today, on the hundredth anniversary of Canada joining the First World War, I've begun reading At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914-1916.  It's a rather massive tome, but I think I can finish it before 2016 rolls around.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on August 04, 2014, 10:44:05 PM
I finally finished my massive pile of summer graduate work.  Now that I'm done researching and reading academic texts, I'm ready to read some shit.

I asked my Facebook friends to vote on the following three books that I either found in rummage sales for a nickel, took from the "free" box at dirty thrift stores, or magically appeared on my bookshelf like the sentient tomes of old.  I am asking you, my RPPR community friends, to do the same.

The winning selection will not only be read by me, but I will also post updates on my progress on this forum.

I know I can count on you.

(http://i58.tinypic.com/34i1vlw.jpg)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 05, 2014, 10:27:15 AM
I just looked up those books on goodreads, Emergency Surgeon has zero ratings, no-one on that site has even read it*.  I think you may have found some real shit there.


*and is willing to admit to it.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Decimator on August 05, 2014, 11:18:38 AM
I just finished "Use of Weapons."  The book was pretty good, but the ending just made me go, "Huh?"
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on August 05, 2014, 07:35:55 PM
So far it is a close race between Level 7 and Emergency Surgeon . . .and one VERY passionate vote for Orca O_o
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Leviathan on August 05, 2014, 08:23:53 PM
Been tearing through the Dragon Age books in preparation for Dragon Age: Inquisition, coming later this year (and got pushed back, fuuu).

The Stolen Throne, by David Gaider.
It's about King Maric, father of Cailan and [spoiler]Alistair[/spoiler]. It's not really required reading for a DA-fan since it doesn't have a lot of the world the games do. It's pretty straight-up low fantasy and pretty gritty. It also shines a light on Loghain, and kind of lets you know why he did the things he did in Dragon Age: Origins. It's got the same problem as prequels tend to have, in that you already know what's going to happen, so there's no unpredictability.

The Calling, by David Gaider.
It's a cool insight into the more mysterious aspects of being a Grey Warden, like the Calling itself, and serves as a prequel to Dragon Age: Awakening. It also has Duncan, which is great.

Asunder, by David Gaider.
About Rhys, the son of [spoiler]Wynne[/spoiler], who is drafted into an expedition into the deep west of Orlais, to investigate the claims by his mother that a Tranquil mage has been possessed by a demon. I'm not finished with this, but it's pretty good thus far.

My pet peeve with Gaider's writing is his insistence on having sassy/snarky characters in everything, so it just feels like he's only capable of writing certain types of characters. And the fact that super stubborn characters sometimes are just instantly convinced of things that go against their character for plot convenience. That said, he writes a shit ton of flavour text and the world is interesting enough that you breeze through the books. Next in the series is The Masked Empire, by Patrick Weekes, which is also set in Orlais and also sets the scene for DA:I, along with Asunder.

After that, I intend to hop into the Mistborn-trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (aka, the dude who finished The Wheel of Time), which I've heard great things about and got for dirt cheap in my local book store.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Cordyceps on August 09, 2014, 09:37:56 PM
I just finished Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang . Awesome short story collection. The last story "Liking What You See: A Documentary" gave me some good ideas for Eclipse Phase.   
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on August 11, 2014, 12:23:49 PM
I'm about half-way through April 1865: The Month that Saved America, which is basically about all the way the American Civil War could have turned out way worse than it did. It's an interesting read, and partially relevant to a Call of Cthulhu scenario I'm still writing.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on August 11, 2014, 04:45:23 PM
And today, on the hundredth anniversary of Canada joining the First World War, I've begun reading At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914-1916.  It's a rather massive tome, but I think I can finish it before 2016 rolls around.

I'm reading its sequel, Shock Troops, which covers 1916-18, right now. Which covers all the bloody victories where Canada got its reputation for having first-rate assault and shock troops, not so coincidentally.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 17, 2014, 07:41:40 PM
"Our kahki is dirty and stained, and our packs are heavy; but our rifles are clean and well-oiled as we plod along the road to our 'spell in.'  Our faces are red, as the rain drips down from our bonnets and runs down our cheeks or drops from our noses.  We don't look like a bunch of 'bleedin' 'eroes,' but we are not at all downhearted."

- Private J.P. Baston, 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1916

Finished At the Sharp End today, and I'll be moving on to the second volume in a while, but I'll tackle some other books first.

I think that the next will be Logan's Run (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2643203-logan-s-run), I came across a  copy in a used book store (1976 with art from the movie posters on the cover) and since the Podcast at Ground Zero guys are going to be discussing it soon, I thought I'd give it a read.

I've also added Tim Cook's The Madman and the Butcher: the Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22924838-the-madman-and-the-butcher) to my to-read list.  I enjoyed Cook's writing in At the Sharp End and the glimpses of Hughes' horrible behaviour therein, so it's now sitting on my bookshelf.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 23, 2014, 08:24:02 PM
So I finished Logan's Run mid-week.  It was quite pacy and had some interesting elements about 60's fears of overpopulation and youth revolt, but there wasn't much story there in the end.  It's mostly Logan running from exotic location to exotic location, getting caught in deathtraps and escaping at the last moment, and a rather cheezy reveal at the end "surprise! I was Ballard all along!".

Now I'm taking a little break from from my regular diet of science fiction, war and crime to read some Truman Capote: Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12091566-breakfast-at-tiffany-s).
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 25, 2014, 10:08:07 AM
And now back to crime.  I've started reading Robert Kolker’s Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery.  I mentioned reading a review of this book earlier in the thread, and here it is:

Quote
How crime apathy can empower a serial killer (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/how-crime-apathy-can-empower-a-serial-killer/article13323594/)

This is a good and brave book and one that, if you’re anything like me, will make you hate yourself just a little bit.

I’m a news reporter. From time to time, I report on crime. It can’t be avoided.

Every day, my e-mail inbox piles up with press releases from police departments across the country.

The majority concern missing-persons cases. Toronto alone can send up to 10 missing-persons reports a day.

For the most part, I ignore them. And so does everyone else. Usually, the missing turn up within 48 hours. Often the press releases refer to “high-risk behaviour,” meaning they’re probably a drug addict or a prostitute or both, so, wink-wink, this isn’t out of the ordinary. Just folks on the margins of society who haven’t checked in lately.

Robert Kolker’s Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery is the story of how that apathy can empower a serial killer.

On Dec. 10, 2010, a Suffolk County Police officer searching for a missing prostitute named Shannan Gilbert discovered a set of human remains along Ocean Parkway, a scenic highway stretching the length of Jones Beach Island located off Long Island’s southern shore. Two days later, police found three more skeletons in the same area, but there was no Shannan Gilbert among them. They hadn’t even been looking for the four women they found that week. No one had, aside from a few family members whom everyone ignored.

Despite clear evidence of a serial killer, or killers, using the area as a dumpsite for dead women, Suffolk County Police seemed reluctant to continue the search for Ms. Gilbert, the one woman they knew for sure had disappeared in the area. She was a prostitute.

Prostitutes lead transient, high-risk lives. She could be anywhere, dead or alive. Let’s all just move along.

When, on Dec. 6, 2011, they sent one last phalanx of searchers into a briny marsh armed with dogs, metal detectors and weed whackers, a TV crewman waiting on the proceedings crudely summed up the attitude of many involved: “I can’t believe they’re doing all this for a whore.”

Gilbert’s body turned up a few days later. The truth did not. The case remains open. Utter indifference on the part of multiple law enforcement agencies doomed it from the start. Missing persons reports were dismissed. Leads were not followed.

This may sound a little familiar. If you live in Vancouver or Prince George or Edmonton or Winnipeg or any of a hundred other North American cities where cases of missing and murdered woman have been ignored, you know there is a chronic problem not just with protecting marginalized women from harm, but with seriously investigating once harm strikes.

The rise of websites like Craigslist and Backpage.com have mitigated some dangers of the job while amplifying others, argues Kolker, a New York magazine contributing editor.

The Internet is replacing middlemen in many facets of the sex trade, freeing prostitutes from the abuse and enslavement inherent in those relationships.

At the same time, the brutal old way of doing business offered some shred of a safety net. Word of missing women or violent customers travelled across of a network of sex-trade workers, just like office gossip spreads across any other workplace.

A prostitute’s handlers could put the boots to aggressive clients, send out search parties for missing girls.

Now, “escorts can work from a hotel with a laptop, or in a car on a smartphone. Alone,” Kolker writes. “A missing girl is missing only to the people who notice.”

Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews, Kolker retraces the lives of the five women whose bodies were found on Long Island – their personalities, their loves, their silly habits, their addictions. His ability to animate their lives is bedrock of this book, more a work of victim analysis than police procedural.

It is a noble approach, and one that can easily bring out the worst in readers. For me, the five women began to blend, their individuality lost in tale after tale of neglected upbringing, abuse, shattered dreams, addiction and ignorance.

Sad, tragic lives; sad, tragic deaths. Such a cavalcade of sorrow tests our compassion. I began ignoring details, scanning over pages, demonstrating the same sort of dismissiveness as the bungling investigators.

Luckily, Kolker is not so callous. His tireless reporting has done for the Long Island case what Stevie Cameron did for the Robert Pickton murders: created a full, agonizing account of a horrible murder case involving neglected women that tells us bad things about ourselves.

It also offers an implied argument for the regulation of prostitution, so that government could mandate the humanity that society seems so incapable of.

Until something changes, laws and mores will force them to continue seeking out the technological margins, out of our sight, out of our minds – exactly what the killers count on.

Patrick White is a reporter for The Globe and Mail.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on August 27, 2014, 08:19:58 PM
I'm re-reading Jonathan Mayberry's YA title Rot and Ruin.  I read the book a year or so ago for a student book club at my old school.  Now that I'm teaching in an alternative school I thought this might be a good book to get reluctant readers to tackle.  So far so good.  After we finish this book I'm going to try to work in Tim O'Brain's The Things They Carried.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on September 07, 2014, 10:04:27 PM
I finished Lost Girls last weekend and I've been catching up on my backlog of architectural magazines since.

Lost Girls was a very good book, well researched and well written.  And unlike many true crime books, it didn't obsess over forensic details or fixate on the serial killer or killers.  Instead Kolker paints a detailed and heartbreaking portrait of the victims and their families, which places this book well above the norm in the true crime genre.

In my magazines, I'm going through the August/September issue of Mark (http://www.frameweb.com/magazines/mark/mark-51) right now.  This issue has a perspective section on China, with interviews with four contemporary Chinese Architects, rather interesting.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on September 08, 2014, 12:28:59 PM
Having finished April 1865 and Burke Davis's Sherman's March, I've decided to dive into the Big Kahuna: Shelby Foote's The Civil War: A Narrative. I'm on page 47 of volume 1, and I've already learned fascinating new stuff about Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. It's great. And the War hasn't even started yet.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 08, 2014, 08:52:16 PM
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway.  A great romp with some serious ideas behind its slick facade, and if you can't use it as a gaming resource you're not trying hard enough.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Teuthic on September 08, 2014, 10:39:46 PM
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway.  A great romp with some serious ideas behind its slick facade, and if you can't use it as a gaming resource you're not trying hard enough.

Nick Harkaway's pretty great! I love that the book is one long tract about the philosophy of identity. I just picked up Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer: I'm curious to see what'll happen with Area X.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on September 27, 2014, 06:54:04 PM
Just finished Charlotte Gray's The Massey Murder: A Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22617930-the-massey-murder) a bit of historical true-crime: the story of an English housemaid  killing her employer after he allegedly tried to "ruin her", and her subsequent trial.  In addition to the true-crime story itself, it's an interesting look into gender, class & racial politics in the Canada of a century ago.

And in my recent trip to Montreal, I visited the CCA (http://www.cca.qc.ca/en) and picked up:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5594/15123295218_1ddf756ef6_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/p3oQMh)

So I've added Bodoni's Manuale Tipografico (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8535694-bodoni) and Detail publications Facade Construction Manual (http://shop.detail.de/row_e/facade-construction-manual.html), best of DETAIL Glass (http://shop.detail.de/row_e/best-of-detail-glas.html) & Innovative Design + Construction (http://shop.detail.de/row_e/innovative-design-construction.html) to my to-read list.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 27, 2014, 10:32:37 PM
I just finished Night Voices, Night Journeys which I bought back in 2005 but never finished because the first story was pretty bad http://www.kurodahan.com/mt/e/catalog/j0010cate.html

However, pretty much every story after it is better and there are a few gems in it. Only for the hardcore mythos completionists though

Started into Unruly Places, which a listener recommended. Seems pretty good so far.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on October 26, 2014, 04:19:47 PM
I started listening to the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast a while ago, and I decided to re-read Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath before listening to their review.  Man, that was a slog.  I had forgotten how longwinded, verbose and rambling that story is.  But at least now I know why: Lovecraft wrote the story, decided that he didn't like it, put it away and never touched it again.  Dream-Quest is a first draft, no re-writes, no editing, nothing but that first draft.

Now I'm reading Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21923530-clearing-the-plains), an examination of the roles that European diseases, climate, and Canadian political policy had in the deaths and subjugation of thousands of Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian West.  It's been called "Required Reading for All Canadians" and somewhat ironically, the author is coming to town to receive the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize from the Governor General.  Sir John A. Macdonald being the Prime Minister who enacted those policies which saw so many Aboriginal people die from disease and starvation.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on October 30, 2014, 05:34:56 PM
William Gibson has a new novel out. Do I need to draw a diagram?  ;)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Kamen on November 11, 2014, 11:56:27 AM
I actually got a signed copy of Mr. Gibson's new book, The Peripheral, but have not read it yet mainly due to my reading Dracula as a refresher for the Dracula Dossier, which I'm super excited for.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on November 11, 2014, 05:41:27 PM
Glad to see I'm not the only one.  Last time I taught Dracula I printed out a map of Europe and we plotted the story's location with thumb tacks.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Telivan on November 22, 2014, 12:07:49 AM
Hey everybody, first post here on the forums.

I've been getting back into reading sci-fi after my reading lull of the last two years. Recently finished Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination and have started reading The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson(thanks to Tom for the recommendation). I also have Gateway by Frederik Pohl lined up to read afterwards.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Zombieneighbours on November 22, 2014, 12:50:05 PM
I just recently finished Hannu Rajaniemi's Jean le Flambeur trilogy, which is seriously good reading.

I am listening to Snow Crash by Neal Stephenso, and reading "The Rapture of the Nerds" by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross. Whole bunch of Hastur mythos related reading is up next.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on November 22, 2014, 03:20:51 PM
Hey everybody, first post here on the forums.

I've been getting back into reading sci-fi after my reading lull of the last two years. Recently finished Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination and have started reading The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson(thanks to Tom for the recommendation). I also have Gateway by Frederik Pohl lined up to read afterwards.

uh I recommended The Night Land and I read this version which is easier for modern readers http://www.amazon.com/The-Night-Land-Story-Retold-ebook/dp/B004GKNM3W (http://www.amazon.com/The-Night-Land-Story-Retold-ebook/dp/B004GKNM3W)

Also, I recently finished We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and Merricat makes Bartleby look like a bastion of sanity by comparison.

I've started reading Fordlandia, which is fairly engrossing. Henry Ford was ten kinds of crazy.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 22, 2014, 05:55:17 PM
I'm back into Thomas Ligotti, as often happens to me during these dreary months. Grimscribe: His Lives and Works has stories in it that I don't remember ever having read before.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Eagle_Eye on November 24, 2014, 06:25:29 AM
I've been reading the Dresden books lately, I'm on book two right now, Fool Moon.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on November 24, 2014, 07:49:11 AM
Reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  Haven't been this engrossed in a long time; King rulez.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Kamen on December 01, 2014, 05:04:12 PM
So between bouts of Dracula I've also picked up the first two trades of Hellblazer, and the first trade of All-New Ghost Rider and Ms. Marvel. So far all have been pretty entertaining!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on December 01, 2014, 06:43:06 PM
I am reading The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron. Am enjoying it but it pretty much plays to my wheelhouse of enjoyment hitting ghost stories, weird fiction, and hard boiled/noir elements. Your own mileage may vary.

Included in the story "Hand of Glory" is a Mitchum Cleary sighting. Sure he goes by another name but it seems like it is him.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: FHRegulus on December 04, 2014, 04:10:57 PM
Currently I'm reading Dune for the first time and it is certainly a book... Also I've been digging into Mouse Guard. I'm super late on both of these but I'm really enjoying Mouse Guard.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Henry Hankovitch on December 08, 2014, 01:15:59 AM
Whatever you do, don't read any more books in the Dune series.  The first one is a great classic.  Everything afterward is just a gradually increasing series of letdowns.

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Lordsloth on December 09, 2014, 11:54:33 AM
Just finished DG: Tales from failed anatomies; currently re-reading Hobgoblin by John Coyne. There's a lot more sexual situations than I somehow don't remember reading when I first read this book(back in 1982 or '83!).

The book that got me into Roleplaying Games- after reading this book, I attempted to create my own RPG based on the titular game within the novel. My best friend was like "Hey, that's cool, we should take some ideas from this AD&D book my sister bought me."

And here I am, still playing RPGs.

Edit: And now that I've finished Hobgoblin(again), I can't recommend it as a good read. :P
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on December 30, 2014, 12:40:49 PM
About 20% of the way through The Divinity Student by Michael Cisco. So far it is very good and the kind of book I really need to read more of. I saw Mr Cisco on a panel at the HP Lovecraft Film Festival here in Portland and as really impressed by the scholarship he had given to HPL and weird fiction in general. I have a few other authors to dig more into before I circle back around but am planning on reading more from Mr Cisco.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on February 15, 2015, 05:53:51 PM
Well, it's been a while since I've posted to this thread.  But since I keep my goodreads page up to date (link in my sig) there's no need to do an infodump on everything I've read in the past few months.

Before getting to the second volume of Tim Cook's history of the Canadian Corps in WWI, I thought I'd skip back a bit and read Margaret MacMillan's The War That Ended Peace: The Road To 1914 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17345257-the-war-that-ended-peace), now that I have it in paperback.  The first sentence of the introduction is darkly amusing, and should have some significance to listeners of the RPPR AP podcast: "Louvain was a dull place, said a guidebook in 1910, but when the time came it made a spectacular fire".
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on February 15, 2015, 06:26:23 PM
I just finished The Disaster Artist, a book about the making of The Room. It's by Greg Seestro, who plays Mark in the movie and knows Tommy Wiseau in real life. It was both hilarious and creepy as fuck!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on February 15, 2015, 07:54:02 PM
I've been reading some Richard Laymon recently; for whatever reason I never heard of him until Amazon had a deal on some of his books.  Very fun, very subversive horror.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: BeyondSandrock on February 15, 2015, 10:34:07 PM
I just finished The Disaster Artist, a book about the making of The Room. It's by Greg Seestro, who plays Mark in the movie and knows Tommy Wiseau in real life. It was both hilarious and creepy as fuck!

Ross lent me his copy on Friday and I finished it this afternoon. I'll admit I ended up feeling somewhat sorry for Wiseau, it seems like he has some pretty deep-seeded issues and had trouble dealing with them. However I still can't imagine going through the train-wreck of that production. Fun fact, he though the pug in the flower shop scene was a stuffed animal and did not notice it until his 3rd take.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on March 04, 2015, 08:22:55 PM
Finally reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

Someday I will read enough of my to read pile that they will all fit in two small bookcases. Someday....
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on March 04, 2015, 08:59:57 PM
Awesome book.  I went to a book signing Gaiman was doing to promo its release and got my copy autographed.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on March 05, 2015, 10:08:12 AM
Finally reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

Someday I will read enough of my to read pile that they will all fit in two small bookcases. Someday....

Nice! I enjoyed that, though I must confess that Gaiman isn't one of my favorite writers.

I just finished Excession by Ian Banks. It's one of his "Culture" novels, which are basically space operas about the ultimate "nice" transhuman society, run by hyper-intelligent space ships. I enjoyed it a lot -- and also discovered that it's obviously a massive influence on Eclipse Phase.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: ethan_dawe on March 05, 2015, 10:46:58 AM
Just re-read a great science/fantasy series from the 80s by Melissa Scott. It's a unique blend of science fiction with magic.

Five-Twelfths of Heaven
Silence in Solitude
Empress of Earth

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/175026.Five_Twelfths_of_Heaven (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/175026.Five_Twelfths_of_Heaven)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on March 05, 2015, 03:18:48 PM
Currently reading Dead Sea by Tim Curran: http://tuebl.ca/books/23646 (http://tuebl.ca/books/23646)

It's a long novel but I enjoy nautical horror novels so this is a fun read.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on March 06, 2015, 09:43:13 AM
Have you read Curran's sequel to Mountains of Madness?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on March 06, 2015, 01:00:22 PM
Have you read Curran's sequel to Mountains of Madness?

I read Hive and thought it was not bad, but not really that great. I haven't read the other Hive novels though.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on March 06, 2015, 03:52:22 PM
Same here, I read the Hive but not Spawning. 

As far as nautical mythos works, I enjoyed High Seas Cthulhu.  Definitely some gameable material there.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: LordofNaught on March 09, 2015, 01:32:14 PM
I'm currently reading the Powder Mage Trilogy by Brian McClellan. Book two, The Crimson Campaign to be precise.  It's a pretty cool series, guns, and magic and mages who specialize with guns called powder mages. It has some classical fantasy stuff like magic and gods and whatnot, but there's also warfare that's akin to the Napoleonic Wars too. Definately worth checking out. The first book is Promise of Blood.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Mr. Purple on March 12, 2015, 06:11:34 PM
Working my way through the Dresden Files and the first three volumes of the manga Crimson Spell. Highly recommend the first, only suggest the second to yaoi fans... everyone else's need to make those san checks
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Gorkamorka on March 13, 2015, 08:52:27 AM
Working my way through the Dresden Files and the first three volumes of the manga Crimson Spell. Highly recommend the first, only suggest the second to yaoi fans... everyone else's need to make those san checks

How far have you got with the Dresden files?
Once you reach past Changes (Book 10?), give the RPG a read over, but not before then. 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Mr. Purple on March 13, 2015, 09:09:51 AM
Up to six, but i also read 14 & 15 because the Kindle gave them to me out of order. Got half a chapter in, realized they were ahead, but kept going because they're that good
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on March 19, 2015, 11:30:59 PM
Reading Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle. Got it for Christmas, and glad to hear it got a shout out in the latest main show. It's does some very interesting things with narrative like Caleb mentions; I think there's at least five different timelines the narrator interweaves through during the course of the story, all told in a free form, stream of consciousness style. It's not an easy read, but one I've been liking.

Also working my way through the Eclipse Phase main book, slowly but surely, and Little Fears Nightmare Edition. The only bad thing about the hobby is there's so many great systems and so many books. Still got the rest of the Eclipse Phase books from the Bundle of Holding awhile back, and now I've got the Laundry RPG books as well. While piling through those, do you guys have a good starting point for Stross? Start with the Atrocity Archives, or something else?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on March 20, 2015, 01:05:36 AM
A Colder War is a good intro to Stross: http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm (http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on March 21, 2015, 11:36:58 PM
Great! Guess it's true; the first one's always free. Thanks Ross!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on April 03, 2015, 07:55:35 PM
Continuing the theme of "Awful things in Canadian History" I'm currently reading Canada's Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage (http://www.vehiculepress.com/q.php?EAN=9781550653274).  The history of slavery in Canada is a subject most Canadians don't like to talk about*, and in Quebec there is a persistent myth that slavery didn't exist in New France.  When Trudel's book was fist published in Quebec in the early 60's, he was denounced by the nationalists, shunned by the academic establishment, and blacklisted by the Catholic Church from teaching at Laval University.  Trudel eventually moved to Ontario and took a position teaching at the University of Ottawa.

I'm just over half way through, and this book is shaping up to be another volume that all Canadians really should read.

*Except to gloat over the fact that slavery was abolished in the British empire before it was in the US.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on May 27, 2015, 11:47:29 PM
I'd started Colder War, but hadn't had time to finish it. With the computers at work being down for half a day, I was looking at the forums on my phone and realized I hadn't finished it. I did. JESUS, I know Ross and Caleb are into fatalism/nihilism, but damn, that was a brutal read. But good! He knows his world building, and if you have a lot of knowledge of history you'll get a lot of references, in the midst of a dark, but satisfying story.

Speaking of history, I finished Wolf in White Van and moved to my other Christmas book, Up, Up and Away: [Insert Obnoxiously Long Subtitle Here] by Jonah Keri. It's a book about the Montreal Expos, from the beginning to the end when they were moved to D.C. It's a fascinating book, because it's not just a book chronicling the baseball team; it also delves deeply into the history of Montreal of the era, how they got the team and ultimately lost it. It's not just a history of baseball, it's a look for us 'Murricans into Canada of the time period. Worth a read, regardless of if you're a sports fan or not. Also just polished off Volume 1 of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. Damn good fantasy/sci-fi epic.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on May 28, 2015, 02:06:03 PM
After taking a brief crack at Altered Carbon for the Eclipse Phase influence (it didn't really quite grab me), I've been getting back to the classics of pulp sword and sorcery, picking up things that I've missed up until now:
And I'm rereading Hellboy, since I've discovered that a whole bunch more of it has come out since I last read it, and it's been too long for me to jump in with just the new stuff.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: TMayesing78 on May 29, 2015, 02:41:31 AM
I just finished "The Light at the End", the Joe Pitt trilogy and I'm listening to "Altered Carbon" right now. (I listen more than I get to read because of work and school.)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on May 29, 2015, 07:25:53 AM
I just plowed through Ex-Heroes by Peter Cline.  Zombie apocalypse + super heroes = WIN. 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GOvLfAZDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

It's great material for Base Raiders, as nearly a third of the book is heroes leading teams of people to scavenge for supplies, and it is clever in how it approaches whether or not a hero can be affected by a zombie attack. 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: crawlkill on May 29, 2015, 08:26:52 PM
My recent cramming's been pretty much all RPPR inspired. I was nnnot a huge fan of Milkweeds 1 and 2--I get that Gretel basically engineered the entire plot, but it wasn't like things dovetailed so interestingly that it was mind-blowing to see it come together. Just started the third, and while I appreciate the insight into Gretel's mind, the "I must be in love with Marsh" angle is a weeeird place to start. That's on hold for the moment.

I also read Last Call on EthanC's recommendation re: Unknown Armies and thought it was pretty great, although I'm not sure if I'd've liked it as much if my brain weren't constantly sparking with OH MAN THAT'S TOTALLY CONNECTED TO XIDEA IN UA. Audible denied me EthanC's other Tim Powers recommendation, Three Days to Never, so I got The Stress of Her Regard. ...don't read The Stress of Her Regard. It's cosmic horror meets vampire fiction. Characters behave in incoherent ways, it's all over the place, and the few moments of good cosmicidity are overshadowed by the hundreds of pages of nothing. Then again, I quit about three hours before the end, so maybe the conclusion was good?

Then I bamboozled Audible into letting me grab Three Days to Never, which I'm a couple hours into. I definitely like the exposition--a succession of cryptic infodumps, and I'm not sure I've ever read a book that was focused on Kabbalistic supernaturalness before. Been slow going, though, I get sidetracked by podcasts because I'm often multitasking or drunk (or both) and prefer not to listen to books I haven't heard before in at least some of those states.

Aaand I picked up The Disaster Artist on a whim the other day, in spite of not having seen The Room. It's interestingly weird so far. So yeah, really all of my recent books have been encouraged by RPPR stuff.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: +1 Hat on June 27, 2015, 07:31:10 PM
I'm just gonna drop this off right here.


http://www.amazon.com/The-Cthulhu-Wars-Battles-Against/dp/1472807871/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1NTMKJE5RPJZ80VPX4TH (http://www.amazon.com/The-Cthulhu-Wars-Battles-Against/dp/1472807871/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1NTMKJE5RPJZ80VPX4TH)

NB the author? I get that this isn't out yet, and Nov is a while off, but how have I not heard about this yet? Have the promos on KARTAS been behind fnord-walls?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Zombieneighbours on June 28, 2015, 04:42:48 AM
I am currently read:

Game set and match, by len deighton, finished of Berlin game and Mexico set this week, and will be moving on to London match soon. It is part of an on going project do all of the bernard sampson and George Smilie books before World War Cthulhu: Cold War, comes out.

I am also currently in the middle of Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. Good Eclipse Phase inspiration reading.

That said, all that is about to go on hold....as there is about to be a new Laundry book to read!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on June 28, 2015, 07:58:58 AM
Just finished Shotguns Vs. Cthulhu.  It was a pretty decent read with stories by Robin Laws, Ken Hite, and Daniel Harms.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on June 28, 2015, 11:05:02 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515glbmtgWL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)

Cherie Priest is really good.  Daniel Boone fighting a frightening beastie is all sorts of awesome.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on June 28, 2015, 11:39:22 PM
http://www.amazon.com/The-Cthulhu-Wars-Battles-Against/dp/1472807871/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1NTMKJE5RPJZ80VPX4TH (http://www.amazon.com/The-Cthulhu-Wars-Battles-Against/dp/1472807871/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1NTMKJE5RPJZ80VPX4TH)

Published by Osprey? Written by Kenneth Hite? Thank you for bringing this to my attention!


I finished The Girl with the Hungry Eyes by Fritz Leiber.  Goddamn. Sixteen pages that can put you into a cold sweat, whether you take it as a supernatural vampire story or an allegory for marketing in capitalism (or both).  Highly recommended.

My first foray into the Culture series was Excession by Ian M. Banks. Fantastic. Also great source material for Eclipse Phase culture and the interaction between Prometheans and Firewall operatives (Special Circumstance). 

I think I asked this before, but does any of the RPPR crew have an opinion on Laird Barron?

I almost forgot. A solid Cthulhu Mythos anthology for $1. Yes that's one smoldering dollar!.  The Cthulhu Mythos Megapack: 40 Modern and Classic Lovecraftian Stories for kindle.

If you don't have a kindle it is real easy to get a reader for your mobile or box.
 
link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Cthulhu-Mythos-Megapack-Lovecraftian-ebook/dp/B007V8RQC4 (http://www.amazon.com/The-Cthulhu-Mythos-Megapack-Lovecraftian-ebook/dp/B007V8RQC4)

I got this because I was looking for T.E.D. Klein's The Events at Poroth Farm.  I also discovered that Robert Bloch wrote the The Faceless God. This story in particular along with HPL's Nyarlathotep seem to be direct inspiration for the Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign. 

If there are any other references to "the Faceless God" or literary work Masks is based on please post! I'd love to read them.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Zombieneighbours on July 01, 2015, 06:19:29 AM
All other reading is on hold. I got the Annihilation score two days early. It is sooo good.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on July 04, 2015, 05:37:45 PM
Cult of the Great Eleven by Samuel Fort

http://www.amazon.com/Cult-Great-Eleven-Samuel-Fort-ebook/dp/B00OALI9O4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436043475&sr=8-2&keywords=the+cult+of+the+great+11&pebp=1436043474743&perid=12320SR7ZA7C323AFJTF (http://www.amazon.com/Cult-Great-Eleven-Samuel-Fort-ebook/dp/B00OALI9O4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436043475&sr=8-2&keywords=the+cult+of+the+great+11&pebp=1436043474743&perid=12320SR7ZA7C323AFJTF)

So I can't believe this is real.  Cult of the Great Eleven is a nonfiction account about one of the most bizarre California cults I have ever heard of.  I thought the Black Dahlia murders was the most lurid story to come out of LA.

Only $5 on kindle.

Quote
“Cult of the Great Eleven” is a true account of one of the twentieth century’s weirdest and and most mysterious cults. Human and animal sacrifices, vanishings, the preserved corpse of a teenage cult princess, angelic encounters, a woman cooked in an oven, a mother chained to her bed for two months, resurrection experiments, refrigeration warehouses for the dead, abductions, nocturnal rituals, orgies, a breathing universe, an esoteric tome known as The Great Sixth Seal, and a post-apocalyptic world ruled by eleven queens from a hill in Hollywood…

The United States witnessed an explosion of cult activity in the 1920s that today is almost inconceivable. California, in particular, was a haven for an estimated 200,000 cultists, with over 400 active cults in southern California alone. These ranged from “love cults” that conducted ritual orgies to “devil worshipping” cults that branded their members with hot irons and beheaded their enemies.

Among all these, the Simi Valley's “Divine Order of the Royal Arms of the Great Eleven” was considered by many to be the most extraordinary. A death cult, the Great Eleven was founded by May Otis Blackburn, Portland, Oregon’s unheralded filmmaking pioneer, and Ruth Wieland, her luscious femme fatale daughter. The cult was so bizarre that accounts of its activities “elicited expressions of amazement” from justices on the California Supreme Court in 1931, who admitted, “they have never heard anything so weird.”

According to the advertising on the HPPodcraft, "A woman was baked alive.  A teen princess was poisoned, mummifed and buried ritualistically with here seven pet dogs beneath her parent's bedroom floor.  Runes were carved into a man's flesh, his heart extracted and his chest exploded with dynamite."

Evidently the cult was real. The Great Eleven cult is also known as the Blackburn cult in the news. 

LA Times:

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/23/local/me-40217 (http://articles.latimes.com/1999/may/23/local/me-40217)

Quote
The alleged angels allegedly told the alleged prophets to close their doors on the world for more than three years and to write a book about the "sixth sense" called the "Great Sixth Seal," explaining the mysteries of life and health, heaven and earth. The angels also promised to reveal the "lost measurements" that would lead them to all the hidden gold and oil deposits in the world.

...

It was in the canyon that the cult built a dozen cabins and a temple filled with furniture, including a massive gilded wood throne weighing 800 pounds, sitting upon four hand-carved paws and adorned with a lion's head. The temple was sealed off, waiting for Christ's return.

So we have a Mythos tome, an honest to God sealed temple, suggestions of murdering enemies and followers, blood sacrifices and nude dancing, a connection with Hollywood and film making, and cultists experimenting with refrigeration and 'spices' to preserve the dead for resurrection. 

The latter detail has shades of Cool Air, but apparently the news about the cult broke in 1929, so one wonders if the story had any impact on Lovecraft at all. Cool Air was written in 1926. Lovecraft kept writing through 1935 and died in 37. 

I skimmed the book and the sources look good.  Will report if the writing is entertaining.

This makes me wonder though. Ross that Mythos adventure about the Hollywood cult, was that based on this story at all?

Additional sources:
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/10/the_earliest_and_weirdest_la_cult_stories_1700s_to_1940s.php (http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/10/the_earliest_and_weirdest_la_cult_stories_1700s_to_1940s.php)
http://www.historicalcrimedetective.com/the-blackburn-cult/ (http://www.historicalcrimedetective.com/the-blackburn-cult/)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 05, 2015, 03:30:47 PM
(http://5thworld.com/Paradigm/pix/Ecotopia.jpg)

Picked this up for a buck yesterday, and it's been a fascinating read so far.

Written in 1975, set in 1999, reading this has been an interesting look at what the writer (an environmentalist himself) presented as "science fiction" 40 years ago.  So far the narrator (an investigative reporter from America reporting on the strange & confusing nation of "Ecotopia") has been surprised/fascinated/horrified by: legalized marijuana; recycling bins (unheard of in the America of 1999); electric cars; urban densification; composting organic waste (barbaric!); women who look him in the eye (as opposed to?).

It's a wild look at what ideas were apparently so strange and outré within my own lifetime, that they could be found in a science fiction setting in which Washington, Oregon and Northern California seceded from the U.S. in 1980!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on July 08, 2015, 12:44:45 AM
It (was) the Fourth of July, so after finishing Up Up and Away I realized it's that time again; to spin the Wheel of Morality to re-read The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. It's one of my favorite books from growing up, and I still love to read it. It's a fairly light read, and now in the light of RPGs I see why I like it so much; a bunch of squabbling PCs (the crying for help mad bomber! the wise judge! the dork who is the key to it all! et al) trying to beat a game to win the prize. More seriously, it's a group of broken people who come together to a common goal surrounding a murder mystery, and a great mystery to boot. Lot's of great characterization and subplots that get fulfilled. A wonderful read even after all these years. Highly recommended.

Not sure what my next read will be; I've been meaning to dive into Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life, by Kathleen Dalton, a single volume biography of Teddy, since I bought it in New York three years ago, but it's very academic and hard to read. I've also got You by Austin Grossman, the rest of the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (and it's been so long since I've read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I might want to reread it), Of Dice and Men, The Ten Cent Plague... too many books, too little time. A good problem, I suppose.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Morbid on July 13, 2015, 10:46:12 AM
I just finished reading Planetary.  I was able to get the giant omnibus edition from the library.  It was pretty great.  I'd heard high praise for it in the past and I think it lived up to the hype.  There are a lot of great ideas in it, especially on how to weave existing pulp and superhero stories into a larger narrative.  While I'm sure that I didn't catch them all, the various comic easter eggs throughout were a lot of fun.

I'm trying to finish up Delta Green: Denied to the Enemy now (it's a pretty quick read) and just started Summerland by Michael Chabon.  I was skeptical because of its strong focus on baseball, which I'm not crazy about, but the writing is already pulling me in.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Henry Hankovitch on July 14, 2015, 01:00:38 AM
I'm most of the way through Seveneves.  I'm a pretty big Neal Stephenson fan, but I'll admit this isn't among my favorites.  It's definitely on the crunchier end of sci-fi, and very oppressive.  (Because, y'know, everyone on Earth is gonna die.  No spoilers.  It's on the fucking jacket blurb.)

I kind of put it in the same category as The Diamond Age.  Probably one of the biggest issues is just how most of the tech digressions tend to be about explaining orbital mechanics...AGAIN...or explaining the layout of a space vessel...AGAIN.  And the protagonists aren't as engaging as in most Stephenson books.  I mean, it's a grim story about the end of the world, so it kind of makes sense that you don't have any Shaftoes or whatever. 

Oh.  And the story is (partly) about humanity surviving the end of the Earth on a bunch of slapdash small ships all floating in orbit in a loose cluster.  Kind of a...swarm, you might say.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: FlexyCarlos on July 20, 2015, 11:58:48 AM
I just started reading Leviathan Wakes.  Pretty fast start.  Liking it so far. 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 24, 2015, 02:06:29 PM
Just picked up J. G. Ballard's memoir: Miracles of Life (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26158335-miracles-of-life).  I discovered Ballard in highschool, with the RE/Search volume on him (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70262.J_G_Ballard), and between 1992 and 1995, I think I read everything that he had written up to that point.  When I saw this volume in a used book shop, I realized that I've read very little of his since then, and it's been over ten years since I've read anything of Ballard's.  Given that this is the last book Ballard wrote, before dying of cancer shortly after my own father passed away, this will probably be a bittersweet read.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 24, 2015, 05:31:36 PM
I need to read more Ballard. I've read some of his short stories and High Rise but clearly I need to read more.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on August 24, 2015, 06:13:06 PM
Tigerman by Nick Harkaway.

This is a great novel and confirms the bravura accomplishment of Angelmaker was no fluke.

Both books are very inspirational for gaming purposes.

When you consider that Harkaway is the son of John Le Carre, this latest book is even more intriguing as it has a very interesting take on the spy genre for which Le Carre was so popular.

As well, The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant. An award-winning writer of non-fiction, this first novel tackles the subject of illegal immigrants from Mexico. It's a stunning literary accomplishment with a lot of horrific element as it tackles a big social issue with considerable rigour and nuance. And it begs to be used to help craft a cracker of a Delta Green scenario.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Teuthic on August 24, 2015, 07:48:46 PM
Oh, there's a new Harkaway novel?  I preferred The Goneaway World to Angelmaker, but they're both really good. I'm currently reading the works of Tim Powers: I really dug Last Call and On Stranger Tides.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 25, 2015, 12:26:09 AM
Catching up on Delta Green fiction - Strange Authorities was okayish, but Through a Glass Darkly is damn good even halfway through.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on August 25, 2015, 11:19:21 AM
Catching up on Delta Green fiction - Strange Authorities was okayish, but Through a Glass Darkly is damn good even halfway through.

Interesting take - I've always felt Tynes is a much more accomplished prose stylist than Detwiller: I really enjoyed Strange Authorities and I think The Rules of Engagement is excellent. But I like TAGD plenty too.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: pigsinspaces on August 25, 2015, 05:46:12 PM
My reading has slowed down lately (having a third kid will do that to you) but I've been working on Tim Powers "The Stress of Her Regard" which is good ... Though I really enjoyed On Stranger Tides, Declare & Last Call more.

Also just finished Hellblazer Original Sins 1 for a little old school comics action (though maybe that belongs in a different thread).

I am poised to dig into Northrop Frye's "Anatomy of Criticism" and "Foxglove Summer" by Ben Aaronovitch (the latest in his Rivers of London sequence, which I highly recommend).
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on September 11, 2015, 11:07:14 PM
After finishing The Westing Game (still holds up, and it's wonderful to realize what you don't see as a kid; I knew there were some morally grey people, but a lot of the characters are selfish assholes and there's some good old fashioned (lampoon-able) racism and classism), I was looking for my next book in my stack. While deciding, I read the complete Parker graphic Novels by Darwyn Cooke (digital copies, thanks IDW / Top Shelf Humble Bundle! The Parkers! The Complete Locke and Key! Both Volumes of March! Etc!); The Hunter, The Outfit, The Score, and Slayground. So good! If you love heist movies / literature they're the shit (the good the shit, not the bad the shit). Can't wait for Volume 5!

Part of the problem of deciding is I've made the mistake of realizing that Amazon has frequent Kindle book sales: a few days ago I picked up The Martian by Andy Weir, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Dead Wake by Erik Larson for $6.36. Total! So, naturally I decided to not read any of those, or any of the other books I mentioned, and instead elected to read Dark Tide, by Stephen Puleo. This is about the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, which is a very gameable, very real event where a tanker of molasses blew and flooded downtown Boston, killing and injuring many people. I've only gotten to the forward, but it's an interesting read thus far.

I'm also going to try to read The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, by John J. Miller. ...kinda says what it is on the tin; TR was a fan of football, but what with the whole no helmets and no understanding of head trauma and other injuries deaths on the field were frequent. His fandom helped save the sport... for better or worse, as can be debatable (better for me, personally.)

BTW, If you wish to join me in the insanity, there's still more books to be cheaply had with a sale 'til September 20th, 2015. Kindle highlights include; This Books is Full of Spiders, by David Wong (recommended by Thad) for $2.99, and several Peter Clines Novels (recommended by D6xD6 - Chris; Ex-Purgatory, Ex-Communication, and Ex-Patriots for $1.99 each. The one he recommended, Ex-Heroes, is only $7.99.)... and, as always, varying degrees of potential diamonds in the rough to average to shit. YMMV.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on September 14, 2015, 08:59:46 PM
So the latest RPPR episode features the Wild Hunt myth.  http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2015/09/genre/superheroes/base-raiders-the-wild-hunt/ (http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2015/09/genre/superheroes/base-raiders-the-wild-hunt/)

I had recently been listening to the Nightmare Magazine Podcast that features Laird Barron's take on the Wild Hunt, Frontier Death Song.

Barron is mostly known (well justified imo) as the heir apparent to Lovecraft's weird throne, but this story is more Jack London writes about Satanic cosmic forces.  More sneering Nyarlathotep than alien Colour out of Space. Very good.

Nightmare Magazine Podcast: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/podcasting/ (http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/podcasting/)

Frontier Death Song: http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/frontier-death-song/ (http://www.nightmare-magazine.com/fiction/frontier-death-song/)

Edit: IT'S FREE!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on September 14, 2015, 10:31:18 PM


Part of the problem of deciding is I've made the mistake of realizing that Amazon has frequent Kindle book sales: a few days ago I picked up The Martian by Andy Weir, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Dead Wake by Erik Larson for $6.36. Total! So, naturally I decided to not read any of those. . .



This is why I both love and hate my Kindle.  Cheap books, yay!  How many actually get read?  Errr. . .yeah :(
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Henry Hankovitch on September 15, 2015, 01:40:58 AM
I realized that I didn't have compilation 2 of IDW's Dungeons and Dragons comic (http://www.amazon.com/Dungeons-Dragons-1-Shadowplague-HC/dp/1600109225/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442295566&sr=1-2&keywords=idw+dungeons+and+dragons).  So I fixed that.  So good.  So very good!  It's the D&D party you wish you could have at your table.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 15, 2015, 03:35:39 PM
I'm reading the entire DG canon of fiction...for reasons. So far, I've read Strange Authorities, Through a Glass Darkly, Tales from Failed Anatomies, and Denied to the Enemy.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 15, 2015, 04:06:27 PM
I'm reading the entire DG canon of fiction...for reasons. So far, I've read Strange Authorities, Through a Glass Darkly, Tales from Failed Anatomies, and Denied to the Enemy.

Colour me amazed you had not already done so!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Review Cultist on September 15, 2015, 04:09:13 PM
Not exactly a full fiction piece, but just received "DG: Countdown" in the mail. Really wish I could find "Targets of Opportunity" either on the cheap or that it would come back in print. I love reading up on those factions and stories... and in dead tree format.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 15, 2015, 04:20:31 PM
Not exactly a full fiction piece, but just received "DG: Countdown" in the mail. Really wish I could find "Targets of Opportunity" either on the cheap or that it would come back in print. I love reading up on those factions and stories... and in dead tree format.

I agree it would be nice for Pagan to put out a softcover version of Targets of Opportunity, but since I missed out on the limited edition hardback, I just bought the pdf, printed it off and had it spiral bound at my local copy place. Worked out very well.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 15, 2015, 06:19:34 PM
I'm reading the entire DG canon of fiction...for reasons. So far, I've read Strange Authorities, Through a Glass Darkly, Tales from Failed Anatomies, and Denied to the Enemy.

Colour me amazed you had not already done so!

I had already read all of the DG RPG books and I had read some of the Tynes fiction, which gave me the wrong impression of the quality of the fiction. Tynes is a great designer (His Hastur mythos chapter is incredible in Countdown), but his short stories are kind of rough, especially when compared to Detwiller.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 15, 2015, 06:32:52 PM
I had already read all of the DG RPG books and I had read some of the Tynes fiction, which gave me the wrong impression of the quality of the fiction. Tynes is a great designer (His Hastur mythos chapter is incredible in Countdown), but his short stories are kind of rough, especially when compared to Detwiller.

I agree the Tynes short stories are a bit uneven - but then so in my opinion are Detwiller's - but I really really liked Tynes' DG novel. Which is, nicely enough, reprinted in Strange Authorities.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: comfortN01se on September 15, 2015, 06:53:46 PM
Transhumanist Reader edited by More and Vita-More - A survey of contemporary transhumanist philosophy, because what better way to make your EP games feel more urgent.
The Polish Officer by Alan Furst - Grim spy novel set in World War 2's European theater. Had to read it after listening to listening to "Dangers of Fraternization"
No Soul Left Behind by Caleb Stokes - because I finished listening to the AP (finally) and game with teachers.
Also some technical stuff related to work.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on September 15, 2015, 07:45:59 PM
Currently reading Firewall. Finally...

The to-read list never gets shorter
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on September 16, 2015, 01:17:44 PM


Part of the problem of deciding is I've made the mistake of realizing that Amazon has frequent Kindle book sales: a few days ago I picked up The Martian by Andy Weir, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Dead Wake by Erik Larson for $6.36. Total! So, naturally I decided to not read any of those. . .



This is why I both love and hate my Kindle.  Cheap books, yay!  How many actually get read?  Errr. . .yeah :(

Yeah, Dark Tide's the first Kindle Book I bought about 6 months ago. inwanted to read it, but just never had the time. I've always read books through one at a time, but I'm noticing now Ingonthrough multiple books and finish out of order. It's just easier and allows you to read more, and the stuff I read is disparate enough that I can keep heads or tails of two to three books.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Mckma on September 17, 2015, 02:12:58 AM
Been waiting on Sevenses on hold for digital loan from the library.  Heard bits and pieces of a teaser and super interested to give it a read through....
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on September 17, 2015, 07:27:50 PM
I need to read more Ballard. I've read some of his short stories and High Rise but clearly I need to read more.

I have trouble remembering specific titles now, but The Atrocity Exhibition and Crash are must-reads.  They may be Ballard's greatest explorations of his 'innerspace' concepts, and they certainly got the most extreme reactions.  The first American edition of The Atrocity Exhibition was pulped after the president of Doubleday read Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan; and apparently a psychologist, upon reading a proof copy of Crash, tried to convince the publisher to have Ballard institutionalized.  As I've said before, I highly recommend RE/Search #8/9 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70262.J_G_Ballard) if you can get a hold of it (the publisher is selling their last copies at $75.00 apiece!), the interviews and essays are excellent, and there is a wonderful short story in there, possibly my favourite piece of fiction by Ballard.  I'm sure that short story was also in one of his many collections, but I can't remember which one at the moment.

Thinking back now, I made a mistake in one of my earlier posts, RE/Search #8/9 wasn't how I discovered Ballard, the first book of his that I read was Vermilion Sands, a collection of short stories set in a decaying resort on the shores of a dry seabed.  It's still my favourite short-story collection, but that may be because it was my first.

The only books I don't recommend are The Wind from Nowhere and Rushing to ParadiseThe Wind from Nowhere was Ballard's first published novel, and he practically disowned it.  It was a rush job, and it shows.  Rushing to Paradise is supposedly a "dark and compelling satire" of "the dangerous evils of extremism of all kinds" which came off, to me, as "old white man sneers at young people, women and people of colour".  Perhaps I'm being a little uncharitable in that assessment, but I'm not going to bother re-reading it.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 18, 2015, 06:52:56 PM
I need to finish the Delta Green fiction canon - 3 books to go! But after that, I'll probably look up some more Ballard to read. Certainly looking forward to seeing High Rise.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on September 19, 2015, 09:23:54 AM
I've been looking for a book about 01% outlaw motorcycle clubs.  Thought it might make some good rpg fodder.  However, I can't really find as much information as I would like.  Seems like all Amazon has is a few self-published books.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 19, 2015, 12:55:46 PM
I've been looking for a book about 01% outlaw motorcycle clubs.  Thought it might make some good rpg fodder.  However, I can't really find as much information as I would like.  Seems like all Amazon has is a few self-published books.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell's_Angels:_The_Strange_and_Terrible_Saga_of_the_Outlaw_Motorcycle_Gangs
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on September 20, 2015, 10:27:19 AM
Can't beat the classics.  Thanks Ross.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Lordsloth on September 21, 2015, 08:31:14 PM
Just finished Andy Weir's "The Martian" on Kindle, in anticipation of the upcoming movie. I'll probably start DG: Extraordinary Renditions next, though for some reason I prefer to read them in their print form. Maybe I'll try to finish King's "Black House". I've started, like... twice now.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on September 22, 2015, 02:22:27 PM
I just picked up Gods, Memes, and Monsters and am working through it at a leisurely pace.

https://www.stoneskinpress.com/index.php/gods-memes-and-monsters/ (https://www.stoneskinpress.com/index.php/gods-memes-and-monsters/)

Only about 1/3 of the way through and quality varies quite a bit but so far my standout is Agave by Arinn Dembo.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 22, 2015, 08:20:02 PM
Been waiting on Sevenses on hold for digital loan from the library.  Heard bits and pieces of a teaser and super interested to give it a read through....

Stephenson is on my shortlist of authors I buy in hardback. Seveneves grabbed me from the first page and never let go (unlike the Baroque Cycle). You can always count on Stephenson to present big ideas.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on September 23, 2015, 04:08:48 PM
Oh yeah, last week I started reading, and almost immediately threw out* Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It.  I'm usually not one to rant, but this was an awful book.  A couple of chapters in, and I had barely learned anything about Gatling or his gun, what I did learn was that Ms. Keller loves 19th Century America, especially the Patent Office, which is apparently The Thing That Made America Great and the envy of the world.  I quit reading when she started discussing the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, and began explaining that it was not a thinly-veiled excuse for genocidal imperialism.  In short, this is not a book about the Gatling Gun or it's inventor, it's a breathless love letter to 19th Century American capitalism and imperialism.

Currently, I'm reading The Last Lost World: Ice Ages, Human Origins, and the Invention of the Pleistocene.  Another wordy title, but I like this one.  It's mostly a history of the narrative of the Pleistocene and about how that has changed over the years as ideas about science have changed.

*As in: tossed it in a recycling bin.  Hopefully, it's been pulped by now.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 28, 2015, 01:01:45 AM
I'm reading the entire DG canon of fiction...for reasons. So far, I've read Strange Authorities, Through a Glass Darkly, Tales from Failed Anatomies, and Denied to the Enemy.

And now the bonus reasons for doing so are clear. Good luck with the submission, Ross. I have one in the pipeline too. I hope the  powers that be actually want to see a published scenario using M-EPIC.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on October 01, 2015, 01:49:26 PM
Late, but Ligotti is getting a Penguin Classics volume.

Sept 21st
http://www.wsj.com/articles/penguin-classics-to-publish-ligotti-stories-1442851513 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/penguin-classics-to-publish-ligotti-stories-1442851513)

Quote
Horror writer Thomas Ligotti is about to enter the American literary canon.

Next month Penguin Classics will publish a volume of Mr. Ligotti’s short stories, making him one of 10 living writers, including Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, among the hundreds the imprint has published in the U.S.
...

Jeff VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed “Southern Reach” trilogy and writer of the foreword to the Penguin Classics book, said Mr. Ligotti gave him notes on some of his works in the late 1990s. “At the time he used a word processing system that put his missives in all-caps,” Mr. VanderMeer said. “So it was a little bit like getting a letter from some kind of remote deity, but that certainly wasn’t his intent.”

Ligotti interview: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/09/21/thomas-ligotti-interview/ (http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/09/21/thomas-ligotti-interview/)

I've heard it will be released October 6th.

Apparently some of the stories in the Penguin edition have been edited by Ligotti and they are not the original SubPress versions.

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on October 01, 2015, 04:49:33 PM
Finished Firewall and one of Terry Pratchett's early works - The Carpet People. It's a reasonably good story on it's own (I mean I tore through the book) but I found it most interesting as an early glimpse into lots of themes and ideas Sir Pratchett explored more in the rest of his career.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Gorkamorka on October 01, 2015, 05:14:55 PM
Jim Buthcers Aeronaut’s Windlass.
Only 1/4 in so far.  It's good.  Any chapter from the cats point of view is hilarious.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on October 01, 2015, 05:30:59 PM
Late, but Ligotti is getting a Penguin Classics volume.

Sept 21st
http://www.wsj.com/articles/penguin-classics-to-publish-ligotti-stories-1442851513 (http://www.wsj.com/articles/penguin-classics-to-publish-ligotti-stories-1442851513)

Quote
Horror writer Thomas Ligotti is about to enter the American literary canon.

Next month Penguin Classics will publish a volume of Mr. Ligotti’s short stories, making him one of 10 living writers, including Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, among the hundreds the imprint has published in the U.S.
...

Jeff VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed “Southern Reach” trilogy and writer of the foreword to the Penguin Classics book, said Mr. Ligotti gave him notes on some of his works in the late 1990s. “At the time he used a word processing system that put his missives in all-caps,” Mr. VanderMeer said. “So it was a little bit like getting a letter from some kind of remote deity, but that certainly wasn’t his intent.”

Ligotti interview: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/09/21/thomas-ligotti-interview/ (http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/09/21/thomas-ligotti-interview/)

I've heard it will be released October 6th.

Apparently some of the stories in the Penguin edition have been edited by Ligotti and they are not the original SubPress versions.

Cool news! I'll have to pick up a copy.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on October 01, 2015, 05:34:12 PM
Cool news! I'll have to pick up a copy.

A simple +1 from me.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Teuthic on October 01, 2015, 06:00:26 PM
I'll pick it up: I've never actually read any Ligotti, since his work's so hard to find.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on October 01, 2015, 06:25:36 PM
I'll pick it up: I've never actually read any Ligotti, since his work's so hard to find.

His books are readily available through Amazon or Abe books online.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on October 02, 2015, 06:11:32 PM
With regards to the Ligotti Penguin Classics I heard a couple of rumors on forum boards that I have not verified.

Supposedly Grimscribe and Ligotti's earlier work is not easy to get a hold of.

Also some people are unhappy that Penguin edition have been edited by Ligotti because they claim the original SubPress versions are superior.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Henry Hankovitch on October 04, 2015, 02:08:10 PM
For the first time, I've just read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  I was actually surprised by how readable it is.  I was a bit worried that it would be completely disjointed and anti-narrative like Naked Lunch or Gravity's Rainbow.  As crazy as the drug-crazed recollections are, they're delivered in an almost straightforward, journalist style.  Which was great.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on October 04, 2015, 03:07:03 PM
I've been looking for ways to find new authors of Weird Fiction. Like people who are actually alive and writing in 2015.  Shocking I know.

I found The Outer Dark podcast.

(http://i.imgur.com/yZJlBKm.jpg)

It started at the end of June and currently has 15 interviews with authors of new Weird Horror.   This is a fairly academic podcast.  Basically it is two writers sitting down and talking about elements of the stories of the interviewee but there will be references to Steinbeck and Classical literature.  Anyone who enjoyed discussions of literature professors in grad school will be right at home. Some might find it dull and a bit dry at times (in part because of the tone of some of the people speaking). 

I do have to say though, after listening to how the interviewer reviews a particular story I have found my self very excited to read the story, with varying degrees of approval so he does make the listeners enthusiastic about the authors.

Give the John Langan interview a try. I enjoyed it the best.

Also there is a panel from Necronomicon addressing Racism in HPL's work and why it can be appreciated and still be literary despite those flaws.   

http://www.projectiradio.com/shows/the-outer-dark/ (http://www.projectiradio.com/shows/the-outer-dark/)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-outer-dark/id1011456737?mt=2 (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-outer-dark/id1011456737?mt=2)


Through this podcast I found the author Jayaprakash Satyamurthy who I am very excited to read more of.  Try his short story "Empty Dreams" here:

http://pratilipi.in/2011/11/empty-dreams-jayaprakash-satyamurthy/ (http://pratilipi.in/2011/11/empty-dreams-jayaprakash-satyamurthy/)

He is a Bangladeshi native and seeks to build a mythology of Bangladesh somewhat in the vein of what Gaiman, China Melville and others have done to London.  When I read the short story above, I got the same feeling I did when I read Barron and Ligotti for the first time. I hope his other work is as good.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on October 04, 2015, 04:04:03 PM
Extraordinary Renditions (new DG story anthology) is good and cool. It has a story set in the great depression dust bowl era that would make for a great No Security scenario.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: comfortN01se on October 06, 2015, 06:29:35 PM
Extraordinary Renditions (new DG story anthology) is good and cool. It has a story set in the great depression dust bowl era that would make for a great No Security scenario.

This just made me realize that while I backed the KS I never ready Extraordinary Renditions or Strange Authorities! Now I know what to read next!

I also just started reading an interesting horror comic called  "Victims (and other questions for an empty universe)" looks like it's available online here http://splitlipcomic.com/comic/victims-page-01/ (http://splitlipcomic.com/comic/victims-page-01/). I picked it up at a local Con last weekend, enjoying it so far!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on October 18, 2015, 02:45:33 PM
For the first time, I've just read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  I was actually surprised by how readable it is.  I was a bit worried that it would be completely disjointed and anti-narrative like Naked Lunch or Gravity's Rainbow.  As crazy as the drug-crazed recollections are, they're delivered in an almost straightforward, journalist style.  Which was great.
It was originally written to be a magazine article.  The distinguishing characteristics of Thompson's "gonzo journalism" are casting himself as the protagonist of the story, and writing to entertain rather than inform; but his writing style is actually pretty conventional.  I remember loaning my copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to one of my fellow stoners in high school, only to have him complain that the drug experiences in the book weren't fantastical enough.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on October 18, 2015, 11:14:55 PM
Regarding Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs,  Jonathan Tweet with Robin Laws wrote a game called Over the Edge for Atlas Games in the early 90's.

I looked through it briefly once because it had constantly been referred to by other gamers. I really need to read the whole book a couple times before doing it justice, but it seemed like a surreal Paranoia-esq game that somehow still managed to be grounded in reality.  For example, less supernatural than White Wolf's world while being a great deal more nuts. In a word it is certainly interesting.

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_Edge_(game) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over_the_Edge_(game))

Here is a description of Over the Edge: http://keith-baker.com/over-the-edge/ (http://keith-baker.com/over-the-edge/)

Quote
What is Over The Edge? The tagline is “The roleplaying game of surreal danger.” Set in roughly modern day, it’s based on the bizarre island of Al Amarja – a haven for all manner of conspiracies and curiosities. Mash together Fringe, The Twilight Zone, Naked Lunch, Illuminati and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and you’ve got something that tastes like Al Amarja. It’s got a simple rules system that encourages creativity and can handle almost any character you can come up with; I’d describe it in more detail, but hey, for six dollars you can see for yourself. Because of the flexibility of setting and system, it can support many different playstyles. I’ve had players who played simple, serious characters – the secret agent on a mission, the reporter determined to get the Big Story, the local gamer who knows everybody. Others drifted slightly further from the beaten path… a Kaiju trapped in a human body; a cowboy abducted by aliens and dropped off in the present day; Kurt Cobain seen through the lens of Six-String Samurai; Phil Lovecraft, private eye. And then there’s been some very odd characters, such as Zombie Jesus and Five Ducks In A Battlesuit. The beauty of Over The Edge is that the system handles all these concepts with ease – and that the setting can encompass all of them. Over The Edge also includes one of my favorite game mechanics of all time – Robin D. Law’s Cut-Ups Method, included in the Weather The Cuckoo Likes supplement.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on October 22, 2015, 07:50:22 PM
(http://www.cultofweird.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/welcome-to-night-vale-novel.jpg)

Douglas Adams/Terry Pratchett-ish prose + Night Vale = fun.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on October 23, 2015, 05:17:57 PM
While doing the link list for the "Creepy Parrots" panel, I checked out a few of the short stories that got mentioned:

"Singing My Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan is amazing and fascinating.

"The Book" by Margaret Irwin is a pretty great Victorian ghost story (it reminded me of M.R. James, which is the highest of praise).

"The Spider" by Hans Heinz Ewers was good...but quite different from the way Caleb remembered it. ;)

And "The Sloan Men" by David Nickle....eeeeeeesh, that one made my skin crawl.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on October 24, 2015, 07:49:40 AM
Just picked up The Ballad of Black Tom.  Pretty good so far.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: TRNSHMN on October 24, 2015, 09:48:08 AM
Read two interesting books lately.

Skullcrack City from Jeremy Robert Johnson is a bizarro fiction novel, relatively short which made itself felt by the end. Still, it's a pretty interesting book that I enjoyed, and despite being bizarro, it's actually completely palatable. It's about a banker who lives alone with his turtle Deckard, and falls back into addiction to a strange drug called Hex as he tried to sink his own bank by uncovering it's dirty dealings. Was an odd experience jumping in without knowing the author, because my assumption was the setting was IRL as is, but it all got peeled back bit by bit to reveal a more surreal, dark world inspired by paranoid delusions, it feels like. I'd recommend it.

Second one was Pretty Little Dead Things by Gary McMahon, similarly subversive of my expectations. It's the first novel in the Thomas Usher series, the titular character being a widower who lost his wife and child in a car accident and gained the ability to see and attract the restless dead. Assumed it'd be closer to urban fantasy than horror, and was very much wrong, as the main antagonists of the novel have some serious repulsive decadence and self-destructive corruption going on, not to mention the nightmarish thing that seems to be pulling the strings. Got a bit of a Laird Barron vibe. Dark, gloomy and somewhat fatalistic, not a whole lot of good happens to anyone by the end of it all. Have to say, though, wasn't a huge fan of the prose at times, felt a bit too forced and purple here and there. Recommendation pending, gotta read the other books first.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on October 29, 2015, 04:44:26 PM
Regarding Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs,  Jonathan Tweet with Robin Laws wrote a game called Over the Edge for Atlas Games in the early 90's.
Yeah, I have a copy of the 2nd edition from the late 90's.  Never played it though, which is a shame since I've actually been to Interzone:

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-s2D1VjB7LU4/VIPYZ-3No9I/AAAAAAAAIco/hK_gzTvgngc/w640-h343-no/BANNER%2B3B011-44811%2B1066x611.png)
That's me on the left.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on November 02, 2015, 11:33:37 AM
Oh yeah, what I've actually been reading.

I decided to read some old fashioned ghost stories for October, so I went through The Haunted Looking Glass (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/275470.The_Haunted_Looking_Glass) a collection of 19th century ghost stories selected by Edward Gorey.  Aside from Lovecraft and Poe, I've never read much in the horror genre so it was kind of interesting checking out some more conventional ghost stories.  Though I did get rather tired of the device of having these stories told second or third hand, too many of these stories were bookended with accounts of the author meeting someone who then told them about some third person's encounter with a ghost.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 02, 2015, 04:00:59 PM
Oh yeah, what I've actually been reading.

I decided to read some old fashioned ghost stories for October, so I went through The Haunted Looking Glass (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/275470.The_Haunted_Looking_Glass) a collection of 19th century ghost stories selected by Edward Gorey.  Aside from Lovecraft and Poe, I've never read much in the horror genre so it was kind of interesting checking out some more conventional ghost stories.  Though I did get rather tired of the device of having these stories told second or third hand, too many of these stories were bookended with accounts of the author meeting someone who then told them about some third person's encounter with a ghost.

I hope there's some M.R. James in there. Because M.R. James is the best.

I'm returning to my Civil War horror research, and currently going through Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege by A.A. Hoehling. And I'm learning that for the most part, sieges are pretty boring day-by-day. "Sunday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got blown up. Monday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got blown up. Tuesday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got (what a twist!) shot."

Ah well, nothing like a little Ambrose Bierce and Carcosa to spice it up!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on November 02, 2015, 10:38:34 PM
Oh yeah, what I've actually been reading.

I decided to read some old fashioned ghost stories for October, so I went through The Haunted Looking Glass (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/275470.The_Haunted_Looking_Glass) a collection of 19th century ghost stories selected by Edward Gorey.  Aside from Lovecraft and Poe, I've never read much in the horror genre so it was kind of interesting checking out some more conventional ghost stories.  Though I did get rather tired of the device of having these stories told second or third hand, too many of these stories were bookended with accounts of the author meeting someone who then told them about some third person's encounter with a ghost.

I hope there's some M.R. James in there. Because M.R. James is the best.

I'm returning to my Civil War horror research, and currently going through Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege by A.A. Hoehling. And I'm learning that for the most part, sieges are pretty boring day-by-day. "Sunday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got blown up. Monday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got blown up. Tuesday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got (what a twist!) shot."

Ah well, nothing like a little Ambrose Bierce and Carcosa to spice it up!
Don't know if this book is worth it (it does have Laird Barron though), but her is a collection of civil war ghost stories.
http://www.amazon.com/Shades-Blue-Gray-Ghosts-Civil/dp/1607014033 (http://www.amazon.com/Shades-Blue-Gray-Ghosts-Civil/dp/1607014033)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 03, 2015, 01:09:23 AM
Oh yeah, what I've actually been reading.

I decided to read some old fashioned ghost stories for October, so I went through The Haunted Looking Glass (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/275470.The_Haunted_Looking_Glass) a collection of 19th century ghost stories selected by Edward Gorey.  Aside from Lovecraft and Poe, I've never read much in the horror genre so it was kind of interesting checking out some more conventional ghost stories.  Though I did get rather tired of the device of having these stories told second or third hand, too many of these stories were bookended with accounts of the author meeting someone who then told them about some third person's encounter with a ghost.

I hope there's some M.R. James in there. Because M.R. James is the best.

I'm returning to my Civil War horror research, and currently going through Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege by A.A. Hoehling. And I'm learning that for the most part, sieges are pretty boring day-by-day. "Sunday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got blown up. Monday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got blown up. Tuesday: everybody starved a little bit, some people got (what a twist!) shot."

Ah well, nothing like a little Ambrose Bierce and Carcosa to spice it up!
Don't know if this book is worth it (it does have Laird Barron though), but her is a collection of civil war ghost stories.
http://www.amazon.com/Shades-Blue-Gray-Ghosts-Civil/dp/1607014033 (http://www.amazon.com/Shades-Blue-Gray-Ghosts-Civil/dp/1607014033)
Thanks for the tip! I'll try to check it out.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on November 03, 2015, 08:40:28 AM
I hope there's some M.R. James in there. Because M.R. James is the best.
Yes, "Casting the Runes" the last story in the book.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on November 03, 2015, 06:29:10 PM
While doing the link list for the "Creepy Parrots" panel, I checked out a few of the short stories that got mentioned:

"Singing My Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan is amazing and fascinating.

"The Book" by Margaret Irwin is a pretty great Victorian ghost story (it reminded me of M.R. James, which is the highest of praise).

"The Spider" by Hans Heinz Ewers was good...but quite different from the way Caleb remembered it. ;)

And "The Sloan Men" by David Nickle....eeeeeeesh, that one made my skin crawl.

Thanks for this I was trying to track down the David Nickle story after it was mentioned and not having a great deal of luck .

I haven't read any M.R. James that I can recall and I hear him get recommended all the time. Where should I start gents?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on November 03, 2015, 09:04:23 PM
I haven't read any M.R. James that I can recall and I hear him get recommended all the time. Where should I start gents?

He's in the public domain so just download whatever collections you come across on your e-reader or just go to Project Gutenberg.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 04, 2015, 02:04:49 PM
While doing the link list for the "Creepy Parrots" panel, I checked out a few of the short stories that got mentioned:

"Singing My Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan is amazing and fascinating.

"The Book" by Margaret Irwin is a pretty great Victorian ghost story (it reminded me of M.R. James, which is the highest of praise).

"The Spider" by Hans Heinz Ewers was good...but quite different from the way Caleb remembered it. ;)

And "The Sloan Men" by David Nickle....eeeeeeesh, that one made my skin crawl.

Thanks for this I was trying to track down the David Nickle story after it was mentioned and not having a great deal of luck .

I haven't read any M.R. James that I can recall and I hear him get recommended all the time. Where should I start gents?

If you like audio recordings (and hey, this is the RPPR forums!), there is a very good recording of James's first collection, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, available for free on Librivox. The reader, Peter Yearsley, has a voice that I think perfectly captures James's restrained English academic style.

Here's the link: https://librivox.org/ghost-stories-of-an-antiquary-by-m-r-james/ (https://librivox.org/ghost-stories-of-an-antiquary-by-m-r-james/)

For particular stories, my favorites from that collection include "Count Magnus" and "Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad." But they're all excellent.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on November 04, 2015, 07:57:48 PM

If you like audio recordings (and hey, this is the RPPR forums!), there is a very good recording of James's first collection, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, available for free on Librivox. The reader, Peter Yearsley, has a voice that I think perfectly captures James's restrained English academic style.

Here's the link: [url=https://librivox.org/ghost-stories-of-an-antiquary-by-m-r-james/]https://librivox.org/ghost-stories-of-an-antiquary-by-m-r-james/ (https://librivox.org/ghost-stories-of-an-antiquary-by-m-r-james/)[/url]

For particular stories, my favorites from that collection include "Count Magnus" and "Oh, Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad." But they're all excellent.

In 2008 (dear god that was a long time ago) the HP Lovecraft Film festival brought Robert Lloyd Parry over from England to do his live one man MR James show. It was great and there are very few videos online.

This is an excerpt from the Ash Tree.

! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVDbYUszSZQ#)

Here is a link to his site, I might have to by some of the audio CDs.

http://www.nunkie.co.uk/index.html (http://www.nunkie.co.uk/index.html)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Morbid on November 09, 2015, 06:06:34 PM
I just finished Godwalker by Greg Stolze.  It's his Unknown Armies novel, mostly relating to events around the Mystic Hermaphrodite godwalker and the people it comes into contact with.  It's short and sharp.  Stolze is very good at throwing in small details that humanize even characters making terrible decisions and it really shows here.

I highly recommend it if you have any interest in how an Unknown Armies story "looks."  I think it'd be pretty easy to follow even without knowing the UA background; a few references would go over your head but nothing critical. 

In some ways it's similar to Switchflipped, Stolze's other  "modern magic from obsessed people" novel, but I felt like Godwalker was more personal and Switchflipped had a bit more levity to some of the characters.  I really liked both!

I also read Margaret Irwin's "The Book" and found it both a good story and full of ideas on how to make a mythos tome a little more interesting than "lose 1d4 san, gain one of these spells."

In the same collection (Modern Ghost Stories by Women Writers) I checked out "Afterwards" by Edith Wharton.  I liked it as well, though it's a horror story steeped more in the social than the supernatural.

And now I'm working on Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan.  Eclipse Phase takes a whole lot from this book..
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on November 11, 2015, 07:14:17 AM
Currently reading Starting Point: 1979-1996 by Hayao Miyazaki-san - it's a collection of essays by Miyazaki and it's amazing to see him be such a curmudgeonly old man about the 'industrialization' of animation so early in his career (1980ish).
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on November 11, 2015, 11:29:35 AM
Do audiobooks count? I've got Crashing Heaven. A very Eclipse Phase book. A lot of good stuff  about hacking, muses and Simul space.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on November 24, 2015, 12:13:01 AM
Right now I've been focusing on comics. Finally got my hands on The Wicked + The Divine Volume 2; I devoured it in about an hour. Until I saw the solicits in the back I hadn't realized Phonogram Volume 3 had started; guess I know what I'm buying after Black Friday.

Also Amazon has a sale on JSA comics, so I've also been going through JSA Volume 3 (2007). Also very good; and highly recommended.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on November 24, 2015, 02:22:58 PM
I just picked up the Planetary Omnibus and am reading that. So far pretty good.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 24, 2015, 05:11:04 PM
Just got about 5 library books on the Black Death. RPGs are how I generate excuses for research!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on November 25, 2015, 01:19:21 PM
Just got about 5 library books on the Black Death. RPGs are how I generate excuses for research!
Would've loved to see the look on the librarian's face when you roll up with 5 books on the Plague lol
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on November 25, 2015, 03:40:58 PM
Just got about 5 library books on the Black Death. RPGs are how I generate excuses for research!
Would've loved to see the look on the librarian's face when you roll up with 5 books on the Plague lol

Academic library, wouldn't blink an eye. Public library, depends on if the person manning the desk is a reference librarian or not. Either way, probably not the weirdest thing they've ever seen.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 27, 2015, 10:22:52 PM
Just got about 5 library books on the Black Death. RPGs are how I generate excuses for research!
Would've loved to see the look on the librarian's face when you roll up with 5 books on the Plague lol

Well, you know, since I am the librarian, I just have to explain myself to my co-workers. :)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on December 04, 2015, 06:23:40 PM
Just finished Stross' Annihilation Score and am back to Authority by Vandermeer.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on December 04, 2015, 07:01:23 PM
Am returned to Ellis' Crooked Little Vein. i made the mistake of putting it down. Currently the only half read novel i own.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on December 21, 2015, 08:08:28 PM
https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/the-goddamned-1 (https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/the-goddamned-1)

Anyone else reading this?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on December 27, 2015, 07:17:29 PM
Just starting Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe. So far it is both hilarious and informative  ;D
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on January 01, 2016, 10:29:06 PM
In prepping for Hillfolk, I decided to give Hamlet's Hit Points a go.  I'm about 40 pages in and I'm loving it so far.  It is giving me a little more of a direction to go in when I am designing a scenario.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on January 02, 2016, 09:49:59 AM
Just started listening to Memory, Sorrow Thorn by Tad Williams. The premise of an actual medieval style fantasy is intriguing rather than just modern day people with swords etc.

Edit: Just read the first issue of Marjorie Liu's Monstress comic. It's a fantasy that has a Korean/ Chinese feel to it and it's dark and brutal. It's amazing.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on January 15, 2016, 11:42:48 AM
My wife and I returned from vacation in New York City with about 30 books. The ones I'm starting with are In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy vol. 1 by Eugene Thacker (a philosophy book about supernatural horror), to go with my new Penguin Classics edition of Thomas Ligotti's Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe.

On a lighter note, I'm also continuing my researches into the Black Death. So I picked up Osprey's German Medieval Armies 1300-1500 and The Medieval Underworld by Andrew McCall.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: SynapticError on January 16, 2016, 12:32:42 PM
I've just wrapped up a few books.  14 by Peter Clines, kind of like a Cthulhu Mythos novel focusing on architectural horror that I liked, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which I loved,  Embassytown by China Mieville, a really weird sci-fi horror novel focusing on xenolinguistics, and Dune, which I've tried to get into on my father's recommendation but it seems like I need a dictionary on the world to really enjoy it.     
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on January 16, 2016, 02:09:01 PM
I've just wrapped up a few books.  14 by Peter Clines, kind of like a Cthulhu Mythos novel focusing on architectural horror that I liked, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, which I loved,  Embassytown by China Mieville, a really weird sci-fi horror novel focusing on xenolinguistics, and Dune, which I've tried to get into on my father's recommendation but it seems like I need a dictionary on the world to really enjoy it.   

The edition of Dune that I read -- way back in high school, I think -- included a glossary in the back. It was very helpful.

I really liked the first book, but when I tried to get into the sequels I found them too complicated and inhumanly-scaled to enjoy. I couldn't figure out who I was supposed to cheer for anymore, or even what the various factions were trying to achieve.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on January 18, 2016, 12:49:02 AM
Currently reading Populuxe by Thomas Hine. A history of the unique mid 1950s style that we associate with Fallout and Leave it to Beaver. Fascinating stuff really.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on January 18, 2016, 01:13:56 PM
Finishing up The Ithaqua Cycle from Chaosium. I have always had a fondness in my heart for the wind walker so enjoying it. Three August Derleth stories so your own mileage may vary but these were not such naked pastiches that I enjoyed two of the three of them.

After this I got a few nonfiction books on my pile but my wife via the magic of the kindle gifted me a book called "Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf" which I am dubious about but it is now my husbandly duty to read.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on January 18, 2016, 06:25:40 PM
Another entry in the theme of "Awful things in Canadian History":

I've just finished reading Obasan (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/952284.Obasan), a novel about a Japanese Canadian girl who was separated from her parents and interred in a ghetto as an "enemy alien" during WWII.  Written by Joy Kogawa, a Japanese Canadian woman who was interred in a ghetto as an "enemy alien" during WWII, Obasan is a simply heartbreaking story about families and communities persecuted and destroyed by our racist government.

Another depressing book that more Canadians ought to read.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on January 19, 2016, 12:41:14 AM
Finishing up The Ithaqua Cycle from Chaosium. I have always had a fondness in my heart for the wind walker so enjoying it. Three August Derleth stories so your own mileage may vary but these were not such naked pastiches that I enjoyed two of the three of them.

After this I got a few nonfiction books on my pile but my wife via the magic of the kindle gifted me a book called "Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf" which I am dubious about but it is now my husbandly duty to read.

Hey, it can't be as awful as Bian Lumley's "Clock of Dreams" novels, which feature lots of fighting Ithaqua --and also such gems as Cthulhu's good-guy half brother, Kthanid.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on January 19, 2016, 11:58:27 AM
Hey, it can't be as awful as Bian Lumley's "Clock of Dreams" novels, which feature lots of fighting Ithaqua --and also such gems as Cthulhu's good-guy half brother, Kthanid.

Kthanid and I are real tight bros man. Don't you disparage him!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on January 20, 2016, 10:17:03 PM
Just finished devouring one of my Christmas presents, Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton. It's a book version of his blog, with photo essays of various New Yorkers, from all walks of life. Even if you frequent the blog (which I don't,) the book was very valuable; not just for bigger, high rez photos, but also for composition's sake. In the blog he posts photos and interviews as they come; in the book, he can compose the photos and interviews in a logical or appropriate pattern. The content of the interviews, the pairings of photos of similar composition, etc., are matched to give them more impact. Worth a read, for sure.

Also 'finished' Hc Svnt Dracones by Pierce Fraser (will always need to copy paste that $&^!$@ title...) The book was an enjoyable read. It is, truly, EP + Furries... yet the book never rests on that laurel. The way he writes of the world can at times even make you think less of your characters as animals and more of what the book is supposed to show; posthumanism taken to its logical conclusion, as this universe is literally post-human. The book has immersive world building that draws you into the corporations, factions, and big bads of the book. And above all... also very, unexpectedly funny. From snippets of one species' views of another to the descriptions of how much you suck with a 1 in a skill, there's some good humor to be had. The one thing is I did skim the rules section; it is immense and at times Eclipse Phase hard to digest, and also knowing that I won't be running it any time soon meant that it was also kinda pointless to dive too deep. Regardless, a fun read, an interesting system, and I look forward to Tom's mini-campaign coming up.

As for my next read, not sure what. One of my Christmas presents to myself was the all Delta Green everything tier of the Delta Green II Kickstarter, so I got a lot of ground to cover before the Agent's Handbook comes out in the spring. I'll need to dig up the reading order and get started with the novels and short story collections. Also, with how shitty their present state is I've been itching to read some of the classic X-Men stories, so I might delve into my collection.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on January 21, 2016, 07:26:15 AM
Recently finished After the Fall (very good, do recommend) and Gentleman Joe and the Red Queen by Louis McMaster Bujold - it's the latest in her Vorkosigan series. I really enjoyed it but I think you're not going to get a lot of the emotional and relationship impacts unless you've already read the series.

Currently working my way through Thing Explainer by Randall Monroe and the Fate Core System.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on January 21, 2016, 10:24:31 AM
The new supernatural crime series The Burned Man/ Don Drake book. If you like Hellblazer you might like this.

Also the Goon Squad series. A superpowered police procedural by the Johannes Cabal feller.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Vivax on January 21, 2016, 11:48:49 AM
Recently finished Finch by Jeff Vandermeer, it's a detective noir set in a city being colonized by horrible, alien, fungus creatures. Dark, atmospheric and moody with a heavy emphasis on corruption and creeping decay. I also just finished The Devil's Alphabet, a strange body-horror family drama about a man who grew up in a small town where people randomly differentiated into 3 new phenotypes. The betas, round, self-impregnating, hairless women, the alphas, meaty obese people with anger issues and odd pheromones and Deltas, extraordinarily tall, gangly people with gorilla-esq hands and grey skin. The plot revolves around an estranged, normal, son, reuniting with his depressed Alpha father when his childhood sweetheart dies.

Currently working my way through Vorrh, a African colonialist fever dream.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on January 26, 2016, 11:22:10 AM
Finished Thing Explainer and have about 100 pages of Fate Core left. I will make it by the end of January dang it
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on January 27, 2016, 07:31:02 PM
Audible Uk finally added more of the Laundry Files for preorder. No Fuller Memorandum yet though. Hoping they get Hawkins again for continuity prefer him over the Fenris dude.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on February 05, 2016, 07:04:25 PM
Currently listening to the second indexing series book. Fables meets Delta Green.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on February 19, 2016, 11:09:33 PM
Extraordinary Renditions (new DG story anthology) is good and cool. It has a story set in the great depression dust bowl era that would make for a great No Security scenario.

Picked up Extraordinary Renditions yesterday. Through the first three stories.

I have to be honest. The stories are significantly better than most modern Cthulhu mythos tales.  I was a little shocked.  I hope the "Delta Green" on the cover doesn't turn the literary away from these stories as "oh that's just game fiction." They are not.

Helps to be next to the internet to look up all the German words/WWII/CIA project details as well. 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Gorkamorka on February 20, 2016, 02:19:44 AM
Went to the library and picked up the comic series "Global Frequency".  It's aged well.  It's also a treasure trove of ideas for Eclipse Phase.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Morbid on February 20, 2016, 11:32:00 AM
Extraordinary Renditions (new DG story anthology) is good and cool. It has a story set in the great depression dust bowl era that would make for a great No Security scenario.

Picked up Extraordinary Renditions yesterday. Through the first three stories.

I have to be honest. The stories are significantly better than most modern Cthulhu mythos tales.  I was a little shocked.  I hope the "Delta Green" on the cover doesn't turn the literary away from these stories as "oh that's just game fiction." They are not.

Helps to be next to the internet to look up all the German words/WWII/CIA project details as well.

Yeah, I actually took a while to pick up the Delta Green fiction collections because I remembered White Wolf's output as being .. inconsistent, let's say. 

While some DG stories/collections are better than others, I've found them all worth my time.  Adam Scott Glancy's "Once more from the top.." (Dark Theatres is the collection) is a fantastic version of the Innsmouth raid.

The Extradordinary Renditions story set in the French countryside was especially effective.  I should finish the rest of the collection..

I've actually found that Cthulhu collections are a little more reliable than general horror collections, but that may be due to my taste.  At least, "New Tales of the Yellow Sign", "New Cthulhu: the Recent Weird" and what I've read of "The Book of Cthulhu" have all been pretty solid, though NTotYS is the only one where I've read every story.

I was really disappointed with the Sherlock Holmes/Cthulhu mash-up collection "Shadows over Baker Street" though that is not really modern Cthulhu.  And it's a tricky balance with Sherlock Holmes' perfect rationality coming up against the unknowable nature of the mythos.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: constructacon on February 22, 2016, 12:29:24 AM
currently i am on a bit of a urban fantasy kick right now as you will see
i am/just finished Reading, well actually listening thru audible...

Both book of the "Alloy of Law" series by Brandon Sanderson
The "Kane Cronicles" by Rick Riordan
the "Alex Versus" series by Gildart Jackson
the "Magic 2.0" seris by Scott Meyer
and "Staked" the latest book in the "Iron Druid" series by Kevin Hearne

i've got quite a few books in the hopper to read but other that Dresden or anything by the authors mention above any urban fantasy books/series out there that i need to check out?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on February 22, 2016, 11:25:08 AM
Right now I'm reading The Black Death: A Personal History by John Hatcher. And it's really bumming me out.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Henry Hankovitch on February 23, 2016, 11:05:33 PM
I got through about three books of the Codex Alera before moving on to something else for a while.  It's a fun setting--more or less like Avatar: the Last Airbender, but set in a classical-Rome flavor of setting, rather than Asian wuxia flavor.

Plugged my way through The Prize[/i], mostly on worktime lunch breaks and such.  A lot of dry stretches, but definitely an illuminating read.

Also started reading The Devil in the White City, probably about five years after everyone else got around to it.  Fucken H. H. Holmes, man.   (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prize:_The_Epic_Quest_for_Oil,_Money,_and_Power)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on February 23, 2016, 11:21:33 PM
Also started reading The Devil in the White City, probably about five years after everyone else got around to it.  Fucken H. H. Holmes, man.

I read that in college. It's a wild ride and a great book. It's a great example of a dual narrative book and it's both an interesting portal in a time long since past and mild horror in that this is light dramatization of real events.

I've been reading muh comics recently, thanks to the recent Image 2 Humble Bundle. Read through Saga Volumes 4 & 5 (the hits keep on coming) and Sex Criminals Volume 1 (a very comedic, very NSFW story, and an poignant take on love and loneliness.)

Also started to read through the original core rulebook of Delta Green in light of the coming rewards for the Kickstarter. Um... I was kind shocked at all the UFO stuff. Like, they really, REALLY had a hard on for the X-Files shit in the beginning it seems. Glad they shifted more to pure mythos.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on February 24, 2016, 01:23:30 PM
Actually DG was six months approx before XFiles. But yeah they have shifted with the times and the 90s were all about the alien abductions etc. One of the reasonscthey decided to do a new edition of the game.

Got Neurotribes as a gift. Know thy self and all that. Will also be reading tp 3 of Planetary again  when I have a spare moment.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: ethan_dawe on February 24, 2016, 02:19:25 PM
Just finished "War" by Sebastian Junger. Non-fiction about the war in Afghanistan in 2007-2008. He is one of the directors of the documentary Restrepo and the follow-up "Korengal," which follow the same group of troops. Harrowing, but a must read.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Vivax on February 25, 2016, 12:28:25 PM
I just finished "The Grace of Kings" by Ken Lieu and it was fantastic. It's like Game of Thrones without the terrible prose set in some kind of multi-racial pseudo-China at the end of the Warring States Period. Highly recommend. 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on February 25, 2016, 10:43:35 PM
I just finished "The Grace of Kings" by Ken Lieu and it was fantastic. It's like Game of Thrones without the terrible prose set in some kind of multi-racial pseudo-China at the end of the Warring States Period. Highly recommend.

Seconded.

Also, how many of us are on GoodReads? Come friend me, I friend back: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Vivax on February 26, 2016, 02:50:47 PM
I just finished "The Grace of Kings" by Ken Lieu and it was fantastic. It's like Game of Thrones without the terrible prose set in some kind of multi-racial pseudo-China at the end of the Warring States Period. Highly recommend.

Seconded.

Also, how many of us are on GoodReads? Come friend me, I friend back: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin)

Grace of Kings is so good that I can't imagine it not getting an adaptation to film or TV... hopefully a not-race-bent adaptation.

Unfortunately I'm not on GoodReads as of yet.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on February 26, 2016, 06:19:54 PM
Grace of Kings is so good that I can't imagine it not getting an adaptation to film or TV... hopefully a not-race-bent adaptation.

Unfortunately I'm not on GoodReads as of yet.

I hope so!

Join us Vivax... delve into the time vortex that is GoodReads!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on February 26, 2016, 11:53:57 PM
Also, how many of us are on GoodReads? Come friend me, I friend back: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin)

There's a link to my goodreads profile in my sig.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: constructacon on March 01, 2016, 12:25:05 AM
i am Currently plowing through Monster Hunter International series and am struck by how similar it is to Delta Green but without the sanity mechanic. now i find myself chomping at the bit for DG to release
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on March 01, 2016, 01:23:41 AM
I am close to getting done with Madness on the Orient Express. Some of the stories seem to stretch the theme a bit but overall recommended. High point for me is Ken Hite's story that mashed up the Orient Express, The Phantom of the Opera, the King in Yellow, and fandom.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on March 01, 2016, 05:40:27 PM
Finally started Perdido Street Station
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: ethan_dawe on March 02, 2016, 10:10:13 AM
Currently reading Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. Harrowing story.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Thorn on March 04, 2016, 10:12:03 PM
A friend of mine was a Black Hawk pilot on that mission.  He was friends with that other pilot that was famously shot down.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: SynapticError on March 07, 2016, 02:24:25 PM
Because you could throw a rock and hit a used bookstore in my area, occasionally the family will buy an armload of older books for cheap.  Because it isn't uncommon to get books from the early 20th century to the early 18th century, I like to collect them for historical interests.  Bible and religious texts are the most common, often gifts judging by the inscriptions you'll find, as are books of poetry and anthologies.  I recently came into possession of a very old copy of the Malleus Maleficarum, which I found wedged between the endless shelves of used bibles in the religion section.  It was basically falling apart, so I got it for cheap.  Because it was falling apart, I couldn't tell the date it was printed, but I was told by the owner it was some time in the 1700's.  What interested me was that there were notes written by some type of theologian or something nitpicking every aspect of the book.  His handwriting was really, really, bad though, so I'm going by the number of exclamation points he used.  He seemed to hate the section about the interrogation methods the most.  After have read it, I can safely say the Malleus Maleficarum is the most misogynistic, paranoid, and illogical book I have ever read.  Fascinating, though.           
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on March 07, 2016, 04:13:59 PM
Read Brave New World Revisited (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4637821-brave-new-world-revisited) a little while ago.  It's a bunch of essays by Aldous Huxley about the themes explored in his 1932 dystopian novel Brave New World, 25 years later.  Brave New World Revisited is rather dated itself now, but an interesting look at mid-century fears of the future.  Some of the more outdated or just plain wrong even at the time bits were:

Overpopulation was a big fear back then, and Huxley expends a lot of words anticipating the horrors of a world in which the growing human population outstrips the world's agricultural capacity.  He also indulges in a bit of racism when he complains about people in the third world benefiting from the technology (penicillin, DDT*, clean water) of "our" (i.e. white) society without adopting our more enlightened ways (such as birth control).

Subliminal messaging also gets a chapter, titled "Subconscious Persuasion".  For those not in the know, subliminal messaging (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subliminal_stimuli) is a now-debunked theory that you can change a person's  behaviour by flashing visual and auditory messages at them below the threshold of conscious perception.  No, really, people thought this quackery actually worked.  And Huxley did basically admit in this chapter that there was no credible evidence to support the idea.

Another theme that I found more than a little unpleasant was Huxley's championing of eugenics, a mere dozen years after the end of the second world war.  He worries quite a bit about modern medicine allowing physically and mentally "inferior" people to live to breeding age, and bringing down the I.Q. of the general population of future generations.

And rather hilariously, in the chapter "Education for Freedom", Huxley gives us a full-throated defense of the "Great Man" theory of history.  Criticism of the great man theory is cast as an attack on "human freedom" and the "uniqueness of individuals" by authoritarian dictators and technocrats.  Huxley also ties the great man theory into eugenics as well by insisting that heredity has more to do with a person's physical and intellectual endowments than the environment they grow up in.

*this book was written before The Silent Spring was published, and DDT is presented as an unalloyed benefit to the world.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on April 04, 2016, 09:38:34 AM
Listening to: First Southern Reach book, Amy Poehler Yes Please.

Consumed the first bit of Flex which is about magic/ reality warping powered by obsession. (Good prep for unknown armies.)

Contemplating spending my current audible credit on David Nickle's Rasputin's Bastards. Who doesn't like Russian psychic soldiers.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on April 10, 2016, 06:23:33 AM
Taking a break to read Warren Ellis' Cunning Plans. Good Stuff.

I managed to catch one of the talks featured. There's a lot of gamable stuff in them.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on April 17, 2016, 11:01:40 PM
As has become my annual tradition when Baseball season comes I read a Baseball book. For the second year in a row it's my Christmas present. The Betrayal, by Charles Fountain is about the 1919 Black Sox scandal that led to the creation of a commissioner in the MLB, which has shaped not just the MLB but all leagues. Thus far I'm not far enough in to have a firm opinion, but it's a good book.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: constructacon on April 18, 2016, 03:16:01 AM
on the recomendation of caleb's red markets i thought i would try the ex-heroes series. i'm about 1/2 way through book one and am hooked.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on April 18, 2016, 04:59:45 AM
Started reading Iain M. Banks The Business. About a mega corp essentially that is part cult. It's interesting becausec of the way it plays with expectations and turns the tropes upside down.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on April 20, 2016, 04:05:29 PM
I ordered and finished Weird Tales of a Bangalorean by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy.  This dude owns. I do recommend him. 

Had to wait for snail mail from Lulu to get this 80 page book.

http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/jayaprakash-satyamurthy/weird-tales-of-a-bangalorean-2nd-edition/paperback/product-22467724.html (http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/jayaprakash-satyamurthy/weird-tales-of-a-bangalorean-2nd-edition/paperback/product-22467724.html)

He needs more polish to get to the level of Barron's/Ligotti's best; but he has his own distinctive voice: 

Quote
A slum, I discovered, is not made by the people in it -- instead, it makes them, shaping and moulding them until they fit its emould. It is a container that lends its shape to the sad human fluid poured within

...

It was just a place I had heard of, a seaside honey pot, a trap snaring tourists and locals alike in a joyless phantasmagoria of picture-postcard tableaux, narcotic stupors, terpsichorean excesses and paper-thin multiculturalism.

...

I like bars. They are reassuring places, containing the basics of human nature: the need for oblivion and the instinct to exploit.

...

It seemed to me that the city was like an old videotape which has been recorded over too many times on a crummy old VCR, and sometimes the old pictures shows through. These were echoes of people and things from long ago. It was just ethereal playback, that was all.

...

Inside, the atmosphere was cold -- not just the lush, cushioned coolness of expensive air conditioning, but a molecular chill, entropy's leavings.

...

There are places in Bangalore that are not Bangalore


For $7 plus shipping and handling you get five stories and three poems. Stories are below

Come Tomorrow
My Saints are Down
Dancer of the Dying
The Song of The Eukarya
A Threshold Hypothesis

The only one that didn't knock my socks off was "Dancer of the Dying" and that was only because it is short. It sets up "The Song of The Eukarya" so read those in sequence. 

"Come Tomorrow" feels a little bit like a tale of the Arabian Nights gone horribly horribly wrong.  "The Song of the Eukarya" has elements of the Music of Erich Zann and The Colour Out of Space while being wholly unique.

"A Threshold Hypothesis" does the excellent job of tying the seemingly disparate stories into a cohesive mythos.  Call it Satyamurthy's  Bangalorean Cycle perhaps.

Want a sample?

A reading of "My Saints are Down"  ! No longer available (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C6SGtde54w#)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on April 20, 2016, 05:53:53 PM
There's no ebook version?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on April 20, 2016, 06:13:06 PM
Not as far as I know and I looked!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on April 23, 2016, 12:05:14 AM
Breaking News: for the next few days (04/22/16-04/24/16) Amazon is having a Kindle sale for 50% off every Marvel comic and graphic novel they sell. I'm glad I had some spare Amazon credit. There's a lot of graphic novels that are down to $5.50 - $8.99. Picked up Volumes 1, 3, & 4 of Nightcrawler (aka the only ones they have on Amazon atm) and some X-Men trades.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on April 23, 2016, 08:16:53 AM
Finished listening to Southern Reach book 1 the other day. It was something.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on April 25, 2016, 10:30:15 PM
I'm reading the Expanse series. I'd call it a guilty pleasure. It does have horror elements mixed in with its space opera.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on April 25, 2016, 11:06:05 PM
Rereading Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife series right now
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on April 26, 2016, 05:25:12 AM
Finished reading Hurricane Fever yesterday. Great afro carribean espionage book.

@Pirate given that almost everyone I know loves the Expanse you don't have to think of it as a guilty pleasire.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Lordsloth on April 26, 2016, 01:57:52 PM
Finished a couple Ravenloft novels(no half-vampire-werepanthers yet) to get into the latest D&D Adventurers League season, and now I'm working on DG: Extraordinary Renditions, finally. Really liking it.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on April 26, 2016, 02:12:50 PM
Finished reading Hurricane Fever yesterday. Great afro carribean espionage book.

@Pirate given that almost everyone I know loves the Expanse you don't have to think of it as a guilty pleasire.

My point was that it's really not all that good. But it does make me want to turn the pages even though I get frustrated by the flaws in the storytelling. There's a lot of good stuff in there that is either undeveloped or lost in the shuffle.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on April 26, 2016, 02:34:01 PM
I guess. I didn't really notice at the time. I was reminded how good Eclipse Phase is.

Sad to say I don't really have as much time to read as I used to.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on May 03, 2016, 07:55:28 PM
I recently finished Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1430533.Hindu_Myths), a selection of 75 myths written down over the course of 3,000 years.  This is an academic sampling of Hindu mythology, not a single epic or myth-cycle, with plentiful notations and commentary from the editor.  Many of the myths in this book are later iterations of earlier myths, and while it can be a bit of a slog (reading multiple versions of what's essentially the same story which has accreted additional characters and events over the course of hundreds or thousands of years of retelling) it's an interesting lesson in the life-cycle of myths themselves.*  It can feel a little hallucinogenic in places, as Indra appears as a supporting character in a Puranic Śiva myth which is a retelling of a Vedic Indra myth, and of course, since Śiva is an avatar/permutation of Indra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva#Indra), Indra is a supporting character in a myth in which he is also the protagonist!

The editor, Wendy Doniger, also doesn't pull punches in pointing out the sexism, bigotry and logical fallacies in these myths.**  In one long-winded passage describing a goddess, her breasts are described three times.  In the one of the myths about the conflict between the gods and the demons, Vishnu creates Buddhism and Jainism as false religions to trick the demons into abandoning the true path of Dharma.  In another gods vs demons myth, it is explained that the gods are good because good (as an abstract concept which possess consciousness and intent) sensed their goodness and went over to them entirely, abandoning the demons to evil, which sensed the evil in the demons and similarly abandoned the gods (the gods are good because they're good, the demons are evil because they're evil), and at the end of this myth, the gods (who never lie because they're good) defeat the demons by deceiving them!


*And I was reminded of the mythical qualities of modern geek "franchises", with the constant retelling of the same stories, the multiple characters that are basically permutations of the same basic character, and the changes (sometimes subtle, sometimes gross) that these characters have undergone over the years.

** Failings that are not unique to Hindu myths, but they're the subject at hand.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on May 03, 2016, 08:32:19 PM
In another gods vs demons myth, it is explained that the gods are good because good (as an abstract concept which possess consciousness and intent) sensed their goodness and went over to them entirely, abandoning the demons to evil, which sensed the evil in the demons and similarly abandoned the gods (the gods are good because they're good, the demons are evil because they're evil), and at the end of this myth, the gods (who never lie because they're good) defeat the demons by deceiving them!

Interesting! That reminds me of the standard D&D cosmology, which also has an odd combination of a polytheistic pantheon with abstract realist cosmological concepts of Good and Evil (and Law and Chaos, expressed mostly through the alignment system). Are the good gods good because they are aligned with Goodness? Are the evil gods evil because they're full of Evilness? There's some weird tensions in that idea.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: balhaza on May 03, 2016, 09:06:16 PM
I just finished a short story chapbook called The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingard.

It is interesting to a certain extant though I felt it focused more of a dysfunctional romantic relationship with a slight Mythos infusion. The Mythos occurrence or 'cultist' in the story is tempting and ripe for further development though.

I should have read the description a little better and not have my hopes dashed by a 50 pages chapbook.


Chris
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on May 03, 2016, 09:12:45 PM
I recently finished Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1430533.Hindu_Myths), a selection of 75 myths written down over the course of 3,000 years.  This is an academic sampling of Hindu mythology, not a single epic or myth-cycle, with plentiful notations and commentary from the editor.  Many of the myths in this book are later iterations of earlier myths, and while it can be a bit of a slog (reading multiple versions of what's essentially the same story which has accreted additional characters and events over the course of hundreds or thousands of years of retelling) it's an interesting lesson in the life-cycle of myths themselves.*  It can feel a little hallucinogenic in places, as Indra appears as a supporting character in a Puranic Śiva myth which is a retelling of a Vedic Indra myth, and of course, since Śiva is an avatar/permutation of Indra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva#Indra), Indra is a supporting character in a myth in which he is also the protagonist!

The editor, Wendy Doniger, also doesn't pull punches in pointing out the sexism, bigotry and logical fallacies in these myths.**  In one long-winded passage describing a goddess, her breasts are described three times.  In the one of the myths about the conflict between the gods and the demons, Vishnu creates Buddhism and Jainism as false religions to trick the demons into abandoning the true path of Dharma.  In another gods vs demons myth, it is explained that the gods are good because good (as an abstract concept which possess consciousness and intent) sensed their goodness and went over to them entirely, abandoning the demons to evil, which sensed the evil in the demons and similarly abandoned the gods (the gods are good because they're good, the demons are evil because they're evil), and at the end of this myth, the gods (who never lie because they're good) defeat the demons by deceiving them!


*And I was reminded of the mythical qualities of modern geek "franchises", with the constant retelling of the same stories, the multiple characters that are basically permutations of the same basic character, and the changes (sometimes subtle, sometimes gross) that these characters have undergone over the years.

** Failings that are not unique to Hindu myths, but they're the subject at hand.

Very interesting, thanks. I was looking for something like this recently.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on May 04, 2016, 05:18:53 AM
Finished reading Biogenesis by Tatsuaki Ishiguro (MD).  Relatively unknown in the West, Biogenesis contains four short stories, three of which approach cosmic horror from an interesting, uniquely scientific perspective. 

The prose of these stories are in the precise analytical language of a scientist and physician. I am not going to lie, these can be challenging to read, in particular the first story “It is with the deepest sincerity that I offer prayers …”.  Although references to specific biological assays and results are made in this story, the meaning of these scientific clues to the narrative will not be lost to a reader who has never been exposed to these concepts before.

However, I must state that a reader with an undergraduate's understanding of molecular biology and evolution will have a greater appreciation of the nuances of the fictionalized data and their ramifications that Dr. Ishiguro presents. 

At the end of reading his work I firmly placed this book on my shelf next to Ligotti, Lovecraft and Barron.

Translators: Brian Watson and James Balzer
Publication Year: 2015 (America); 1994, 2000, and 2006 (Japan)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZNG4MA0/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZNG4MA0/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1)

Here is what some Japanese authors say about Ishiguro's work.

Quote
“A metaphor of perdition, on the level of all of humanity, is concretized as a small, imaginary animal via the mediating factor of incurable diseases that bring death to two doctors of medicine. In our nation, such excellent conceptions used to belong to Kobo Abe.” – Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Laureate in Literature

“The work’s novel form and style will be remembered as a turning point in Japanese literature. Moreover, the exploration of the enigma of the ‘winged mouse’s extinction’ can also be easily enjoyed as the finest of mysteries.” – Koji Suzuki, author of Ring and Dark Water

“Why does such dry writing in the format of a report touch me so? Why is it so beautiful? No matter how many times I read it, the tears keep flowing. This is no ‘fusion of science and literature.’ It is the overwhelmingly reality of animate ‘life’ itself.” – Hideaki Sena, author of Parasite Eve

Seriously guys. The makers of Parasite Eve and The Ring look up to this dude.


(http://i.imgur.com/uDpk8Gq.jpg)

From Amazon

Quote
Told in the manner of scientific reports, this collection of science fiction stories explores the allegorical overtones about the precariousness of species.

In Biogenesis*, two professors research the rare winged mouse and how the genetic makeup of the creatures pointed to their eventual extinction. The discover that upon mating, both the male and female of the species died. The professors try to clone the winged mice without success, so they breed the remaining pair in captivity, noting the procedure, which includes a vibration of the creatures' wings, what appeared to be kissing, and the shedding of tears--composed of the same substance as their blood--until their eventual death.

*This is a description of the first, and most challenging story “It is with the deepest sincerity that I offer prayers …”

Four stories are included in Biogenesis: “It is with the deepest sincerity that I offer prayers …”, Snow Woman, Midwinter Weed, and The Hope Shore Sea Squirt.  The first three I would describe as hard science fiction, bridged with Japanese folklore, that together evokes the sensation of cosmic horror. 

All of the stories in Biogenesis deal with unique species that are approaching extinction.  Though the stories are presented in report and documentation form, there is a certain delicate fragility evoked about the species discussed, and to a greater extent life itself in these stories.  Dr. Ishiguro is a master of storytelling in a field I have never seen anyone else even attempt.

The cosmic horror comes into play when there is speculation on the evolutionary purpose of a species and the unknown forces of nature science has barely brushed against; or in Ishiguro's sprinkled references to folklore that quietly suggest a link between these rare species and their impossible origin in some hidden world of the divine or spirit.

Dr. Ishiguro does not use description of the alien or supernatural like Lovecraft. Instead, his tools are gentle suggestion and a total absence of answers. In some ways this literary negative space clawed at my mind and was more effective at capturing my imagination than outright describing a gibbering horror.

Some excerpts

“It is with the deepest sincerity that I offer prayers …”


Quote
…but it was on September 11, 1989 that the winged mouse disappeared from the face of our planet.

“A forge along National Highway 12 that runs from Sapporo, and situated just before Asahikawa (see Figure 1), Kamuikotan derives from an Ainu word meaning “gathering place of the gods.”…

“The mouse was clinging to a rock in the marshy area directly below the shrine’s precincts, as still as a corpse”

...

“By then, winged mice were already on the verge of becoming the stuff of legend.  Even so, more than one of Mr. Tamura’s friends had told him that they had seen a winged mouse faintly glowing like a flame on the riverbank at night.  One of those friends had even witnessed a winged mouse shedding tears.  In the region, sightings of a glowing or weeping winged mouse were considered to be bad omens that, ironically, portended good luck for the particular individual who witnessed the occurrence.

...

“...when Dr. Akedera received these, he immediately noticed that every photo had children in it.  There had been a basis for Dr. Akedera’s conjecture; the reader is invited to revisit the passage on Mr. Tamura, whose memories of winged mice belonged to his early years and were of his childhood friends sharing witness accounts with him.  When the elementary school teacher found Ponta, she was leading children on a field trip, and when the reverent found Ai, the winged mouse was spotted by children playing on the shrine’s premises. “

...

“The next day, an attempt was made to isolate genetic material, but the men realized that they could not confirm the results due to phoresis.  This was believed to be caused by the breakdown of the genetic material by DNAse, but there was uncertainty as to why the enzyme had activated in conditions where it normally would not (the MAD method may have been tricky for some reason).

Professor Yoji Ogawa of the Asahikawa College of Science was quickly called in for a consultation, but “Why an enzyme strong enough to break down an organism’s own genetic material should be necessary is beyond me” (Prof. Ogawa). “


....


“ Retreat, however, was not part of Dr. Akedera’s vocabulary as is clear from the following passages in his journal.

“If an individual organism’s struggles have the preservation of the species as their purpose, then upon species extinction, that individual’s death loses meaning.  If this is natural selection, then what is the energy called evolution trying to smother and what is it deeming fit to let live? Might not the principle of natural selection close the circles by selecting against all living things in the end? […] Will the truth guide us to preordained harmony or chaos?  Two winged mice await extinction in their separate cages.  I need to figure out what, at this moment, I am able to do about that.” “




“There is some basis for believing that what motivated Dr. Akedra’s research was a fear of death.

“What are these feelings of superiority and inferiority that the living choose to harbor regarding the dead? Words like ‘extinction'; and ‘death’ betray the self-centered logic of the living.  It would seem that simple death is all that there is for the dead, and even if genetic material is left behind, even if cells are left behind, it does not equal leaving behind living descendants that resemble the self.  Individual memories disappear, and seeking the self’s latent existence in descendants is almost materialistic.  Probably all that remains to humans who have no religion is such materialism.” “



Snow Woman

A love story. Bittersweet and strange. A tale of sacrifice, obsession and devotion.


Quote
There is a condition known as hypothermia.  The term comes from the Greek for “low body temperature” and usually signifies a pathological state where a loss of body temperature can end in freezing to death.  It also, however, refers to a rare instance where the patient’s metabolism stabilizes as lower body temperature.  “idiopathic hypothermia” has been reported only sporadically worldwide, and an accurate portrait of the condition does not exist at the moment.  Although the prevailing view is that the decreased metabolism leads to a longer lifespan, there is a high incidence of death from accompanying illnesses, and unlike with “idiopathic hyperthermia, “ which has been shown to have no bearing on lifespans, as of yet no statistical data on the average convalescent is available.

...

This refers to one Koho Yukhi … , an army doctor who had been assigned to the Ashibetsu-Shinjo Clinic in Hokkaido in the mid 1920s.  He was the first person in the world to report, in an article published in the German medical journal ARZT, the symptoms of a woman whose standard body temperature was 82.4F.  Normally, at that temperature, the heartbeat becomes irregular then ceases altogether, and respiration stops completely as well; the report flaunted the conventional medical wisdom of the era.

...


There had been a legend for many, many years in Shinjo of a snow woman leading a child by the hand, who would appear during early January or on the night of a full moon in winters.  She would ask a passerby to either hug or piggyback her child, and anyone who did grew heavier and heavier and ended up buried in snow. 

Please, I beg of you. Please hold this child for a spell, her beauty otherworldly, a pure-white snow woman softly pled, clinging to me.  I rolled around in the blizzard.  Accede to her request, though, I did not to the end.



Midwinter Weed

This story weaves a narrative of Japanese citizens and their intense feelings of loyalty towards their country during World War 2 with the discovery of an unusual radioactive plant.  The loyalty of Japanese people towards their country during WW2 is not a perspective I have seen an author broach often, and this story is the more interesting for it.



Quote
The event sponsors, who had taken notice of an article of mine published in the August 15 edition of the Japan Newspaper of Science, entitled “Plant-life Acquires Radiation,” had made a rush decision to include the plant after planning for the event was already underway.


“”This specimen very well be the last of its kind in existence and is very precious. Handle it with the utmost care…”


“”The boy was found in Kamuikotan Gorge,” recounted the director of Nakarai’s orphanage, “and on the brink of starvation.  Initially he couldn’t speak a word.  He was so emaciated that you could see his bones protruding beneath his skin.  We honestly thought he was beyond saving at that point.”"

“Elsewhere I had yet to find even two plants growing side by side, but at the graveyard there were instances of a dozen or more midwinter weeds springing up in close proximity.  Several had even sprouted white flowers.  The flowers were transparent as glass bells, and when they rustled in the wind I almost expected them to make a sound."


… It was a bleak and unsettling supposition. But in his letters, Nakarai indicated that the most likely explanation for the midwinter weed’s greedy meandering root might in fact be two seek out the superior nourishment offered to it by a decaying corpse.  In order to test his hypothesis, Nakarai dug out of the roots of several plants.  Beneath one such plant he found the remains of a body, already moldering away to bone.  The body was entangled in the root’s thin embrace.

There are shades of Lovecraft's The Tree in Midwinter Weed.

Biogenesis is challenging, but try it. Start with Snow Woman or Midwinter Weed.


More on Tatsuaki Ishiguro

Born in Hokkaido in 1961, Tatsuaki Ishiguro has served as a lecturer at Tokyo University and as an assistant professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and currently practices at a clinic in Tokyo.  As the author of a unique brand of science fiction, he has been nominated for the Akutagawa Award, the Yukio Mishima Award, and the Seiun (Nebula) Award. Biogenesis is his first work to appear in English.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on May 05, 2016, 12:05:32 AM
Been meaning to read Ishiguro. Thanks for the reminder.

I am now reading my freshly delivered Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition books. Seems nice enough, but I'm just more excited for Delta Green in the coming months . . .
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on May 05, 2016, 09:50:24 AM
In another gods vs demons myth, it is explained that the gods are good because good (as an abstract concept which possess consciousness and intent) sensed their goodness and went over to them entirely, abandoning the demons to evil, which sensed the evil in the demons and similarly abandoned the gods (the gods are good because they're good, the demons are evil because they're evil), and at the end of this myth, the gods (who never lie because they're good) defeat the demons by deceiving them!

Interesting! That reminds me of the standard D&D cosmology, which also has an odd combination of a polytheistic pantheon with abstract realist cosmological concepts of Good and Evil (and Law and Chaos, expressed mostly through the alignment system). Are the good gods good because they are aligned with Goodness? Are the evil gods evil because they're full of Evilness? There's some weird tensions in that idea.

Yeah, it's quite clear in the example myths that "good vs evil" actually means "us vs them": We (Hindus) are good because we follow the true religion which the gods follow; they (Buddhists, Jainists, etc.) are evil because they follow the false religions that the demons follow.  And in D&D, many players and even writers similarly treat alignments more like team affiliations than matters of ethics or morality.  Those stories about players of "Lawful Good" Paladins arguing that exterminating an orc village --down to murdering babies in their cribs-- is a righteous act? they're real.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on May 05, 2016, 10:49:28 AM
Reminds me that I need to get back to reading the webcomic Kill 6 billion Demons.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on May 05, 2016, 02:08:23 PM
Although I don't know when I'll get to them, here's my latest purchases from my favourite used book store:

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1549/26671552581_c1a4033e1b_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/GCSFmR)
Book Haul (https://flic.kr/p/GCSFmR) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on May 12, 2016, 10:18:11 PM
Paging Dan; and anyone else interested in Anima: (From the DTRPG newsletter:)

Quote
In particular, look for the current 30% off sale from Fantasy Flight Games on their Anima: Beyond Fantasy RPG game line — because once the sale is over, on May 16, the Anima RPG will be shut down and discontinued. Sadly, it will no longer be available at all, anywhere. This is, literally, your last chance.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6/Fantasy-Flight-Games/subcategory/36_5590?src=newsletter5.12.16_scottsdesk (https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6/Fantasy-Flight-Games/subcategory/36_5590?src=newsletter5.12.16_scottsdesk)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on May 13, 2016, 05:00:28 PM
Guy Gavriel Kay has a new book, The Children of Earth and Sky. Highly recommended.

Next up is Tim Powers' latest, Medusa's Web.


Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on May 25, 2016, 01:47:39 PM
Just finished Warren Ellis' Crooked Little Vein took me a surprising amount of time. probably because I'd already listened to the audio book before.

Speaking of, I'm currently listening to Powers' Declare and it really does clarify how Unknown Armies works.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on May 26, 2016, 09:23:35 AM
(https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7357/27251217105_c05b1a7561_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Hw6BqM)
Latest Batch of Books (https://flic.kr/p/Hw6BqM) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

Wondering when I'll find the time to read them.  With my current backlog, maybe sometime in 2018?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: The Lost Carol on May 27, 2016, 07:23:07 PM
While I'm on vacation, I've been reading Road Trip, by Ross Payton.

For reasons.

http://www.technicaldifficultiespod.com
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on May 28, 2016, 04:16:40 PM
While I'm on vacation, I've been reading Road Trip, by Ross Payton.

For reasons.

http://www.technicaldifficultiespod.com

yaaaayyyyyy
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: RadioactiveBeer on May 28, 2016, 04:54:03 PM
I'm currently picking bits out of Great Parliamentary Scandals: Four Centuries of Calumny, Smear and Innuendo by Matthew Parris. It's a sort of history of British political cock-ups, from 1621 to the early 1990's and written by a former MP, so while a lot of it is very much just restating the press reports of the time there are some interesting moments during the 70's and 80's (when Parris was in the government) of "and then so and so said to me over dinner that..." that shine a light on the inner logic and workings of the political class of the time.

I picked it up after I got Bookhounds of London, to have a look for plot hooks (what might turn up at auction that powerful people might prefer not to be purchased by player characters). It's pretty interesting material for political intrigue games.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on May 28, 2016, 06:15:15 PM
Finished Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men, a 'future history' from 1931 a little while ago.  It was one of the earliest future history novels, and it's scope is quite enormous, spanning from (1931's) near future to the extinction of the "18th Race of Man" billions of years in the future.  There are a number of interesting elements - Martians invade Earth thousands of years from now, travelling across space by harnessing the solar wind.  A race of genetically-engineered superbrains are created in an attempt to create a technocratic utopia, they instead telepathically enslave the human race.  Various disasters force the human race to relocate first to Venus, then to Neptune (the surface of Neptune) and along the way, humanity develops telepathy and eventually a sort of 'supermind' and the ability to view (and eventually, communicate with) the minds of humans from the distant past.

Most of it is written in a rather dry, academic manner, which can be a bit of a slog.  Although I found the dry, detached writing preferable to some episodes early in the narrative where the actions and dialog of individual characters were described.  Some of that was just terrible.

And as with any decades-old science fiction, it's rather fascinating to see how much of Stapledon's vision of the future was mired in his "present" of 1931.

Some examples:
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on May 30, 2016, 01:39:55 AM
Doing some additional development on my Gettysburg National Cemetery Civil War Cthulhu scenario (title: "We Cannot Hallow This Ground" -- coming to the RPPR studios this Saturday!), I've picked up more books on the subject. The highlight so far is The Gettysburg Gospel by Gabor Boritt, who's the head of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College and an absolute ace on the subject. I'm picking up a crazy level of detail that I'm figuring out how to work in. I'm leaning into the full Hite/Glancy mode of scenario design...
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on June 03, 2016, 10:22:39 AM
Hey Ross, this looks right up your alley.

Mentioned on Ken and Robin talk about stuff.

A Burglar's Guide to the City

http://www.latimes.com/books/reviews/la-ca-jc-burglars-guide-20160403-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/books/reviews/la-ca-jc-burglars-guide-20160403-story.html)

Quote
Manaugh argues that burglary is built into the fabric of cities and is an inevitable outgrowth of having architecture in the first place.


https://www.amazon.com/Burglars-Guide-City-Geoff-Manaugh-ebook/dp/B00V35U0TM?ie=UTF8&btkr=1&redirect=true&ref_=dp-kindle-redirect (https://www.amazon.com/Burglars-Guide-City-Geoff-Manaugh-ebook/dp/B00V35U0TM?ie=UTF8&btkr=1&redirect=true&ref_=dp-kindle-redirect)

Quote
Encompassing nearly 2,000 years of heists and tunnel jobs, break-ins and escapes, A Burglar's Guide to the City offers an unexpected blueprint to the criminal possibilities in the world all around us. You'll never see the city the same way again.

At the core of A Burglar's Guide to the City is an unexpected and thrilling insight: how any building transforms when seen through the eyes of someone hoping to break into it. Studying architecture the way a burglar would, Geoff Manaugh takes readers through walls, down elevator shafts, into panic rooms, up to the buried vaults of banks, and out across the rooftops of an unsuspecting city.

With the help of FBI Special Agents, reformed bank robbers, private security consultants, the L.A.P.D. Air Support Division, and architects past and present, the book dissects the built environment from both sides of the law. Whether picking padlocks or climbing the walls of high-rise apartments, finding gaps in a museum's surveillance routine or discussing home invasions in ancient Rome, A Burglar's Guide to the City has the tools, the tales, and the x-ray vision you need to see architecture as nothing more than an obstacle that can be outwitted and undercut.

Full of real-life heists-both spectacular and absurd-A Burglar's Guide to the City ensures readers will never enter a bank again without imagining how to loot the vault or walk down the street without planning the perfect getaway.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on June 03, 2016, 02:57:39 PM
Continuing my gear up for Unknown Armies I read Stolze's Godwalker. Loved it.

Next up is Jamie Delano's Lepus/ Dizzy
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Tim on June 06, 2016, 12:40:57 PM
In prep for a Bookhounds of London game I am planning on running (first session is this Sunday and man am I behind) I am reading The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. I would not qualify it as great but it is a fun read, sort of a beach book for the library set. I am going to have to go and watch The Ninth Gate again after I am done. I don't remember it being great so it will be interesting to see how it stands up after reading the source material.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on June 07, 2016, 09:31:30 AM
In prep for a Bookhounds of London game I am planning on running (first session is this Sunday and man am I behind) I am reading The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. I would not qualify it as great but it is a fun read, sort of a beach book for the library set. I am going to have to go and watch The Ninth Gate again after I am done. I don't remember it being great so it will be interesting to see how it stands up after reading the source material.

May help. https://www.pinterest.com/zoombaba/bookhounds-of-london/ (https://www.pinterest.com/zoombaba/bookhounds-of-london/)

Just run it as an investigation or heist.

Also From Hell is visually and narratively useful.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on June 13, 2016, 07:25:49 AM
A bit of an odd one but does anyone else get the Orbital Operations newsletter Warren Ellis does? I've been catching up with my inbox.

Three benefits: Ellis project update, Free! Ellis writing which is always a pleasure and his version of shoutouts which is mostly weird electronic music and interesting books.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on June 25, 2016, 10:47:50 PM
A bunch of issues and articles from “Weird Tales” (1923-1954) available for download in the public domain.


http://www.openculture.com/2016/06/download-issues-of-the-pioneering-pulp-horror-fantasy-magazine-weird-tales.html (http://www.openculture.com/2016/06/download-issues-of-the-pioneering-pulp-horror-fantasy-magazine-weird-tales.html)

(http://i.imgur.com/RFtvYtT.jpg)

Quote
Debuting in 1923, Weird Tales, writes The Pulp Magazines Project, provided “a venue for fiction, poetry and non-fiction on topics ranging from ghost stories to alien invasions to the occult.” The magazine introduced its readers to past masters like Poe, Bram Stoker, and H.G. Wells, and to the latest weirdness from Lovecraft and contemporaries like August Derleth, Ashton Smith, Catherine L. Moore, Robert Bloch, and Robert E. Howard (creator of Conan the Barbarian).

..

Weird Tales is widely accepted by cultural historians as “the first pulp magazine to specialize in supernatural and occult fiction,” points out The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (though, as we noted a few days ago, an obscure German title, Der Orchideengarten, technically got there earlier). And while the magazine may not have been widely popular, as the Velvet Underground was to the explosion of various subgenera of rock in the seventies, so was Weird Tales to the explosion of horror and fantasy fandom. Everyone who read it either started their own magazine or fanclub, or began writing their own “weird fiction”—Lovecraft’s term for the kind of supernatural horror he churned out for several decades.

Fans of Lovecraft can read and download scans of his stories and letters to the editor published in Weird Tales at the links below, brought to us by The Lovecraft eZine (via SFFaudio).

-----------

Also I HIGHLY recommend any Cosmic Horror or Lovecraft fans read the following. It's very short and very good.


 The Nothing Equation


Tom Godwin
This etext was produced from Amazing Stories December 1957

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25628/25628-h/25628-h.htm (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25628/25628-h/25628-h.htm)

Quote
The space ships were miracles of power and precision; the men who manned them, rich in endurance and courage. Every detail had been checked and double checked; every detail except—

THE NOTHING EQUATION

...
the cruiser vanished back into hyperspace and he was alone in the observation bubble, ten thousand light-years beyond the galaxy's outermost sun. He looked out the windows at the gigantic sea of emptiness around him and wondered again what the danger had been that had so terrified the men before him.

Of one thing he was already certain; he would find that nothing was waiting outside the bubble to kill him. The first bubble attendant had committed suicide and the second was a mindless maniac on the Earthbound cruiser but it must have been something inside the bubble that had caused it. Or else they had imagined it all.

...

I haven't attended to the instruments for a long time because it hates us and doesn't want us here. It hates me the most of all and keeps trying to get into the bubble to kill me. I can hear it whenever I stop and listen and I know it won't be long.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on June 27, 2016, 01:21:29 PM
Just finished this:

(https://c7.staticflickr.com/8/7458/26998741694_e0cfc19290_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/H8MBhs)
Mondo Macabro (https://flic.kr/p/H8MBhs) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

It's a kind of guide to cult films from Asia, South America & Turkey (I'd say the Middle East, but Turkey is the only Middle Eastern country mentioned) from 1998.  It's not an academic analysis of these cinematic milieux, but a fun look at a bunch of B/cult movies.  Some chapters are little more than lists of movies with synopses, while others have a little more depth.  If you're a horror fan, this may be a book for you, since that's the genre that gets the lion's share of the author's attention (and he acknowledges his bias).  The best chapter is probably the one on Brazil: The Strange World of Mr. Marins which is largely devoted to the career of José Mojica Marins, a self taught filmmaker whom the author believes should be remembered alongside visionaries such as Alejandro Jodorowsky and Mario Bava.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Lordsloth on June 27, 2016, 02:41:46 PM
While I'm on vacation, I've been reading Road Trip, by Ross Payton.

Bought his book!  ;)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on June 27, 2016, 06:55:57 PM
So much research. So much. A sampling of my public library checked-out list:

Ancient and Medieval Siege Weapons
Beseiged : siege warfare in the ancient world
The Attack on Troy
The War that Killed Achilles
The Trojan War : a very short introduction
Rome and Jerusalem : the clash of ancient civilizations
Medieval Mercenaries
Leningrad : state of siege
Leningrad : the epic siege of World War II, 1941-1944
Leningrad, Hero City


Plus, my wife has begun reading The Iliad out loud to us after dinner each night. It's pretty great.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on June 27, 2016, 09:41:27 PM
Thematic Spoilers for Delta Green: God's Teeth 6 - God's Legs podcast below

Listen first! http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2016/06/genre/horror/delta-green-gods-teeth-gods-legs-episode-6/ (http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradio.com/2016/06/genre/horror/delta-green-gods-teeth-gods-legs-episode-6/)























Books mentioned:

The Sloan Men by David Nickle

Story: https://sites.google.com/site/davidnickle/thesloanmen (https://sites.google.com/site/davidnickle/thesloanmen)

Free audiobook narration from Pseudopod: http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/6/4/f/64fdc003d12f06cc/Pseudo092_TheSloanMen.mp3?c_id=2279861&expiration=1467081587&hwt=35d876a9d54078319dfcc7b4b88372f8 (http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/6/4/f/64fdc003d12f06cc/Pseudo092_TheSloanMen.mp3?c_id=2279861&expiration=1467081587&hwt=35d876a9d54078319dfcc7b4b88372f8)

La Morte Amoureuse or Clarimonde by Theophile Gautier

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/g/gautier/theophile/clarimonde/ (https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/g/gautier/theophile/clarimonde/)

The Spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0605651.txt (http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0605651.txt)

Discussion of HH Ewers work on Eldritch Dark forums http://www.eldritchdark.com/forum/read.php?1,4438,page=all (http://www.eldritchdark.com/forum/read.php?1,4438,page=all)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: KillItWithFire on June 28, 2016, 09:46:58 AM
I just started Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey. So far, it revolves around a nameless, injured, combat veteran protagonist, trying to cope with PTSD, doing a two year stint in a space-lighthouse, alone. So far, it's good stuff!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on June 29, 2016, 12:09:19 AM
Thanks Twisting H - posting that in the comments of that episode.

Also I am reading Big Machine, a novel recommended by Greg Stolze as inspiration for Unknown Armies. So far so good!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on July 05, 2016, 11:49:07 AM
Finishing  Laird Barron's Nanashi part 1. Holy hell if you like yakuza and mythos horror you should read it.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on July 05, 2016, 10:06:46 PM
Finishing  Laird Barron's Nanashi part 1. Holy hell if you like yakuza and mythos horror you should read it.

What is the title of the book?  Will read!

I'm reading NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.  Heart-Shaped Box was awesome, Horns was kinda lame, but NOS4A2 is basically Joe Hill's attempt at doing a supernatural behemoth like his dad (Stephen King).  And it's pretty great.



 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: constructacon on July 06, 2016, 12:19:05 AM
i just signed up for goodreads wondering who else is on. my profile

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57363858-jason-carter (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57363858-jason-carter)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on July 06, 2016, 05:57:44 PM
Finishing  Laird Barron's Nanashi part 1. Holy hell if you like yakuza and mythos horror you should read it.

Contrary opinion

I'm a big fan of Barron's early work (The Imago Sequence, Occultation, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All)

This is skipable in my opinion. A story about a Yakuza assassin who does a job and some weird things happen. Very short to it's detriment. More realistic/serious in tone than X's for Eyes or The Light Is The Darkness. Slightly better than those last two in my opinion but this story doesn't bring anything new or interesting to the table.

Barron has a habit of repeating themes and that is front and center here. 

To be frank there are a handful of stories in Children of the Old Leech by authors other than Barron that I recommend you read other than this.

However, in the back of the Kindle edition is an excerpt from "Blood and Stardust". If anyone remembers the movie AI one of the main problems with the movie is that the director constantly hits the viewer over the head with "this is a Pinocchio" story. "Blood and Stardust" is Barron's take on Frankenstein and it suffers from the same sin at least in this excerpt. However the main character and style is interesting enough with ideas that are new to Barron that the excerpt was very engaging. I want to read more of it. However given Barron's recent track record, if "Blood and Stardust" is short I imagine it may suffer from the lack of a compelling narrative and resolution as well. Time will tell.

Another caveat.  I still buy Barron's books even the ones I think are very sub par to support him.  I hope eventually he will have the inspiration/time/opportunity to create something novel again.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on July 06, 2016, 07:59:10 PM
It was the first of his books I'd read.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on July 07, 2016, 10:03:45 AM
You are are in luck!  Everything gets better from there!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on July 07, 2016, 09:33:03 PM
Good to know. I'm making progress in finding my niche when it comes to horror.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: f4stjack on July 08, 2016, 11:56:17 AM
Currently I am reading Bruce Sterling's Shaping things, omnibus of SCP archives and thanks to RPPR Actual Play, because they have piqued my interest on Eclipse Phase, the short story collection After the Fall.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 08, 2016, 04:04:22 PM
Reading another story from The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories.  This one is Bracelets, written by Katherine Brocklebank, the only woman (known) to have contributed to Black Mask magazine.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on July 08, 2016, 06:55:36 PM
Read the comic Renato Jones: The 1% today.

It's fantastic like if someone took Frank Miller's visual aesthetic and then got rid of all the problematic material.

It boils down to a masked vigilante punishing the rich and exploitative.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 09, 2016, 11:14:59 AM
Reading another story from The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories.  This one is Bracelets, written by Katherine Brocklebank, the only woman (known) to have contributed to Black Mask magazine.

I misread Brocklebank's blurb in the book.  There were other women published in Black Mask, but they all used initials or pseudonyms.  Brocklebank was the only woman to be published under her own name.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 17, 2016, 04:22:15 PM
Quote
But what a story he had to tell me, as one-pointed and resonant as any war story I ever heard, it took me a year to understand it:
"Patrol went up the mountain. One man came back. He died before he could tell us what happened."
I waited for the rest, but it seemed not to be that kind of story: when I asked him what had happened he just looked like he felt sorry for me, fucked if he'd waste time telling stories to anyone dumb as I was.

I'm almost finished Dispatches, Michael Herr's account of life as a combat correspondent in Vietnam.  I haven't read much of the 'New Journalism' of the 60's & 70's (even if you include Hunter S. Thompson) but this is the best that I've encountered.  Herr's prose is amazing, his insights cutting and his humour bitterly dark.  This is without a doubt the best book on (the American side of) the Vietnam war I've read.  This is one of the books that Full Metal Jacket was based on (Herr worked with Kubrick on the project) and if you're familiar with the movie you'll recognize a number of lines:
Quote
"How can you shoot women and children?" and he'd answered, "It's easy, you just don't lead 'em so much."

"Wow, Greene," he said "Greene was all fixed to get out.  He's jerkin' off thirty times a day, that fuckin' guy, and they's all set to give him a medical.  And out."
"That's no shit," the other one said.  "Thirty times a day.  Disgusting, man.  That sombitch had come all over his pants, that fuckin' Greene.  He was waitin' outside to see the major about gettin' sent home, an' the major comes out to find him an' he's just sittin' there jerkin' off.  Then he gets blown away the night before."

... but at least nobody under the rank of captain ever asked me whose side I was on, told me to get with the program, jump on the team, come in for the Big Win.

"Good mornin', little schoolgirl, I'm a li'l schoolboy too."
There's much more to the book than that, though, and I highly recommend it.  For a book covering such a dark subject in an often loquacious manner, I found it a very easy read and I'm rather sorry that I'll be finishing it soon.

I found out a couple of things when I started reading Dispatches: Firstly that Michael Herr passed away earlier this year, which makes me sorry that I didn't read this book earlier.  Secondly, I found out that Herr was friends with Stanley Kubrick and wrote a memoir, Kubrick, about their friendship and their collaboration on Full Metal Jacket; I'll have to find a copy of this now.

And finally, here's a photo of my latest book haul:

(https://c8.staticflickr.com/9/8568/28274140351_80424fc301_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/K5umSt)
I Spy, with My Little Eye, something That Begins With... "M" (https://flic.kr/p/K5umSt) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on July 18, 2016, 07:15:52 AM
Listening to The Quantum Thief. It's very good. It opens with a game theory prison.

Edit: This book is amazing! Post/Transhuman fights are really good and the prose is really great. A ton of gamable ideas in there too.

Makes me want to listen to what a More Space Opera RPPR game would be like.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 22, 2016, 02:26:20 PM
Just finishing:

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8860/27753384434_0072771416_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Jhtmhb)

It's a short bio/profile of Pierre Trudeau from 1968, shortly after he became prime minister.  I found it at a second-hand book store, and couldn't resist, particularly with his son now being our PM.  And it's a rather interesting look at Trudeau's history before most of the events he's most famous for today, as well as the early days of "Trudeaumania".

And here's my latest book haul:

(https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8618/28384621186_ce4daf7a26_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KffAYs)
I Spy, with My Little Eye, something That Begins With... "E" (https://flic.kr/p/KffAYs) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on July 24, 2016, 11:29:34 PM
I recently finished Big Machine by Victor LaValle (excellent) and I am working on Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross, which is quite fun.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: D6xD6 - Chris on July 25, 2016, 02:09:17 PM
Victor LaSalle is great; love how he inverts Lovecrafts racism to add that level of institutional horror
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 21, 2016, 07:09:42 PM
Recently finished a couple of books.

First, there's this:

(https://c5.staticflickr.com/9/8806/27897719084_b86cc3af68_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Jve6WC)

It's the catalogue/companion book for an exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 2002, which looks at images and ideas about 'cyborgs' in art, psychology, literature and cinema.  I first noticed this book because of the image on the cover: Fernand Léger's Le Mécanicien, a painting in our national gallerey's collection which I've known since I was a child (another piece that I've been fascinated with since childhood, Jacob Epstein's Torso in Metal from the 'Rock Drill', was also featured in the VAG exhibit).  The book has reproductions of, and commentary on, works from the early to late 20th century, from Lewis Hine's photos of factory workers, to the performance art of Stelarc and Survival Research Laboratories, to the pop art of Takashi Murakami and Mariko Mori.  There's also excerpts of psychological and literary works, Sigmund Freud's essay The Uncanny, Bruno Bettelheim's Joey: A "Mechanical Boy", Donna Haraway's A Manifesto for Cyborgs, and an excerpt from William Gibson's Neuromancer.  And of course, Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop feature in the discussion of the cyborg in cinema.

I thought it was an interesting look at attitudes, aspirations, hopes and fears about what we now call 'Transhumanism' over the past 100+ years.  I remember that when I first heard about 'Transhumanism', the first thing I thought of was Futurism, an early twentieth-century art movement obsessed with speed, technology, youth, and violence; so naturally I think it would be an appealing book for anyone interested in the subject.

Secondly, I picked up a load of books at an art book sale:

(https://c4.staticflickr.com/9/8795/28729980091_ae71308bb0_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KLLE9k) (https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8448/28701822322_5ed09c2a1f_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/KJhkPy)

And from that haul, I've read The Building of Castle Howard.  Castle Howard is one of the most famous of the English country houses, and played the role of Brideshead Castle in the early 80's TV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, a novel filled with nostalgia for the society and architecture of the past.  The Building of Castle Howard is a study of the political, social, financial and economic circumstances behind the house's construction, as well as an examination of the architecture, interior decoration & furnishings, and parks & gardens of the house.  I think the author sometimes goes a little far in trying to present the house and it's circumstances from the point of view of it's builders, privileging the eighteenth-century English nobility's rationales for their behaviour over modern sociological theories, but he at least trusts the reader enough to present both points of view, and even includes a rather piquante quote about the nature of early eighteenth-century English capitalism from E. P. Thompson.  An interesting book not just for a study of architectural aesthetics, but also for the wider context that is supplies.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Lordsloth on September 03, 2016, 05:21:02 PM
Just finished reading William Gibson's "Neuromancer". Very, uh... interesting! I'm sure for it's time it was groundbreaking and all. Also, Neil Gaiman's "Graveyard Book", which was pretty good for a  kids(?) book.

Just started reading another one of the Ravenloft D&D novels.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on September 04, 2016, 02:53:41 PM
Reading Last Days of the Incas, a book about the fall of the Incan empire. Conquistadors were monsters.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 04, 2016, 08:21:54 PM
Reading Last Days of the Incas, a book about the fall of the Incan empire. Conquistadors were monsters.

In that vein I recently finished Jungle of Stone, a great book detailing the exploits of John Lloyd Stevens and Frederick Catherwood - an American diplomat and a British illustrator - most notably their discovery of the Mayan civilization. It, too, details atrocities by the Spanish in the Americas.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on September 09, 2016, 09:24:15 PM
More Modern Mythos Writers


Free mythos story "Black Hills" by Orrin Grey that deals with prospecting for oil on a verboten place.

It is short, but hits that note of questioning what lies in the dark.

http://www.strixpublishing.com/black-hill/ (http://www.strixpublishing.com/black-hill/)

Excerpts:

"The digging didn't go easy. It seemed like every day, there was
something new went wrong. A storm come up and dropped
bucketfuls of hail on the whole field, blew a derrick over. Two of the
men got into it over something, and one pulled a knife and killed the
other. Three of the men took sick and couldn't work. Four more
vanished over the course of a week and weren't never found. And,
through it all, the pipe went down and down and down."

""I got no need ta tell you what oil is," he finally said, after we'd
drained most of the bottle. "Dead stuff. Rotted a thousand years,
pressed down by th' dirt. You know who th' first wildcatters in this
country consulted 'fore diggin'? Not geologists. Mediums.
Spiritualists. They knowed, even then. Hell, mebbe they knowed
better. Mebbe it's us has forgot."

"He stopped and raised his glass, only to find it empty. He sat it
back down and continued, without refilling it, "Somethin' dies an'
you put it down in th' dirt; it' don' disappear. It stays, forever. They's
not a place on this earth somethin' ain't died, where somethin' don'
lay buried. All this world's a boneyard an' us just ghouls crouched on
top, breakin' open tombs"

"I see ships as big a whales, plying the sea with bellies full of black blood.  I see a world of perpetual light and motion, powered by the unquiet dead."

---------------

From Peztopiary on Something Awful.

Quote from: Peztopiary" post="461844637
I'd never heard of Anders Fager (http://"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Fager"), he's a Swedish mythos writer. Being Swedish, most of his work isn't available in English. The only story I could find that is translated, The Furies From Boras (http://"http://www.gottick.com/img/sample/the_furies_from_boras_fager.pdf") is really well written. There's a Tor article about (http://"http://www.tor.com/2016/06/01/llovecraft-reread-anders-fager-furies-from-boras/") the story as well, if you like that kind of thing.

"The Furies From Boras" is certainly creepy.  Overall the plot is ... linear and predictable but well written.  Worth reading.

Evidently he also made a Lovecraftian related roleplaying game called "The Cult's World"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Fager (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Fager)

Quote
Anders Fager (born in Stockholm 1964) is a Swedish horror writer. After a career as an army officer and game designer he made his debut in 2009 with the short story collection Swedish Cults (Svenska kulter) that received a most favourable review in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter[1] and launched Fager's career as full-time writer. Fager writes modern urban horror in a style he has repeatedly described as ”what would happen if James Ellroy took on H.P. Lovecraft”. Set in present-day Sweden, his interconnected stories form a modern part of the Cthulhu mythos with entities such as Dagon and Hastur making appearances. Fager's fictional world, known as "The Cult's World", has been made into a role playing game and is also currently being turned into a graphic novel and a theartrical play.

Anders Fager lives in Stockholm. His other works includes role playing games, a children's book and work with TV and film scripts. His novel "Kaknäs Last Tape" is set in the postapocalyptic world of the role playing game Mutant - Year Zero.

Outside of Sweden, Fager has so far been published in Finland and France [2] and has been introduced in the British Lovecraftiana magazine Cyäegha.[3] A film version of Collected Swedish Cults is being developed by director-team Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein.[4][5]

Cyaegha is available here: http://www.freewebs.com/batglynn/cyaegha.htm (http://www.freewebs.com/batglynn/cyaegha.htm)

Quote
(Anders Fager) Bibliography
Swedish Cults (2009, Svenska kulter)
Collected Swedish Cults (2011; Samlade svenska kulter – An omnibus featuring the short stories from Swedish Cults as well as “Interspecies Liaisons” and ”You can not live”)
I Saw Her Today at the Reception (2012; Jag såg henne idag i receptionen)
Under the bridge at Arcole (2014; - Short story in Paradox Entertainment's anthology Europa Universalis)[9]
The Substitute Teacher from Hell (2014, Den elaka vikarien)
A Man of Wealth and Taste (2014, En man av Stil och Smak)
Kaknäs' last tape (2015, Kaknäs sista band)
Dirty Black Summer (2016, Smutsig svart sommar graphic novel adopted from The Furies from Borås)

If anyone knows if there are English translations of his work or the roleplaying game, please let me know.

------------

"The Litany of Earth" by Ruthanna Emrys

http://www.tor.com/2014/05/14/the-litany-of-earth-ruthanna-emrys/ (http://www.tor.com/2014/05/14/the-litany-of-earth-ruthanna-emrys/)

What if the Innsmouth Raid had actually happened and this started a World War?  What if the American government reacted to citizens with the Innsmouth Look by putting them into internment camps?

What happens after?

Stellar world building here.  Plot is above average.




Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 12, 2016, 05:11:14 PM
Swords v. Cthulhu, new release by Stoneskin Press and follow-up to their anthology Shotguns v. Cthulhu.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on September 19, 2016, 06:55:01 AM
Swords v. Cthulhu, new release by Stoneskin Press and follow-up to their anthology Shotguns v. Cthulhu.

Is it good?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on September 19, 2016, 06:57:51 AM
Comics, online and otherwise

Monstress by Image comics

https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/monstress-1 (https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/monstress-1)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstress_ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstress_)(comic_book)
Quote
Monstress is an epic fantasy comics series written by Marjorie Liu and drawn by Sana Takeda, published since 2015 by the American publisher Image Comics.

The series is set in a matriarchal "alternate Asia"[1] riven by war between the Arcanics, magical creatures who sometimes can pass for human, and the Cumea, an order of sorceresses who consume Arcanics to fuel their power. The main character, Maika, is an Arcanic who is set on learning more about, and avenging, her dead mother. According to Liu, among the series's themes are the inner strength required to withstand constant dehumanization, as well as the power of friendship among women.[1]

(http://i.imgur.com/rO9UqLx.jpg)

Yeah yeah whatever. They are missing the real story.  What Monstress does right is creating a sense of cosmic horror in an epic fantasy world.  I haven't seen a good example of this outside a meager few Conan stories, until now. 

Also if you ever wanted to know how to handle new WW2 esque new warfare in a fantasy world; Monstress, Eberron, and Perdido Street Station are the only examples I can think of.

(http://i.imgur.com/O3Hv4Js.jpg)

Art is great. Setting is super adult. World is brimming with details. Check it out.

(http://i.imgur.com/HnZzuFe.jpg)


--------------


Another find that has restored (temporarily) my interest in comics is Kill Six Billion Demons.
http://killsixbilliondemons.com/ (http://killsixbilliondemons.com/)

(http://i.imgur.com/yp3AQZJ.jpg)

I'm betting most of you already know this. But for you gents late to the party like myself, sincerely this was worth reading.  It is a mystical world-building fever dream at it's finest. William S. Burroughs would nod approvingly then grab whatever the writer is smoking.

(http://i.imgur.com/TGAO53v.jpg)

Public transit blows no matter what dimension you are in.

(http://i.imgur.com/IQU1EkY.jpg)

When angels go bad (?) they get awesome. You can hear the guitar riff coming off of this image.

(http://i.imgur.com/LoPYEst.jpg)

Along with jaw dropping visuals and kaleidoscopic creativity is a serious and deep re-inventing of Indian and Asian religious myths.

http://killsixbilliondemons.wikia.com/wiki/Kill_Six_Billion_Demons (http://killsixbilliondemons.wikia.com/wiki/Kill_Six_Billion_Demons)

Quote
Kill Six Billion Demons draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, Lovecraft, video games, fiction, and ancient Greek gnosticism. For example YISUN's appearance is distinctly Hindu, his teachings reflect the 36 Lessons of Vivec from the Elder Scrolls series of games, while the concept of demiurges comes from gnostic tradition. Abbadon has listed Moebius, Geof Darrow, James Stokoe, Sheldon Vella, and Noriyoshi Ohrai as his top five influences.

Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: PirateLawyer on September 19, 2016, 12:28:25 PM
Swords v. Cthulhu, new release by Stoneskin Press and follow-up to their anthology Shotguns v. Cthulhu.

Is it good?

Yes.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on October 02, 2016, 11:24:59 AM

Mike Minnis

The exceptional modern Mythos writer whom time forgot.

Sometime in the late 90s, a German gentleman by the name of Mike Minnis took pen to paper. What flowed was a heady distillate of cosmic horror in the architecture of a fictional craftsman.  He published 40-odd short stories hither and yon about the burgeoning internet, mostly at small congregations of weird fiction devotees with names like “thousandyoung.net”, “netherreal.de” and “nightscapes”. 

Unfortunately the internet does what it is wont to do.  These sites collapsed and disappeared somewhere in the mid 2000s.  I had searched for them a decade ago, and could not find hide nor hair.   I read a rumor that Minnis was a casualty of the Iraq war (untrue).  Perhaps there was a conspiracy against the Lovecraftian sites then?  Well no, unless you consider the economics of the dot-com bust a Majestic 12 invention. 

However we all know the dread couplet. That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons, even death may die.

I found a post on good old Ligotti's forums.    Thanks to those fans of weird fiction and the Internet Wayback Machine I was able to recover the full text of ten of his stories.  I have copied them to pdf, and for the sake of convenience I have posted them to a file sharing service for download. As a disclaimer, I am not benefiting financially from this in any way.  I have simply consolidated the pdfs so that more fans of weird fiction can discover and enjoy this great author’s work.

Let Him Rise

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/t6792v35951vg/Mike_Minnis_Wayback_Machine_Archive (https://www.mediafire.com/folder/t6792v35951vg/Mike_Minnis_Wayback_Machine_Archive)

What will you encounter therein? A range of times and fictional voices fitting the pervasive scope of Lovecraft's Mythos. I Walk the World's Black Rim is a Beowulf retelling.  Knuckerhole a story of England during the blitz and good neighbors. After all, the Whateley came from somewhere. Bones of a Toad brings the harshness of Medieval life to the center stage.

One caveat friend, as I stay thy hand from the dread tome: read Shadow Over InnsmouthThe Dunwitch Horror and The Thing on the Doorstep first.  Necessary? No, but enlightening along the path in the dark.

If you like  Mike Minnis' work, just give the man $2 for the kindle edition of Your Poisoned Dreams, a collection of ten Mythos short stories.  At that price it is an absurd steal.   Right now it's even cheaper than that because of an Amazon sale.

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Poisoned-Dreams-Horror-Stories-ebook/dp/B00JPBN0DO (https://www.amazon.com/Your-Poisoned-Dreams-Horror-Stories-ebook/dp/B00JPBN0DO)


When the above was posted on Something Awful, here was a response:

Quote from: 'Better Fred Than Dead'

Thanks for this. "I walk the world's black rim "fucking ruled. I don't think the spoiler is really a spoiler since its what actually pushed me to read it. Awesome stuff.
...
The question of who is the true monster, I'm spoiling now : I walk the black rim is a retelling of beowulf, is a similar question raised in John Gardners 1984 Grendel. It's a first person, very contemporary take on beowulf from grendels perspective and while not horror, I highly recommend
...
I also wanna reiterate, dumbass Mike is literally only earning 69 cents per purchase on that kindle collection cause the mother fucker is selling below the 70% 2.99 threshold


Enjoy, dear reader.

And if you like it, for the love of the Old Ones leave an Amazon review.  I can't imagine how an author of this caliber felt after walking away from his 40 odd stories.  He deserves a return from essential salts.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on October 04, 2016, 07:33:22 PM
Speaking of reading, what subreddits do you guys recommend for Cosmic / Weird fiction and Cthulhu games?

I've found:
- callofcthulhu
- cosmichorror
- cosmichorrorfiction
- cthulhu
- deltagreenrpg
- horrorlit
- lovecraft
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on October 04, 2016, 09:25:01 PM
https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/)

they have compilations in ebook format available of their best stories.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on October 06, 2016, 01:04:21 AM
That's a fantastic idea. /tg/ should do that. Thanks for the recommendation Ross!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Voodooman43 on November 19, 2016, 12:25:41 PM
Havn't had a bunch of time to read as of late due to school and work, but recently borrowed Blood Meridian from a friend and I find it excellent. The maelstrom of violence in the book coupled with McCarthy's amazing use of imagery really captures the imagination in a dark way.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 19, 2016, 01:03:32 PM
Havn't had a bunch of time to read as of late due to school and work, but recently borrowed Blood Meridian from a friend and I find it excellent. The maelstrom of violence in the book coupled with McCarthy's amazing use of imagery really captures the imagination in a dark way.

Blood Meridian is super good. It still baffles me that people keep trying to film it.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on November 19, 2016, 08:19:31 PM
Picked up the new fancy printing of the BLAME manga. Great inspiration for cyberpunk and SF stuff. Takes a while to get used to the limited dialogue.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on November 28, 2016, 02:30:27 AM
Just finished Invisible Cities. Excellent! I will have to read it again next year.

Picked up 14 by Peter Cline. Architectural spookiness!
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on November 28, 2016, 05:25:48 PM
Reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. A copy of the original 1845 first edition, courtesy of our library archives. Frederick Douglass himself could have held this book in his hands.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Gorkamorka on December 05, 2016, 04:03:38 AM
I'm reading The Hanging Tree (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21479290-the-hanging-tree).  The 6th book in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch.

It's Harry Dresden (Dresden files) if it was a British police procedural.  These are fucking fantastic.  Full of British humor, magic, crime and good old blowing stuff up.  Can't recommend them enough.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on December 05, 2016, 11:54:51 AM
I didn't think I could be more freaked out by puppets but I was wrong. Which is to say I've read the first couple and should really get round to reading the rest of them.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on December 31, 2016, 01:22:00 PM
I haven't posted to this thread in months, but goodreads is displaying my year in books (https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016/25827301), so I thought I'd post a little update here.

I've had some disappointments since my last post in August: I started reading The Sinful Stars: Tales of the Fading Suns and I guess I'm just not that into space opera.  I put the book down in the middle of a story full of space nobles telling each other how awesome they were, and I don't think I'll be picking it up again.  I also started reading a collection of horror stories in October, 41 Strange, and almost immediately dropped it.  Terrible writing, apparently this collection won an award?  I don't understand how.

But most of the books I read in the past four months have been better, though.  Two stand outs were: Tadeusz Borowski's This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, a collection of short stories based on Borowski's experiences in Auschwitz and Dachau.  The subject matter is obviously quite difficult, but the quality of Borowski's writing ("spare, brutal prose", to quote another reveiwer) made it an excellent read.  And one of my other favourite reads of the year was Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man, about the fraudulent idea of "IQ" as a single, quantifiable, measure of human mental ability, with a short history of the origins of "IQ" testing (it was not originally meant to be a measure of "intelligence") and it's consequences, as well as a brief but informative history of earlier methods of measuring human "intelligence".  The copy I have is a revised edition published in response to The Bell Curve, a piece of scientific racism from the mid-nineties.  The truly terrible part of "IQ" and other such pseudo-scientific measures of human worth is that they all, inevitably, are used in support of racism, xenophobia and classism; and on that note, I'd like to end with this quote:

“We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.”
― Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on December 31, 2016, 08:29:42 PM
At a young age I always thought IQ was at the very least elitist. Guess I was right.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: TRNSHMN on January 07, 2017, 04:10:51 AM
I feel the need to speak up for IQ. While it is not as the name would suggest a metric to measure a person's intelligence, nebulous and hard to pin down a concept that is. it is still a useful metric, especially when appraising developmental state and by extension disorders of it. It gives a rough idea of useful everyday abilities like pattern recognition, mathematical sense, spatial reasoning etc. as well as more subjective elements like vocabulary. This necessarily also means IQ tests need to be age and culture specific and also carefully investigated, because each test and each edition of those tests needs to be examined and experimented with to see how well they work. Not all IQ tests are equally well made or useful and it's always a good idea to be suspicious of any claims based on their results, but they have their uses.

More on topic, just picking up Hanging Tree as well. Hopefully it'll be worth the wait.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on January 07, 2017, 06:11:07 PM
it is still a useful metric, especially when appraising developmental state and by extension disorders of it. It gives a rough idea of useful everyday abilities like pattern recognition, mathematical sense, spatial reasoning etc. as well as more subjective elements like vocabulary.

This is a description of the Binet Scale.  Alfred Binet developed a series of tests, and method of measuring of the results, for the French Ministry of Education to help them identify students who needed help.  Binet never called his tests "I.Q." tests, and cautioned against using his tests as a measure of inherent mental ability.  It was H.H. Goddard (an American eugenicist who believed that mental ability was wholly genetic) who brought Binet's system to the U.S. under the name "I.Q. Test" as a method to test immigrants (but only those who arrived third class) for "feeble-mindedness" and deport them. 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on January 07, 2017, 06:56:17 PM
Last book I finished was Black Orchid (Comic) by Neil Gaiman. Very good if you want inspiration for Unknown Armies and similar.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on January 08, 2017, 03:04:06 AM
Just read the first 2 volumes of the new printing of Blame! - it's an amazing sci-fi manga that is very Eclipse Phasey.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on January 09, 2017, 01:24:23 AM
Their so good! I need to read it some more. Have you seen the new Humble Bundle?

www.humblebundle.com/books/science-fiction-manga-book-bundle?utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=Science_Fiction_Manga_Announce&utm_medium=Link (http://www.humblebundle.com/books/science-fiction-manga-book-bundle?utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=Science_Fiction_Manga_Announce&utm_medium=Link)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on January 09, 2017, 01:45:07 AM
yeah I saw it but I already have the print versions so I don't need the bundle.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Zombieneighbours on January 15, 2017, 05:18:06 PM
Just finished predictably irrational.


And I am sort of out of stuff I want to read...

Considering where to go next...

In the mean time I am just sort making my way through some of the pathfinder tales books to keep myself from retreading old ground.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Zombieneighbours on January 15, 2017, 05:25:10 PM
IQ and the medical model basically save my life.

I am very seriously dyslexic.

Having a metric like IQ that can be broken down internally, meant that educational psychologists where able to demonstrate that I was not just dumb.

Being able to say look there very significant difference between his actual IQ and the IQ he would have if his reading and writing skills sat at the same level as the rest of the elements that make up IQ.

That evidence  forced the local education authority to pay for special needs schooling, which is basically the only reason we can have this little chat.

IQ is a useful tool.   
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on January 15, 2017, 06:08:18 PM
Now that I think about it I probably have more of a problem with MENSA...

Reading a book about economics called Adapt. It's mainly about developing structures that allow for failure.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on January 16, 2017, 05:42:45 PM
Finished rereading Ancillary Justice over the weekend. Probably not going to have a chance to start Ancillary Mercy until next week though.
Still working my way through The Real and the Unreal too.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Zombieneighbours on January 18, 2017, 05:54:24 PM
Finished rereading Ancillary Justice over the weekend. Probably not going to have a chance to start Ancillary Mercy until next week though.
Still working my way through The Real and the Unreal too.

I found Justice to be by far the strongest of the three.

I liked what Ann Leckie was trying to do in Sword and Mercy, but I felt that it was less well executed than in Justice.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: constructacon on February 07, 2017, 06:14:35 AM
i just finished Warlock Holmes: a Study in Brimstone https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26150538-warlock-holmes---a-study-in-brimstone (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26150538-warlock-holmes---a-study-in-brimstone)
it is a fantastic reworking of Sherlock Holmes as a warlock of some power. combine it with a few of the tales bordering on Mythos and it is great fodder for inspiration of all sorts 
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on February 10, 2017, 07:00:49 PM
Reading the 37th Parallel, a book about a UFOlogist on his quest to find the truth.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on February 12, 2017, 08:01:22 PM
www.dccomics.com/comics/the-wild-storm-2017/the-wild-storm-1 (http://www.dccomics.com/comics/the-wild-storm-2017/the-wild-storm-1)

http://comicsalliance.com/dc-wildstorm-warren-ellis-pop-up-imprint/
 (http://comicsalliance.com/dc-wildstorm-warren-ellis-pop-up-imprint/)
Don't know if this goes here but I have been obsessing over the the character designs for the Wildstorm superhero universe reboot by Warren Ellis The Wild Storm.

Also I'm about half way through my second reading of planetary.

Edit: On a more highbrow note Audible informs me that John Darnielle book is out too.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: TRNSHMN on March 01, 2017, 06:14:06 AM
Just finished Big Machine last night. Have mixed feelings about it. Some parts I was completely sucked in by, others I appreciated on a more distant level, but the core plot was somewhat...thin, I guess? And a lot of build-up for not too much, and a vague ending. The semi-autobiographical nature shows, because the parts inspired by real life are much more powerful, while the the rest feel less thought through. Overall, worth a read, but not going in my favorites.

Anyone got an interesting recent urban fantasy/horror recommendation?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on March 12, 2017, 07:05:47 PM
Couple of books I've recently read:

Sarah Hyndman's Why Fonts Matter (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28922625-why-fonts-matter), a book about fonts directed at the general public rather than graphic designers.  Hyndman looks at peoples' emotional responses to fonts, using the language of feeling, taste, texture, sound, etc. to describe fonts.  It's an accessible book for "font consumers" to think about how they interact with the fonts that typically surround them every day; and for graphic designers, a useful exercise in walking in the shoes of the general public.

Juan Williams' Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/169355.Eyes_on_the_Prize), the companion book for a 1980's PBS documentary of the same name.  Williams looks at a specific and rather monumental period in the American civil rights movement, from the Brown v. the Board of Education case to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.  I was broadly familiar with the history before reading this book, but getting the details laid out in chronological order was quite helpful.  And it was rather ironic --today-- to be reading a book about the American civil rights movement that ends with the signing of the Voting Rights Act.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on March 12, 2017, 07:55:39 PM
IQ and the medical model basically save my life.

I am very seriously dyslexic.

Having a metric like IQ that can be broken down internally, meant that educational psychologists where able to demonstrate that I was not just dumb.

Being able to say look there very significant difference between his actual IQ and the IQ he would have if his reading and writing skills sat at the same level as the rest of the elements that make up IQ.

That evidence  forced the local education authority to pay for special needs schooling, which is basically the only reason we can have this little chat.

IQ is a useful tool.   

Well, again, that sort of testing is not what Gould was arguing against.  Gould was very much in favour of educators identifying students who need help, and getting them the help they need.  What The Mismeasure of Man argues against is the idea that a person's intellectual worth can be measured with a single number (called "I.Q.", "General Intelligence" & "G" by various people) and that that number is inherent and not affected by environment or educational circumstances.  This concept of intelligence has been, and continues to be, used to dismiss individuals and groups of people as inherently "unintelligent" and undeserving of the basic opportunities to succeed that others are granted without question.

Here's another example of the inequities that this concept of "intelligence" has been used to justify:  For decades in Britain, children were tested at the age of 11 for "General Intelligence" and on the results of those tests they were sent on to either grammar school (to prepare them for a university), technical school (to learn a trade) or modern school (to prepare for a life in the service industry).  The grammar schools received more funding per student than the other schools, and their students typically went on the university and much more prestigious, high-paying jobs.  Trade & modern school students weren't offered the classes required for university entrance, and had to work harder than grammar school students to get into university.  In addition, when the baby boom generation began to enter secondary schools, the requirements to enter grammar school were raised in order to keep budgets down, increasing the inequity of the British education system.

Now, under that sort of regime, how do you think you would have fared?  Do you think that you would have gotten the help you needed? or do you think you would have been told that you were "just dumb" and sent on to a life in the trades or service industry?
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: constructacon on March 15, 2017, 04:12:50 AM
i just finished listening to Super Powered on Audible, it's a great superhero inspired game that gets you thinking about the side effects and other sides of being someone with powers. it's got a large cast of main characters so be prepared for that but all in all if your running anything with superpowers its good fodder for ideas in addition to being an all around good book. anywho buring the lead here, i found out that it started life as a web novel so i thought i would share the link here for all to enjoy.

http://www.drewhayesnovels.com/superpowereds/ (http://www.drewhayesnovels.com/superpowereds/)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on March 16, 2017, 02:47:01 AM
Working my way through Universal Harvester So far, so good.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on March 19, 2017, 05:11:24 PM
Sarah Hyndman's Why Fonts Matter (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28922625-why-fonts-matter), a book about fonts directed at the general public rather than graphic designers.  Hyndman looks at peoples' emotional responses to fonts, using the language of feeling, taste, texture, sound, etc. to describe fonts.  It's an accessible book for "font consumers" to think about how they interact with the fonts that typically surround them every day; and for graphic designers, a useful exercise in walking in the shoes of the general public.

Oh, and I've got a bit of a font anecdote:  Hyndman talked about the fonts on consumer products a lot, and their role in conveying the product's identity and invoking feelings in consumers.  In the late seventies, Canada's biggest grocery store chain decided to create a line of low-price, generic, "non-brand" products in response to consumer complaints about rising food prices.  The brand was called "no name" and featured very simple packaging that went against the consumer product design trends of the time: plain yellow packages with black, lowercase lettering for the product name.  And the font? Helvetica, of course.  Within a decade of it's launch, no name became the most popular brand of groceries and household products in Canada.  The line was recently re-launched with a return to the original packaging style in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and I realized while I was reading Hyndman's book that a lot of the products in my kitchen are no name brand.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on April 30, 2017, 04:49:39 PM
Found these at the 'Buck-a-Book Sale' at All Saints' Anglican Church Westboro*.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2842/33525297694_d40edd271d_b.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/T5vV13)
Book Haul (https://flic.kr/p/T5vV13) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

*That's a neighbourhood in Ottawa, no connection to that church.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on May 01, 2017, 05:52:45 PM
Bad Days in History (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33267345-bad-days-in-history): A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year

And you thought you were having a bad day.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Telivan on May 08, 2017, 02:29:24 PM
Recently finished reading through the web serial Worm (https://parahumans.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/1-1/) by Wildbow. Fantastic story about a teenage girl becoming a supervillain.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: comfortN01se on June 14, 2017, 11:30:56 PM
Stolze's "YOU" and Harris & Maymi's "All in one CISSP Exam Guide" (It's riveting....)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on June 18, 2017, 07:32:42 PM
Just finished Killer in the Rain (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7031433-killer-in-the-rain), a collection of Raymond Chandler's short stories originally published in pulp magazines like Black Mask, and never republished in his lifetime.  An interesting book for fans of Chandler and the hardboiled genre in general.

Unlike the stories reprinted in The Simple Art of Murder, Chandler had "cannibalized" the stories in Killer in the Rain for plots and characters which he re-used in full-length novels like The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely and The Lady in the Lake.  Chandler felt uneasy about allowing stories he had "cannibalized" see the light of day again, and so they weren't republished until after his death in 1959.

Comparing these short stories to his novels gives an interesting look at Chandler's technique.  Chandler combined the plots from multiple short stories into each novel and "blew up" many passages (the description of the orchid house in The Curtain is 42 words long, while in The Big Sleep it's 82 words), and the results are much more verbose & convoluted.  The comparison is an interesting counterpoint to Dashiell Hammett's novelization of The Maltese Falcon; in that case, Hammett took his original serialized story and pared it down to the core, removing scenes and entire characters which don't meaningfully contribute to the story.

And though it's been a few years since I read them, I honestly don't recall there being as much racism in Chandler's novels as there is in these short stories, Try the Girl and Mandarin's Jade are particularly bad.  And I also discovered that Chandler did write a story with German & Japanese spies in it (awful stories featuring Japanese spies were a staple of American pulps during the war).
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Twisting H on June 18, 2017, 08:49:34 PM
Cthulhu Lies Dreaming: Twenty-three Tales of the Weird and Cosmic is being advertised on Ken Hite's twitter as just ONE FREAKING DOLLAR on Amazon Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Cthulhu-Lies-Dreaming-Twenty-three-Cosmic-ebook/dp/B01C1LCTZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497631607&sr=8-1&keywords=cthulhu+lies+dreaming (https://www.amazon.com/Cthulhu-Lies-Dreaming-Twenty-three-Cosmic-ebook/dp/B01C1LCTZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497631607&sr=8-1&keywords=cthulhu+lies+dreaming)

So I'm taking the plunge. That cheap cheap plunge.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: trinite on June 19, 2017, 10:41:54 PM
Speaking of horror anthologies, in the course of our move I rediscovered American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny, Volume 2: 1940-today (https://www.loa.org/books/310-american-fantastic-tales-terror-and-the-uncanny-from-poe-to-now-boxed-set).

Read a couple stories in there that I hadn't before, a Jeff VanderMeer piece called "The General Who is Dead" and a Joyce Carol Oates tale called "Family" that was...just extremely weird and unsettling in its narrative opacity. Highly recommended. I really need to get Volume 1, though I suspect I'll have read more of the stories from that period before.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on July 31, 2017, 06:44:28 PM
Just finished Chelsea Vowel's Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30181589-indigenous-writes), a collection of essays about issues between Indigenous peoples and Settlers* in Canada.  This book is basically a primer on the many issues that Indigenous peoples in Canada have to deal with every day, rather than an exhaustive study of Indigenous issues.  These issues are organized into five categories: The Terminology of Relationships; Culture and Identity; Myth-Busting; State Violence; and Land, Learning, Law, and Treaties.  There have been volumes of in-depth analysis of the issues touched on in Indigenous Writes written, and Chelsea Vowel provides copious notes for anyone interested in further reading on these subjects.  For readers new to this discussion, this book is an excellent starting point; and through the bibliographical notes, it's a great jumping off point for more in-depth reading.  If you've been following Canadian media lately you may have heard something about issues like: residential schools; missing and murdered Indigenous women; Indigenous land rights; cultural appropriation; and others.  These issues aren't going to go away (anymore than Indigenous peoples are) so I urge my fellow Settlers to start reading up on the subject if you haven't already.

And in the latest episode of After Hours, Adam Scott Glancy mentioned Libya's war with Chad and the "Toyota War", which reminded me of a book I read a while ago: Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991 (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/556030.Arabs_at_War).  Written by a former CIA analyst, this book is an analysis of the conventional military forces** of six Arab countries, including Libya.  The chapter on Libya is particularly fascinating: the entire chapter is 67 pages long, and the section The War for Chad, 1978-87 is 38 pages of that!  Not counting analysis & conclusions, it's broken down into five parts: The First Libyan Intervention, 1978; The Second Libyan Intervention, 1979; The Third Libyan Intervention, 1980-81; The Fourth Libyan Intervention, 1983-86; and Libya's Defeat, 1986-87 (this is the Toyota War).  The book is an interesting look at warfare in the Arab world during the cold war era and if you're writing say, an RPG or wargame scenario set in that time and place, I'd recommend it for research material.

*a term covered in the first part of the book: Terminology of Relationships
**the author specifically points out that Arab terrorist and insurgent forces are outside of the scope of this book
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: clockworkjoe on August 02, 2017, 01:01:23 AM
Yeah, obscure wars are a deep well of gameable ideas. I wouldn't be surprised if Glancy had a few Toyota War scenario ideas.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 02, 2017, 09:12:44 AM
And I just noticed this book supposedly coming from Osprey next year: Technicals: Non-Standard Tactical Vehicles from the Toyota War to modern Special Forces (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Technicals-Non-Standard-Tactical-Vehicles-Vanguard/dp/147282251X).  Something to put next to my copy of Vietnam Gun Trucks (https://ospreypublishing.com/vietnam-gun-trucks). :)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Alethea on August 02, 2017, 06:00:51 PM
Just started reading my new copy of Monster Hearts 2
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 20, 2017, 12:07:07 PM
Also, how many of us are on GoodReads? Come friend me, I friend back: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin)

There's a link to my goodreads profile in my sig.

And I changed my sig a little while ago and removed that link, so here it is for anyone interested: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/25827301-bryan-rombough (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/25827301-bryan-rombough)
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on August 21, 2017, 10:08:11 AM
Part way through New Tales of the Yellow Sign. The Repairman is great and it made me glad I backed the Kickstarter for the Yellow King RPG. Remembered that I haven't finished listening to Chamber's original shorts so I'm going to go back to finish that soon.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on November 12, 2017, 01:53:44 PM
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4532/38335914602_d14eea581e_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/21pBzNS)
Book Haul (https://flic.kr/p/21pBzNS) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

Another 'Buck-a-Book Sale' at All Saints' Anglican Church, Westboro.  The pickings were a little slim this time, but I've now bought dozens of books at their sales and only read one so far.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on November 19, 2017, 06:44:23 PM
Just finished A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21158587-a-primate-s-memoir), the personal memoir of Robert M. Sapolsky's summers spent studying a baboon troop in Kenya from the late 70's to the late 90's.  The book is mostly personal anecdotes about the baboons & other wildlife, local people he met & worked with and other personal adventures & misadventures.  It's not an academic book, Sapolsky doesn't describe his studies in much depth, but what he does mention is rather interesting.  When Sapolsky first set out to study baboons, he was looking for support for a theory which was rather controversial at the time: the theory that stress can affect one's health, and that constant stress can impact long-term health, which was not a widely accepted idea in the late 70's.

I've also just started reading The Hanging Of Angelique (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1175144.The_Hanging_Of_Angelique), the story of an enslaved woman convicted of starting the Montréal fire of 1734, allegedly to cover her attempted escape from slavery.  Angelique's story was summarized in Canada's Forgotten Slaves: Two Hundred Years of Bondage, a book I've mentioned earlier in this thread, and I'm looking forward to learning more about her story.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: Adam_Autist on November 20, 2017, 01:27:52 PM
Audible finally released Asher's first few Polity books so I've been getting my space opera on. Also James Swallow's Nomad is good for Night's Black Agents inspiration. Rucka still continues to do the best version of airport techno-thrillers for me though.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on December 26, 2017, 11:27:38 AM
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4592/25444029338_3f8853a983_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/ELpit1)
Christmas Books (https://flic.kr/p/ELpit1) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

Already started two of them.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on January 26, 2018, 04:33:09 PM
Visited the Canadian Centre for Architecture today, they have a bookstore:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4743/25043367787_16dceb7f91_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/E9ZNKe)
CCA Loot: Bag #1 (https://flic.kr/p/E9ZNKe) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4617/39915029361_934a865932_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/23P9XBp)
CCA Loot: Bag #2 (https://flic.kr/p/23P9XBp) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on February 04, 2018, 12:59:22 PM
Read the first two volumes of Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics (didn't know there was a third, I'll have to pick that up soon).  It's a funny little piece of Star Trek licensing history produced by the publishers of Gerry Anderson-series comics adaptations, for an audience of British children.  There's a lot of "wonky" elements to the comics:  The writers and artists only saw one episode of the show before producing their first several months of work, so Kirk is refered to as "Kurt" in the first few serialised stories, and a character who only appeared in that one episode (The Corbomite Maneuver) appeared as a regular member of the bridge crew for months.  There's also a lot of other oddities that come from the British writers & artists:  The proliferation of very "Gerry Anderson-esque" vehicles and machines, the crew using a lot of British colloquialisms and the crew generally behaving more like early 20th-century British navy officers than Roddenberry's idealised, egalitarian starfleet officers.  Many of the stories fall short of Roddenberry's vison for Star Trek (even moreso than the TV series), but for the most part it's a fun alternate take on Star Trek, with some great art (Harry F. Lindfield's work is particularly gorgeous).

I also recently read Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34649348-the-marrow-thieves), an apocalyptic YA novel about an Indigenous youth living through an environmental apocalypse and genocide.  I don't normally read YA novels, but this one had won some awards and was written by a Métis author, so I gave it a try.  It's not bad, but I think YA still isn't my cup of tea.

And I've started reading Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11994903-indian-horse), the story of a residential school survivor, written by a residential school survivor.  This book has been sitting on one of my bookshelves for a while, ever since a relative of mine tried and failed to read it and gave it to me, but I was prompted to finally pick it up when I heard that there's a movie adaptation coming out this year.  The descriptions of life in a residential school are horrific, but I was braced for them by having already been exposed to stories of what went on in those places, and that setting isn't the whole of the novel.  Despite the terribly depressing nature of the subject matter, Wagamese's writing is beautiful and moving, and I'm quite enjoying this book.
Title: Re: What are you reading?
Post by: CADmonkey on August 11, 2018, 07:36:45 AM
Visiting Montréal again, and buying books.

First, I went to see “From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-Face Picasso, Past and Present” and “Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art” at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.  Picked these up at the exhibit bookstore:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/938/42161226700_35c8a76f7b_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/27eDiPJ)
MMoFA Book Haul (https://flic.kr/p/27eDiPJ) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

Second, there was my usual excursion to the Canadian Centre for Architecture bookstore:

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1820/29031945227_f10f06cf90_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/LesiRM)
CCA Book Haul - Books (https://flic.kr/p/LesiRM) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1814/42161228120_e05f9a91a7_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/27eDjfd)
CCA Book Haul - Magazines & Typography (https://flic.kr/p/27eDjfd) by Bryan Rombough (https://www.flickr.com/photos/38593597@N05/), on Flickr