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Author Topic: How to clone a Pkunk.  (Read 8799 times)
Rogue Kohr-Ah
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2006, 02:03:37 am »

Anne McCaffery is perhaps one of the most stuck up people I have ever had the displeasure of meeting in that miserable existence we call "real life."

Which is okay, because her books are Dragonlance, but sans the interesting parts.  Raistlin, for the win!
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Mugz the Sane
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2006, 10:50:45 am »

Just because someone is a complete tool doesn't mean they can't write a decent story. Or at least even a halfway decent one.

Anyone have any comments about Raymond Feist?
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2006, 01:01:16 pm »

Anne McCaffrey: No thanks. Some of her older SF is okay, but her more recent stuff has been pretty limp. The Pern stuff is okay-ish, but a lot of her more recent stuff and a lot of the stuff set in the Ship universe (The Ship That Sang, The Station That Fought, etc, etc, I've probably got some names mangled) is fluffy in the extreme.

Raymond E. Feist: Mostly over-rated. Keep in mind, however, that I'm one of those "old skool" types who prefers Fritz Leiber's style of fantasy, rather than this awful heroic fantasy crap that gets churned out by a network of seemingly identical authors to a formula (Good vs. Evil with a serving of Sex, Violence and Cliches on th side...)

Hehehe, CJ Cherryh for the win, I say!
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Lukipela
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2006, 10:06:57 pm »

Heh, I liked the Ship universe. I enjoyed the concept of training brains and having them locked in tanks. But then again, I'm probably the worst person in the word for reweing books, I enjoy pretty much everything I read on some level. Granted, some things make me goah "Woah", ehilst other only makes me smile, but almost everything goes down.

Except for Robert Jordan, and that is mostly because he doesn't know when to quit.

I enjoyed Feist as well,  even though I felt the books lacked some distinction. The whole hall of worlds thing was interesting though, even if it isn't exactly new.

Another fantasy author I'd recommend reading (and OOPMan will probably hate) is Jennifer Robertsons Cheysuli books, especially if you can find them in a library. The story is almost-run of the mill fantasy, but the varying perspective between books makes for some interesting revelations.

Though if you want to read completely off the wall sci-fi rather than Mcaffrey, gor for Iain M Banks. There is something disturbingly wrong in his head.
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Rogue Kohr-Ah
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2006, 11:54:02 pm »

I grew up on Tolkien, and he always will be the grandfather of the genre.
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2006, 06:39:12 am »

Wow... the train has left the station and skipped the tracks. Tongue

[offtopic]
McCaffrey: I've read quite a lot of her stuff.  Older stuff is good, new stuff isn't worth the paper its printed on.  Her early work is much edgier and not so Pollyanna.  The Ship Who Sang, Dragonsinger, To Ride Pegasus, and the majority of the Planet Pirates series is good (the latter series being good due to the tempering influence of other authors).

Feist: Riftwar Saga is pretty good from start to finish for the first set (ending at A Darkness at Sethanon).  The following series were mostly hit-and-miss (more miss than hit), with the exception of the Empire series starting with Daughter of the Empire, which was much better than the rest of his works (again, like McCaffrey, I think the collaboration with Janny Wurts helped him here).  His standalone novel Faerie Tale is also interesting.

Robert Jordan:  Annoys me.  Greatly.  None of his characters are likable.  I'd like to take Rand, Elayne, Aviendha, Mat, and all the rest of those brats and toss them into an eternal pool of saidar.  In fact, the only characters in the entire series that I can stomach are Loial and Thom Merrilin...

Off the wall recommendations:

Neil Gaiman:  Sometimes better known for his comic book work on Miracleman and The Sandman, Neil Gaiman writes some truly interesting novels.  His three notable works in fiction are Good Omens (collaboration with the indominatable Terry Pratchett), American Gods, and Anansi Boys.  I can heartily recommend all three books.

Laurell K. Hamilton:  You'd almost have to be living under a rock if you read any sci-fi/fantasy and not heard of Laurell K. Hamilton and her Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels.  But while the first four books of the series are excellent, her later sequels seem much weaker by comparison - but do pick up the first several books if you've not read them yet - they have great writing, excellent dialogue, and characters who have some of the snappiest patter I've ever read.

Jim Butcher:  Jim Butcher is the male equivalent to Hamilton, with a male protagonist in a similar sort of fantasy-is-real-life setting, but without the overemphasis on sex as a plot tool.  His Harry Dresden novels are all excellent, and his writing style and character dialogue are just as strong as Hamilton's.
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2006, 09:18:57 am »

I'm with Lukipela here, in that I more-or-less liked all fantasy that I read to some degree.  Even Jordan, or at least at first anyway... >_> 

Mollestet Jr.(spelling?) isn't mentioned and his books are alright, even if a little formulated.  Good for a few.  R.R. Martin isn't bad either.

Strangely enough, i've almost never liked any of the Science Fiction that i've read.  As far as my annoying, mewling opinion can be concerned all I tend to find is the standard fare of galactic warfare, space operas and books soooooo strange they make me wonder what was injested or injected into the author to come up with the premise.

I recommend The Comte of Monty Cristo for those snarky goths out there, though by today's standards his vengance may seem a little tame.  For the light, facetious readers, I'd go with the Diskworld series of novels, some of which are good, and some of which are excellent.  For something a little different, try getting your hands on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, or read it online.  Not all *that* different, but it's foreign, and therefore worth reading... maybe. :3

In conclusion, i'd say we're far, far off topic again, but eh I won't say anything if you don't. :3
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Lukipela
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2006, 11:31:14 am »

I grew up on Tolkien, and he always will be the grandfather of the genre.

I think most of us did. In a way I feel sorry for younger generations, because for them it is more likely that they see the movies first, and read the books second. And even though I enjoyed the movies immensely, they were still a poor substitute for the characters I myself created while reading the boks.

Icemage: I agree that McCaffrey seems at her best when writing with another author. Its is a strange thing, but I suppose that some authors need a counterpart to discuss ideas with more than others. And Daughter of the Emperor was indeed nice. Both the culture clash, and insight into the previously unknown Tsuranni culture gave the series a nice feel. I also enjoyed the whatever-they-were-called aliens on the Tsuranni that turned out to be the original inhabitants ofthe planet.

Regarding Jordan, I have to say I enjoyed the first two or three books, and kept reading up til the 7th book just to see the story through before I gave up. Fun fact: The swedish translations of Robert Jordans Wheel of Time was split, so that each english book becomes two translated ones. This means 7 books turned into 14. It also means every second book ends about halfway through a bok, with no conclusion of any kind.

Gaimans American Gods is an awesomebook. My boss borrowed it three years ago, and has yet to give it back. Bastard.

Isn't Hamiltons books the ones with love triangles between vapires and werewolves and such? I seem to recall reading one (probabyl aquired during soem trick) and findning interesting, but odd. Sure there was plenty of action and killing, but there was also loads of sweaty vampire and werewolf sex. Which kind of negated the good parts to me. I shall have to look into Butcher though, thanks.

Holocat: If you don't like formulaic sci-fi, then there are still several authors out there for you. Banks has a few books centered around other things than war, such as Feersum indjunn, but theres a lot of war in the background in his other books. I'll try to dig up something interesting or you.

Derail? What derail?
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2006, 08:13:40 am »

Modesitt Jr... argh. Okay, yes, I liked his books' stories. The writing style was off-putting. The tenses made ME tense.

I, too, feel sympathy for the modern generations with reference to Tolkien. The latest crop of movies were the best ever - but still were not the books.

Anne Rice's vampire novels were also pretty good.

I also found David Eddings entertaining for light fantasy. No @#%@^ orcs here!
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2006, 09:13:48 am »

Re: Modesitt Jr, Mua Ha!  The chaos chapters in all present tense, yeah, that stuff was just wierdly written.  What is he on?  I find that his characters tend to be the same, over and over, as well.  He tries to break out of it every now and again, but... :3

You know I didn't grow up on tolken?  I think the first fiction novel I read was Tom Sawyer or something or other.  I read and liked The Hobbit, but oddly enough I didn't really like Tolken's Lord of the Rings.  Haven't seen the movies either.

It's not that I don't like galatic warfare Luki, it's just that a lot of the Sci Fi I managed to get my paws on concentrates on tech.  Unsuprising, really, as it's Galatic warfare science fiction, but still, it's annoying.  Like that latest book I endured, whatsit called... Right, the Honor Harrington series of galactic warfare novels.  Yech. :3

In retrospect, I found Eddings made his characters just a little to utterly omnipotent, but I agree as light fantasy it's nice to read.
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2006, 04:31:49 pm »

light fantasy without omnipotent characters verbally sniping each other? I like omnipotent characters verbally sniping each other. Much funnier.

What Eddings didn't do wrong was to only have one omnipotent character. He had a bunch of them.

Anyone here ever read 'Thieves World?' A sort of anthology edited by a Robert Lynn Asprin. Just skip the last two as they get... depressing.
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2006, 05:44:01 pm »

An author I haven't seen mentioned but enjoyed reading is Frad Saberhagen. Granted, I've only read the Books of Swords and Lost Swords (which may as well be one series), but I enjoyed them a great deal. Decent fantasy base with a bit of occasional genre-jumping thrown in for good measure. He and Pratchett were the first authors I read to associate a "belief=power" idea to their omnipotent beings, though he takes a more serious tone than Pratchett.

I didn't read The Lord of the Rings until high school (after I had read numerous fantasy and sci-fi novels already), but I realized long before I picked it up that the books were genre-defining works. Still, I can't really say that I "grew up" on Tolkien; I read The Hobbit after I had finished the trilogy already, and have basically ignored everything else he's written. As far as the movies go... Well, they were excellent, but it's important to realize that no film will ever match up to the books themselves (unless you really want to experience a 16+ hour epic for each one, then *maybe*).

Orson Scott Card's Ender series, as well as Fank Herbert's Dune series, took up a lot of my reading time some years back (at least between Discworld books, anyway). Both get steadily crazier as the series go on, though, to the point where I eventually gave up on them when they exceeded my "out there" threshold.
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2006, 11:07:46 am »

As far as the movies go... Well, they were excellent, but it's important to realize that no film will ever match up to the books themselves (unless you really want to experience a 16+ hour epic for each one, then *maybe*).

I don't think it's fair to say that films wont match up to books, it's comparing apples to oranges.
Sure books can give you a better view inside the characters' minds, but movies are much better for showing situations, especially dynamic ones.
It happens every once in a while that some authors put a few seconds worth of action in a page or to because they want to give a precise description of what's going on.
Another thing is when they try to describe, say, a swordfight with specialist fencing terms... I'm sure it would look cool if I actually knew what's beeing said there.
Movies have no such problems, they just show what they need to show.

Everything has a different set of limitations and possibilities, so you can't really say one thing is *better* then the other.
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2006, 08:23:13 am »

It would be better - sorry, more accurate - to say that movies are *better* for some people while books are *better* for others.
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Re: How to clone a Pkunk.
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2006, 09:04:53 am »

It would be better - sorry, more accurate - to say that movies are *better* for some people while books are *better* for others.

Well, not necesarily for people, I'd say books are better for some situations and movies for other.

If you want to show, I dunno, a beutiful landscape, in a book you go on and describe it for a page or two. Depending on how good you are, the reader might or might  not be lost in your description, and the probability of him beeing awestruck by the beuty of the landscape you're trying to describe is lower then in the case of  a movie, where you just show it.

When it comes to books your are also limited by your imagination - you can't imagine something you have never seen (and no saying that you can imagine a three headed cat with a cows tail doesn't count. You have seen a cat, you have seen it's head, and you have seen a cow's tail, you'd be just adding those things togather).

On the other hand, when you want to show the thought process going on in a character's head, books win hands down. Sure, in a movie you can show the character staring at something distant and play his voice with an echo. But often one's thoughts are more complex and elaborate, you can easily show them in a book, but in a movie you'd just loose the viewers (the same way you'd loose the readers in the first example).

Another form of art , that is strangely forgotten in discussions such as these, are games.
They are the only form of art that allow a first person narration, yet strangely enough it was used much more often in the past, now, it seems, games try to be intaractive books/movies. Lots of potential is lost this way.
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