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What are you reading?

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In the process of reading Neal Stephenson's Seveneves.

A little "thing" of some sort, traveling at the speed of light shoots through the center of the moon and breaks it into seven pieces. It is soon realized that the moon will disintegrate completely and fall in a "hard rain" onto the Earth, thereby sterilizing the entire planet in a gigantic inferno. In just 22 months, the planet will become uninhabitable for up to 10,000 years. The plan is to build a colony around the International Space Station that will wait it out until the planet is habitable again.

I'm not yet halfway through but obviously there are some problems with this plan. Many of the characters realize it too.

The pacing began pretty well and then slowed. It has remained at that slow pace. And I swear to the Great Whatever, that if this book doesn't pay off in the end somehow, I will never read another one of his books again. Unfortunately, the first book I read by him was Cryptonomicon, which is one of the greatest books I've ever read. The rest have been either blah or utter shit. This is his last opportunity.
 

bilby

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In the process of reading Neal Stephenson's Seveneves.

A little "thing" of some sort, traveling at the speed of light shoots through the center of the moon and breaks it into seven pieces. It is soon realized that the moon will disintegrate completely and fall in a "hard rain" onto the Earth, thereby sterilizing the entire planet in a gigantic inferno. In just 22 months, the planet will become uninhabitable for up to 10,000 years. The plan is to build a colony around the International Space Station that will wait it out until the planet is habitable again.

I'm not yet halfway through but obviously there are some problems with this plan. Many of the characters realize it too.

The pacing began pretty well and then slowed. It has remained at that slow pace. And I swear to the Great Whatever, that if this book doesn't pay off in the end somehow, I will never read another one of his books again. Unfortunately, the first book I read by him was Cryptonomicon, which is one of the greatest books I've ever read. The rest have been either blah or utter shit. This is his last opportunity.

I just finished Seveneves, and I thought it was pretty good; but not quite as good as the excellent Anathem. If you didn't like Anathem, then we obviously have different taste in literature, and you should ignore my recommendations :)
 

rousseau

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Picked up a book called 'The Story of New York City' from an incredible book-store Els and I ran into in the city while we were there. The purchase was more about a souvenir than a quality book, but it's been an interesting read as the work is a bit dated, and shows some pretty heavy anti-native, pro-European bias, as well as uses phrases like 'indian' and 'redmen'. The story itself has been pretty shocking so far as I've read about 17th century New York which went from friendly Dutch / Native relations to all out-war and massacres between the two groups. Surprisingly, I've never read about European/Native relations so closely before, so it's been interesting and has made me want to read further into the history of the Natives themselves.

The other book I picked up while in the city is called '50 American Artists You Should Know'. It's a great but light read. Gives a quick two page synopsis of the lives and historical context of 50 famous American artists, as well as a few shots of their work. It's a nice introduction to American Art History, as well as a nice look into American history from that perspective. I also plan to look further into the work of some of the artists.

Both of these books are great as I'm finding myself getting more and more into American history these days.
 

Rhea

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Reading 3 right now:

The Heart Song of Charging Elk about a Lakota man who eschews reservation life and ends up traveling with the Wild Bill show, travels with them to europe, gets sick in Paris and is left behind by the show knowing no french (or english, for that matter) in a Paris hospital

Ashley's War: about the front combat women's cultural team of elite marines in Afghanistan

Unbroken: An Olympic runner ends up as bombardier in WWII and is shot down. I think he probably gets captured. Not far yet.

Interesting that they are all non-fiction - not my usual mix. But they are good reads.
 

dystopian

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The Mechanical, by Ian Tregillis

A steampunkish alternate history with the premise that the 17th century Christiaan Huygens used alchemy to invent a race of overpowered sentient robots/golems that are completely in their master's control. Fast forward to the early 20th century, and the Netherlands has conquered most of the planet, with only the French kingdom, exiled to Canada, continuing to resist. Themes involve the slavery endured by the robots, and the different ways the Catholic French and the Calvinist Dutch approach the issue. To my sense, it kind of falls into theological charactures when doing so: the Dutch are depicted as universally justifying slavery on the basis that the robots don't have souls and them not having free will; whereas most of the French are depicted as the good guys because they want to free the robots on the basis that the Catholics in the book believe they have souls. If this were a real scenario though, I think Catholics would be among the last to acknowledge artificial creatures having souls. Still, the difference, and the religious conflict still being as important in the timeline as it is, could be explained by the alternate path taken by history... and it's amusing to see my nationality placed in the role of world-conquering black-and-white evil empire because we have magical robots.

A good read, thus far.
 
Joined
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In the process of reading Neal Stephenson's Seveneves.

A little "thing" of some sort, traveling at the speed of light shoots through the center of the moon and breaks it into seven pieces. It is soon realized that the moon will disintegrate completely and fall in a "hard rain" onto the Earth, thereby sterilizing the entire planet in a gigantic inferno. In just 22 months, the planet will become uninhabitable for up to 10,000 years. The plan is to build a colony around the International Space Station that will wait it out until the planet is habitable again.

I'm not yet halfway through but obviously there are some problems with this plan. Many of the characters realize it too.

The pacing began pretty well and then slowed. It has remained at that slow pace. And I swear to the Great Whatever, that if this book doesn't pay off in the end somehow, I will never read another one of his books again. Unfortunately, the first book I read by him was Cryptonomicon, which is one of the greatest books I've ever read. The rest have been either blah or utter shit. This is his last opportunity.

I just finished Seveneves, and I thought it was pretty good; but not quite as good as the excellent Anathem. If you didn't like Anathem, then we obviously have different taste in literature, and you should ignore my recommendations :)

Damn you! Now I have to read that book. I read Cryptonomicon some 10 years ago and I've been chasing it like crack ever since.

I hope you're satisfied. ;)
 

One

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Feb 10, 2004
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Art & Fear by Paul Virilio.

Virilio is a French cultural theorist. I stumbled across his book while browsing in 2nd & Charles in Atlanta - a venue that I immediately fell in love with. His concepts are loud, brass and interesting. He has a way of linking modern art, technology, war, and scientific precedent in ways I have not seen before. Although I can admit I am not following him completely down his rabbit hole, I am nonetheless intrigued while inspecting its circumference.
 

rousseau

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Started reading Howard Zinn's 'People's History of the US' yesterday and man is the account of the Spaniards first contact with natives ever horrifying.
 
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