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  • 3 weeks later...
... and the Happy Isles of Oceania, by Paul Theroux. The latter is a great piece of travel writing and self discovery/reflection.
Missed this earlier. It's a good one (as is much of Theroux).

Me: Jon by George Saunders


"Back in the time of which I am speaking, due to our Coördinators had mandated us, we had all seen that educational video of "It's Yours to Do With What You Like!" in which teens like ourselfs speak on the healthy benefits of getting off by oneself and doing what one feels like in terms of self-touching, which what we learned from that video was, there is nothing wrong with self-touching, because love is a mystery but the mechanics of love need not be, so go off alone, see what is up, with you and your relation to your own gonads, and the main thing is, just have fun, feeling no shame!

And then nightfall would fall and our facility would fill with the sounds of quiet fast breathing from inside our Privacy Tarps as we all experimented per the techniques taught us in "It's Yours to Do With What You Like!" and what do you suspect, you had better make sure that that little gap between the main wall and the sliding wall that slides out to make your Gender Areas is like really really small. Which guess what, it wasn't.

That is all what I am saying.

Also all what I am saying is, who could blame Josh for noting that gap and squeezing through it snakelike in just his Old Navy boxers that Old Navy gave us to wear for gratis, plus who could blame Ruthie for leaving her Velcro knowingly un-Velcroed?"

Edited by blessingx
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If anyone is/was into comics, the excerpt, at least, is a killer...

An excerpt of Sean Howe's 'Marvel Comics, The Untold Story'


An excerpt from Howe's new book on how internal arguments, drugs, failed feminism, and the exploitation of minority characters in comic books and the freelance writers and artists who drew them, changed Marvel Comics during the late '60s and early '70s: "'I was just as crazy as everybody else post-Watergate, post-Vietnam,' said Starlin, whose hobbies included motorcycles, chess, and lysergic acid diethylamide–25. 'Each one of those stories was me taking that stuff that had gone before and trying to put my personal slant on it. Mar-Vell was a warrior who decided he was going to become a god, and that's where his trip was.' In the pages of Captain Marvel, existence itself might be altered several times in the course of an issue. 'There is a moment of change, then reality becomes a thing of the past!' howls the evil ruler Thanos, before everything morphs into funhouse-mirror images. His sworn enemy Drax responds: 'My mind and my soul are one — my soul — an immortal intangible, nothing and everything! That which cannot die cannot be enslaved, for only with fear is servitude rendered!' On the following page, Drax's shifting realities are represented by thirty-five panels of warped faces, skulls, eyes, stars, and lizards. Captain Marvel had practically become a black-light poster with dialogue. Its sales kept increasing. Soon Starlin was opening his fan mail and finding complimentary joints sent by grateful, mind-blown readers."

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  • 2 weeks later...
House of Suns and Revelation Space, in that order. My first two of his books. I found House of Suns quite moving in some surprising ways.

What's next?

You're going to want to read everything by him, so just read them in order. So, Chasm City. I quite enjoyed House of Suns, for similar reasons. That was superb. It might still be my favourite by him. If you just want moar awesome, Pushing Ice is probably the only other one that ( a ) could safely be read out of order, although a lot of them are unrelated, and ( b ) is as outstanding. Also, my third favourite of his (Century Rain probably being second).
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The other thing amazing about House of Suns is the fact that he devotes a single sentence, paragraph, or chapter to a concept that other authors might draw out over a series of five fucking books. It makes his universe rich and full and alive. I am in awe of this man. Looks like I'll be pulling up Chasm City on mah kindle next—I don't see how he can top House of Suns, but I'm happy to read runners-up.

Thanks for the recommendations!

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We had that exact same discussion about something else (this is a favourite quote of mine):

one of the things i really liked is that they never explained how the dream technology worked. too many movies set in the future with new tech do that. nobody now would say "hey, pass me that Compact Disc, which works by pits on the surface of the disc encoded with ones or zeroes being read with a laser, and then having the digital information turned into an analog waveform with a digital to analog converter." you just have to accept that it's a common thing down the road, and forget about it.
You'll find a lot more to like about him, I started a list and gave up.

Ironically, Chasm City is the only one of his older books that I haven't read. I put it off because even though it's not related, events are referenced in Redemption Ark. I'm hoping to forget them by the time I get to it.

Me: finished Ashes of Honor -- I liked it as much as I liked the rest of her books. It was slightly more upbeat than, for example, her darker moments, which was a nice change of pace. It was like the puppet episode of Angel...well, no, not that light, but you get the idea. Perhaps the musical episode of Buffy. I don't know, bad analogy.

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Re-reading Justin Cronin's The Passage to prep for the recently released follow-up, The Twelve. The Passage was the best book I've read in years... I'm really looking forward to the new one but wanted to get back up to speed. For those who loved The Stand, The Passage is definitely worth checking out.

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Upon review, I'm not even sure I've read the third compilation trade, Good for the Soul.

I should just buy the definitive editions, and read it all in one or two sittings.

I finished Grave Peril from The Dresden Files, haven't started Summer Knight, but that's next.

I wonder if he will ever write Stormy Knight.

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