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Book Thread.
I thought a trio of themed threads about other entertainment media might be good. If you're not interested, please just ignore the thread and pick some threads that interest you from here:

Anyway, discuss books...
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Rendezvous With Rama + Foundation 
Like Ender's Game, these two books are also considered staples of sci-fi.

Rama is fantastic adventure to an alien spaceship, lying dormant flying through space aimed suspiciously at our solar system's sun. A team is assembled to land on it and find out wtf is going on. I don't want to give up any details, but the rest of the book is fascinating as Mr. Arthur C. Clarke explains this alien ship and the adventures of the crew that explores it. Solid book, looking forward to the other two in the series (Ramans do everything in threes, after all.)

Foundation - I view this sort of as the anti-Ender's game. Whereas Ender's Game was about the world who pinned their hopes on a genius boy to save their bacon by combating an alien threat head on, Foundation is all about fore thought and planning on a grand, statistical scale. Relying on psycho-history (basically statistics and economics) the future has been mapped out very thoroughly by the greatest psycho historian the world has known (I forget his name though.) Long story short, the galactic empire is about to crumble and enter a thirty thousand year dark age. The psycho historians can't stop it, but they can shorten the dark age to only 1,000 years if they are allowed to do as they please. Well, the entire story takes places over 1,000 years, the first book only about 200 of those years, wherein Foundation, the bastion of scientific understanding, fends off threats in its small back-water part of the galaxy.

(Slight spoiler) Violence is a last resort, and the problems Foundation faces are all met through non-violent means, utilizing instead religion to control ignorance and trade embargoes to stifle war. I am looking forward to the other books in the series as well, this kind of story (handling conflict through non-violent means) very intriguing.

Good shit from scifi juggernauts. 
The Other Rama Books... 
... are not very good :-( 
Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kobo Glo??

Read mostly sci-fi and fantasy, occasional thrillers and horror. 
I think either one is fine really, maybe a bit more book choices on Kindle because of amazon, but probably better interface/usability on the Kobo, and more DRM free books (all books on Amazon have DRM, so you can only read them on your kindle). 
Name me some good semi-obscure sfi-etc books that I can test, please xxx 
The Kobo looks nicer because cheaper, microSD and lighther (185g vs 220g). Now I want one too. 
For Spirit 
How Locked In Are You With That Device? 
So Now I Want One Too! 
Who here really, really likes the quakeinjector? :-D 
Me But No! 
Silly EFF chart:

Without a cellular modem you should be pretty safe against remote backdoors like Amazon uses. is a long review video. PDF reading seems not so great, no reflow or column snapping. Damn. 
Anyone got any good recommendations for modern horror??

Particularly stuff where the environment / scenario / world-view is dark, fucked up and evil.

I do NOT like stuff where it all boils down to someone vaguely humanoid offing people in a cliched serial killer type way. I don't like vintage / classic horror with archaic writing.

Must have good, clear, snappy writing. NOT Stephen King (dull as fuck) nor Dean Koontz (lightweight as fuck) style.

Here's a few I've read recently with varying degrees of enjoyment:

Adam Nevill - Last Days - probably the best I've read, first 2/3 is great and genuinely creepy, last 1/3 both a bit long-winded and Hollywood-y but still good overall.

Dan Simmons - The Terror - lengthy but still quite gripping, gruelling setting and intriguing mythology.

FG Cottam - Dark Echo - can't remember much but it was spooky and the obsession of the characters in the mystery was good.

Michelle Paver - Dark Matter - great setting and initially intruiging although fades out at end.

Adam Nevill - The Ritual - pretty good, classic lost in the woods style to start and then goes into odder and less rewarding territory.

Dean Koontz - Phantoms - cliched characters and interactions but quite a good set-up.

Stephen Laws - Chasm - ditto! cool set-up but the epic potential a bit wasted with bland interactions.

Joe Hill - Horns - interesting idea but didn't really capitalise on it.

Dean Koontz - Hideaway - the Radio 1 of horror, yes that bland and lightweight. 
Have you read The Terror by Dan Simmons? You'd like it. Historical metafiction with a blatant, shameless lovecraft/poe influence.
Its not a modern masterpiece but its very good enjoyable, page turning horror. 
Laird Barron 
I read a story of his in an anthology of Lovecraft-influenced stuff - normally I don't buy those, but this one was edited by S. T. Joshi, and I'll buy basically any book with his name on it. Anyway, Barron had a story in there called "The Broadsword" which I thought was really creepy, a few times I was thinking "just what the fuck!!" Anyway, apparently he came out with a book a while ago called "The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All." I'm planning to check it out when I get a chance, probably over christmas. 
Did you read my post? 
Re the e-book reader discussion above, I got myself a 250� chinese 10 inch 1920x1080 tablet and am very happy with it for reading. 
I Usually Hate This Kind Of Announcement 
but these look quite neat.

The Video Game Bundle 2.0

Does anyone know a book out of these? 
Andy Weir - The Martian

Very nice book this. Basically "Gravity, on Mars, written by a droll blogger" - easy to read, witty in places, and grounded with lots of logic and scientific procedure - probably enough to satisfy even the most boring pedant who prefers nit-picking the science rather than enjoying the fiction. Well recommended.

Other than that I have been reading a lot of Robert Charles Wilson recently, Blind Lake and The Harvest being highlights, almost as good as Darwinia and The Chronoliths. 
Welp I just bought The Martian for reading-on-train purposes. Looks like a good fit for that!

I finished _The City and The City_ by China Mieville a couple of days ago. Very satisfying. It's a completely odd premise but the prose and the plot built on it are grounded... not what I expected from Mieville, but it works for what is essentially a noir police procedural. It's made me interested in picking up some more recent Mieville stuff. 
The City And The City. 
Brilliant book, was my favourite book of whichever year it came out. I should get it digitally, it's one I'd just like to have in my collection.

I then read his Kraken after it which was relatively bollox. 
Have you read Embassytown or Railsea? I'm eyeing both of those. 
Railsea Was Okay. 
Quite Young Adult but more entertaining than Kraken. Didn't try Embassytown. 
Great Author, Great Speech 
Some Recent Stuff 
Joe Hill - NOS4A2

Quick-paced epic about a woman's life-long conflict with a soul-destroying child kidnapper. Grotesque imagery abound, chilling villains, and even if it does somewhat run out of steam at the end, the journey itself is more than worth it.

Patrick Rothfuss - The Slow Regard of Silent Things

As much as I appreciate the author's attempt to do something that defies conventional was this a fucking slog to get through. It has the strange effect of making my eyelids unbearably heavy each time I opened the book. Get back to 'The Doors of Stone', please. 
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