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Old 7th September 2011, 06:16 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

The King's Gold by Arturo Pèrez-Reverte

A book i bought less than 1 hour ago and who grabbed me when i tried the first page. Its written so well that despite the english translation its clear the author, characters are spanish with their way of speaking, attitudes,historical realism. Its refreshing to read historical fiction about 1600s from Spanish POV and not only english,brit POV.
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Old 7th September 2011, 06:18 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Just checked out What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver

Looking forward to reading this guy's stories.
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Old 7th September 2011, 06:45 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

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Just checked out What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver
Brilliant book! Hope you enjoy it!
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Old 7th September 2011, 09:41 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Mr. G: From what I gather, both from editors and writers I've talked to, when it comes to houses like Penguin, etc., while errors do creep in more frequently than they used, they still have a rather higher standard when it comes to the literary canon. They are somewhat less rigorous with modern "classics". And mainstream literature -- that is, modern non-genre literature -- suffers from a lot of the same things any genre does: the lack of proofreaders, haste and carelessness in editing, etc.

However, in my own experience... yes, genre literature does seem to have more than its share of such problems, especially when it comes to sff. Nor is this only the small presses -- I see a fair amount of it in the major houses, as well. Even some of the small presses which are normally quite careful about such have some odd things; I recall, with Hippocampus' complete set of Smith's verse, places where the notes or introductory matter would direct you to "pp. 000-00"... the sort of slip-up for which, during my years as a typesetter/proofreader, you'd have been called on the carpet and left the office with your ears ringing!

However, this is nothing new. I love the old Zebra REH line, but mein Gott! the horrible typos, problems with paste-up (entire lines or even partial paragraphs being repeated at the bottom or top of pages, bits of correction which had slipped and been shot at an angle, where they blocked parts of several words, etc.) and the like, were simply atrocious! I don't know if I've ever seen the like from any professional publisher before or since. But I have seen close to it at times; so this trend dates back to at least the mid-1970s.

(On the other hand, there are small presses which are almost obsessive about taking care of such things, and these generally also have higher standards in most other regards as well.)
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Old 8th September 2011, 12:48 AM   #65 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Finished Budrys' Michaelmas. I can't really say anything about this book without being spoilery. Basically, the first 220 pages of my 247 page paperback (allowing for a slight drag towards the end when things almost pick up as they should but don't, quite - and allowing for something that desperately needs to be explained but never is, but you still believe at that point will be eventually) are 220 pages of one of the best novels ever. The last 27 pages aren't. But the first 220 are definitely worth re-reading and, perhaps with foreknowledge, the whole will seem better (or worse).
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Old 8th September 2011, 10:10 AM   #66 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

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Finished Budrys' Michaelmas. I can't really say anything about this book without being spoilery. Basically, the first 220 pages of my 247 page paperback (allowing for a slight drag towards the end when things almost pick up as they should but don't, quite - and allowing for something that desperately needs to be explained but never is, but you still believe at that point will be eventually) are 220 pages of one of the best novels ever. The last 27 pages aren't. But the first 220 are definitely worth re-reading and, perhaps with foreknowledge, the whole will seem better (or worse).
I loved the whole book (mind you, it's a good 20 years since I read it). This and Rogue Moon are probably my two favourite Budrys novels -- an author I rate very highly -- and I think Laurent Michaelmas is a great character. Michaelmas also features in a couple of short stories: "A Scraping at the Bones" and "The Nuptial Flight of Warbirds", both worth checking out.
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Old 8th September 2011, 10:52 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Now finished Wolf's Brother, by Megan Lindholm. Absolutely superb: the best depiction of shamans and shamanism I've read in fiction, and with excellent characterisation, sense of place and culture and whatnot.

I had thought it would then be natural to move on to her later Robin Hobb stuff, but had a look at Assassin's Apprentice and could not get interested in it. I didn't like Dragon Keeper much either.
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Old 8th September 2011, 12:47 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

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The King's Gold by Arturo Pèrez-Reverte

A book i bought less than 1 hour ago and who grabbed me when i tried the first page. Its written so well that despite the english translation its clear the author, characters are spanish with their way of speaking, attitudes,historical realism. Its refreshing to read historical fiction about 1600s from Spanish POV and not only english,brit POV.
Nice one Conn. Pèrez-Reverte is one of Spain's leading contemporary novelists. If you enjoy King's Gold you should check out his two best known works Fencing Master and Dumas Club. I intend to review the Dumas Club at some stage. It's something of a masterpiece. In fact the Johnny Depp film from a few years ago The Ninth Gate that granted was not a great movie was nevertheless 'based' on this novel. Here's a blurb to wet your appetite....

Fallen angels, satanic manuals, and a passion for the works of Raphael Sabatini and Alexandre Dumas among others--this is the stuff of Spanish author Arturo Pérez-Reverte's engrossing novel The Club Dumas. Set in a world of antiquarian booksellers where dealers would gladly betray their own mothers to get their hands on a rare volume, The Club Dumas is a thinking person's thriller: in addition to a riveting plot, the book is full of intriguing details that range from the working habits of Alexandre Dumas to how one might go about forging a 17th-century text. Woven through these meditations is enough murder, sex, and the occult to keep both the hero, Lucas Corso, and the reader hopping.

@JD: Thanks so much for those insights. I somehow had gained the impression that Genre fiction suffered more than mainstream literature and that there might be a 'snob' element to this vis a vis the poorer cousin receiving less 'serious' attention and therefore less funds, attracting less of the good quality editors or numbers of staff dedicated to the process etc..
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Old 8th September 2011, 01:08 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

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I loved the whole book (mind you, it's a good 20 years since I read it). This and Rogue Moon are probably my two favourite Budrys novels -- an author I rate very highly -- and I think Laurent Michaelmas is a great character. Michaelmas also features in a couple of short stories: "A Scraping at the Bones" and "The Nuptial Flight of Warbirds", both worth checking out.
Yep - I pretty much agree: the bulk of the writing is fully as good as anything (including Rogue Moon) that he's written (and Rogue Moon is also my favorite) and Budrys is one of my favorite authors and Michaelmas is a great character - and nothing in the ending takes away from that but I just found the style of Chapter 12 to switch gears and even eras and just wasn't in keeping with the rest (even from a character standpoint). Which is weird, as I can love me some Chapter 12 kinds of stories, but this just didn't feel like one of them.

TOTAL spoilers: What I'm getting at is that several possibilities for the nature of the forces opposing Michaelmas and Domino are raised, including something similar to what ends up being the case. But the very fact of raising it (and the fact that all these alien/interdimensional theories are raised as though they were just extreme thought experiments) sort of defuses it. You think, "Nah, must be something else," but then there it is. And the entire preceding story is smart and cerebral with the future tech woven into the story in an understated manner. And Michaelmas is smart and plans ahead and pulls puppet strings. Yet, in Chapter 12, we literally enter another world - a "secret room" that is filled with Super Science blinkenlights with a Mad Scientist and weird critters and Michaelmas seems to have no real plan and has to personally, physically kill the "bad guy". So it turns out the whole story was vectored to that from the beginning, but it wasn't presented that way and, if it had been, it'd have been a completely different sort of story - and maybe a good one in its own way. But this story seems to want a different sort of climax.

The other thing that was really critical to me is that Domino turns out to be pure magic. Based on the timeline, an initial version of Domino seems to have been invented by Michaelmas around 1970 as a sort of dictaphone and evolved somehow into a world-spanning and world-controlling AI by c.1996-2000. And Michaelmas carries the primary contact node around like a loaf of bread (and apparently has been forever). But a whole team of geniuses constructed a really feeble, primitive Unix on mini-computers the size of refrigerators at about the same time Michaelmas was doing his thing and it hadn't quite turned into Version 7 Unix by the time Budrys was writing this, so projecting Domino is... well, like I said, pure magic.

But I'd be happy if I was misinterpreting either of these points.


I'm extremely curious about what the original 2-part serial in F&SF was like but, AFAIK, the only way to find out is to have the Aug and Sep '76 issues.

Anyway - I have "The Nuptial Flight of Warbirds" and several others and look forward to getting to them someday.
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Old 8th September 2011, 06:15 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

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Brilliant book! Hope you enjoy it!
I have already. Hooked by the first story. Wonderful understated quality to his writing.
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Old 9th September 2011, 12:56 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Benford's Across the Sea of Suns. I didn't like this as much as the first book in the Galactic Centre series though I still enjoyed the hard science in it. At times I found the story confusing and a struggle to understand the author's logic. I also didn't like some of the writing "tricks" he employed. Multiple radio conversations written linearly. Each new line a different snippet of conversation but not the same conversation as the previous line rather one from several lines back. Even harder to follow than it is to explain; just made my head hurt.
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Old 9th September 2011, 04:13 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Club Dumas and The Flanders Panel are both awesome. I haven't read anything from him in many, many years. I should do so soon.
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Old 9th September 2011, 04:25 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

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Club Dumas and The Flanders Panel are both awesome. I haven't read anything from him in many, many years. I should do so soon.
I've not read The Flanders Panel. what's that about?

I also noticed you praising Steph Swainston. I'm a fan of Steph and rate The Year Of Our War and the follow up books highly. I've noticed several other member comments on these books indicating they were not that impressed by the writing but I think it's better than good.

On another point, you should check out/research K.j. Bishop's 'Etched City' You might like it.
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Old 9th September 2011, 05:42 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Finally had a chance to finish off The Crawling Chaos. It was interesting revisiting these stories in such a format, and seeing "Four O'Clock" by HPL's missus again was rather nice... despite it being a rather confused, foggy, and at times downright silly little tale. For those who have read HPL's revised versions of Adolphe de Castro's tales, you might want to take a look at the following, just to see what a huge improvement he made; this despite the fact that even his versions are far from being gems of the genre:

http://www.archive.org/details/incon...alan00danziala

Look for "A Sacrifice to Science" and "The Automatic Executioner"....

Will now (an interesting bit of serendipity) be moving on to The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter, an American rendition of Richard Voss' Der Mönch von Berchtesgaden by Ambrose Bierce and... yep, Gustav Adolphe Danziger (aka Adolphe de Castro)....
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Old 9th September 2011, 09:58 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Re: September's Studious Search For Sonorous Snippets

Really enjoyed the gathering storm. Thought it was a bit slow to start but was really caught up by the end

Especially considering that in the previous couple of books i was so frustrated that nothing much had seemed to happen.

Now reading Dragonfly Falling 2nd in the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Looking forward to this as I really enjoyed the first book
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