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Old 2015-11-06, 18:39   #1
chalsall
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Default 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 an early novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

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?
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Old 2015-11-06, 18:56   #2
chalsall
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Default 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.
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Old 2015-11-06, 20:12   #3
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
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.
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.
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Old 2015-11-06, 21:03   #4
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Default William Gibson trilogy (moved by OP)

I am currently rereading the third book the William Gibson 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.
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Old 2015-11-06, 21:51   #5
xilman
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Originally Posted by kladner View Post
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.
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.

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.
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Old 2015-11-06, 21:59   #6
chalsall
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I am currently rereading the third book the William Gibson trilogy consisting of "Pattern Recognition," "Spook Country," and "Zero History."
Thank you for playing...

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).
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Old 2015-11-06, 22:08   #7
chalsall
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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.
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?
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Old 2015-11-06, 22:10   #8
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Root is in Stephenson's work, not Gibson's.
Buggrit. Buggrem. Buggrem all, that's what I say, millennium hand and shrimp.
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Old 2015-11-06, 22:21   #9
chalsall
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Buggrit. Buggrem. Buggrem all, that's what I say, millennium hand and shrimp.
Terry Pratchett did amazing things during his life, including introducing phraseology such as the above.

I am currently reading his last book. Slowly.
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Old 2015-11-06, 23:12   #10
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Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
Thank you for playing...

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).
I see now on Wiki 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!

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2015-11-06 at 23:15
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Old 2015-11-06, 23:50   #11
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
I see now on Wiki 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.)
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...
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