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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #4231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It's not the copy editors. It's the money people, who assume that computers do just as good a job for less money.
    Yes, I should have been more careful with my word usage - perhaps a good copy editor would have helped me. The choice of many companies these days, based on what "the money people" say seems to be either outsource the editing or seemingly do away with it altogether. In Australia I know some news companies (using the word loosely) have sent the copy editing offshore purely to save money. This means, among other things, that the editing is not done with am ear to Australian usage or concepts.

  2. #4232
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    I’m about to start Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway and I can tell it’s going to be heavy reading; the book weighs more than 1500 grams! I’ll have stronger biceps by the time I’m done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I wish I could find my copy of that!
    Are you aware of author Tony Tully's website?
    I found it! Now I've got something to keep me occupied that doesn't involve electronics!
    Of course, I might want to finish the e-book I'm working on first.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  3. #4233
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    Osprey is giving away free ebooks. You need to register and use the code on their website, and of course, like military history. But still, really free ebooks. I'm going to check them out.
    Solfe

  4. #4234
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Osprey is giving away free ebooks. You need to register and use the code on their website, and of course, like military history. But still, really free ebooks. I'm going to check them out.
    Whoa, THANKS!
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  5. #4235
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    Russell Coutts: Course to Victory— probably the most sailing-focused sailor’s memoir I’ve read yet. The only things Coutts says about his childhood that aren’t sailing-related are that he had two brothers and a sister, moved to another city when he was 11, and had math and art as his best subjects at school, where he wasn’t good at rugby but was good at golf. No fun anecdotes about listening to the moon landing on the radio or the like.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  6. #4236
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    This is interesting, but a little troubling. Internet Archive has an ebook library of books they have scanned. It normally has a checkout limit on the ebooks, but due to the emergency and much higher expected traffic (they argue for student needs) they decided to temporarily lift the checkout limit. There may be legal ramifications for them, and I hope they don’t into a mess because they provide useful services.

    Anyway, the link is:

    https://archive.org/details/nationalemergencylibrary

    and an article about it:

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...r-free-online/

    There might be some IP address limitations. When they were starting they were limited to California and a few other places. I don’t know the status now. Reading a scanned book image isn’t always the most fun. My experience is that a large tablet like an ipad pro is about the best option for something close to a book-like experience and even then I need to zoom in for decent sized text. But, they have a large selection of copyrighted books. Given my preferences, I am checking their science fiction and fantasy first.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  7. #4237
    Just finished Green Mars, hopefully in a couple of days Blue Mars.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  8. #4238
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    Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates. She's a master, and so prolific!
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  9. #4239
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    The Heroes of the Greeks, by C Kerenyi. Details on the start of the Trojan War are dense and marvelous, wonderful read. Never knew the Greek classics were so complex.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  10. #4240
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Russell Coutts: Course to Victory— probably the most sailing-focused sailor’s memoir I’ve read yet. The only things Coutts says about his childhood that aren’t sailing-related are that he had two brothers and a sister, moved to another city when he was 11, and had math and art as his best subjects at school, where he wasn’t good at rugby but was good at golf. No fun anecdotes about listening to the moon landing on the radio or the like.
    Just finished it (very appropriately, on the beach), and I think this is a good description of the book on the whole— absolutely a sailing memoir, with even his marriage and the birth of his son being only one-paragraph digressions, but excellent as a look at the pro sailing world of the 80s and 90s and it’s kind of funny, given how controversial Coutts has become in the years since, that his writing voice is basically “dorky uncle who likes The Rolling Stones and makes one dad joke per page”.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  11. #4241
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    Just finished E.O. Wilson's Meaning of human existence.

  12. #4242
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    Won't Get Fooled Again by James Philip.
    Newest book in the Timeline 10/27/62 Series, an Alternate History where the Cuban Missile Crisis triggered World War Three.
    The timeline is up to 1968 (he plans to go to 1972 at least).
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  13. #4243
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    I sprinted through the Eon series by Greg Bear. Good read, but dense.

    I now have Simón Bolívar "El Libertador". I've gotten to one of the good bits where Bolívar meets up with Paez at the Orinoco River. Bolívar was bringing a large force down from the north to hit the city down river. Paez knew of the perfect crossing point. Bolívar sent Paez ahead to round up some boats for the troops. When they met up again, Paez was still on the wrong side of the river and there were a Spanish gunboat, a couple of flecheras and some canoes supporting a garrison on the other side.

    When questioned about this state of affairs, Paez shrugged and asked for volunteers. He led 50 llaneros on cavalry charge across the river to take the boats and garrison. The sailors were so surprised to be met by a cavalry charge from the river-side of the boat they put up little resistance. Some of the horses and men swam back across the river before the captured boats came across, meaning they really didn't need the boats. That's some gutsy moves.
    Solfe

  14. #4244
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    Continuing on a kick of researching the 1995 America’s Cup for a writing project, Anna Seaton Huntington’s Making Waves about the America^3 team, the first—and last— women’s team in the history of the competition. It’s a bit sad to see that while some of the America^3 veterans were on co-ed teams in 2000 and 2003, there has not been a female crewmember in the AC since 2005. For all of their accomplishments, from the viewpoint of the present day, the women of America^3 look like the light that failed.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  15. #4245
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    Still in the middle of Greg Egan's excellent short story collection Instantiation. Egan is one of my favourite authors, and this collection showcases several of his themes, from well imagined near-future worlds, to quirky puzzle stories, to physics-heavy world-building.
    My favourite at present is "Bit Players", which you can read here. The striking thing about it is that when it opens you think, "Wait, this is the setting for Adam Roberts's novel On." Egan then procedes to dismantle Roberts's catastrophically dumb physics, with evident glee and a degree of malice. I strongly suspect it's revenge for Roberts's snooty review of Egan's Incandescence, which Egan characterized as a "hatchet job".

    Grant Hutchison

  16. #4246
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    I mean, if gravity is sideways it seems pretty clear that it’s a fantasy world, I would accept “Magic” as explanation enough.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  17. #4247
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I mean, if gravity is sideways it seems pretty clear that it’s a fantasy world, I would accept “Magic” as explanation enough.
    You'd think, wouldn't you? But the events of Roberts story take place on Earth in the far future, when the gravity has been turned sideways because of some unspecified misadventure involving "tapping Zero Point Energy". (Don't you just hate it when that happens?)

    Grant Hutchison

  18. #4248
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    I wrote a story once partly set in a virtual environment where gravity was not normal to the surface. The edges of this environment scrolled back to each other, so that the bottom of the environment scrolled back to the top. This did cause the river valleys to get deeper over time, since the (simulated) erosion was fierce. White water rafting was a particularly challenging activity.

    I had heard of On, but I hadn't read it.

  19. #4249
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    "Bit Players" has two sequels, describing how synthetic characters who are trapped playing roles in an on-line games environment manage to hack their way out by finding vulnerabilities in the games code. It has a bit of a Westworld (TV series) vibe, but with a considerably more coherent plot. Egan turns out to have a rather vivid imagination for bleak games environments with minority appeal.

    Grant Hutchison

  20. #4250
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    Starborn and Godsons, the recent Niven/Pournelle/Barnes addition to the "Avalon" series. Published by Baen, with one of Kurt Miller's strangely contorted pieces of cover art--this one depicting someone apparently shooting himself in the leg.

    Considerably better than most of Niven's recent collaborations, and genuinely tense in places, but it feels kind of sloppy. Character motivation is sketchy and inconsistent, and the plot sometimes progresses because characters make elaborate correct guesses on the basis of scant information.

    Grant Hutchison

  21. #4251
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    Interesting, I have been thinking about picking that up, but like you haven’t been that thrilled about Niven collaborations for some time (my assumption is that Niven usually is barely involved these days, mostly there to lend his name) and of course Pournelle has sadly been out of the picture for awhile. I also have mixed feelings about the Avalon series. On the other hand, I have to admit being curious about the story, and Barnes is a pretty good author.

    BTW, not sure if you are aware, but Baen has something of a reputation for their cover art. I found a very funny website featuring bad cover art once, but lost the url. I’ll see if I can find it again. Lots of Baen stuff.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2020-May-15 at 02:11 PM.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  22. #4252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Interesting, I have been thinking about picking that up, but like you haven’t been that thrilled about Niven collaborations for some time (my assumption is that Niven usually is barely involved these days, mostly there to lend his name) and of course Pournelle has sadly been out of the picture for awhile. I also have mixed feelings about the Avalon series. On the other hand, I have to admit being curious about the story, and Barnes is a pretty good author.
    Niven was very much involved in this one, to judge from the forewords. Barnes gives quite a poignant account of the three of them sitting around brainstorming, and the difficulty Pournelle had, after his stroke, at switching from "creative" to "edit" modes.
    I have the feeling that Niven was also pretty much involved in the "Shipstar" books--there's such a divergence in style between Niven and Benford, I felt I could detect the input of each, with Niven writing a lot of the narrative involving humans, but Benford's more poetic style appearing in the chapters dealing with aliens.

    However, the less said about The Goliath Stone the better. It looks to have been entirely written by Harrington.

    Grant Hutchison

  23. #4253
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    I finished Making Waves, the final paragraph says that there ever being another women’s team in the America’s Cup is dependent on the wishes of a sponsor, and so for 25 years there has been no other— and no female crewmembers at all since 2005. Under rules like the last Volvo Ocean Race had to encourage female participation, however, we might have co-ed teams again— but that would be dependent on the wishes of the yacht club organizing the competition.

    I wanted to get through something quick and light before I move on Tuesday, so I picked up The Secret at Solaire, a Nancy Drew mystery I found at a Little Free Library a while back. There’s good amount of description of the visuals of the Arizona desert setting that sound beautiful.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  24. #4254
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    ^ One of my daughters was a Nancy Drew mysteries fan. One year I suggested a spring break trip to Arizona and adjacent states. She asked me if we would be seeing any petroglyphs while there. Apparently they'd been mentioned or perhaps were important in one of the stories set there. I'd seen some in the Painted Desert years earlier and said yes, we'd surely see them on this trip. Then she really wanted to go on the trip.

  25. #4255
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    I finished The Secret of Solaire, I was right about the culprits (and right that they were working together) even if I was a little bit slow to realizing the motive. Nancy, George, and Bess are still a great trio to share an adventure with and there’s a nice serious message with Bess realizing the importance of healthy body image and living in moderation instead of just being the target of fat jokes (as in some of the older books) or exercising to the point of hurting herself (as she starts out this book).

    Starting another, The Riddle in the Rare Book, today, the setting of a bookstore-and-coffeeshop is much more familiar after my time in Greenwich Village but also pretty close to my heart.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  26. #4256
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    Post Captain, by Patrick O'Brian.

    Maybe co-authored with Jane Austen?

  27. #4257
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    Post Captain, by Patrick O'Brian.

    Maybe co-authored with Jane Austen?
    You'll find that with many of the novels in the canon.

    Post-Captain is probably my least-liked book of the 20 but I think O'Brien had decided to write more books in the series and thus created a larger character universe. Hence the introduction of Sophie, Diana, Sir Joseph, Mrs. Williams and more.

  28. #4258
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    The Supplement to the Hamoor Rahman Commission Report into the conduct of the Pakistan Army in the Indo-Pak War 1971.

  29. #4259
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    I've just finished re-re-re-reading the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. The last one even had some siege engines in it. Along with a totally anachronistic description of a castle which wouldn't have existed in the form described for at least another 100 years. And in reality, never did.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #4260
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    Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard, my Dad bought it for me just before the lockdown as a gift. I don’t know if that was the last day the local bookstore was open, but it’s the last day we went in.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

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