Author Topic: Books you are currently reading ...  (Read 69283 times)

Mandos

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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2007, 12:40:48 AM »
Well, I just mentioned C. J. Cherryh, who is a very good source for that, especially if you're interested in intercultural conflict/reconcilliation.  

If you don't mind fantasy, and you don't mind grim hopelessness, then there's China MiĆ©ville's New Crobuzon fantasies.  Not social realism, but social surrealism.  He's a Trotskyist who can write.

Mandos

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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 12:44:42 AM »
If you are looking for feminism, there's a large bibliography.  Suzy Charnas, Suzette Haden Elgin, Sheri Tepper.  Tepper's The Gate to Women's Country is considered a feminist SF classic.

jrootham

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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 08:42:34 PM »
Quote from: Croghan27
...
Howard Engel I got to know there  from his terrific "A Child's Christmas in Scarborough". That along with Dan Needles, Letters from Wingfield Farm are all that is good about Canadian writing. (no pun intended there).


"A Child's Christmas in Scarborough" has become a staple at the Flying Cloud Christmas show.  Currently it's being read by a Welsh member of my Morris team.  Howard Engel did it one year.  The best reading was by David Parry.  The contrast between him and Howard was an interesting instruction on the difference between an author and a performer.

I saw what I suspect was the first performance of Letters from Wingfield Farm at the Palmerston library.  Dan's brother Reed (my stage fight instructor) was the actor then.

'lance

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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2007, 10:07:50 PM »
Palmerston! My best friend moved down there in 1976, after which I usually only saw him in summers. Finally visited the town in 1989, on my meandering way across the country.

Now he's back in the same town we grew up in -- about a mile from our old neighbourhood, as the crow flies across long-abandoned Ottawa Valley rock farms and second-growth forest.

k'in

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« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2007, 11:45:26 AM »
Am vaguely aware of Palmerston.  Down the road from Palmerston is Harriston which I've been through countless times.  We kids would giggle and tell Star War's jokes en route to our Grandparent's house as we spied the sign for the local automobile dealership-Harriston Ford.  Recall being subjected to a theatre performance of "The Perils of Persephone" by Dan Needles once upon a time.

'lance

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« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2007, 11:50:28 AM »
Until I got down to that part of the province, I'd always heard it pronounced POMerston. My friend and his fambly, being come-from-aways, said it like that. While hitchhiking there, and then spending time there, I noticed that anyone who'd been born and raised there said PAMerston ("pam" like "ham").

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Recall being subjected to a theatre performance of "The Perils of Persephone" by Dan Needles once upon a time.


A non-fan of Mr. Needles, I take it?

k'in

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« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2007, 01:05:12 PM »
Quote from: l'ance
A non-fan of Mr. Needles, I take it?
Oh, I'm thinking I liked that one.  He managed to write about nuclear waste and make it seem funny, no small task.  I'm guessing I would like his other stuff too.  Memories in general of summer theatre in the old home town make me cringe a bit.  I found this scathing quotethat captures the feeling:
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For industrial-grade summer stock, the place to avoid this summer seems to be Blyth, the little town north of Stratford which for over 20 years has been responsible not only for reviving summer stock in all its terrifying earnestness, but for inventing a ghoulish homegrown Canadian strain all its own.
If that's not cute enough for you, why not book into one of Blyth's weekend home-cooked country suppers? It's best not to see this kind of theatre on an empty stomach.  


You're right about Pom/Pam-erston.  Outsiders and radio announcers always said "Pom" but once in a blue moon you'd hear "Pam".  Probably from a Palmerstonian.  Local dialect indeed.

deBeauxOs

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« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2007, 04:12:28 PM »
I just finished 'Galveston' by Paul Quarrington.  What a disappointing piece of trite tripe.  And a "The Giller Prize" finalist to boot.  Yuk.

Croghan27

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« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2007, 06:00:34 PM »
I am now reading a short biography of Werner Heisenberg. A man that wanted to be a mathematician, ended up studying fluid behaviour and developed Quantum mechanics with his famous uncertainty principle.

Was he a Nazi? Possibly. He claimed he was not, but that was later. I saw a play about a (fictional) meeting he had with Nels Bohr, one of the fathers/designers of the Trinity bomb and the Manhattan project. In the last scene he observes that Bohr produced the bomb that killed 100,000 people on an afternoon - the German bomb did nothing but consume resources.

The debate centers on the question: is that  just making a positive out of failure.

I shall possibly post something substantial about it/him later in the week.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

skdadl

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« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2007, 05:00:04 AM »
That play would be Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, I believe. I'd love to see it.

Croghan27

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« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2007, 05:24:19 AM »
Quote from: skdadl
That play would be Michael Frayn's Copenhagen, I believe. I'd love to see it.


Yo skdadl:

I actually saw it in Toronto, on Young Street (what ever that big theatre is called near Queen.)

I had seen Proof on Broadway and thought it terrific. I did not know the depth of controversy about Heisenberg at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_%28play%29

My skills with the link thingie need more practice.   :evil:
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

belva

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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2007, 11:31:37 AM »
I just started Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality by Pauline Chen!  Wow! She is outstanding!!!! Beautiful prose, thoughtful and lovingly done!

Croghan27

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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2007, 04:11:31 PM »
Yo belva:

good observation:
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She is outstanding!!!! Beautiful prose, thoughtful and lovingly done!


There are some authors that cannot or chose not to handle plots, yet are well worth reading because of they rejoyce in the language. A SF writer named Theodore Sturgon was like that, William Styron could do that.

Ray Bradbury has a story that every time I think of it, I am amazed how out and out dumb it is. About a prehistoric monister, awakened by nuclear tests, it lusts for a fog horn. When fog horn does not respond (bitch! bitch! bitch! I guess  :shock: ) It destroys it and descends back into the depths.

Stupid, eh? But Bradbury's prose makes me at least weepy, if not unappreciated as he captures some universal sense of lonelyness and the frustration of reaching out and being rejected.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

arborman

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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2007, 04:24:44 PM »
In my ongoing addiction to high quality science fiction, I have spent the past few weeks inhaling Neal Stephenson books.  Currently I am about 1/3 of the way through Cryptonomicon, which is a really incredible read.  I have no idea where he's going with it, but I'm starting to get hints.  Very tantalizing.

Another book well worth the read is Accelerando by Charles Stross, who has somehow managed to produce 5 almost totally unique and mindblowing novels in the space of 3 years.  Though it is too early to say, I think 20 years from now it will be viewed as a turning point for science fiction and social projection.  It boggles the mind to read it.  It is available as a free ebook for those who don't want to buy it (though I encourage you to do so).
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

kuri

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« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2007, 06:41:41 PM »
I take so long these days to complete a book. I pick it up and read a chapter, and then I don't have an opportunity to pick it up again for weeks. Usually meaning I have re-read the chapter I already read.

Anyway, I'm currently working my snail's pace way through The Upside of Down, by Thomas Home- Dixon. I'm at Chapter 3 and so far I'm really impressed. The idea of the thermodynamics of empire (that all empires are sustained by a flow of energy, with energy expanded to include calories, heat, etc.) Usually when I'm reading non-fiction, I'm mentally picking apart the arguments with what ifs. Whenever I think of a 'what if' or 'what about' question when reading Homer-Dixon, he has a response to it within the next few pages. So either my objections of very boring, or Homer-Dixon and I think very similarly. ;)

I really enjoyed his previous book, The Ingenuity Gap, which left me twisting around thoughts from it at random times during the rest of my day.

 

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