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  1.  (10422.361)
    I have the same exact problem with Card :/ I've kept my fingers in my ears up to the elbows about Ray Bradbury's right wing leanings in his late years, so far successfully, but Card is a goner for me :/
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012
    I remember a couple of years ago Ray Bradbury objecting to people who interpret Fahrenheit 451 as a story about censorship. He contended, sort of dickishly, that it wasn't meant that way.

    At that point I decided that Mr. Bradbury was very old and I would not take anything he said seriously anymore. I think that was for the best.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2012 edited
    I saw Ray Bradbury at SDCC in 2009 because my boyfriend at the time really wanted to see him. I've always appreciated his work but I didn't actually read any of it until I was older, so I don't have the same adoration for him that a lot of other people do. Anyway, the whole time I'm sitting there I just couldn't stop thinking about what a crazy old person he was. I mean it was interesting and all, but he was that stereotypical old man who says what he believes with this air of I know I right and no one can tell me otherwise. Interesting panel, but I also could not take what he said seriously. I don't know, the dude claimed to remember being in his mother's womb and said that he clearly remembered "bursting forth" into light when he was born.

    On the topic, I'm hard pressed to have any respect for Dave Sim. Sorry, I know, but I wasn't introduced to his work until after Cerebus became a series of long, crazy rants. As much as he claims not to be a misogynist, some of the things he has said against women is just downright horrible. If I had read his work prior to his, errr, coming a bit off his rocker, I might be more forgiving towards him, but that was not the case.
  2.  (10422.364)
    Argos -- I'm with you on Sim... he seems like a horribly misogynistic prick.
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2012
    Realized that I forgot my copy of Strangers in Paradise vol 2 (A copy I picked up used and only just found out a day ago that it is signed by Terry Moore himself!) on the train to Coney Island so picked up my e-reader and searched my "to red" books on there. Decided on Reamde by Neal Stephenson and enjoying the hell out of it.
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2012
    The Russian "Security Consultant" in Reamde is 20 different kinds of awesome. He and the British/Vancouverite/Chinese operative. You probably haven't met hem yet. But you will.
  3.  (10422.367)
    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?

    I would agree that it is a bad, even dangerous, habit to only read things you agree with, but I see nothing wrong with re-evaluating a work once you are exposed to new evidence of the author's beliefs or intentions.

    About 15% of the way through Moby Dick – a lot more wry and whimsical than I expected it to be!
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2012
    I've decided it is high time to get familiar with the work of John Scalzi, starting with /Redshirts/.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2012
    @ Finagle: Just got hold of a copy of that, too, but not sure when I'll get round to it. Lemme know what you think? Cheers.
  4.  (10422.370)
    Mercer Finn:

    It just somehow taints the art for me if I learn that the artist himself is a massive wankbiscuit, and especially if I get the suspicion that my money will fund something I find absolutely repellent, like in the case of Card.
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2012 edited

    Sure, and in fact you've done everyone a service by pointing out Card's obnoxious beliefs (previously I only knew him as the author of a couple of Ultimate comics for Marvel, and a 'how to write science fiction book', which I remember being unsurprising but likable).

    On an tangentially related note, I've been listening to a lot of dancehall / ragga recently, and however overblown the attacks on it are, it's pretty undeniable that some of the artists working in the genre have medieval views on homosexuality, and gender relations more broadly. Apply to Lovecraft, Nietzsche, Manara, whatever. I think being able to simultaneously disagree with AND enjoy something is quite valuable. Tbh, its not exactly common for me to find something I ABSOLUTELY back to the hilt. Most art is 'tainted' in some way, and it's not always a bad thing.
  5.  (10422.372)
    Just finished off Child of God by Cormac McCarthy. A very good read, but messed up.

    Moving on to White Jazz by James Ellroy. (I'm in a very masculine phase in my readings, these days)
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2012
    After no less than three false starts, in which I could not for the life of me get going with either, I've finally finished Stross' Singularity Sky & Iron Sunrise. These were my first Stross books (I know, I know) and I think my original problem with them was, from page one, it felt like I was walking in on an already fully-established universe mid-way through a longer series of books. Don't get me wrong, that's not a criticism - once I'd wrapped my head around it, I ended-up ploughing through both over a long-ish weekend and was gutted to see they're the only two of his Eschaton series.

    Any advice on which of his I should go for next?

    About to start Pratchett & Baxter's The Long Earth...if I can only remember how to use one of those archaic books made from paper instead of the audio and ebooks I've been getting for the last couple of years.
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2012
    @Foamhead- I really enjoyed both 'Halting State' and 'Rule 34', just the sort of near future stuff I really enjoy. i have been less enamoured with the 'Laundry' series.

    I've just seen that 'The Long Earth has been delivered to my kindle so I'm really looking forward to that just as soon as I've plowed through the rest of the Baroque Cycle.
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2012
    @Mercer Finn - I loved how many jokes are in Moby Dick - so not the idea I have of assigned school reading.

    Discovered Dorothy Sayers through a co-worker. Am fully sucked in. And, have her essays on feminism on order, so that's super exciting as well. And expensive. But who's counting?

    Also, I'm dipping in Ulysses by Joyce, natch, and Savage Detective. Bolano and Joyce are more compatible as read-mates than I thought they would be. Had I ever thought about it. Which I hadn't. Hunh.
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2012 edited
    @Mercer Finn

    Yeah, I'm not very fussy about this, the author/artist has to really try to get his art being contaminated by his disagreeable opinions in my eyes/ears. For me it also depends a whole lot if the person is still alive or active, which sets Bradbury and, say, Lovecraft apart from actively preaching bigots like Card for me. Lovecraft was a horrible racist and apparently he had something extra against immigrants of Finnic descent in New Providence, but that doesn't really bug me. It's not like I'm funding or condoning that sort of thing or enforcing problematic behavior by reading his books - again, unlike Card.
  6.  (10422.377)

    Yeah, it's a good distinction to keep in mind. Would still disagree with the idea that reading a book would automatically lead to condoning or enforcing the opinions and activities of the author, but I've made my point and will let it drop.

    About 35% into Moby Dick and have finally met Capt. Ahab. Some digressions work better than others (the categorization of whales was tough to get thru). But others are beautifully composed, like the (v. short) Lee Shore chapter.

    Currently putting that on pause while I read through Out Of The Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music. I haven't really read any music journalism from the time of the Beatles / Stones / Dylan / Velvet Underground etc. etc. and I have to take the analysis at face value, because I'm not all that knowledgeable on the music. But the insights are persuasive, and the writing intelligent, if sometimes a bit annoyingly equivocal and imprecise.
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012
    My uncle randomly sends me boxes of fantasy novels a few times a year, and i've been working my way through the Malazan Book Of The Fallen series by Stephen Erikson.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012 edited
    I'm also finished Reamde by Neal Stephenson and - I know I'm bucking popular opinion here - I fucking hate it to the point where I'll probably never read another book by Stephenson.

    Ludicrous plot contrivances (various characters meet and fall in love at first sight not once but three times); ridiculous cardboard characters all in service of a standard right-wing islamophobic murder-fantasy wherein Noble white Men (accompanied by their adoring plucky but largely ineffectual exotic gal pals who seem to be there mainly to defend the author against charges of racism) murder the fuck out of a bunch of ragheads.

    Along the way we learn, for example, how Christian fundamentalist survivalists are really nice people without a racist or extremist bone in their bodies who just want to be left alone to pursue a simpler life style - kind of like the Amish only not so gutless and faggy.
  7.  (10422.380)

    Yeah, Reamde didn't really work for me either. Ironically Stephenson has never been that good in describing geek culture in my opinion, for example the RPG stuff in Cryptonomicon was so off base it was ridiculous. The same here, the whole MMORPG thing is just off, although the war of colors thing is a fun idea. The other points - the borderline racist plotlines, got a "ho hum" from me but didn't for some reason manage to get me annoyed. Nevertheless Reamde was probably the worst book I've read from Stephenson so far. Unlike most of his other stuff, like the Baroque Cycle, it was... well, kind of straightforwardly stupid.