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    1. Douglas Adams and Iain M. Banks

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      I've just started reading The Culture novels by Iain M. Banks, and am currently reading A Player of Games. This might be a controversial thing to say, but I'm getting some Douglas Adams vibes, especially in his depiction of the drones. Am I the only one who feels a certain connection there?

      14 votes
    2. Dawnshard - By Brandon Sanderson - Discussion

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Spoiler warning for Dawnshard and previous Stormlight Archive books (Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, Edgedancer, & Oathbringer).

      I'd seen mentions of the sleepless and Dawnshards when browsing the Arcanum and so was primarily hoping to learn more about these in this book. But in a short period of time I was surprised with how attached I grew to Rysn! In particular at the end of the book when the captain appreciates Rysn's role as Rebsk and allow here to steer the ship (showing their trust) for a few minutes, I let out an audible cheer. (Also when I noticed that she gained perfect pitch and perfect color recognition) Rysn and Vstim's interludes in the previous stormlight books were some of my favourite interludes and I'm so glad that we got to see more of them here.

      The other thing I was surprised by was the set up for the two Winderunners swearing their third ideal here. Lopen says quite clearly that the third ideal is saying that you will protect even those you hate. And then a few chapters later we see Huio swear the third ideal in order to protect Lopen. I honestly thought this was just going to be played off as a joke since they have a fair bit of banter early in the book. But I was heart warmed to see that realisation that Lopen has that his jokes and teasing hurt people, and him swearing his own version of the ideal to protect other people from himself. It reminded me of some of the similar (but not same) character development moments we get with Wayne in Mistborn.

      I'd love to hear what other people who read this book thought about it as well. Once I can get my hands on Yumi and the Nightmare Painter in paperback form, I hope to discuss that too with all you Cosmerenauts!

      22 votes
    3. 'The Three-Body Problem' is... bad

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      I just finished it today and it's hard to pinpoint exactly what parts I enjoyed.

      Spoilers I enjoyed the parts where we get to see inside the game of threebody. That felt engaging to me, but was really the only part I enjoyed.

      The rest of the book felt very preachy and a lot of it felt unnecessary. I don't think I liked a single character in the book. They all felt like caricatures and not how people would genuinely act or respond to the events happening in the book. Almost every single action taken by every single character felt forced to fit a narrative.

      I cannot fathom why this won a Hugo award other than the fact that it was the first piece of science fiction originally written by a Chinese author in the Chinese language to win. [edit: In terms of novelty. The fact that it was originally written in Chinese has absolutely no bearing on my opinion other than possibly due to the translation the characters seemed to have no depth.]

      I listened to the audio book, as I was told the names can be confusing and the audio book helped with it. I kept waiting for it to go somewhere, and when it was over I thought to myself, "that's it?"

      Maybe someone can give a different perspective on it, because right now I'm just frustrated I spent money on it.

      51 votes
    4. Edgedancer - By Brandon Sanderson - Discussion

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Edgedancer (a stormlight archives novella) came out a few years ago, but since there's little Cosmere discussion in Tildes and I just finished reading it a few days ago, I figured it would be worth posting my thoughts on this. The only book of relevance to this which I haven't read is Dawnshard, so please mark any discussion about that with spoilers.

      I've seen a lot of complaints about Lift on reddit, and I can see where people are coming from. But I always liked the way Lift think and is written. I feel like Lift's stories would make great bed time stories because of how sweetly they end. In the first interlude where Lift appears, the people of Azir are having trouble picking a "king" because they keep getting assassinated. Lift's involvement solves this problem that we're introduced to at the start of the story. And now in Edgedancer, Nalan is still hunting down budding Radiants because he doesn't believe that the Everstorm has really come back. But at the end of the story Lift swears the third ideal "I will listen to those who have been ignored" and shows Nalan the truth. Which feels like a very fairy tale ending, compared to them getting involved in some epic battle. I honestly expected Szeth to intervene and team up with Lift against Nalan.

      The moment at the end where she hugs Nalan to comfort him as he's crying was touching. It got me crying! I didn't expect to feel any sympathy for Nalan, but at the end it feels like a fog is lifting off of him and he's been in a haze this whole time. Which I suppose is true of all the Heralds at this point.

      I kept trying to guess who the Radiant in Yeddaw was. Of course it had to be a minor character that we've already seen. So I was thinking it would be that guard we met earlier, since they mentioned trading to get some spheres with stormlight so that she can read. I thought this was a lie, with the real reason being using the stormlight to practice some surgebinding. The other candidate was the old man, but that turned out to be a very interesting misdirect that I'm hoping to learn more about in Dawnshard. (The actual radiant was the woman at the orphanage)

      The description of the city of Yeddaw was very interesting and new. I wish there was more art to go along with the descriptions, but I feel like I don't really understand the layout of the city. I feel like it would be dark all the time (except noon) if it was carved into the ground like I imagined. Also I wonder if there's more to the story than it just being created with loaned out shardblades. We know that the total number of shardblades in Roshar is very small. Even assuming something like 5 shardblades that were loaned out, how is it possible to create a whole city with that in a reasonable amount of time. Feels like it would take many decades.

      20 votes
    5. Books with WTF premises

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Books that make you want to side eye the author, because why....would you come up with that?

      For example, Frank Herbert, you know, the guy that came up with a beloved series that examines philosophy, religion, human nature, and the dangers of power, also wrote The Whipping Star - a book about a noirish, twice-divorced space detective who has to free a star from being contractually obligated to be whipped to death by a notorious, billionare dominatrix.

      I'm looking for books where the premise is played straight, like the author doesn't know what a little weirdo they're being.

      63 votes
    6. Tildes Pop-up Book Club: Discussion topic for Roadside Picnic

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      This is the Discussion topic for all those who participated in Tildes Pop-up Book Club: Roadside Picnic, or for anyone who has previously read the book and wishes to join in.

      I don't have a particular format in mind for this discussion, but I will post some prompts and questions as comments to get things started. You're not obligated to respond to them or vote on them though. So feel free to make your own top-level comment for whatever you wish to discuss, questions you have of others, or even just to post a review of the book you have written yourself.

      For all the latecomers, don't worry if you didn't read the book in time for this Discussion topic. You can always join in once you finish it. Tildes Activity sort, and "Collapse old comments" feature should keep the topic going for as long as people are still replying.

      And for anyone uninterested in this topic please use the Ignore Topic feature on this so it doesn't keep popping up in your Activity sort, since it's likely to keep doing that while I set this discussion up, and once people start joining in.

      45 votes
    7. Tress and the Emerald Sea - By Brandon Sanderson - Discussion

      Warning: this post may contain spoilers

      Just finished this book this morning and wanted to do my usual jump to reddit to read what others have said/are saying about it. But as I have decided to leave reddit indefinitely, I have come here!

      Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Any Cosmerenauts on Tilde yet that are anxious to discuss the implications of the book?

      Personally, I enjoyed the book, but found it very quick and convenient in terms of plot and structure. It bothered me a tiny bit, at first, until I read the postscript and saw that he was going for a "Princess Bride" structure, and suddenly the whole book reframed itself in my mind. It wasn't convenient, it was a bedtime story. Every chapter being 3-5 pages, and being a non-stop string of events, that was its strength now.

      From a cosmere perspective, it's interesting that this book is obviously very late future compared to most cosmere books. I'm not wise enough to know exactly where, but the mention of Spaceships landing on planets indicate we're not in Kansas any more.

      Few small glimpses into Hoid, which was interesting, if nothing revelatory.

      How did you all feel?

      29 votes