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Got Any Fiction Recommendations?


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#33 TheSongsofDistantEarth

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 05:45 PM

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins



I loved Tom Robbins in College, and then there were years where I tried, but couldn't read him, the writing felt so baroque and convoluted and psychedelical, but then recently I can read him again and appreciate the brilliance. Jitterbug Perfume is one of my favorites, and I think it's time to re-read it.
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#34 TheSongsofDistantEarth

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 06:56 PM

O.K., here's a wickedly good little sci-fi novel from the 70's that will raise the hairs on the top of your head by the end. It's pretty unknown, you'll have to order it online, or perhaps a good used bookstore... but it's well worth it. An un-discovered gem:

Tetrasomy Two, a novel by Oscar Rossiter, is a first person narrative involving a psychiatry resident in a state mental hospital who discovers a very curious patient who appears to be totally unresponsive. When the somewhat high-strung Dr. Boyd discovers that a patient with the name of Ernest Peckham has never had a bedsore after being catatonic for 25 years, and has eye-blink intervals of precisely 43 seconds and every stool he passes weighs exactly 184 grams, Dr. Boyd decides to investigate deeper. The back cover describes the book as "a combination of Woody Allen and Michael Crichton" and they were pretty close. (Woody Allen was still creating comedies like Sleeper and Love and War, and Michael Crichton's claims to fame at that time were still probably limited to The Andromeda Strain and The Terminal Man). It's great read, and Dr. Boyd's narration steadily reveals a deteriorating psyche that keeps the book moving toward an astonishing conclusion. Whoa.

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#35 ralis

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:07 PM

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Hey, I just received an old copy of Radix today through Amazon. It looks reeeally good!

From the back cover: "The awe-inspiring tale of a young man's journey of self-discovery from a life on the streets to near-godhood, it is an epic of the highest order, at once an exciting novel of conflict and adventure, and a deeply transcendent spiritual pilgrimage".

Hey, that's sounds so familiar...wait a minute...it couldn't be...could it...no...could it actually be 'The Story of Vajrahridaya'???? Holy shit, ralis...stay tuned... :blink:


Very funny! I never thought in those terms when I recommended 'Radix'. I think you may appreciate Attanasio's writing style. I certainly did. He has a blog. http://www.aaattanasio.com/


ralis

#36 thelerner

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:16 PM

You'll probably never find a copy, but 'The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein' is a good read. It tells the Frankenstein story from view point of the Dr's bride. Her meetings w/ wise woman/witches, the internal alchemy's that were devised. Interesting take on alchemy. Nice outline of the times and events.

Tim Pratt is a good writer. His collection of surrealistic short stories 'Hart & Boots and other Stories' was excellent. One story made me think of some of the ladies here. A story of a witch who excelled at sexual magic, loses her powers and needs to get them back before old enemies find her. Hokey, but the story had a nice human edge to it. It was available at the library. His other book is a fun easy read too.

A thought provoking book is 'Replay' by Ken Grimwood. The plot is about a middle aged man who suddenly is back in his body at a younger age and replays his life til the same age when once against he's thrust back, replaying his life over and over.

Reading the book forces you to consider how well you're spending this life. This one was a best seller so I'm sure its at most libraries.


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Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart. A creed from Pronoia

Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experience the loss of soul. Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves. ~ Gabrielle Roth

#37 Mal

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:32 PM

Anyone like westerns? I :wub: cowboy stories. While they are pulp and only $4 Clevland Westerns do seem to give me an engaging read for an hours or so
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While perhaps not "transformative" I like knowing the good guy is going to kill the bad guy and win the girl :)

Also funny is that while there use to be a lot of writers back in the 60's Clevland Westerns are actually written in Australia and these days it's just one guy writing under a few pen names, and he has never even been to the "wild west"

Of course if you want literature + western you need Louis L'Amour
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"I'm just passing' through," the rider said when they asked him his name. And from then on, in the high country around Parrot City, he was called just that: Mr. Passing' Through, a man who rode a blue roan with a skull and crossbones brand and didn't know to keep to himself. And he wouldn't keep to himself. Because something about a parched and dusty ranch appealed to him, and something about a woman's hair made him think of not being alone."

Classic :) one of my favorites.
KAP

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#38 ralis

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:51 PM

I grew up reading sci-fi and the entire high school library. I just remembered Jack London. Great books on the wildness of nature. 'To Build A Fire' is freaky.

http://london.sonoma.edu/

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#39 TheSongsofDistantEarth

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:02 PM

I grew up reading sci-fi and the entire high school library. I just remembered Jack London. Great books on the wildness of nature. 'To Build A Fire' is freaky.

http://london.sonoma.edu/

ralis


Every Tao Bum should read 'To Build a Fire'. It has a deep reality. And it is freaky.

ralis, whenever I visit Santa Fe, I would make a bee-line to 'Blue Moon', that fantastic used book store on Montezuma that had a huge poster of Ramana Maharshi radiating love to the lovely woman who owned the store and her customers. I always found the best books there, and would come home with armloads of spiritual, metaphysical books, and would rent movies from her eclectic and interesting collection. Last year I went there and was stunned to find that there was now a different store and owner, no more 'Blue Moon'. :(
Why does every good thing have to come to an end too early?

#40 ralis

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:15 PM

Every Tao Bum should read 'To Build a Fire'. It has a deep reality. And it is freaky.

ralis, whenever I visit Santa Fe, I would make a bee-line to 'Blue Moon', that fantastic used book store on Montezuma that had a huge poster of Ramana Maharshi radiating love to the lovely woman who owned the store and her customers. I always found the best books there, and would come home with armloads of spiritual, metaphysical books, and would rent movies from her eclectic and interesting collection. Last year I went there and was stunned to find that there was now a different store and owner, no more 'Blue Moon'. :(
Why does every good thing have to come to an end too early?


Carmen is a very good friend and I was sad to see her store closed. Health and finances were the reason.

Wasn't there a movie 'To Build a Fire'?


ralis

#41 TheSongsofDistantEarth

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:24 PM

Carmen is a very good friend and I was sad to see her store closed. Health and finances were the reason.

Wasn't there a movie 'To Build a Fire'?


ralis


I probably bumped into you there once or twice.

I don't know if there was a movie. Wouldn't have had the same impact as the story, though.
That image of the dog at the end leaving his human to go back to camp is indelible in my mind's eye...

#42 Mal

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:10 AM

Lots of good books here.

So I've moved this thread into the book club, before it gets lost on the discussion page :)
KAP

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#43 betwixter

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 12:08 AM

-

Edited by betwixter, 12 September 2010 - 12:35 AM.


#44 Mal

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:47 PM

I’ve been reading an up and coming author Charles Yu http://www.amazon.co...4832&sr=1-2-ent His collection of short stories, Third Class Superhero, is very strange (in a good way) He has an unusual writing style, examining concepts like identity and the quest for a meaning in a mundane existence (he does talk about his mother a lot too :lol:) I particularly enjoyed “Two-Player Infinitely Iterated Simultaneous Semi-Cooperative Game with Spite and Reputation”

I rarely buy hardcover’s but I enjoyed 3rd Class so much I didn’t want to wait for “How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe” I’m glad I paid for the hardcover, a very enjoyable and engaging story right from the 1st chapter.

It’s hard to explain much about his stories without giving bits away, google books makes them quite confusing with the omitted pages, but there are lots of reviews out there. Worth having a look at to see if the writing style grabs you.
KAP

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Mal - artmgs@yahoo.com
You are not what you think you are. But what you think... you are.
"Don't think.....feel" Bruce Lee | "Feel.....don't think" Qui-Gon Jinn

#45 Mal

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 03:07 PM

At some point in your life, this statement will be true:
Tomorrow you will loose everything forever.
- How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe


KAP

bye for now
Mal - artmgs@yahoo.com
You are not what you think you are. But what you think... you are.
"Don't think.....feel" Bruce Lee | "Feel.....don't think" Qui-Gon Jinn

#46 steve

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:35 PM

Just finished The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz -
Loved it! Very personal yet universal. Deeply disturbing yet life-affirming and hopeful.
The only problem is that it's full of Spanglish and Dominican euphemisms.
Fortunately there is a great annotated guide on the web.
Highly recommended.

#47 Mal

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:37 PM

read Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein...


I got a copy of the extended 1991 version, which reproduces the original manuscript restoring the 25% they originally cut to get it close to 150,000 words. I really enjoyed it.

Of course I was tempted to throw the silly thing in the bin because of the language and attitude towards women. Perhaps that was exacerbated as a plot device in the beginning of the book. Also there was a generational change in language and attitudes to women and that really stands out in older movies and books.

But I persevered and it was well worth the effort. I’m glad to have finally read this book, very interesting perspective on what we could be VS what we are.

(Perhaps getting “special powers” really is just as simple as learning “Martin” :D)
KAP

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#48 Mal

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 01:36 PM

I recently finished One Second After, recommended here http://www.thetaobum...post__p__216987 Quite a good book, VERY realistic, but not quite a greatly told story.

Unlike Dies the Fire which IMHO features extremely good storytelling. I really like the plot device of "The Change" where electricity, high gas pressures, and fast combustion (eg gunpowder) stop working. This nicely takes out guns and allows a medieval style of combat.

The good thing about this is it takes out a lot of the military rah rah that you usually get in post apocalyptic fiction. While ex-military personnel still have valuable skills, they no longer have an overwhelming advantage compared to a medieval combat society or other skills like archery.

I also loved the ideals shown by the Wiccans of Clan Mackenzie and their "Witch Queen" (good fantasy always has a witch queen :D)
KAP

bye for now
Mal - artmgs@yahoo.com
You are not what you think you are. But what you think... you are.
"Don't think.....feel" Bruce Lee | "Feel.....don't think" Qui-Gon Jinn




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