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comment by Trombone
Trombone  ·  925 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski's intermittent, inconsistent, posted whenever, by whoever, bookthread

I'm trying to find the time to finish Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson at some point. After that, I plan to move on to the Wheel of Time series. Maybe once I finish with that the next Game of Thrones book will have come out...

I've also recently picked up beginner's books in Russian, French, and Python (the programming language, I'm not gonna speak snake) and would like to delve into them; again, when the time presents itself.

kleinbl00  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I paused Red Mars to get through this monster. I made it to Book 8. Will finish the other 3 next season. Recently started Red Mars again. Maaaaaaaaaan that shit be talky.

I picked it up because I enjoyed the idea of The Years of Rice and Salt. That was before I read 40-odd books on the history of the world in general and the middle east in general. I'm curious how I'll regard it when I try it again.

Trombone  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It totals four million words across nearly 10,000 pages, but is incomplete
Oh god.

Red Mars is super talky, yeah. Robinson's specialty is "hard" fiction so whatever he writes has excruciating detail. I actually don't mind it when he gets into the weeds with the descriptions, though (like that bit where he describes how they make the bricks for the first permanent hab- captivating), because I'm in the sciences so I'm always asking, "How did they do that?" He actually answers my questions most of the time, and I appreciate that even if the writing is dry. Never read The Years of Rice and Salt but I'd imagine it's got many of the same hallmarks.

kleinbl00  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My problem with Robinson is exactly the opposite - it's when he burns an entire chapter describing his alternate sociological theory involving the four humours just fucking because or spends three chapters retreading the exact same love triangle without resolving anything or doing the JRR Tolkien "list ALL THE THINGS" approach to burning wordcount by rattling off everything in the hold in alphabetical fucking order.

There's an impressive array of engineers and physicists who write science fiction. To no one's surprise, they geek out on the science rather a lot. That's fine. That's appropriate. What drives me to distraction is where they go "I understand fluid mechanics, therefore I can postulate a one-world government without needing to understand the first fucking thing about human dynamics" aspects that bug the shit out of me.

I was gonna buy a used Easton Press copy of the Durant books. Then in surfing around on eBay I found Gore Vidal's copy. Should be here by Friday.

ThurberMingus  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    or doing the JRR Tolkien "list ALL THE THINGS" approach to burning wordcount

The last time I read the Lord of the Rings was when the last minute came out in '03. I was in middle school then, so my memory of it is vague, but I remember thinking Tolkien was probably the greatest writer ever.

I'm curious for your opinion if him, as a well read contrast to my middle school memories.

kleinbl00  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My fundamental issue with Tolkien is that I expect to see Pooh or Christopher Robin emerge from the bushes at any minute. The style of writing is just so... twee. And he's in the weeds a lot. Most fantasy writers are. But when we're talking fantasy, it's not the way I would have chosen things to go.

Robert Howard, 30 years before Tolkien:

    “Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”

Jack Vance, 4 years before Tolkien:

    “Earth . . . A dim place, ancient beyond knowledge . . . Ages of rain and wind have beaten and rounded the granite, and the sun is red and feeble . . . A million cities have lifted towers, have fallen to dust. In place of the old peoples a few thousand strange souls live. There is evil on Earth . . . Earth is dying . . .”


    “Of course, it is likely enough, my friends,” he said slowly, “likely enough that we are going to our doom: the last march of the Ents. But if we stayed home and did nothing, doom would find us anyway, sooner or later. That thought has long been growing in our hearts; and that is why we are marching now. It was not a hasty resolve. Now at least the last march of the Ents may be worth a song.”

It's just a little too TH White for me.

user-inactivated  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    There's an impressive array of engineers and physicists who write science fiction. To no one's surprise, they geek out on the science rather a lot. That's fine.

I was never able to read them, because his writing style strikes me as long and tedious, but isn't part of the reason Tolkien wrote the books he wrote was to show off the languages and history he invented?

I haven't seen the LOTR movies since they were in theaters, and if I recall in only saw them once or twice after. I'm thinking about buying the trilogy. I wonder if I'd still like it.

kleinbl00  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

flagamuffin has forgotten more about Tolkien than I will ever know.

I'm not going to say a single bad thing about LoTR other than the style of writing didn't really work for me.

Trombone  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can understand that sentiment, totally. I think when you're that anal about the details, it comes through in everything.

How much did that go for? I usually don't go for a book unless it's filthy cheap, and preferably used.

kleinbl00  ·  924 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We're talking about 11 books here. $155.