What Are You Reading 2

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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Dotsie » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:27 pm

Catch-up wrote:Almost finished with Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez. Really fun read!

From the back cover:
"Inside that closet is an ancient entity known as Vom the Hungering. He's actually a pretty decent sort, as ancient spawns go. But if you let him out of that closet, he will eat you." Diana lowered the phone. "You're going to eat me?" "Yeah, probably. Don't suppose it helps anything if I apologize in advance."


If you enjoy Christopher Moore's books, you'll probably enjoy his.

Half-way through it myself :)
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Quatermass » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:54 am

pip wrote:Its a good read Q :D


It's okay so far (I'm just over halfway), but I'm finding myself thinking that I could do better. In theory, at least. And as Pratchett himself pointed out in his intro, it's just barely a parallel universe story. I wonder if I'd prefer Half Sick of Shadows. I've got them both out from the library at the moment. :think:
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby pip » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:21 am

Quatermass wrote:
pip wrote:Its a good read Q :D


It's okay so far (I'm just over halfway), but I'm finding myself thinking that I could do better. In theory, at least. And as Pratchett himself pointed out in his intro, it's just barely a parallel universe story. I wonder if I'd prefer Half Sick of Shadows. I've got them both out from the library at the moment. :think:

Half sick of Shadows is quite different. There's little humour and reads like a good character story from the start . :D its quite odd in parts
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Quatermass » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:23 am

pip wrote:
Quatermass wrote:
pip wrote:Its a good read Q :D


It's okay so far (I'm just over halfway), but I'm finding myself thinking that I could do better. In theory, at least. And as Pratchett himself pointed out in his intro, it's just barely a parallel universe story. I wonder if I'd prefer Half Sick of Shadows. I've got them both out from the library at the moment. :think:

Half sick of Shadows is quite different. There's little humour and reads like a good character story from the start . :D its quite odd in parts


Then it might be right up my alley.

My review of Apocalypse Cow that I did on another site.

I had actually intended to enter the Terry Pratchett Prize back in 2010, but due to my own need for high quality, I never completed a book on time. Two books won that year, Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan, and Half Sick of Shadows by David Logan. And finally, those two books got published earlier this year. They may have won the prize, but would they win my interest? I decided to begin with the provocatively titled darkly comic book Apocalypse Cow...

In Scotland, an abbatoir is burnt to the ground to try and stop a new kind of virus from spreading. Problem is, the cow infected has escaped, and is spreading the virus to not just cows, but other animals. The government is trying to cover things up, and the plague and attempted coverup impacts many people. Like Geldof Peters, whose New Age mother bans meat-eating, and makes him wear hemp clothing, which he is allergic to. And then there's Lesley McBrien, a journalist eager to make the big time on her own, and gets a tip about the coverup, only to foul it up badly. And there's abbatoir worker Terry Borders, whose love life is hampered by the smell of dead cow on him, and who was at ground zero. They're not heroes. They're caught up in one of the most disastrous events to ever befall the UK, and they want to leave. But not only do they have infected animals after them, but also the persistent Mr Brown, who wants to see everyone who knows the truth dead and buried. So they're pretty much boned...

Apocalypse Cow is not Terry Pratchett. Nor is it anywhere near his level. But the book itself is an enjoyable dark comedy (especially for a first book), albeit a gruesome one that reads somewhere between a spoof of Resident Evil and The Stand. It does feel a little too simplistic, too straightforward, and at times, a damn sight too perverse. In fact, it may be all the hype about this story for winning the prize, but I feel a little cheated. But there are still some good gags, and even some biological justification (as well as humour) for the more disturbing behaviour of the infected animals.

The characters are fine enough, and for the main viewpoint characters, fleshed out enough to give a certain amount of realism. But Mr Brown is a ridiculously cardboard villain who seems to be acting more out of malice than engaging in a coverup, and while one does feel sorry for Fanny Peters (Geldof's overbearing New Age vegetarian mother) once she dies, you don't feel a hell of a lot sorry for her for being so wilfully idiotic.

In the end, Apocalypse Cow was average, at least by my standards. It's a good first effort, but the humour could have been a little better polished, and I felt that some characters were too cartoony.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby pip » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:33 am

Oddly i liked the fact that the characters came across as a bit cartoony. I thought it was part of the charm.
And i did feel a little uncomfortable with certain aspects of the infected animals behaviour i did find the author had a decent level of wit away from the obvious humour.
Mr Brown falls squarly into the cartoon villain slot but a lot of authors have villains go to lengths long beyond there rational provocation so its not that unusual . The disease itself is his Macguffin so i ran with it. Definitely not Terry Pratchett but I enjoyed it for what it was. And its a very good debut novel which is more polished than some of Terrys early stuff.

And Q . High standards are great but are useless if nothing is ever produced. There is only so often you can repolish a story.
Get something out there and it might be better than you think :D
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Quatermass » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:59 am

It's not repolishing as much as putting the damn thing together to my satisfaction. I criticise my work as I go, and I generally avoid restarting a draft completely from scratch if I can help it. But I am currently working on a story that I might be able to finish in time. I've done, as of this post, 6000 words. I think the problem will be getting it up to length, but I am reusing elements from other stories, as well as characters.

It's a serious novel, and it posits as to whether a mythological creature (or rather, several) was real. What they are will have to remain a surprise, but let's just say that it's one not often used in fiction. :P


And hey, at least Michael Logan gives two justifiable reasons for the infected animals trying to rape everything in their path: because it helps spread the virus, and because the scientists working on the virus thought it was funny. Gross as the concept was, I accepted that. I didn't expect Mr Brown to have a tragic backstory either. He just seemed to be doing things for laughs more than for Britain's wellbeing. Whereas in The Stand, you at least got the feeling that, as dickish as the people covering up the viral outbreak were, they were trying to do something right, despite the fact that they were doing it the wrong way. They felt human, whereas Mr Brown felt more like a psycho who had been fired from the Umbrella Corporation. :think:
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Bouncy Castle » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:24 am

James Patterson - Kill Alex Cross
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby pip » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:37 am

Quatermass wrote:It's not repolishing as much as putting the damn thing together to my satisfaction. I criticise my work as I go, and I generally avoid restarting a draft completely from scratch if I can help it. But I am currently working on a story that I might be able to finish in time. I've done, as of this post, 6000 words. I think the problem will be getting it up to length, but I am reusing elements from other stories, as well as characters.

It's a serious novel, and it posits as to whether a mythological creature (or rather, several) was real. What they are will have to remain a surprise, but let's just say that it's one not often used in fiction. :P


And hey, at least Michael Logan gives two justifiable reasons for the infected animals trying to rape everything in their path: because it helps spread the virus, and because the scientists working on the virus thought it was funny. Gross as the concept was, I accepted that. I didn't expect Mr Brown to have a tragic backstory either. He just seemed to be doing things for laughs more than for Britain's wellbeing. Whereas in The Stand, you at least got the feeling that, as dickish as the people covering up the viral outbreak were, they were trying to do something right, despite the fact that they were doing it the wrong way. They felt human, whereas Mr Brown felt more like a psycho who had been fired from the Umbrella Corporation. :think:

Sounds like an interesting concept Q . :D I do like my Mythology :D
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Catch-up » Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:10 pm

Dotsie wrote:
Catch-up wrote:Almost finished with Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez. Really fun read!

From the back cover:
"Inside that closet is an ancient entity known as Vom the Hungering. He's actually a pretty decent sort, as ancient spawns go. But if you let him out of that closet, he will eat you." Diana lowered the phone. "You're going to eat me?" "Yeah, probably. Don't suppose it helps anything if I apologize in advance."


If you enjoy Christopher Moore's books, you'll probably enjoy his.

Half-way through it myself :)


Finished it last night! :D Really enjoyed it. Vom was hands down my favorite! I kept hearing his voice as Rolf the dog from the Muppets.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby chris.ph » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:08 pm

the man from u,n,d,e,a,d...... its quite funny as well :D
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:12 pm

And hey, at least Michael Logan gives two justifiable reasons for the infected animals trying to rape everything in their path: because it helps spread the virus, and because the scientists working on the virus thought it was funny. Gross as the concept was, I accepted that. I didn't expect Mr Brown to have a tragic backstory either. He just seemed to be doing things for laughs more than for Britain's wellbeing. Whereas in The Stand, you at least got the feeling that, as dickish as the people covering up the viral outbreak were, they were trying to do something right, despite the fact that they were doing it the wrong way. They felt human, whereas Mr Brown felt more like a psycho who had been fired from the Umbrella Corporation. :think:[/quote]
I enjoyed the book it reminded me of two others with a slightly similar theme, Edmund Cooper's Kronk and Charles Platt's The Gas.
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Sjoerd3000 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:20 pm

Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell :dance:
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:28 pm

Sjoerd3000 wrote:Excalibur by Bernard Cornwell :dance:

Are you enjoying the series, Sjoerd? :)
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Sjoerd3000 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:15 pm

Yes! It's great! :D Love his take on the Arthur legend :)
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Re: What Are You Reading 2

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:48 pm

Sjoerd3000 wrote:Yes! It's great! :D Love his take on the Arthur legend :)

And I love what he did with Launcelot. :lol:
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