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  1.  (10422.341)
    DC -- Yeah, I originally had something in there saying that I wasn't expecting nearly as much from Blankets, but I didn't like how it was worded so I took it out and moved on. At this point, honestly, I have a hard time imagining enjoying a story as much as I liked Habibi. (That could just be because it's so fresh in my mind, but I think it's one of those stories that will really stick with me.)
    And I wish I had read Blankets first. It looks like a good story and I've never heard anything bad about it. But I do have the feeling that I would have enjoyed it more before reading Habibi.
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2012
     (10422.342)
    Read other things in between and, when you read Blankets, try not to think of Habibi. They're very, very different and don't deserve being compared.
    Blankets is, unfortunately, one of those books that lose their magic after the first reading.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2012
     (10422.343)
    @Nigredo

    100 pages in and so far not too bad although no really huge revelations as most of it has been covered in books i've read before. Beginning covers Rough Trade, Factory, Postcard, Zoo, Mute, 4AD and so on...

    I would say it's a good primer if you haven't read "Rip It up and start again" by Simon Reynolds or "The Hacienda: How not to run a nightclub" by Peter Hook
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      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeJun 11th 2012
     (10422.344)
    Noted, cheers :)
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2012
     (10422.345)
    I just finished a couple of books set in the Warhammer fantasy universe and am currently reading The Cleanup, a 1987 horror book written by John Skipp and Craig Spector.

    After that I plan to read Strangeness and Charm, the third book in the Feyre series by Mike Shevdon.
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      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2012
     (10422.346)
    Sorry if I come across as half fan-boy, half publisher-fellator but here's (a lot) more about the forthcoming Pratchett/Baxter collaboration, The Long Earth.



    Want.
    •  
      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2012
     (10422.347)
    Yeah, looking forward to that too. Coming out next week in the UK, I think...

    Just finished RAILSEA, which was pretty good. Moving on to ALIF THE UNSEEN!
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2012 edited
     (10422.348)
    I finished our resident motherfucker's novel Contract some time ago, but I've really had to chew it over before commenting on it in here. Mainly because I was quite impressed and 'cause, frankly, I'm scathingly jealous of not having written that book myself :D

    What can I say - I think the main character was just fucking beautifully built, in all of his sickness. A well rounded, beautiful character. There was some criticism about his "repeating of stock phrases" but damn, that was a good show of craftsmanship of how the character was built.

    Shit. Bravo. Go and read Contract & Serpent Uncoiled. They are, like, you know, worth reading. Really.

  2.  (10422.349)
    Just finished The Blind Assassin by Margret Atwood, my first novel of hers. It was quite brilliant, I'll have to read more. The Handmaiden's tale and Oryx and Crake are on my list at the moment.

    Moving on to Cormac McCarthy's Child of God for something a bit shorter to blast through.
  3.  (10422.350)
    @InvincibleM I loved Blind Assassin, and fell in love with Atwood's writing when I read it. Strangely I finished my last book last night and picked up Oryx and Crayke to read next. Year of the Flood is very good too, and set in the same world as Oryx and Crayke.

    Finished Devil in a Blue Dress and enjoyed it immensely. I liked the fact his motivation didn't follow any of the standard noir tropes, but was to get money for his mortgage.

    There were a couple of sections that felt like they were lifted straight from Chandler (One scene where he's describing a dirt track with signs outside when he goes looking for DeWitt.), but I wonder in retrospect if this is a way of drawing contrast between the world that Easy lives in and the 'White' world that was Chandler's territory.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2012
     (10422.351)
    @Vorn: I bought a copy of A Serpent Uncoiled, and it's on the top of my books to read. I reckon I may order Contract, too.
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      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2012
     (10422.352)
    About 100 pages into ALIF THE UNSEEN, which is immensely readable, if a bit predictable in some ways (but I guess that's part of the charm).

    Also started David Brin's EXISTENCE. Pretty early to say anything about that...
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2012
     (10422.353)
    Can somebody tell me what's up with Dean Koontz? He used to write some pretty interesting if somewhat derivative horror fiction (though he tended more toward sci-fi horror than the supernatural). However, most of the recent books he's written feature some cartoonish atheist/scientist/leftist conspiracy to destroy all free will or somesuch. I mean, did he suddenly recover memories of being bullied by the Science Club in high school or what?
    •  
      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2012
     (10422.354)
    He's always seemed very conservative to me.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2012
     (10422.355)
    Well, yeah, now that you mention it he has. Still, it's just gotten really odd and blatant over the past few years.
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      CommentAuthorFoamhead
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012 edited
     (10422.356)
    Can't say I've ever been much of a Koontz fan (only because I've never been into horror) but maybe his hair transplant and suave new look pushed him more obviously to the right?

    From Wikipedia, so it must be true:
    Early author photos on the back of many of his novels show a balding Koontz with a mustache. After Koontz underwent hair transplantation surgery in the late 1990s his subsequent books have featured a new clean-shaven appearance with a fuller head of hair. Koontz explained the change by claiming that he was tired of looking like G. Gordon Liddy.

    Koontz does not spend much time on partisan politics, and doesn't believe politics solves many problems. Since 1988, however, he has contributed almost $73,000 to conservative, Republican candidates and causes. He donated to the 2008 US Presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and John McCain. He and Mrs. Koontz have contributed over $138,000 to Republican candidates for federal office and Republican organizations (1991–2009). In 2005, he supported Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger with $5000 in cash donations and more than $100,000 for a fund-raising dinner for 123 guests.
    Perhaps because I don't earn a quoted $25 million per year, but donating four/five/six-figure amounts to any party/candidate kind of contradicts the belief "politics doesn't solve many problems" for me. I'm still surprised after learning Ray Bradbury leaned rightwards, though.

    In principal, I know it shouldn't but has/would the personal politics or beliefs of an author ever put you off picking-up some of their work, or reassess that of one you like, if it wasn't overtly conspicuous in their writing?
    •  
      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012
     (10422.357)
    It mostly annoys me when it's noticeable in their work, unless they commit some sort of public act of unforgivable stupidity, in which case I stop bothering altogether.
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012 edited
     (10422.358)
    In principal, I know it shouldn't but has/would the personal politics or beliefs of an author ever put you off picking-up some of their work, or reassess that of one you like, if it wasn't overtly conspicuous in their writing?


    There's a guy named F. Paul Wilson who writes the Repairman Jack series. If you go to his website you'll find that his board leans pretty heavily toward a Libertarian/Randian bent and it's clear that Wilson himself leans in that same direction. However, despite my own liberal-progressive bent, I very much enjoy his books. His philosophies are in there if you look for them, but they aren't blatant and don't get in the way of the story.

    The only authors I recall that I once liked but which turned me off are Koontz, Steve Alten (A cursory glance-through of Phobos: Mayan Fear revealed it to be full of that "CERN will kill the world with black holes" bullshit) and Laurell K. Hamilton (who took her tough, cool, strong female lead and turned her into the object of bizarre polysexual, multi-species orgies).
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      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012
     (10422.359)
    I can't read Orson Scott Card anymore because he is a raging homophobe. That doesn't really come out in any of his books, but he has written online extensively about the moral and social wrongness of homosexuality in such extreme terms that I simply can't bring myself to enjoy anything with his name attached.
  4.  (10422.360)
    Yeah, Orson Scott Card's views even soured me on Shadow Complex as he wrote the backstory for it. A real shame, because the gameplay is basically perfect, whereas the story is kinda 'meh' and written by an outspoken bigot.