Friday, May 04, 2007

I have moods.

And right now I'm not in the mood for political arguments. I want to chat with my friends on EQ2 (on Crushbone server Synova is a provisioner) or read a book.

Yesterday I got _Wolf Who Rules_ from the library and read it again. I actually own this book in e-book form but happened to see it and decided that it would be nice to read on paper.

Wen Spencer is fabulous. _Tinker_ and _Wolf Who Rules_ are great but I have to say that the Ukiah Oregon books starting with _Alien Taste_ are even better.


Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I got done reading Vorpal Blade, and I just realized that John Ringo would make some REALLY good action-alien-killing movies.

The visual I got at the end, would be far more dramatic in screen type. Like Battlestar Galactica. Ringo doesn't use the internal mental dialogue all that much, so it is perfect for the movie format where you don't hear people's inner thoughts. Unlike David Weber of course or Dune, where internal dialogue and thoughts were critical to characterization and plot.

I tried to read Tinker, but got stalled at the beginning. Why do you like it?

1:32 PM  
Blogger Synova said...

I liked _Tinker_ because the character appealed to me right away plus I like romances. So Tinker trying to save the elf at the beginning was interesting to me. I also very much like the take on elves in the book. As fantasies go, it's unique. Spencer combines Western elves with Eastern kitsune, oni, and tengu. And wraps it all together with physics and multiple universes. Oh, and a bit of cut throat court politics on the side.

_Wolf Who Rules_ adds dragons and inter dimensional discontinuities to the mix.

I still think that the Ukiah Oregon series beginning with _Alien Taste_ is better. It's hard to even talk about them without giving away "spoilers" though. Technically urban fantasy, I suppose, but without "magic". Max is a private investigator who specializes in finding lost people and Ukiah is his partner who explains his tracking ability as due to his being raised by wolves.

The feel is the detective gumshoe novel except with weirdness.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The feel is the detective gumshoe novel except with weirdness.

There was a novel in Baen's free library that was just like that. Let's see, what was it called...

Digital Knight. I really liked it because it had my perfect novel-shortstory format. Which is like 6 different primary arc plots put in a contiguous novel. Like the Voyage of the Space Beagle and Ringo's Ghost. There was like a lot of things that were new and surprising. The gratification of short stories combined with the plot line continuity of a novel. Perfect hybrid in my view.

More bang for the buck, because I HATE loose ends. Loose ends everywhere these days... like Al Sadr, but never mind.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Synova said...

Yeah, Ryk E. Spoor... which is apparently *not* a pen name. :-)

He participates on the usenet group I read using a screen name. I tried to read Digital Knight. I liked a novella he did about a family of hillbillies with a diamond mine but didn't get into DK... maybe I should try again.

I was just thinking that _Alien Taste_ doesn't stay gum-shoeish past the "this is a detective story" set up.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Ymarsakar said...

Digital Knight was fun because it wasn't just about vampires and whatever. It was more like... anime. ya. You know, where there's like plot twists every second verse (more Naruto than say Ghost in the Machine) and chapter or so it appears. Where the hero becomes more powerful and has more challenges. Not exactly of course, Digital Knight is NOT anime, but it has something like Japanese anime's plotline techniques. The heirarchy of evil so to speak, as Den Beste called it.

The first two stories seem like non-connected bits and pieces. It wasn't until I got to the end that I felt a community of purpose and of union. You know, where you see folks grow up in a sense and change, and you notice that you hadn't even noticed until now. The beginning two stories were small and short detective stories, and they didn't catch my attention much. But since they were short, I just kept reading, and I'm glad. I too I think stopped reading Digital Knight after the first one or two stories, and then I got back at it. Bored with nothing else in the library to read.

I'll probably try Tinker again.

Ringo really really needs to hook up with the producer/director of Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica. He would Kill folks with his material. Just saying.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Ymarsakar said...

I mean seriously, did you catch the ending to Vorpal Blade?

It would even beat Firefly's Serenity ending, the movie.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Synova said...

I haven't read Vorpal Blade. The last Ringo I read was... I can't remember the title... I bought the ebook of the one where the aliens are invading through the portal in Florida with the talking cats and the mech suits.

I don't think I want to pay for the arc so I'll just wait for Vorpal Blade.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I bought the ebook of the one where the aliens are invading through the portal in Florida with the talking cats and the mech suits.

Vorpal's a sequel to that. I liked it more than Looking Glass, because Vorpal is longer and funnier. More killing, meaning. I like mass carnage, and if Ringo had freaking included the Jihad fighting the Green boyos... well, that didn't happen so.

I read Tinker and Alien Taste, btw.

I just had to skip the first 1-2 chapters or so, of both books. Short attention span, it must be...

I never actually skip the first portions of a book, so if it doesn't grab me by then... I'm basically tuning out. But if I have a reasonable assurance that there's some meat farther ahead... well I'll flip ahead and actually read the book.

In this case, it was as you said, Synova. I found it funny that in Tinker she always had folks keep grabbing her. That, I found natural. But it was really really weird when the author did the same thing to Ukiah.

I'm like,

"Dude, put your freaking hand inside that guy's chest, and tell your XXX to XXX out XXX, using your superior abilities."

There was a slight inconsistency with the sensory mods, if only because I have a partiality for combat mods. I got the same feeling reading Digital Knight (at the end) as the ending to Alien Taste. Both had very high quality plotlines in aggregate.

But the beginning was richly described and setup for Alien Taste. Really gritty.

I think I liked Digital Knight (which is eeriely similar to Ukiah), because it kept up the detective gumshoe thing until the end.

I think I actually read that part about the razor thin slice of cut and I immediately thought "katana?" and then "no way, most authors don't use katanas in their stories". Then... well.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Synova said...

Ukiah has what my SIL would call a "tender heart" and what Indigo, in the fourth book, describes as an old and patient soul.

I think that his mods (if I understand what you mean by that) are as much combat mods as sensory mods it's just that he's never had that mindset at all. The Pack aren't fundamentally more capable than him and they are primarily combat troops.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Maybe he explores the biology a bit more in the 2nd and Third Book, but it seems you can tweak the biology around a bit, based upon both the described behavior the author wrote out and the physical principles itself.

To anyone else, you might as well stop reading cause I'm going to have to go into enough detail to spoilt Alien Taste, if you haven't read it.

Anyways, specifically, I was thinking that if your entire body is more or less a conscious colony hive, you can maybe tell a rat to produce poison or an arm to produce some dense bone ridges that sticks out like Wolverine. If the cells can mimic something as complex as mammalian lifeforms and human beings, then with the right DNA template, it should be able to create combat modifications. That weren't described in Alien Taste that is. Or we can just go back to Aliens, make your blood into acid.

I was reading some of the books from Meisha Merlin's other author series. The fantasy world one, from webscription. The grabbing and manhandling of the main character was definitely in play there, so when I read these series, it sort of harmonized together. They stacked ontop of each other.

It happened so many times, and the main character wasn't (physically) helpless or required to go along as in Tinker, to the extent that I started thinking "just make an example of one of them, the others will get the idea pretty fast".

Since the world was a patriarchical one and the main character was a warrior in her own right, I kept feeling this grinding sensation.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Synova said...

You're right. And the Pack *can* change shape and Ukiah can and has changed shape. The "rules" seem to be that they need a genetic blueprint to hold the shape.

I know what Meisha Merlin is. What author or book are you talking about? And it's available in webscriptions from Baen? The Meisha Merlin authors I know of don't write fantasies in patriarchal worlds. At least if they have, I don't know the book.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Recently Meisha Merlin had problems with their financial setup, probably because of the fixed costs for publishing got a little bit too high compared to income. So they switched to Baen's escription, as a way to still publish their authors, instead of selling the rights or whatever publishing houses do when they run into economic problems.

As to your question, it was the God Stalkers Chronicle. Far as I know, PC and Sharon/Miller were the two authors featured on escription recently from Meisha.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The reason I mentioned the first paragraph above is because that's the immediate thing that pops into my head about Meisha Merlin, leading to why they would even be part of Baen's webscription program.

Btw, David Weber's Off Armagadeddon Reef was great. Got it from the library, then went back a week later for another shot. It seemed like he almost took a list of what I liked, and just inputed several items off there verbatim.

God Complex

Personal slaughtering of folks galore, using superior firepower, speed, and discipline.

Technology combat mods

Human vs Alien war of extermination (Course Muty Moon I liked predominantly because of that)

It's like Weber took the best of all the stuff he ever did and all the things I wanted him to do, and mixed them together.

John Ringo takes action too fast, in my view, since it occurs in the blink of an eye, no thoughts no remorse no whatever, it just happens and we deal with it later. Now that might be the reality, but reading a novel, I'm not personally in danger, so I don't feel any adrenaline or anything else. That's why David Weber's style of writing personal character thoughts, analysis, and tactical situation updates make me feel a deeper connection to the characters. And March to the Stars was horrendously upsetting to my emotions simply because when they combined their talents, it was a force that was hard to beat.

Everytime the protagonist of Armageddon started up another fight scene, I was sitting back like "here comes another anime fight sequence, which means the enemies are totally outclassed".

One of the things i absolutely hated was when Weber told me the identity of the traitor in third book of Empire from the Ashes, while his main characters were stumbling around like they were ignorant or something. As if they could not isolate the leaks to a select group of people, put out some bait, and then wait.

I got a lot of satisfaction out of Armageddon's way of handling "intel", heh.

4:41 PM  

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