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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:47 am 
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Last night finished "Carnacki: Heaven and Hell", a fine collection of the further adventures of William Hope Hodgson's psychic detective, as told by William Meikle.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:36 am 
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Currently reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, which is heartbreaking and quite brilliant so far.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Currently I'm reading The Insult by Rupert Thomson. I've read another by him a few years ago, The Five Gates of Hell. He is a good writer who creates his own worlds that are almost indistinguishable from "our" world.... but with strange little differences, whereby odd things or living arrangements, or even odd physics pass without notice or remark on the part of the people who live there....he never tells you what country you are in, maybe it's not even really this planet, (but it's not sf)... you get into the minds of his characters, you feel with them... perhaps readers of Jonathan Carroll or Graham Joyce would enjoy his writing. I like him, even though I love real hard sf by the likes of Alastair Reynolds and Paul McAuley... there again, I read all sorts, including straight literature, such as The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, a truly wonderful novel, by the way.

But The Culture is my home! Thanx Iain :wink: :!: :idea: :arrow: :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:23 am 
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Syd Foster wrote:
Currently I'm reading The Insult by Rupert Thomson. I've read another by him a few years ago, The Five Gates of Hell. He is a good writer who creates his own worlds that are almost indistinguishable from "our" world.... but with strange little differences, whereby odd things or living arrangements, or even odd physics pass without notice or remark on the part of the people who live there....he never tells you what country you are in, maybe it's not even really this planet, (but it's not sf)... you get into the minds of his characters, you feel with them... perhaps readers of Jonathan Carroll or Graham Joyce would enjoy his writing.


This sounds exactly like the kind of thing I like to read, but I haven't heard of Thomson before. I've added it to my amazon wishlist. Thanks :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:38 am 
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Last night finished "Soul Screams", a collection by Sara Jayne Townsend.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:43 am 
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Andrew Hook wrote:
This sounds exactly like the kind of thing I like to read, but I haven't heard of Thomson before. I've added it to my amazon wishlist. Thanks :)


Cool 8) glad to have been usefully noisy for both you and Thomson :D

I just read this passage this morning and was tempted to post it here, decided that was going too far, and now am persuaded to share it with you at least, Andrew :lol:

The narrator is just going to bed in a run-down old hotel which only has a couple of old people in residence. He's been up all night, so this is in the morning.

"The sheets were cold and the mattress sagged, but I could feel myself falling, sinking down — that long, parabolic drop into unconsciousness. Somewhere far away I heard the sound of spoons in cups and knives and forks on plates, as delicate and mysterious as an oriental language. The old people would be eating breakfast in the dining room below."

Hope you enjoy! On balance though, only having read two of his, and not having finished this one, I'd recommend the other one more than this. I am planning to read all.... but when!? I've realised in recent years that I am running out of time to physically be able to read all the books already on my "list"! Aaargh! :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Thanks Syd. Sounds intriguing. I've got 132 books on my reading pile at present. I've numbered them and once I've read one book my girlfriend picks another number at random (it's the best way I've found to read stuff I've bought but which I might not pick up by choice!), so once I've bought the Thompson it might be a while before it gets read :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:02 pm 
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Quote:
Andrew Hook wrote:-
I've numbered them and once I've read one book my girlfriend picks another number at random


Book bingo? Interesting concept Andrew, and I wonder if it would work for me in deciding which books to read and review.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Pete wrote:
Quote:
Andrew Hook wrote:-
I've numbered them and once I've read one book my girlfriend picks another number at random


Book bingo? Interesting concept Andrew, and I wonder if it would work for me in deciding which books to read and review.


It has meant I've read books that I've had for over twenty years that I might never have picked up by choice: including A Clockwork Orange, Erewhon, Barefoot In The Head etc. Books which have gathered dust otherwise.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:48 pm 
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Barefoot in the Head! Which I remember reading in New Worlds in the heady days of 1969, when the events it "depicts" seemed a lot more plausible than you'd feel today..... if plausible is the word! I barely remember it.... not sure I ever really had it all together! :lol: pun intended :arrow:

Care to let us know what you thought? Brian Aldiss has always been one of my favourite authors, a truly literary author of an authentically creative intelligence and superb craftsmanship..... and that was amongst his most fertile periods..... wonderful :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:49 am 
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Helliconia... sold gold classic.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:12 am 
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True, Steve, that's a great read..... but his short stories are the best! His early collections are just masterpiece after masterpiece. Truly an all time great.

I'm tempted to say something here which I hope will not offend anyone.... I used to love reading Ray Bradbury's short stories (Something Wicked This Way Comes & Martian Chronicles are both deathless classics) but in his later years he turned into a bit of a right-wing asshole. Brian, on the other hand, retains his youthful vigour and generosity of mind.... and I reckon he's a better creative writer than Bradbury, and possibly somehow that is connected.....

Just a feeling.... probably talking shite, like anecdotal "evidence", easy to draw false conclusions from such after-the-fact late calls.... I've had this kind of idea since observing that the liberal-minded Fred Pohl retained his creative vigour and youthful mind much longer than his right-wing contemporaries.... but again, it's all unscientific musing, not a reliable way to get to the truth!

Sorry, probably shouldn't have wasted your time writing this :evil: :arrow:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Quote:
Syd wrote:-
I've had this kind of idea since observing that the liberal-minded Fred Pohl retained his creative vigour and youthful mind much longer than his right-wing contemporaries....


And yet Jeffrey Archer remains as good as he's ever been :wink:

More seriously, I wonder if the effect you're referencing is down to the internet, with its possibilities for learning more about writers than we ever did before.

As an example, I adored the work of Orson Scott Card for many years, but now I don't enjoy what I read by him anywhere near as much. Is it down to a falling off in quality on Card's part, or that I've learned about his right wing views on things such as homosexuality and that's tainted my appreciation of the work?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:55 am 
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I've just finished The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry - slightly odd and most enjoyable. It reminded me a bit of Finch by Jeff VanderMeer, which I read a year a two ago. A great read if you haven't come across it already.

Andrew.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:57 am 
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Over the weekend finished "Flame & other enigmatic tales" by Maynard Sims and "Rumours of the Marvellous" by Peter Atkins.

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