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  1. #109
    LIFT OR DIE El Freako's Avatar
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    ^And this comes as a surprise why?


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  2. #110
    Mecca V.I.P. tim290280's Avatar
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    I'm guessing John Birmingham is an Aussie author. No-one else would reference Canberra in an international context.

    What sort of genre are we talking Ben?


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  3. #111
    LIFT OR DIE El Freako's Avatar
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    Yeah he's an Aussie, he wrote He Died With A Felafel In His Hand which you may recall as either book or film.

    He's in the last few years began to write alt-history type novels, starting with his World War 2.1 trilogy (whereby a naval force from a few decades in our future is transported back in time to the Battle of Midway which causes immense repercussions for the war and changes the past as we know it). He does a good job of both action and intrigue and really fleshes out his main characters. Also I really enjoy his references to pop-culture sprinkled throughout his books and his adaptation of real-life people as characters in his last trilogy (Prince Harry, Einstein, J Edgar Hoover, Truman where all main characters in WW2.1). I'd be hard-pressed to give him a specific genre other than alt-history as he mixes war, action, political intrigues and the like together.

    I read in an interview that WW2.1 stemmed from a conversation where he and a friend where trying to think up the dumbest plots for a book that they could. Then he wrote 3 novels with it.


    Last edited by El Freako; 08-01-2010 at 10:39 PM.
     


  4. #112
    Mecca V.I.P. tim290280's Avatar
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    ^^ Hmmm sounds half interesting. I'm usually not a fan of those sorts of techno-thrillers because they spend more time on exposition than they do on story and character. Tom Clancy is a classic for this, so much detail about crap that no-one cares about. Call it a bomb and have Jack Ryan stop it from being used for crying out loud! I don't need to hear about its manufacturing date and how the satelite relays can be duped to belive it is one of ours....


     


  5. #113
    LIFT OR DIE El Freako's Avatar
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    ^Yeah, he's not that silly. Science and technology are mainly used at plot-devices, not the entire plot.


     


  6. #114
    Mecca V.I.P. lifterdead's Avatar
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    A few books:

    Galileo's Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson.
    Good stuff, but no where near his previous work like Red Mars or Antarctica.

    Deep Down Things, The Breathtaking Beauty of Particle Physics Bruce Schumm
    VERY, very good. If you're like me and want to have a good idea what the Standard Model looks like but lack the depth in mathematics to read something like Roger Penrose's books, this is for you. If manages to give a deal with physics in a non-superficial way without giving up much.

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    slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.


  7. #115
    Mecca V.I.P. tim290280's Avatar
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    Finished Lee Child's 61 Hours the other night. I'm really annoyed. The new book doesn't come out for another 2 months!!!

    If you haven't read this one yet, take my advice and read it once the new one comes out in late September. That way the cliffhanger will be more quickly resolved for you.

    Going to start Exit Music by Ian Rankin (the final Rebus mystery) tonight. Hoping it is decent.

    Also I found out that my friend's publishing company has been rolling out a few more books of late. He had just established it when I first met him, but it was always a part time thing. Now he and his wife seem to have more time to get books out. Check it out: http://ticonderogapublications.com/


     


  8. #116
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    I'm currently reading Darwin's Origin of Species as a follow-up to Dawkins' The God Delusion. Let's say that the former's prose isn't as inspirited as the latter's. After that, I may go back to Dawkins and read some of his prior work, or I could check out Hawking's A Brief History of Time. Then again, that Deep Down Things looks like a fine read as well.


     


  9. #117
    Mecca V.I.P. lifterdead's Avatar
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    Quote Quote
    I'm currently reading Darwin's Origin of Species as a follow-up to Dawkins' The God Delusion. Let's say that the former's prose isn't as inspirited as the latter's. After that, I may go back to Dawkins and read some of his prior work, or I could check out Hawking's A Brief History of Time. Then again, that Deep Down Things looks like a fine read as well.
    That's great! I'm a HUGE fan of Dawkins, I've read just about everything he's written, and even met him a couple times. If you like The God Delusion, I would recommend The Devil's Chaplin. It's a nice, easy read, a collection of his essays mostly dealing with psuedo-science and the like. On the other hand, if you want to read his best work on biology, nothing beats The Selfish Gene.

    Btw, I'm impressed that you're reading Darwin's original work. For all my love of biology, I never got around to reading it, and I'm probably worse off because of it. Any particular edition you're reading? If you recommend it, I'll probably go pick it up.


     


  10. #118
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifterdead View Post
    That's great! I'm a HUGE fan of Dawkins, I've read just about everything he's written, and even met him a couple times. If you like The God Delusion, I would recommend The Devil's Chaplin. It's a nice, easy read, a collection of his essays mostly dealing with psuedo-science and the like. On the other hand, if you want to read his best work on biology, nothing beats The Selfish Gene.

    Btw, I'm impressed that you're reading Darwin's original work. For all my love of biology, I never got around to reading it, and I'm probably worse off because of it. Any particular edition you're reading? If you recommend it, I'll probably go pick it up.
    The version of the Darwin that I'm reading is a paperback published by Bantam Classic, which I chose because it was the cheapest edition available at my local bookstore. I'll let you know my impressions of it when I get a bit further in, as it's a bit tough to gauge at this point. Certainly an informative work, and I'm reading it mostly out of my curiosity to compare it to Dawkins' (and others') take(s) on Darwinism, but his language can come off as a bit run-on and tangential: a product of different times, I'm sure. As for Dawkins, yeah, I'm not sure exactly where I'll go next. Perhaps The Selfish Gene, if only because it seems to be an ostensibly appropriate follow up to Origin of Species, but who knows. I'm certainly interested in checking out more of/the rest of his work. Sagan also appears to be someone I may enjoy. But, for now, all I know is that I'm done with literature for at least a little while, if only to educate myself for a bit (I've finally latched on to that damn concept of self-education that my professors have been preaching for science knows how long).


     


  11. #119
    Mecca V.I.P. tim290280's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Line
    professors have been preaching for science knows how long


    I've only read some snippets of Dawkins. My main problem is the hipocrisy displayed by the way he rails against things. I do agree that someone like him standing up and taking the fight back is needed, but it ultimately undermines his own position.

    On Darwin; his work was interesting, but both flawed and hard to read (old deliberately elitist language use). His original work would have been strengthened if his collegues had been allowed to be co-authors and added their collarborative conclusions. Darwin was, in a sense, too confined by religion to publish the best theory. This was obviously then brought out by his collegues and those he influenced as the theory became accepted fact. But we still have the fundamentalists picking holes in the theory because of his less than decisive conclusions (which is pointless considering the 140yrs of research that has followed and confirmed his work).


     


  12. #120
    Chaos reigns. Line's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim290280 View Post
    I've only read some snippets of Dawkins. My main problem is the hipocrisy displayed by the way he rails against things. I do agree that someone like him standing up and taking the fight back is needed, but it ultimately undermines his own position.
    I think this may be due, at least in part, to you only reading snippets. In reading The God Delusion I noticed that he made a few points that seemed a bit assumptive or slanted, but these were usually clarified within the context of their respective section or chapter. He's also, at times, intentionally hyperbolic, though this is usually just for humor's sake.


     


  13. #121
    LIFT OR DIE El Freako's Avatar
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    I quite enjoyed Dawkins's The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution but I am as yet to get onto any of his other titles. Darwin is also on my "to read" list.


     


  14. #122
    Mecca V.I.P. lifterdead's Avatar
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    My main problem is the hipocrisy displayed by the way he rails against things. I do agree that someone like him standing up and taking the fight back is needed, but it ultimately undermines his own position.
    I wouldn't go so far as to call him a hypocrite. He rails against unsubstantiated beliefs yet his opponents rarely (if ever) take the time examine the evidence he presents. I've seen him in action against some Creationists, and he gave them a fair chance to defend their ideas. I can understand his angst.

    That being said, he can be annoying as hell at times. I recently saw an interview he did on Youtube and he definitely came off as snooty. Arrogant, yes. Hypocrite? Perhaps not.


     


  15. #123
    Mecca V.I.P. Anabolicus's Avatar
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    The Children of H?rin

    Since I'm a huge fan of the LOTR movie triology I've decided to read the whole work of Tolkien.


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  16. #124
    Mecca V.I.P. tim290280's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anabolicus View Post
    The Children of H?rin

    Since I'm a huge fan of the LOTR movie triology I've decided to read the whole work of Tolkien.
    Are you finding his work waffly and boring? Because I never finished The Hobbit (boring!!) and while I enjoyed LOTR I wasn't rushing out to get any more of his works, nor re-read them any time soon.


     


  17. #125
    LIFT OR DIE El Freako's Avatar
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    I enjoyed The Hobbit and LOTR but never finished the Silmarilion... as Tim said, too much waffling.


     


  18. #126
    Mecca V.I.P. tim290280's Avatar
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    Yes, Give me CS Lewis any day.


     




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