Suggestions For A Good Read

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Anonymous

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#31
Hmmmm

SF: Jack Vance
Kim Stanley Robinson
Iain M Banks
Doris Piserchia
RA Lafferty
Bruce Sterling
Walter Jon Williams

Fantasy: Steven Brust (start with The Phoenix Guards)
George RR Martin
Roger Zelazny
Damon Knight, The World and Thorinn
Gene Wolfe
Yves Meynard
Tanith Lee

General fiction:
Mark Helprin
Umberto Eco (avoid The Island of the Day before though)
Alexandre Dumas
Jorge Luis Borges
James Hawes

Mystery/Crime:
Tony Hillerman

Science:
Richard Ellis, Monsters of the Deep
Howard C Hughes, Sensory Exotica: A World Beyond Human Experience
 
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Anonymous

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#32
Yeah I love Tony Hillerman read all of his stuff. PBS did a movie of his book Skinwalkers a while back. Wasn't real impressed with how they changed the story but the casting was good.
 

hedgewizard1

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#34
Converted to video

There are a few books that have made the jump to video, and some that really should eb avoided. I'm only mentioning the ones that I've seen at our tiny library here in the wilderness.

Worth checking out:
A&E's version of the Hornblower books. Nice stuff.

BBC's rendering of the Brother Cadfael stories.

One to avoid:
The Sharpe films, based on Bernard Cornwell's books. The books are excellent, and a lot fun to read. The films are horrible. Imagine soldiers who don't know what bayonets are for. The producers could have sprung for some technical advice on the historical accuracy.
 

hedgewizard1

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#36
Breakfast said:
The Sean Bean sharp adaptations?
Those are the ones. The acting is probably the only good thing in any of them. The plots, IIRC, are nowhere near as complex or interesting as the books, and the historical accuracy is virtually nil. For example, Sharpe's troops are armed with the latest weapon, a Baker Rifle. Nice gun, accurate, and it has a bayonet that can double as a short sword. There's a scene where Sgt. Whoever is teaching some raw recruits how to use their guns. To show how to take a man off of a horse, he uses the rifle as club. Which, while it might work, is certainly NOT by the book. The whole unit seems to lack bayonets, which is ridiculous. A unit would no sooner go into the field without bayonets than without uniforms.
But all this is NOT Cornwell's fault. He wrote some good, exciting books. Film just seems to be a natural spoiler.
 

Mike_Pratt33

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#37
One of the biggest problems with the TV adaption of the Sharpe novels was that they never had the money for enough extras to make the big battles believable.

I've just started rereading Bernard Cornwell Arthurian trilogy (The Winter King-The Enermy of God-Excaliber). In my opinion the best thing he's ever written.
 

hedgewizard1

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#38
Mike P said:
One of the biggest problems with the TV adaption of the Sharpe novels was that they never had the money for enough extras to make the big battles believable.

I've just started rereading Bernard Cornwell Arthurian trilogy (The Winter King-The Enermy of God-Excaliber). In my opinion the best thing he's ever written.
Too many producers try to get by without enough of a budget, that's for sure. Sometimes low budget works (look at Red Dwarf), but usually it doesn't.

The Arthurian books ARE good. I personally like the post-Roman Arthur idea rather than the psuedo-High Middle Ages ala Mallory.

The first Cornwell book I read was Killer's Wake. It seems that the Sharpe books have overshadowed his very excellent mystery novels.
 
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Anonymous

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#39
Rifle Brigades didn't have bayonets as such. They had sword bayonets, which is why the order to fix bayonets in Rifle Brigades is always given as 'Fix swords'. 24inches of cold steel, if memory serves.

I liked Sean Bean in that uniform though. :D Although he didn't look (or sound) anything like Richard Sharpe. An awful lot of Sharpe's lines sounded forced. People just don't talk like that.
 

river_styx

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#40
Stephen Baxter's Manifold series.
I've read Time and have just started on Space. There's a third one now too but I can't remember it's title.
 
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Anonymous

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#41
River_Styx said:
Stephen Baxter's Manifold series.
I've read Time and have just started on Space. There's a third one now too but I can't remember it's title.
Origin is the title you're looking for. Since then he's done Evolution (very patchy -in fact you could say it goes in fits and starts. :D That was supposed to be a punctuated equilibrium gag. I'll fetch my coat...) and has a new one out now called Coalescent, part of a trilogy called Destiny's Children. The sequel to Coalescent is due out on Sept. 2nd, and is to be called Exultant.

So now you know. :)
 

dot23

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#42
If it's fortean novels your thinking of I can't recommend Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" books enough: The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book and The Well of Lost Plots. Set in an alternative universe where cloning of extinct species for pets is all the rage, it features a heroine who has the power to enter into works of fiction, which makes for hilarious use of old characters such as Miss Havisham (who's a dead ringer for Judy Dench's M in the bond films), Mr D'Arcy and the Cheshire cat. The last one, WOLP, revolves around an evil MicroSh*t style company who attempts to replace the common or garden book with a new interface, one that will secretly prevent any new ideas being created. You can find out more by visiting http://www.jasperfforde.com/ which has some great extra material (ala DVD) including deleted scenes and 'upgrades' which are basically corrections tyo mistakes he's made.

Also just read the entertaining, if totally ludicrous, The Adept by Katherine Kurtz and some other woman whos name escapes me. Extremely fortean, and I don't think I'm giving too much away to say that the Loch Ness monster appears as a deus-ex0machina at the end! Very sill stuf, but I'd like to read the others in the series.
 

PeniG

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#43
Carol Plum-Ucci's books (*The Body of Christopher Creed,* *The Disappearance of Lani Garver,* *The She*) are technically mysteries, but they are not formula-driven and do not tie up neatly in the end. Her basic approach is that life is essentially ambiguous, and the moment you realize that your assumptions are not the same thing as reality your world opens up.

In *The She,* the new one I just finished, the protagonist's parents both died at sea, in a huge freighter, on a calm Atlantic night off New Jersey. The locals speak of the She-Devil offshore - "the She" - a massive dark force that haunts the ocean and sucks ships down to eat them. The protagonist used to hear the She shrieking before she devoured someone. His brother, knowing that the She is superstition, is convinced that their parents staged their own disappearance because they were about to be hauled in for running drugs, and never sent for the kids because they died in a hurricane further down the coast. He thinks this is more rational and that he has evidence that proves it - but, as a pivotal character remarks at one point, he has as many emotional needs influencing his beliefs as any superstitious sailor.

A lot is going on in this book; but in the A plot the protagonist is faced with a false dichotomy - either his parents were eaten by the She, or they were criminals - which he has to sort out by actually using his brain, rather than merely rearranging his prejudices. Highly recommended, as are her first two books. You might have trouble getting them in Britain, but that's what amazon is for.
 

Leaferne

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#44
Anything by Harlan Ellison. God, I love him. You can get a taste of his short fiction here, and I think everyone needs to read The 3 Most Important Things In Life.

There's an absolutely marvellous, yet often overlooked novel by Shirley Jackson called We Have Always Lived In The Castle. Also overlooked is Stephen King's first nonfiction work, Danse Macabre...with its curious dependence...on...ellipses.

I like Sharyn McCrumb's mysteries, though I'm less enamoured of the books featuring the Elizabeth Macpherson character. SMcC's Zombies of the Gene Pool is hilarious, though her writing can be awkward at times. I think she falls into the trap of describing/explaining too much.

While I'm not sure it's worth feeling patriotic toward this country any more :hmm: I still feel duty-bound to throw some Canadiana into the list. (I see Spider Robinson has already been mentioned) John Robert Columbo has written a plethora of books on Canadian ghosts and Fortean subjects; you might be able to get them on interlibrary loan. Ditto Edith Fowke's work on Canadian folklore.
 

realspooky

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#45
Read a book by George Stone, called 'Freeze'.
Is very similar to the upcoming flick 'Day after tomorrow', but seems a little more believable to our time.
Am certain it is what they must have got some kind of inspiration from for the movie.
 

hedgewizard1

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#46
Small digression.....heard that "Day after Tomorrow" was based on Art Bell's "The Quickening"...anyone know the truth of this? ONe of the best books dealing with the coming Ice Age is "Fallen Angels" by Niven and Flynn. In between the plot are some interesting bits of info. Yes, I said, coming Ice Age. It's been predicted since the mid-70's. GLobal warming is what's been saving us. And we know the predicitons are accurate. They come from the same people who said INdia would populate itself into destruction, and that the Amazon rainforest would be gone by 2000.
 

realspooky

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#47
Interesting. Must be a few books that work along TDAT's subject base.
You learn something new everyday.
 

glamour_dust

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#48
What to read?

Ok, so I have finally come to terms with there being no IHTM or General Forteana boards to spend hours on. So now I'm completely bored and starting to think studying mathematical probability again might be fun. In other words this is an emergency. Pleassse recommend some fortean books, stories, anything to read while the boards are down or I fear I will become normal. **shudder**
 

carole

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#53
I thoroughly enjoyed some book, the name of which escapes me, by Brinsley le Poer Trench - he of the Hollow Earth theory. Best comedy book I've read in ages.

Carole
 

glamour_dust

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#54
hmm, Lionel Fanthorpe you say? I went to the site but I think I'll pass on reading his books. BTW, what fortean stuff is he into exactly? (still somewhat newbie i am)

I appreciate the feedback however. Keep it coming - reality threatens.
 
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Anonymous

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#55
Besides being an author, vicar, biker and martial arts instructor, the Rev Lionel was the presenter of a Fortean TV series on UK Channel 4 a few years ago. His talk on the Knights Templar at Unconvention is covered (with a photo) in the current edition of FT.
 

marslight

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#56
A long-time favorite is "The Silver Bridge" by Gray Barker. Part fiction, part fact, Barker was the first, I think, to write about the coming of Mothman to Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Like so many involved in the original Mothman story, Barker has since died. His little book was published by Saucerian Books (!) of Clarksburg, West Virginia in 1970, and is almost certainly out of print.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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#57
I've just finished the Da Vicni code. I was unimpressed, I mean Gnostic Sex Rituals? And the 'puzzles' were hardly mind-bogglingly cryptic. I guessed most of them quite easily (and I havent even gone to Uni).
 

Mythopoeika

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#58
I read some of Lionel Fanthorpe's pulp SF years ago.
I enjoyed it, actually - despite what Neil Gaiman says:

"Do not read too much Lionel Fanthorpe at one go, your brains will turn to guacamole and drip out of your ears."

I thought the Da Vinci Code was pretty good. The puzzles weren't too cryptic because Dan Brown had to make it accessible to a mass readership, which is fair enough. If he'd made it any more obscure, he probably wouldn't have sold as many copies.
 

MrSnowman

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#59
Micromegas by Voltaire is an interesting take on the perception of onesself and one's surrounds. Whilst not strictly fortean.. it is a little bit. Read it and you'll see :)
 
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Anonymous

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#60
Can anyone point me to a site that would have the puzzles from The Da Vinci Code? I found one that was the official companian to the book (apparently), but that was both dull and frustratingly slow, and also not a code, rather a general-knowledge quiz. I got to the third question and decided that I didn't care.

I am interested in the book, but have heard that it's basically a bog-standard potboiler with a few Fortean trappings, which is not my scene at all. I certainly don't want to read it because it's the latest book that everybody has to have read (like A Brief History Of Time and The Satanic Verses), in fact that makes me want to read it less. However, if the puzzles are diverting, then it might be worth a trip to the library after all.
 
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