Escape from Elba

Literature => Fiction => Topic started by: Administrator on July 30, 2018, 12:14:51 PM

Title: Fiction
Post by: Administrator on July 30, 2018, 12:14:51 PM
What hot new books of fiction are you reading?
Title: Latin American Literature
Post by: Administrator on July 30, 2018, 12:15:12 PM
Discuss
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on August 01, 2018, 06:06:32 PM
In "The Catcher in the Rye, " Holden Caulfield explains why the bad guys get all of the women, while the good guys go without...

Holden says that the women think that the good guys are arrogant, and conceited, and too perfect, so they do not go for them. While the bad guys need help, and the women feel like they can help the bad guys, it is part of their womanly instinct to want to help the bad guys.

It is an interesting theory.

Salute,

Tony V.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on August 05, 2018, 02:01:55 PM
In "The Catcher in the Rye, " Holden Caulfield explains why the bad guys get all of the women, while the good guys go without...

Holden says that the women think that the good guys are arrogant, and conceited, and too perfect, so they do not go for them. While the bad guys need help, and the women feel like they can help the bad guys, it is part of their womanly instinct to want to help the bad guys.

It is an interesting theory.

Salute,

Tony V.

There are tons of good guys who lack confidence, Tony. There are tons of bad guys who are arrogant and conceited.

I think JD Salinger was just making excuses for himself.

Salinger's first marriage lasted a whopping 8 months.

His second marriage was to a college student when he was 36. He made her drop out of college months shy of graduation.

Between that and his third, he hooked up with a number of college students, first talking with them through letters, then sleeping with them, then dumping them.

His third wife was more than 40 years younger than he.

I don't think that last is necessarily problematic, but as a piece of the whole it strikes me as unwise to place too much faith in Holden's observations about women.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on January 07, 2019, 10:12:39 PM
I thought some of you might enjoy these free pieces from Nnedi Okorafor:

http://nnedi.com/books/online_fiction.html
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on January 16, 2019, 04:10:37 AM
I finished reading "A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman.

It is a good book. It is kind of long, and it jumps around a lot, but it is worth the read. I recommend it.

It is about a man who lost his wife, and he just wants to die, but he is saved by his neighbors and a stray cat.

It is about people coming together as neighbors to survive the cruelty of life.

You cannot be alone, if you are loved by your neighbors.

Which is all about the commandment from Jesus to love our neighbors.

(And one thing too, it takes place in Sweden, Ove is a Swede, and I found it interesting that they had McDonald's and 7-Eleven, etc. American companies are everywhere. The first McDonald's was in San Bernardino, California, and now they are world-wide, and McDonald's is in this novel that takes place in Sweden.)

Salute,

Tony V.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on January 17, 2019, 11:37:03 PM

Which is all about the commandment from Jesus to love our neighbors.

The Commandment to love your neighbors as yourself predates Jesus by millennia, Tony.

https://www.jfedgmw.org/jewish-life/kedoshim-and-love-thy-neighbor-as-thyself
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on April 25, 2019, 06:42:09 PM
I am reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" and it was written when the writers were paid by how long the book was, and Dumas had a whole team of writers helping him, so the book is really long, but it is supposed to be even better than "The Three Musketeers." This one will take a long time to read, but I am ready for the adventure.

Salute,

Tony V.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on April 30, 2019, 05:48:53 PM
"The Count of Monte Cristo" is like a soap opera, you are drawn in at the end of a chapter so that you eagerly await the next chapter.

It is a good book. I am enjoying it.

It was the entertainment of the age when it was written, and Dumas was a star.

Salute,

Tony V.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on June 16, 2019, 11:53:51 AM
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/1984-george-orwell/590638/

Reflections on the continuing relevance of George Orwell and 1984.

Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on July 24, 2019, 02:38:52 AM
(https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/even-more-abridged-classics.jpg?w=500&h=400)
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on July 24, 2019, 02:50:09 AM
(https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/more-abridged-classics.jpg?w=500&h=400)
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on July 24, 2019, 02:52:58 AM
(https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/abridged-classics.jpg?w=450&h=360)
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on September 11, 2019, 09:30:45 PM
I just finished reading "The Count of Monte Cristo." It is a great book, but it is long. It would make a great mini-series for Netflix. Maybe someday I will produce it with Flying V Productions. I could make it in Italy at Cinecitta. We will see what happens.

Of course, "Echo, A Rock and Roll Tragedy" has to be successful for me to have any hope of filmmaking. but it is a good project, and I still have faith in it.

And I need to get my poetry book published.

We will see what happens.

Salute,

Tony V.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on September 12, 2019, 12:50:52 PM
I am not sure which book I shall read next, I am thinking about reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scarlet_Letter

Salute,

Tony V.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: FlyingVProd on December 03, 2019, 05:24:31 PM
If you want to produce love stories, then Fern Michaels is a great writer of love stories, her books would all make great films.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fern_Michaels

And for instance, her book "Captive Innocence" would make a great movie.

I would like to produce some love stories, and I want to hire the most beautiful women to be in my movies.

Salute,

Tony V.


Title: Free (and legal) Science Fiction and Fantasy
Post by: josh on March 30, 2020, 01:16:46 AM
This is a list of valid internet resources:
https://www.jimchines.com/2020/03/free-sff-reading/?fbclid=IwAR3oEXW0Sv903B03EzcKlycrr8DWGZbOZDL-kMndTIZi5DloY5eK1iVktts
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on May 11, 2020, 03:27:06 PM
https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/822579660/a-matter-of-common-decency-what-literature-can-teach-us-about-epidemics

I am planning to reread The Plague by Albert Camus.   
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on May 21, 2020, 04:54:04 AM
https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/822579660/a-matter-of-common-decency-what-literature-can-teach-us-about-epidemics

I am planning to reread The Plague by Albert Camus.

And are you relieved, having done so?
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on May 21, 2020, 03:58:19 PM
Our copy seemed to be buried in an unknown book box,  so I reserved it at the library,  and am still waiting in the queue.   Will report back.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on May 22, 2020, 10:37:35 PM
Our copy seemed to be buried in an unknown book box,  so I reserved it at the library,  and am still waiting in the queue.   Will report back.

Cool.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on September 04, 2020, 12:59:46 PM
Starting The Plague now.  This really got back-burnered more than I meant to.

Meantime, anyone read "Memory" by Donald Westlake?  Loneliness, alienation, depression...it is Westlake coming as close to Dostoevsky as he ever gets (and he's usually quite far from Dostoevsky).  It was published posthumously, in 2010, and appears to be something he wrote early on, perhaps in the early sixties -- going by setting details and speech patterns.  (either that, or the story is deliberately retro for some purpose that will be revealed in the last act)  I'm about 3/4 through it, and hoping that the first-person character, an amnesiac actor who struggles to recover his memories, will find some light at the end of his long dark night of the soul.  There is the usual fine writing and masterful storytelling that one expects from Westlake, and moments of humor and clever philosophic observation that make the going easier. 

Anyway, finishing this tonight.  Then starting "The Plague."  And then perhaps Suzy Cheerful's manual on how to play with puppies.  Balance the yin with a bit of yang. 

Title: The Shadow!
Post by: josh on November 18, 2020, 12:21:40 AM
Radio plays from 1937-1938.
Title: R.I.P. Ben Bova
Post by: josh on November 30, 2020, 09:59:08 PM
Ben Bova, by his son.

Benjamin William Bova died on the morning of November 29th, 2020. He was an American writer. He was 88 years old.

Dr. Bova was the author of more than 200 works of science fact and fiction, including short stories, essays, newspaper articles, non-fiction works and novels. He was the six-time winner of the prestigious Hugo Award, the editor of Analog Magazine, and the editorial director of Omni Magazine. He was president of the National Space Society and the Science Fiction Writers of America.

It is a common wish to visit the future and report back to the present; to time travel. Ben Bova was that time traveler; his books and short stories: the journals from the future. In his various writings, Dr. Ben Bova predicted -- years before they happened: the race to the Moon during the 1960s, satellites using the Sun to power the Earth’s technologies, the discovery of organic compounds in interstellar space, virtual reality and the internet, human cloning, the struggle to relieve the world of nuclear weapons, humans living on Mars, stem cell therapy, the discovery of ice and water on the Moon, electronic book publishing, robot police, and sex in space.

While he experimented with some fantasy works (his Orion series is a good example) most of his novels were science fiction: no stories of a rocket’s roar in empty space (where sound cannot travel). He believed that a reader should feel, immersed in one of his books and short stories, that you were walking on the rusty, rock strewn surface of Mars, enduring the planet’s light pull on your cheeks, and tasting the stale air in your suit helmet. Newton’s Laws were not suggestions.

Widely read, Dr. Bova would delight in reciting entire poems of, say, Rudyard Kipling, or the songs of Cole Porter on occasion. He would acknowledge the most esoteric pun or obscure reference with a groan or a wry grin. He could – as he often did during writing breaks – with pen and sans eraser, complete entire New York Times crossword puzzles in the time it takes to finish a lunch cup of yoghurt. Words were his tools; his memory and imagination, his toolbox. And his two pointing fingers – he never used his entire set of fingers to write, the hammers that pounded first the typewriter keys and then, when it was invented, the home computer to conceive and mold a good story.
And stories he wrote. Translations of his multiple works appear in bookstores and libraries world-wide. He once said of his craft that “it is so easy to find a reason for not writing. Writing is hard, grueling work; it’s much easier to do something else. Especially if you have a “real” job that demands eight hours a day or more, it is difficult to make the time for writing. Yet that is precisely what you must do. Make the time. “Writers,” he said, “don’t “find” the time to write. They make time for their writing. Family, friends, job, all the other pleasures and obligations of your life must take second place to writing,” he counseled. “If you are going to be a successful writer, you must write.”
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the depths of The Great Depression, his family was so poor, a can of beans would suffice as supper, and so destitute he suffered from rickets, a vitamin D deficiency, now readily available in supermarket milk. Asthma kept him from playing stick ball and out of South Philadelphia’s violent street gangs which, along with his curious mind, led him to read books and write stories. Lots of books. Lots of stories.

To support his family, he worked as a newspaper reporter for several years before joining Project Vanguard, the first American artificial satellite program. He later wrote scripts for teaching films with the Physical Sciences Study Committee in association with Nobel Laureates from many universities. Later still he became the manager of marketing for Avco Everett Research Laboratory, in Massachusetts, and worked with leading scientists in fields such as high-power lasers, artificial hearts, and plasma dynamics.

But it was as the editor of Analog Magazine (earlier Astounding Science Fiction -- the running joke at that time was that nothing was amazing, only astounding), then editorial director of Omni Magazine in New York City where he had the most influence on the craft of writing. It was at these magazines that Dr. Bova discovered, guided, and promoted some of the most talented writers known today.
For his exceptional editorial work, he received the Science Fiction Achievement Award (the “Hugo”) for Best Professional Editor six times. In 2001 Dr. Bova was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He received the 1996 Isaac Asimov Memorial Award; was the 1974 recipient of the E.E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction; the 1983 Balrog Award winner for Professional Achievement; the 1985 Inkpot Award recipient for his outstanding achievements in science fiction. In 2000, he was Guest of Honor at the 58th World Science Fiction Convention, Chicon2000.
Dr. Bova taught science fiction at Harvard University and at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, where he also directed film courses. He received his doctorate in education in 1996 from California Coast University, a master of arts degree in communications from the State University of New York at Albany (1987) and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University (1954).

He lectured on topics dealing with the prospects for human immortality, the interaction of science and politics, space exploration and development, the craft of writing, and the search for extraterrestrial life. He worked with film makers and television producers such as Woody Allen, George Lucas, and Gene Roddenberry.
Dr. Bova was a regular commentator on WGCU-FM, the southwest Florida NPR station. He was the science analyst on CBS Morning News, and appeared frequently on Good Morning America and the Today show.

Dr. Bova served on panels of the Office of Technology Assessment. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, a charter member of the Planetary Society, and a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Temple University honored him as a Distin­guished Alumnus in 1981, and in 1982 made him an Alumni Fellow.
He was the resident Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science Fiction Writers of America, Dr. Bova received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, “for fueling mankind’s imagination regarding the wonders of outer space.” His 2006 novel TITAN received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel of the year. In 2008 he won the Robert A. Heinlein Award “for his outstanding body of work in the field of literature.” In 2012 he received a Space Pioneer Award from the National Space Society.

Using romance, adventure, and scientific accuracy, Dr. Bova showed how the human race will expand through the solar system in his Grand Tour novels LEVIATHANS OF JUPITER, MARS, and TITAN. His nonfiction books, such as FAINT ECHOES, DISTANT STARS and IMMORTALITY were honored by the American Librarians Association.

If one is fortunate, one is able to count at the end of one’s life the few good deeds done for a friend, for a son or daughter, perhaps for a student. In this, Ben Bova was blessed. His humor and warm counsel are the gifts he leaves to a multitude of friends. His love, his caring, his generous soul, and a cornucopia of memories, are the gifts he leaves to his family. His literary works are the gifts he leaves the world, requited now by the gratitude of those who read and enjoy his stories, and in the future, by those yet to be born.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on December 02, 2020, 12:40:03 PM
Thanks, good obit.  I used to read both Omni and Analog, while he was on board.  I've read some of his short stories and a couple novels (maybe it's time to go back and recall which ones, have another look).  I remember they used to call all the sci-fi writers with "B" last names, The Killer B's, and recall you could find a solid trove of good sci-fi there in a public library fiction stacks - Bova, Baxter, Bear, Benford, Bradbury, Butler, et al. 
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on December 02, 2020, 06:28:18 PM
Thanks, good obit.  I used to read both Omni and Analog, while he was on board.  I've read some of his short stories and a couple novels (maybe it's time to go back and recall which ones, have another look).  I remember they used to call all the sci-fi writers with "B" last names, The Killer B's, and recall you could find a solid trove of good sci-fi there in a public library fiction stacks - Bova, Baxter, Bear, Benford, Bradbury, Butler, et al.

I'd always heard the Killer B's were Bear, Benford, and Brin, but regardless, it is certainly a packed letter!
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on January 12, 2021, 09:30:17 PM
A sentient and immortal light bulb named Byron has suggested to me that Gravity's Rainbow is just not quite the right Pynchon novel for me.   But I tried,  this past week.   Much paranoia.   Many erections.   Many V2 strikes where the erections had occurred.  A statistician named Mexico who favors the role of randomness. Erotic plastics.   Attack conditioned octopi.  9, 452 other things,  people,  dreams,  banana hothouses,  puritans, Namibian rocket engineers,   pinball machines, black boxes,  Masons,  Walpurgisnacht visions,  baby boners, pet lemmings, molecules, power grids,  kamikaze pilots,  and... Byron says I should stop and splash cold water on my face.   I freeze now,  with a rocket poised over my head,  transcending the organic world.   

         
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on January 12, 2021, 09:34:01 PM
Thanks, good obit.  I used to read both Omni and Analog, while he was on board.  I've read some of his short stories and a couple novels (maybe it's time to go back and recall which ones, have another look).  I remember they used to call all the sci-fi writers with "B" last names, The Killer B's, and recall you could find a solid trove of good sci-fi there in a public library fiction stacks - Bova, Baxter, Bear, Benford, Bradbury, Butler, et al.

I'd always heard the Killer B's were Bear, Benford, and Brin, but regardless, it is certainly a packed letter!

I forgot to mention Brin which is odd because he was my favorite, when I was in heavy sci-fi mode.     
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on January 12, 2021, 10:06:14 PM
Thanks, good obit.  I used to read both Omni and Analog, while he was on board.  I've read some of his short stories and a couple novels (maybe it's time to go back and recall which ones, have another look).  I remember they used to call all the sci-fi writers with "B" last names, The Killer B's, and recall you could find a solid trove of good sci-fi there in a public library fiction stacks - Bova, Baxter, Bear, Benford, Bradbury, Butler, et al.

I'd always heard the Killer B's were Bear, Benford, and Brin, but regardless, it is certainly a packed letter!

I forgot to mention Brin which is odd because he was my favorite, when I was in heavy sci-fi mode.   

Odd indeed! His Uplift sequence is one of my favorite series of all time.

The Killer B's origin is detailed in here:
http://web.mit.edu/m-i-t/science_fiction/transcripts/bear_benford.htm
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: Hairy Lime on January 12, 2021, 10:25:12 PM
A sentient and immortal light bulb named Byron has suggested to me that Gravity's Rainbow is just not quite the right Pynchon novel for me.   But I tried,  this past week.   Much paranoia.   Many erections.   Many V2 strikes where the erections had occurred.  A statistician named Mexico who favors the role of randomness. Erotic plastics.   Attack conditioned octopi.  9, 452 other things,  people,  dreams,  banana hothouses,  puritans, Namibian rocket engineers,   pinball machines, black boxes,  Masons,  Walpurgisnacht visions,  baby boners, pet lemmings, molecules, power grids,  kamikaze pilots,  and... Byron says I should stop and splash cold water on my face.   I freeze now,  with a rocket poised over my head,  transcending the organic world.   

       
Did you make it to (and past) the Katje/Pudding poop as a dick scene? That is usually a bright line. Get through that and it is downhill.
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on January 13, 2021, 09:57:52 AM
Where Pudding  is reminded by Katje's poop of the battle of Passchendaele,  yes.   

It's so nonlinear in structure,  there's a desire to skip around.   Will see how it goes. 
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on January 17, 2021, 07:58:45 PM
Three Felony Opera?  (Larry said the Trump years will make a hell of an opera someday)

BTW,  Carl Hiaasen's new book,  "Squeeze Me, " is a hoot,  set in his usual Florida cesspits and swamps,  with sharp political satire (and some Trumpian jabs)  -- he is America's Evelyn Waugh.   
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: Hairy Lime on January 22, 2021, 01:21:06 PM
Carl Hiaasen's new book... is a hoot...
As was one of his old ones....
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: barton on January 24, 2021, 08:12:04 PM
   Wasn't familiar with his YA books.  Owl ask the daughter if she read it -  she was in that demographic when "Hoot" was published. 

I came to the Hiaasen world via "Native Tongue, " which remains a favorite. 
Title: Re: Fiction
Post by: josh on January 28, 2021, 01:00:31 AM
You might enjoy listening to Andy Duncan's Senator Bilbo, set in the Shiremoot:
https://podcastle.org/2008/11/04/pc032-senator-bilbo/

The full print short story can be read in the anthology Extreme Fantasy, findable in archive (dot) org.