Books! God, I love books!

Now that The Surface is now completely off-topic, I figure we might as well have a discussion on every and any book, “reminiscent of Fallen London” be damned! As always, put spoilery stuff in spoiler tags, and keep things civil.

Have any of you read the Discworld series? I’m a huge fan, if you couldn’t tell by my name.

Twoflower wrote:

I wholeheartedly second that, sir!

I love the Discworld books; my favourites are probably the Night Watch novels, though my all-time favourite character is… The Luggage! I think one should definitely be able to acquire something similar in FL, rampaging carnivorous space-warping wooden chests seem right up their alley. :)
Which are your favourites/least favourites? Do tell!

I read every Discworld up to Monstrous Regiment, but I confess I got a bit sick of them. Thief of Time put me off, in particular - the first-person shooter format just doesn’t translate to novel form. That said, there’s still some great moments in the series - particularly, yes, the Watch books.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been into Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey books in a major way. Between the marvellous prose and the intelligent discussions of life, literature and feminism, I’d be prepared to nominate them, not only as the best detective stories, but the best English prose of the 20th century.

I agree with the idea of a Luggage in FL, forget the unfinished hat, I want an unfinished steamer trunk. That unlocks a special action in the Slow Boat, because the d–ned thing can follow you anywhere.

I’ve read a few Discworld books, my favourite so far was Small Gods. I also liked Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman

My favourite authors are Brandon Sanderson (otherwise known as “guy who finished the Wheel Of Time”, which is how I found out about him, though I am now more into his work then Jordan’s)0 and Jim Butcher.

Ooh, favourite? Probably Night Watch, because Vimes is awesome, time travel is awesome, and everything about it was just awesome. And least favourite? If I had to choose, it’d be Snuff, because it felt like Pratchett was trying to write a super-serious novel instead of his classic satire.

I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here - what do you mean by “first-person shooter format”? And Thief of Time was brilliant, if only because it was a clever way for him to explain every timeline inconsistency with a great story.

I LOVE Good Omens and Neil Gaiman in general. I really really REALLY want to see them make a movie of Good Omens. It would be phenomenal with the right cast…

I know Pterry is a fan of classic video games, and Thief of Time seems like an attempt to capture that spirit. Including, say, the yetis’ ability to save their place in the world, and then reload it if they die, and culminating in the big DOOM-style action setpiece, mowing down hordes of monsters with a chokkit launcher, or whatever it was. Didn’t make for exciting reading, in my opinion.

I know Pterry is a fan of classic video games, and Thief of Time seems like an attempt to capture that spirit. Including, say, the yetis’ ability to save their place in the world, and then reload it if they die, and culminating in the big DOOM-style action setpiece, mowing down hordes of monsters with a chokkit launcher, or whatever it was. Didn’t make for exciting reading, in my opinion.[/quote]

Well, the yetis were more of a way to[color=#ffffff] “save” Lu-Tze from death, and really, most books have action sequences.[/color]

I’m not sure if that would work - a lot of Good Omens is about the writing and humour, which is hard to translate into a movie.

The Watch series… is by far my favorite… Running close to the tales of Moist Von Lipwig (in particular, his postal tales)!

I’m also a huge fan of George R R Martin’s ever popular Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones).

I’ve been told I need to read some Piers Anthony… anyone ever read the Incarnations?

Anything is possible if you set your mind to it and I don’t think it would be too hard to transpose. Though I know nothing about making movies so I could be wrong.
edited by Kitsune on 8/31/2012

There are three Discworld characters that are in a three-way no holds bared match for the top of my list of favorite discworld characters.

Vimes, naturally.

Frankly if we ever get a book from Vetrinari’s POV, he will probably curbstomp the other two.

I also like Moist, but he’s only got two books, so that holds him back.

Books similar to Discworld? Well, it’s a wholly different genera, but I can definitely draw parallels between Pratchett’s Discworld, and the late great Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat Series.

There is a book styled after Discworld: Wizard’s Brew by Chris Fox. I happened to pick it up because I know a Chris Fox (not the same one, naturally). To be honest, it’s not that great; plodding with uninteresting character dynamics, but it’s a diverting read.

I haven’t read too many of the Discworld books, sadly. That is to say, I’ve read everything up to Moving Pictures and most of the Rincewind books after that but that’s not many in the grand scheme of things. Still, from the books and the wonderful TV-films my favourite character would probably be Vetinari — got to go.

If you’re into Echo Bazaar, or for that matter Pratchett, you might want to give The Goneaway World (Nick Harkaway) a try. It’s basically an adventure story with a healthy dose of absurdism (or absurdity, at least). It’s dramatic, sometimes dark and very funny, which are three things I’d also say about EB :)


"Still, from the books and the wonderful TV-films my favourite character would probably be Vetinari "

Vetinari’s one of my favourite characters from the book. I loved Charles Dance’s portrayal of him in Going Postal, but Jeremy Irons in The Colour of Magic… not so much. Vetinari does not carry his dog with him at all times, nor does he have a rhotacism.

The only other TV films I’ve seen are the old cartoon of Wyrd Sisters, which I thought was great, and Hogfather, which was ok. Are there other good ones out there I should be Amazoning?

Ah, the Discworld books! I love them, yes. I’ve read less than half of them – only the first two, Wyrd Sisters, and the Industrial Revolution series. I think Going Postal is my favourite so far. Moist is a great character, and as a socialist I love the anti-capitalist messages.

Vetinari is definitely my favourite character, yes. He seems cold and cruel at first, but the few points where we do get him as a viewpoint character shows that he legitimately does care for the well-being of the city and its inhabitants (in a general way, at least), and you do have to admire his intelligence and efficiency in governing Anhk-Morpork. Also…

I second this. : D

My other favourite book series is A Song of Ice and Fire, mentioned previously in this thread. Lovely writing, amazingly detailed characters, and it espouses a very important message: Power in the hands of a few people is bad (also, the Middle Ages sucked).

Another (more obscure) suggestion: For those who have played Kingdom Hearts 2, there is a wonderful fanfic on the origins of Organization XIII,
A Sorrow of Magpies. I honestly think it’s better-written than the games themselves (it touches on all the interesting concepts the games never seem to acknowledge, in fact). Definitely worth a read if you’re familiar with the source material.

I have read most of Discworld with great enthusiasm. Favourite Characters include Death, Vimes, Vetinari, Moist and the Librarian. Love the intricacy and depth involved in his works and have recently invested in reading ‘The Long Earth’ which is Terrys’ new project so incredibly interesting.

As this was about books not just discworld though I think we could possibly make threads completely to a singular series… Some books, authors and book series I have enjoyed immensely include and are not limited to The Night Circus (Yes I did end up buying it), Lolita, Stepenwolf, Comedia Cantica, Lights out in Wonderland, A Fairy Tale of New York, Clockwork Orange, Congo Journey, The Prince, Steinbeck (Love him, Wayward Bus and Canary Row are some of my favourites), 1Q84, 1984, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, The Hitchhikers Trilogy of Four, Dirk Gently, R.A Salvatore, Franz Kafka, Lovecraft (Only recently finished reading all of his work), L.O.T.R., Ulysses, Redemption of Althalus, Margaret Weis…

I have heard…interesting…things about Clockwork Orange. I plan to look at it sometime.

Interesting you should mention 1984. I haven’t read it, actually, but I did read Animal Farm (which was by the same author, yes?). I would like to recommend a book on the other end of the spectrum: Jennifer Government. It’s often described as a “reverse 1984” in that it portrays a dystopia where the government has too little power rather than too much. That’s a rather unique concept nowadays, so I think it’s worth looking into for the novelty factor if nothing else.

Ooh, Jennifer Government. It is a nice read, though there are many spectrums in which police states can lie. There’s an ebook named Little Brother, which depicts the formation of a police state, and the subsequent resistance against it. It goes into hard science fiction, and it’s somewhat gritty, which makes it a nice read in my opinion.

I’m generally more of a fan of science fiction than fantasy, and I fear that shows when it comes to my taste in literature. A few books I believe may be worthy of mention

[ul][li] Consider Phlebas (Iain M. Banks)
[/li][li]The Automatic Detective (A. Lee Martinez). This one is rather mroe humorous than the former, but… well, it’s no Hitchhiker’s Guide.
[/li][li]There’s also Prey by Micheal Crichton, which enjoys the distinction of a very complicated topic almost right.
[/li][li]Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld, not Thomas Hobbes) currently occupies the number one spot on my to-read list and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, but I haven’t actually read it yet.[/li][li]Everything by Philip K. Dick. Always[/li][/ul]In the category of Not Science Fiction, I’d like to give a… somewhat cautious recommendation for the Zamonia novels by Walter Moers. I’m gonna spend some time advertising this one, as they’re rather obscure outside their native Germany, but… while technically fantasy books, they’re incredibly absurdist and very much not Tolkien-like. Specific recommendations include The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear, Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures, The Alchemaster’s Apprentice (featuring an intelligent speaking cat called Echo!) and super-especially The City of Dreaming Books. Seriously, read that one. Read it. Now.

(Note: In a rather baffling turn of events, Mr. Moers’ portfolio also includes such… gems as The Little Asshole and the Old Curmudgeon - To die is **** and Adolf the Nazi Pig, so exercise some care as to what you buy. By which I mean, but The City of Dreaming Books.)

I knew I couldn’t have been the only person to ever purchase that book! Sweet, sweet vindication.
(I second the recommendation, is what I’m trying to say. :) The book is… weird, in style as in subject matter, but it’s a fun ride if nothing else.
edited by Cedric Appleby on 9/3/2012

Cedric Appleby wrote:

I borrowed the Leviathan series from my little brother, and they’re a fun, quick read. They’re worth the price for Mr Keith Thompson’s illustrations alone!

Little The wrote:

Oh man, Clockwork Orange… all I can say is: good luck. You’re going to need it.

Samuel Goodall wrote:

ALL THE AWARDS! :) Anything and everything by Douglas Adams is worth its weight in gold for brilliant wit and intelligence.

Kitsune wrote:

I was surprised to find that I wasn’t such a fan of Good Omens, and I don’t really like Neil Gaiman’s longer novels, but I love his short stories (Fragile Things and Smoke and Mirrors), and Coraline (so creepy! the stop-motion film is also pretty good).

I’ve added a number of books suggested here to my ever-growing list of Things to Read Once I’ve Finished the Twenty Books I am Currently Reading. Yay!

Also from this thread, I rave about Mervyn Peake:

Go read them. Read them. Go.

Some other good reads:
Joseph Heller’s Catch-22,
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (sci-fi-ish),
101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life by Roger-Pol Droit,
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy,
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (“woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union”, a few chapters detailing a party he throws should be required reading for FL lovers - Mr Bulgakov had acquired a Laudable Laudanum habit before writing this),
and STUFF BY SHAUN TAN (try starting with The Gashlycrumb Tinies by the former and The Arrival by the latter).

I remember reading a sci-fi a couple of years ago called The Zeta Waves by F. M. McCarthy, so if my thirteen-year-old taste can be trusted, it’s a fun read. :]

About a third of my reading is non-fiction; for anyone who might be interested, a few lightweights are: Straw Dogs by John Gray, Stardust by John Gribbin, Critical Mass by Philip Ball, and The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
edited by Corentin Os on 9/4/2012