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Out of the Blue

Today is day four of our FiOS adventure, which is a bit of a circus. One of our phone numbers is still not working, and I have gotten to experience the startling intricacies of Verizon technical support, where no one seems to actually know what's going on, and there is a complete lack of accountability and follow-up that leads everyone I speak with to attempt to get off the phone with me so it becomes someone else's problem. Every time I am promised they will call back. Every time it's a lie. This morning I got a robo call from them explaining how they have fixed my problem, which is not even remotely accurate. If it sounds like I'm losing patience with this, then I am successfully communicating my internal state, and at some point today this will probably lead to me threatening them with a demand that they come and remove all their expensive equipment, since I think having this residence hooked into the network long-term is the only thing that really motivates them in this situation.

Irate Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Shadez 3: The Moon Miners.
Links: 11 Amazing Facts about the McDonald's McRib. Thanks Cutter.
'Twas The Night Before Scotchmas: A Holiday Guide To Giftable Single Malts.
Stories: 'Game of Thrones' gets super-sized season 3.
Science: Potentially Habitable Planet Detected Around Nearby Star.
Trained Dog Can Detect Superbug with Amazing Accuracy. Thanks nin.
Media: The Glitch. And Behind the Scenes: The Glitch.
Holy COW!!!!
Dad Piggies.
Sneaky pedestrian.
Follow-up: New Plinkett review up now!! Titanic.

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61 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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61. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 13:03 PHJF
 

Bakker's stuff is full of geo-political claptrap and dumb shit like demon rape though.

WHERE DO I SIGN UP
 
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60. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 12:48 Mr. Tact
 
Verno wrote on Dec 20, 2012, 12:05:
I'm surprised, most people I've talked loved the first few books and found it quickly delved into "extreme" territory. Personally I found it a belabored affair of immature torture porn fetishisms and straight up madness like the evil chicken.
Like I said, not for everyone. The torturing of the main character in whichever book it was (I simply don't recall) was pretty severe, but that stuff doesn't bother me very much. I'm pretty good at remembering it's fiction. It was much harder reading "The Passing of the Night" a book written by a colonel who spent seven years as a POW during the Vietnam War.
 
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59. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 12:05 Verno
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Dec 20, 2012, 11:31:
Verno wrote on Dec 20, 2012, 09:56:
He's the most disturbingly misogynistic writer I've seen since Terry Goodkind.
Goodkind does come off that way a bit, but his writing style has a "pop music" type effect, very easy to read. Not the best in the world, and not for everyone but I read the entire "The Sword of Truth" series... *shrug*

I'm surprised, most people I've talked loved the first few books and found it quickly delved into "extreme" territory. Personally I found it a belabored affair of immature torture porn fetishisms and straight up madness like the evil chicken.

Edge of genre writers in general seem to always be on the cusp of weird/madness, maybe its just the old cliche about creativity being a product of extreme emotions. I know many authors claim they did their best writing in the hardest times of their lives. Probably a good reason to never read up on your favorite author I guess!
 
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Playing: Divinity Original Sin, Infamous Second Son, Madden
Watching: Spartan, Possible Worlds, The Changeling
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58. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 11:31 Mr. Tact
 
Verno wrote on Dec 20, 2012, 09:56:
He's the most disturbingly misogynistic writer I've seen since Terry Goodkind.
Goodkind does come off that way a bit, but his writing style has a "pop music" type effect, very easy to read. Not the best in the world, and not for everyone but I read the entire "The Sword of Truth" series... *shrug*
 
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57. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 09:56 Verno
 
InBlack wrote on Dec 20, 2012, 07:18:
Oh yeah, someone mentioned the "Prince of Nothing" series. I cant praise it highly enough. Really. A lot of the worldbuilding is taken from real world history, even more so than Martin's Ice and Fire but I consider that a good thing, especially given the context of the books.

I honestly consider the "Prince of Nothing" and the 20 year later sequels better books than anything George Martin wrote. People have been comparing Bakker to Martin a lot, but Martin could learn a thing or two from the younger author...especially something about pacing...

Bakker's stuff is full of geo-political claptrap and dumb shit like demon rape though. He's the most disturbingly misogynistic writer I've seen since Terry Goodkind. It's a shame because his prose is beautiful but the man cannot write a character worth a damn. Every single one is the same geo-political schemer cutout who has out loud revelations and yet is ridiculously introspective at the same time. Kellhus is the worst character I've read in ages, a Mary Sue of epic proportion, literally every man to every situation.

There's stuff I liked about it, his take on a fantasy themed middle east was intriguing for example but I struggled to finish it due to the aforementioned stuff and will never revisit him again unless I hear hes dialed down the insanity.
 
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Playing: Divinity Original Sin, Infamous Second Son, Madden
Watching: Spartan, Possible Worlds, The Changeling
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56. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 09:31 Mr. Tact
 
Verno wrote on Dec 19, 2012, 15:04:
Just random shit I've read (or reread) in the past few months

...

Armor by John Steakley (mil/sci-fi)
Rendevous with Rama, Arthur C Clarke (classic sci-fi first contact)
It been a long time, but I remember "Rendezvous with Rama" as being very good and the sequels less so -- possibly because for the followups Clarke paired up with Gentry Lee (not really trying to be critical of Lee, just passing information).

"Armor" is fantastic. A novel I've read several times. Well worth the time for any sci-fi fan. They should have made this into a film instead of "Starship Troopers" -- this is more along the lines of an action film.
 
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55. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 07:18 InBlack
 
Oh yeah, someone mentioned the "Prince of Nothing" series. I cant praise it highly enough. Really. A lot of the worldbuilding is taken from real world history, even more so than Martin's Ice and Fire but I consider that a good thing, especially given the context of the books.

I honestly consider the "Prince of Nothing" and the 20 year later sequels better books than anything George Martin wrote. People have been comparing Bakker to Martin a lot, but Martin could learn a thing or two from the younger author...especially something about pacing...
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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54. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 07:09 InBlack
 
Verno wrote on Dec 19, 2012, 15:04:
PHJF wrote on Dec 19, 2012, 11:52:
And I'm looking for novels to read. I just finished The Passage, which was OK at best (being a sort of Stephen King pop novel but without his level of quality). I also just read Rainbows End and A Fire Upon the Deep. Can anyone comment on the quality of the followup novel(s) to AFUtD? I'm going to read Point Counter Point right now but I like to keep scifi books in the rotation.

Just random shit I've read (or reread) in the past few months

Hull Zero Three, Greg Bear (cerebral Sci-fi)
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (fantasy, the sequel blows FYI)
Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo (sci-fi/horror)
Armor by John Steakley (mil/sci-fi)
Rendevous with Rama, Arthur C Clarke (classic sci-fi first contact)

I finally got around to The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons too and loved it. People tell me he becomes crazy in later books but oh well. A lot of people like Aleister Crowley too but I couldn't get into his stuff.

Agreed on Locke Lamora, fuck I barely managed to finish the first chapter of the second book before throwing in into a wall. WHhich is a shame as the first book was rather interesting...

Simmons is fucking amazing, Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Enydmion and Rise of Endymion...Brilliant space opera sci-fi with elements of the fucking weird crazy philospohical stuff in there. I had to read nad reread some parts over and over again, and I still dont get a lot of stuff but Jesus that guy can write....

This comment was edited on Dec 20, 2012, 07:19.
 
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53. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 05:24 TurdFergasun
 
get onto DSL reports, go to the isp forum and make a post on verizon direct. There are proper support agents there who know wtf they're doing, at least they have for the two canadian isp's i've had problems with. waiting 4 hours repeatedly on hold got old pretty quick. I don't even bother phoning tech support lines anymore, just make a post, wait for a reply from someone knowledgeable in both the tech and proper customer service. It seems once a tech support rep is no longer an anonymous numbered tech slave behind a firewall of random names and employee numbers they actually seem to give a damn.  
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52. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 03:19 mag
 
Tehol wrote on Dec 20, 2012, 02:19:
i want to pitch in....:)
i suggest r scott bakker's prince of nothing trilogy and brom's child thief. they are dark and gritty if you are into this and glen cook is always good.


I'm going to throw in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, as per usual.
 
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51. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 02:19 Tehol
 
i want to pitch in....:)
i suggest r scott bakker's prince of nothing trilogy and brom's child thief. they are dark and gritty if you are into this and glen cook is always good.

 
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50. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 20, 2012, 00:28 PHJF
 
Cheers for the recommendations, got a lot of new material to read!  
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49. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 22:52 Dades
 
After seeing tons of recommendations here i finally read some Joe Abercrombie books and I have to say they are a breath of fresh air in a stale fantasy genre. The First Law trilogy was a delightfully malign twist on the LOTR crap. I'm not a big fan of scifi but like Cutter said Roger Zelazny was a gifted author.

- DADES - This is a signature of my name, enjoy!
 
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48. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 22:18 Mr. Tact
 
I really liked and have read multiple times all four Hyperion books. I think they are all well written. I thought the religion angle was pretty reasonable, and I don't think much of religion in general. I haven't read any of his other books. I've looked a couple of them over in the book store but they didn't grab me.  
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47. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 21:33 mag
 
Creston wrote on Dec 19, 2012, 15:46:
Verno wrote on Dec 19, 2012, 15:04:
I finally got around to The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons too and loved it. People tell me he becomes crazy in later books but oh well. A lot of people like Aleister Crowley too but I couldn't get into his stuff.

Hyperion was okay. Fall of Hyperion is fantastic. The Endymion ones... I'm not sure what to think. They aren't bad, per se, but they are so different from Hyperion, and in the last book he goes crazy with the sick torture porn.

Creston

Hyperion has always felt the most like... literature, to me. But Fall of Hyperion was also great.

Endymion pissed me off to no end when I started it, but it and Rise really grew on me. Totally different tone from the first two, but pretty cool.

Ilium and Olympos are also a good read, even being as absolutely ridiculous as they are. It's like reading Trojan War/Achilles&Ulysses fanfic. Awesome.
 
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46. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 20:38 Creston
 
1badmf wrote on Dec 19, 2012, 16:56:
i don't remember him writing a vampire novel, but that might've been one of his earlier horror novels that i haven't gotten to yet.

I got off my lazy ass and sauntered over to my bookshelf. It's called Carrion Comfort. It's an excellent book.

And though he refers to them as Vampires (IIRC), they are more like evil telepathic superhumans.

It's very much worth reading.

Creston
 
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45. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 20:14 flechett3
 
Steven Brust! To Reign in Hell is an amazing book, and if you love fantasy in general, read the Vlad Taltos novels. Just be warned, Brust does not really follow one style of writing. To Reign in Hell is not written the same way as Jhereg or Issola or Dragon is (nor are those three written the same as each other).  
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44. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 20:02 nin
 
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Dec 19, 2012, 18:40:
I didnt see this anywhere on the site, but nVidia released the official WHQL 310.70 drivers a couple days ago, which strangely enough are ~50mb smaller than the non-whql version I previously got. Maybe this one is 64-bit only and the other had both.. i dunno ^_^

Anyway, link here (64-bit): http://www.geforce.com/drivers/results/54625#


Excellent find - thank you!

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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43. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 18:40 Mordecai Walfish
 
I didnt see this anywhere on the site, but nVidia released the official WHQL 310.70 drivers a couple days ago, which strangely enough are ~50mb smaller than the non-whql version I previously got. Maybe this one is 64-bit only and the other had both.. i dunno ^_^

Anyway, link here (64-bit): http://www.geforce.com/drivers/results/54625#
 
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42. Re: Out of the Blue Dec 19, 2012, 17:34 1badmf
 
that's just what made it lovely for me, but i've never been a fan of traditional horror anyway. in most horror stories i never cared enough to truly be frightened about the fate of the victims; mostly i just find it comical. i don't see how it can be a cop out if it bucks the trend of traditional horror and tries to find a unique path of its own. which is not to say that it's not a great horror novel; it is, and the ending humanized the whole affair for me. i mean, spoilers:

most of the crew did die in satisfyingly gruesome ways. the motivations of the monster don't change that. in fact i liked that it was more than just some ravenous beast, and sort of became this vengeful spirit of the ice. identifying with the monster isn't something that's supposed to happen, but i loved that i felt sympathy for it in the end.
 
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