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-   -   Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (https://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=20632)

chalsall 2015-11-06 18:39

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
 
OK, Mike has made this space available for discussion. Thanks!

Please feel free to bring your most important books forward. But, the important thing is, you must stick around to answer questions and/or moderate discussion.

My opening...

"Good Omens" is [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Omens"]an early novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman[/URL].

It is fall down funny, and shows the subtle humour of Pratchett early on.

Premise: What happens when the son of Satan ends up with a different mother because of a mix-up at the hospital?

chalsall 2015-11-06 18:56

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
 
A highly geeky book.

It is set in two different time periods, modern time (as of 1999, when it was written) and World War II (2).

It basically mostly involves the advances in cryptography and ICT, and their use. Bletchly Park and Alan Turing figure prominently, but so do the solderers "on the ground".

Interestingly, there is a cypher used in the book ("Pontifex" AKA "Solitaire") using packs of playing cards. This was developed by Bruce Schneier, an encryption expert. It actually works, and is detailed in a post script. This is no ordinary novel.

kladner 2015-11-06 20:12

[QUOTE=chalsall;415150]A highly geeky book.

It is set in two different time periods, modern time (as of 1999, when it was written) and World War II (2).

It basically mostly involves the advances in cryptography and ICT, and their use. Bletchly Park and Alan Turing figure prominently, but so do the solderers "on the ground".

Interestingly, there is a cypher used in the book ("Pontifex" AKA "Solitaire") using packs of playing cards. This was developed by Bruce Schneier, an encryption expert. It actually works, and is detailed in a post script. This is no ordinary novel.[/QUOTE]

This is an outstanding book. I have read it a few/several times, and always find more in it. There are many, very engaging characters, beyond the grandfather-grandson pair into whose heads the reader is allowed.

kladner 2015-11-06 21:03

William Gibson trilogy (moved by OP)
 
I am currently rereading the third book the [URL="http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/index.asp"]William Gibson[/URL] trilogy consisting of "Pattern Recognition," "Spook Country," and "Zero History."

I just previously reread Spook Country, which blows my mind every time I go through it. There are three characters the reader sees into, and a host fascinating "external" characters. The master plot is very gradually revealed, and involves a hilarious schadenfreude-driven element.

While one could pick up any of the three books and enjoy it independently from the others, I strongly recommend taking them in order. Some characters extend throughout the trilogy, so background and continuity are important.

xilman 2015-11-06 21:51

[QUOTE=kladner;415163]This is an outstanding book. I have read it a few/several times, and always find more in it. There are many, very engaging characters, beyond the grandfather-grandson pair into whose heads the reader is allowed.[/QUOTE]Seconded.

The main issue I have with Gibson's works is the pervasive Root character. The Cryptonomicon works well without him; better in my view.

[SPOILER]Not entirely sure that gold would undergo significant melting under the scenariio depicted and, even if it did, I'm pretty damn sure that it wouldn't flow anywhere near far enough as the narrative requires.[/SPOILER]

chalsall 2015-11-06 21:59

[QUOTE=kladner;415172]I am currently rereading the third book the [URL="http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/index.asp"]William Gibson[/URL] trilogy consisting of "Pattern Recognition," "Spook Country," and "Zero History." [/QUOTE]

Thank you for playing... :smile:

In my opinion, one isn't a "true geek" until one has read Gibson's Neuromancer.

His later work was good and interesting, but this was seminal (IMO).

chalsall 2015-11-06 22:08

[QUOTE=xilman;415178]Seconded.

The main issue I have with Gibson's works is the pervasive Root character. The Cryptonomicon works well without him; better in my view.[/QUOTE]

Root is in Stephenson's work, not Gibson's.

But, yeah, I generally agree with you. Why have a character which seems to be supernatural when it is not needed?

xilman 2015-11-06 22:10

[QUOTE=chalsall;415184]Root is in Stephenson's work, not Gibson's.[/QUOTE]Buggrit. Buggrem. Buggrem all, that's what I say, millennium hand and shrimp.

chalsall 2015-11-06 22:21

[QUOTE=xilman;415186]Buggrit. Buggrem. Buggrem all, that's what I say, millennium hand and shrimp.[/QUOTE]

Terry Pratchett did amazing things during his life, including introducing phraseology such as the above.

I am currently reading his last book. Slowly.

kladner 2015-11-06 23:12

[QUOTE=chalsall;415181]Thank you for playing... :smile:

In my opinion, one isn't a "true geek" until one has read Gibson's Neuromancer.

His later work was good and interesting, but this was seminal (IMO).[/QUOTE]

I see now on [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gibson#Selected_bibliography"]Wiki[/URL] that the trilogy I am currently in is referred to as "Blue Ant," which makes sense, even though the Hubertus Bigend character associated with that name is only seen through the eyes of others. (It would be rather complicated to explain further, and might risk spoilering.)

I will note that the character in question is Belgian, so that his name should be pronounced something like 'bayh jawnd'. However, some others refer to him as Big End, which he does not challenge. I am wondering if there is some little computing joke going on. There is a wiki link on Bigend, individually.

The books which make up the Sprawl Trilogy are Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive. I strongly endorse the complete series. "Sprawl" refers to the Boston Atlanta Metropolitan Axis, or BAMA, in a corporate-dominated, dystopic near future. 'Nough said, for now. Read them!

chalsall 2015-11-06 23:50

[QUOTE=kladner;415193]I see now on [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gibson#Selected_bibliography"]Wiki[/URL] that the trilogy I am currently in is referred to as "Blue Ant," which makes sense, even though the Hubertus Bigend character associated with that name is only seen through the eyes of others. (It would be rather complicated to explain further, and might risk spoilering.)[/QUOTE]

Interesting.

I am simply speaking based on my reading something (years (sometimes decades) ago) in the past.

I read something. It made an impact on me. I thought it might make an impact upon others...

kladner 2015-11-07 01:24

[QUOTE=chalsall;415196]Interesting.

I am simply speaking based on my reading something (years (sometimes decades) ago) in the past.

I read something. It made an impact on me. I thought it might make an impact upon others...[/QUOTE]

I go through spells. I used to spend much more time with hard-copy books. However, I have been home, off work, and Spook Country jumped out at me from the habitual chaos of this space. I also have very good recall, especially for works good enough to read more than once.

LaurV 2015-11-07 05:54

[QUOTE=xilman;415178]The main issue I have with [U]Gibson's[/U] works is the pervasive Root character.
[/QUOTE]
(my underlining)
Huh? Man, ye getting old..:paul:

davar55 2015-11-07 16:15

[QUOTE=LaurV;415229](my underlining)
Huh? Man, ye getting old..:paul:[/QUOTE]

He's not getting OLDER he's getting BETTER. :smile:

kladner 2015-11-07 16:16

Sorry for the diversion to different books and authors. I had not grasped the structure intended for the sub-forum.

Chris: I will try to track down "Good Omens" as the authors are only names to me at this point. I would be happy to find another group of works to get into.

chalsall 2015-11-07 21:13

[QUOTE=kladner;415285]Chris: I will try to track down "Good Omens" as the authors are only names to me at this point.[/QUOTE]

If you are able to get a copy of "Good Omens" it would be super cool. I have a copy on my bookshelf. It is truly fall-down funny.

[QUOTE=kladner;415285]I would be happy to find another group of works to get into.[/QUOTE]

If you haven't explored Terry Pratchett's [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld"]Disc World[/URL], then you haven't properly lived. Seriously.

Depending on your "angle of attack", you might start from the beginning, or from the books involving Death, or Witches, or the Police, or the Wizards...

Many dismiss Pratchett as fantasy. They are fools; this is hard fantasy.

kladner 2015-11-07 23:25

[QUOTE=chalsall;415342]If you are able to get a copy of "Good Omens" it would be super cool. I have a copy on my bookshelf. It is truly fall-down funny.



If you haven't explored Terry Pratchett's [URL="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld"]Disc World[/URL], then you haven't properly lived. Seriously.

Depending on your "angle of attack", you might start from the beginning, or from the books involving Death, or Witches, or the Police, or the Wizards...

Many dismiss Pratchett as fantasy. They are fools; this is hard fantasy.[/QUOTE]

CJ Cherryh writes speculative fiction which ranges from classic space opera sci-fi, to elves, fairies, and other supernaturals. Supernaturals are drawn from both Celtic legend (as in pookas), and Russian (wizards, rusalka, 'river thing', 'yard thing,' 'house thing.') I don't remember the Russian names clearly, but the latter three ended in '-voy'.

All I'm saying is that many settings can encompass enjoyable fantasies. After all, magic and incomprehensible technology are interchangeable in fiction.

firejuggler 2015-11-07 23:59

Terry Pratchett , can't recommend him enough
Thud!, Going Postal, Making money, Snuff, The last continent, Feet of clay...
these are the one I like the most.

andd this except is from the "dedication page of " Guards! Guards!"

[code]
Dedication

They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard, or the Patrol.
Whatever the name, their purpose in any work of heroic fantasy is
identical: it is, round about Chapter Three (or ten minutes into the
film) to rush into the room, attack the hero one at a time, and be
slaughtered. No one ever asks them if they wanted to.

This book is dedicated to those fine men.

And also to Mike Harrison, Mary Gentle, Neil Gaiman and al
l the others who assisted with and laughed at the idea of
L-space; too bad we never used Schrödinger’s Paperback…
[/code]

kladner 2015-11-08 06:19

[URL]https://www.pinterest.com/slavaslavia/slavic-myth-duh-domovi-%2B-dvorovi/[/URL][INDENT]The most vaguely defined of Russian and Ukrainian household spirits, the [B]dvorovoi*[/B] held sway over a farmstead's grounds, cattle shed, and stable. At times, his functions and attributes overlapped with those of the house spirit ([B]domovoi[/B])

*courtyard spirit
[/INDENT][URL]http://masterrussian.net/f25/russian-folklore-fairy-tale-creatures-14745/[/URL]


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