Currently Reading or Recommending

Here's the place to discuss science fiction and fantasy books, plus their authors.

Currently Reading or Recommending

New postby Cammy » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:23 pm

Since there seem to be some interest in the wonders of the time-plot, I skimmed my bookshelves looking for the books on the class list for my "Physics of Time" Seminar. I think there were two others assigned for class, and I might still have my bibliography from the final paper, but for now:

Longitude by Dava Sobel
Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman (fabulous, fabulous read)
Timescape by Gregory Benford
About Time by Paul Davies (non-fiction)
Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne (non-fiction)

Of these, only Timscape and Einstein's Dreams would really be sci-fi (and Einstein's Dreams isn't even usually shelved with sci-fi), but I promise, they are all most definitely geeky ;)
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New postby Raven Kai » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:49 pm

Awsome! I am familiar with Timescape but not the others. I will definitely have to check them out. Thank you!
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BOTM (Book of the Month) Sci-Fi

New postby Dementi » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:27 pm

Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book
(From Amazon.com: “Connie Willis labored five years on this story of a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion.”

Frank Herbert’s The White Plague
(From Amazon.com: “What if women were an endangered species? It begins in Ireland, but soon spreads throughout the entire world: a virulent new disease expressly designed to target only women. As fully half of the human race dies off at a frightening pace and life on Earth faces extinction, panicked people and governments struggle to cope with the global crisis. Infected areas are quarantined or burned to the ground. The few surviving women are locked away in hidden reserves, while frantic doctors and scientists race to find a cure. Anarchy and violence consume the planet.”)
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New postby Cammy » Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:59 pm

*SQUEE!!!*

Someone actually knows The White Plague!!!!!

I usually get blank looks when I mention this one. Excellent book. Get's a 5-Okra rating from me! :D
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New postby Raven Kai » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:18 pm

Well, hey if it gets an Okra vote, it is a must read for me!
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New postby abacus » Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:25 pm

I love thinking about the relationship between time as a 'natural' phenomenon and time as a cultural construction - i.e. between time as relating to the rotation of the earth and time as we experience it within our cultural environment. This is a very apposite time of year to mention this as the clocks are about to go back - a definite reminder that although we usually see the passage of time is as 'natural' (12 o'clock is noon is midday etc), the way in which we knit our lives around the hours of the day is cultural and therefore we can choose to change our construction of time, for examlple shifting by the hours of the day to make 12 o'clock occur not at midday in order to maximise working daylight hours. In the same vein I like to think about linear vs cyclical notions of time and how science and cosmology can mesh in fascinating ways in different societies past and present.

Social Being and Time by Chris Gosden is a very interesting book on this subject, although it is 100% not geeky (unless you are an archaeogeek/anthrogeek, in which case, rock on), as is Richard Bradley's The Past in Prehistory.
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New postby Raven Kai » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:22 pm

Cammy, I just Einstein's Dreams at Ye Old Bookshop today!!! Woot!

abacus, those sound awsome. I've found myself with a growing interest in non-fiction of late. While I have always read mythology and antiquities related material, I find myself more drawn to more conceptual thinking books of late. Today I had a book in my cart (but put it back. Maybe I will see if it is still there on Monday) that dealt the with Physiology of taste. I'm fascinated by the idea because most of my career has revolved around my refined sense of taste and smell. I know that's neither here nor there, but just trying to express that my interestests are reaching further and further into the thinking realm.
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Currently Reading

New postby Dementi » Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:28 am

Alas, Babylon is a 1959 novel by American writer Pat Frank. It was one of the first post-apocalyptic novels of the nuclear age and remains popular nearly fifty years after it was first published.

I will let you know what I think when I finish it.

So what is everyone else reading now?
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New postby Pegasus Angel » Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:19 pm

I just finished an excellent book by John Michell called 'The New View Over Atlantis'

I found it completely fascinating and viable and I'm looking out for some of his more recent books...

Synopsis:

Play.com wrote:The View Over Atlantis, John Michell's unrivaled introduction to megalithic science, earth mysteries, and the inner meaning of number and measure, was described by Colin Wilson as "one of the great seminal books of our generation -- a book which will be argued about for decades to come". Across much of the globe are ancient earthworks and stone monuments built for an unknown purpose. Their shared features suggest that they were originally part of a worldwide system, and John Michell argues that they served the elemental science of the archaic civilization that Plato referred to as Atlantis. In this connection the most significant modern discovery is that of "leys", the mysterious network of straight lines that link the ancient places of Britain and have their counterparts in China, Australia, South America, and elsewhere. John Michell's studies of ancient measures have enabled him to define their exact values. The same units recur in the dimensions of monuments all over the world, from Stonehenge to Teotihuacan, and reveal the builders' knowledge of the size and shape of the spheroidal earth, and with it the outlines of their cosmology.
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New postby Aaron_0105 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:29 pm

I'm reading two books at the moment. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Stargate SG1: The Cost of Honour.
Can't seem to put the HP down....
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New postby Victoria Winters » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:57 pm

Dementi, I read Alas, Babylon a few years back for philosophy class. It was very ahead of it's time, that's for sure.
I finished reading Storm Front by Jim Butcher a few nights ago and started Fool Moon by him tonight. They are both Dresden Files novels I just got into about a week ago just poking around the bookstore. Since I only watch movies and play games on tv and am not able to watch shows I have never seen the Dresden Files show. If they're half as good as the books, they have to be great!
Wow, Aaron, can't put down a Harry Potter book? That's all I read for 10 months straight. Started with the first one and had to wait after reading the 6th for the 7th to come out. I'm a late bloomer I guess.
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New postby Pegasus Angel » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:37 pm

I am reading this book 'A Quiet Revolution: Encouraging Positive Values In Our Children' by Frances Farrar...

If you're a teacher and you're feeling fed-up with teaching - read this book! If you're a parent and you're wondering how to keep your kids on the straight and narrow, buy a copy. If you're any kind of a person who has concerns about what's happening to the world - start here. Frances Farrer's account of an extraordinary transformation that took place in a primary school north of Oxford, England, is nothing short of miraculous. The introduction of values, a framework for living, has been woven into the entire fabric of the school's life, and the benefits have spread from the children to their families and into the wider community. To read this book is to be re-inspired about what 'education' really means.


This is one of the main aims of the Brahma Kumaris, is to promote real living values and self-development/self awareness and starting from as young as 5 years, the school programme's benefits are amazing.

http://amazon.co.uk/Quiet-Revolution-En ... 712605770/

The reviews via this link are interesting :D
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New postby Raven Kai » Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:11 pm

I'm presently at different stages in reading The White Plague, Lord Valentine's Castle (Re-read. I read it when I was a kid), The Histories, The Power of Mythology.

Right now, I have little time to read though. :(
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New postby Cammy » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:02 pm

After mentioning this book to someone, I've been re-reading it myself:

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" the autobiography of famed physicist Richard Feynman. It's an amusing read (and very easy on the physics, in case you're afraid of that--this is a physicist who was known for practical jokes and playing the bongos, so really, no need to worry :) )
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New postby Telkesh » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:04 pm

Sort of embarrassing to admit but I am not currently reading anything.
A friend of mine introduced me to fishpond.com.au and since then I've been reading alot. I recently finshed the Dresden Files series. Pretty cool for a crime/supernatural series.
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New postby Victoria Winters » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:16 pm

Hello Telkesh, I am currently reading Grave Peril, the 3rd in the Dresden series. I've just been into them for about a month and can't get enough! Have you read them all? I noticed there is a new one coming out next month. :D
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New postby Telkesh » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:24 pm

Victoria Winters wrote:Hello Telkesh, I am currently reading Grave Peril, the 3rd in the Dresden series. I've just been into them for about a month and can't get enough! Have you read them all? I noticed there is a new one coming out next month. :D


Oh, oh, oh. Another Dresden fan! That makes..3 that I know of :D
A friend got me to watch the Dresden Files TV show and since then I was hooked. I thought nothing could beat it, then I read the books. Even though I knew the outcome for a few of them they were still an amazing read. and they just get better and better.
I have read, and own, every single book. Infact it was the first book I bought through that fishpond site.
I love the later books more then the earlier ones, from about blood rites and up the books begin to really increase in serious plot and recurring characters. I finished White Night a few months afo and am eagerly awaiting the newest one (Assuming we can get it down here. I had to tear apart 3 bookshops before I started to E-Shop)
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New postby Victoria Winters » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:32 pm

I have never seen the Dresden Files show, unfortunately. The only thing I can watch on the tv are dvd's and I have a ps2. I have heard the show is great though. I got into the books in an unlikely way for me, anyway. I was standing in line at my local book store and there was this big display of Dresden Files books and I was bored so I read the back of Blood Rites and mentioned to my honey that it sounded like something I'd like to read sometime. I replaced the book on the display and the next time he went to that store, he bought me the first one in the series. I zipped through it and had a healthy addiction. :)
It's too bad that they're not as common where you are.
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New postby Aaron_0105 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:38 am

Where, and who writes the dresden files? Methinks i'll have to have a look if they are that good.... any help? Who writes them?
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New postby Pegasus Angel » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:57 am

I am reading a book by the colourful Erich von Daniken called Miracles of the Gods. Basically the guy tries to prove (by reason and logic and some fact), that even though he accepts that visions can happen, miracles are not performed by God, Jesus, Mary or any Saints. For example healing at places such as Lourdes. Everything boils down to your faith that you will be healed if you go to that place (or oneof many other shirnes, guru's etc). The mind begins the healing process and it's all to do with psychology, etc.

It also goes into bashing, through research, contradictions, logic, opinion about how the Bible as we know it was put together (what was left out) in an attempt to prove his points about Christians purposely being kept in the dark about the truth, and goes as far as to say that if all Christian's did a little reading into the background of their faith, after there wouldn't be many faithful left, as they'd all realise the had been led along intentionally for 2,000 years...all this ties in with his theories on how miracles don't exist as the Church tells us they do. He also goes into a lot of psychology, parapsychology and talks about matter and spirit.

I find all this stuff fascinating and have several books by him. He is a little extreme for my liking, but he was first writing in the 70's and was a great thinker for his time...he has some more recent stuff, but I haven't read them yet. Some of his books cover his claim of alien influences on the Earth. 'Chariots of the God's' was a good example of this...
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New postby Raven Kai » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:37 pm

I read his "Chariots of the Gods" when I was a kid.
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New postby Pegasus Angel » Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:53 pm

Fascinating stuff, far fetched, but very intriguing... :D
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New postby Raven Kai » Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:02 pm

Hey, it brought us the Stargate series. ;)
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New postby Telkesh » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:23 pm

Victoria Winters wrote: I was standing in line at my local book store and there was this big display of Dresden Files books and I was bored so I read the back of Blood Rites and mentioned to my honey that it sounded like something I'd like to read sometime.


They displayed them for you? Now that's not fair :D After I had read the first few books I was in a bookstore and figured I'd buy it there, seeing as I had seen the particular copy (Grave Peril) there. I went up to the store clerk and asked him about it. He just looked puzzled then tried to tell me that that particular book series is no longer being published. I just stared at him dumbfounded. the newest book was only published last year.
Australian bookstores have no tastes for good books.

Aaron_0105 wrote:Where, and who writes the dresden files? Methinks i'll have to have a look if they are that good.... any help? Who writes them?

The author's name is Jim Butcher. He has also written a pretty successful fantasy series, but I've yet to read that.
The Dresden Files is a rarity in itself. It's written in the first person, so everything we see is through Dresden's eyes. I usually steer clear of 1st person books, but this one is well done.
Just a little more on it so you know: It's classed as a supernatural/crime drama. Basically he investigates crime scenes that have a supernatural feel about them; Black magic, werewolves, fairies (The scary kind).
As you might of noticed I'm a huge fan ;)
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New postby Aaron_0105 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:00 pm

Pegasus Angel wrote:I am reading a book by the colourful Erich von Daniken called Miracles of the Gods. Basically the guy tries to prove (by reason and logic and some fact), that even though he accepts that visions can happen, miracles are not performed by God, Jesus, Mary or any Saints. For example healing at places such as Lourdes. Everything boils down to your faith that you will be healed if you go to that place (or oneof many other shirnes, guru's etc). The mind begins the healing process and it's all to do with psychology, etc.

It also goes into bashing, through research, contradictions, logic, opinion about how the Bible as we know it was put together (what was left out) in an attempt to prove his points about Christians purposely being kept in the dark about the truth, and goes as far as to say that if all Christian's did a little reading into the background of their faith, after there wouldn't be many faithful left, as they'd all realise the had been led along intentionally for 2,000 years...all this ties in with his theories on how miracles don't exist as the Church tells us they do. He also goes into a lot of psychology, parapsychology and talks about matter and spirit.

I find all this stuff fascinating and have several books by him. He is a little extreme for my liking, but he was first writing in the 70's and was a great thinker for his time...he has some more recent stuff, but I haven't read them yet. Some of his books cover his claim of alien influences on the Earth. 'Chariots of the God's' was a good example of this...


I could have told you that.... All a bunch of Mumbo Jumbo...
I would find it an interesting read though... Thanks PA.

@Telkesh, Thanks for the info... If you have trouble finding books goto www.abebooks.com. Do a search there and you will most likely find what you need... It has never failed me yet and you can generally get the books cheaper with postage and handling from overseas cheaper than you would in a bookstore here...
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New postby Telkesh » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:20 pm

Aaron_0105 wrote:@Telkesh, Thanks for the info... If you have trouble finding books goto www.abebooks.com. Do a search there and you will most likely find what you need... It has never failed me yet and you can generally get the books cheaper with postage and handling from overseas cheaper than you would in a bookstore here...


Well I am now in love with you. Sorry, man.
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New postby Victoria Winters » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:38 pm

LOL love is abloom! :)
Oh apparently Jim Butcher lives with his family and a guard dog. Or so it says in the back of the books.
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New postby Aaron_0105 » Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:36 pm

Telkesh wrote:
Aaron_0105 wrote:@Telkesh, Thanks for the info... If you have trouble finding books goto www.abebooks.com. Do a search there and you will most likely find what you need... It has never failed me yet and you can generally get the books cheaper with postage and handling from overseas cheaper than you would in a bookstore here...


Well I am now in love with you. Sorry, man.

Glad to be of service mate.
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New postby Pegasus Angel » Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:29 pm

I'm now reading Arthur C Clark's 'Mysterious World'.

Just read the first chapter about the varieties of Bigfoot's around the globe - fascinating! :shock: :D
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New postby Victoria Winters » Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:32 pm

Sasquatch and Yeti and Bigfoot, oh my!
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