Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 192586 times)

CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #75 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.  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.
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The Lost Carol

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #76 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.
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trinite

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #77 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:
  • Fritz Leiber's Lankhmarstories, with Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. Just finished the first collected volume, Swords and Deviltry, which includes the origin story prequels. It's a lot funnier and more entertaining than I expected!
  • Robert E. Howard's most cosmic Conan story, The Tower of the Elephant.
  • The first of C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry stories, featuring a very cool female protagonist and some truly weird fantasy world building.
  • Everything else in the Sword & Sorcery Anthology edited by David G. Hartwell and Jacob Weisman, published in 2012 by Tachyon. It seems to be a great anthology full of top names, and I'm especially looking forward to the Gene Wolfe and Ramsey Campbell stories.

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.
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TMayesing78

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #78 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.)

D6xD6 - Chris

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #79 on: May 29, 2015, 07:25:53 AM »
I just plowed through Ex-Heroes by Peter Cline.  Zombie apocalypse + super heroes = WIN. 



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. 

crawlkill

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #80 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.

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #81 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

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?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 07:58:43 PM by clockworkjoe »

Zombieneighbours

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #82 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!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 04:48:14 AM by Zombieneighbours »

Thorn

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #83 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.

D6xD6 - Chris

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #84 on: June 28, 2015, 11:05:02 AM »


Cherie Priest is really good.  Daniel Boone fighting a frightening beastie is all sorts of awesome.

Twisting H

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #85 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

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

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.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 11:56:28 PM by Twisting H »

Zombieneighbours

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #86 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.

Twisting H

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #87 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

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

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://www.historicalcrimedetective.com/the-blackburn-cult/
« Last Edit: July 04, 2015, 05:56:55 PM by Twisting H »

CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #88 on: July 05, 2015, 03:30:47 PM »


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!
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The Lost Carol

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #89 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.
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