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Other than the occasional comic book (Mostly DC Metal Tie-Ins) I haven't done much reading lately.

I finally got a new bedside lamp though, and in the spirit of putting it to use, I've been reading a chapter or two a day of The Great Hunt, which I've been trying to finish for over a year. I feel like with my new bed-time routine, I'll finally get it finished up and get to move onto the next book in the Wheel of Time Series.

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Finished Book Four from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time and Started Book Five, Fires From Heaven. 

It's still really funny and I feel like it's gotten even more absurd than ever before, but the current arc is moving really slow for some reason. It feels like it's near the end, but then something ha

Finished Fires of Heaven (Book 5, Wheel of Time) Began Lord of Chaos (Book 6, Wheel of Time)

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Thinking about started The Witcher series. I've never played the game and I'd rather read the books before I do so I won't have those representations of the characters stuck in my head.

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6 hours ago, AustNerevar said:

Thinking about started The Witcher series. I've never played the game and I'd rather read the books before I do so I won't have those representations of the characters stuck in my head.

The author is apparently a humongous ass who hates the games, thinks video games aren’t real art on par with books, feels they cost him money in books sales, and hates that people are more familiar with the games then his books.

https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/wn938w/a-no-bullshit-conversation-with-the-authors-behind-the-witcher-and-metro-2033

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The author is apparently a humongous ass who hates the games, thinks video games aren’t real art on par with books, feels they cost him money in books sales, and hates that people are more familiar with the games then his books.
https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/wn938w/a-no-bullshit-conversation-with-the-authors-behind-the-witcher-and-metro-2033
Nah that article was exaggerated and taken out of context. I read the original quotes by him. He does believe that video games can't be art, but I chalk that up to old age (the Roger Ebert effect).

Essentially what he was getting at is that he is upset that the games have eclipsed his original work. There are people who think he's just the writer of licensed fiction based on the game. I can definitely understand how that could take somebody from zero to livid when it concerns something they've literally created and that is their baby.

He doesn't feel that the games have brought him much extra income (mainly because he messed up on the licensing deal, taking a lump sum at the beginning instead of a % of royalties). He said that for every person who discovered the books because of the games, there is another person who either think the books are based on the games (easy to do when game artwork and screenshots are plastered over the covers) or isn't interested in reading in the first place.

Hes arrogant and a bit out of touch, but I would call him an enormous ass about it. The story about somebody asking him about his Witcher "fanfiction" was enough to cause me to sympathize with him.
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1 hour ago, AustNerevar said:

Nah that article was exaggerated and taken out of context. I read the original quotes by him. He does believe that video games can't be art, but I chalk that up to old age (the Roger Ebert effect).

Essentially what he was getting at is that he is upset that the games have eclipsed his original work. There are people who think he's just the writer of licensed fiction based on the game. I can definitely understand how that could take somebody from zero to livid when it concerns something they've literally created and that is their baby.

He doesn't feel that the games have brought him much extra income (mainly because he messed up on the licensing deal, taking a lump sum at the beginning instead of a % of royalties). He said that for every person who discovered the books because of the games, there is another person who either think the books are based on the games (easy to do when game artwork and screenshots are plastered over the covers) or isn't interested in reading in the first place.

Hes arrogant and a bit out of touch, but I would call him an enormous ass about it. The story about somebody asking him about his Witcher "fanfiction" was enough to cause me to sympathize with him.

He can’t really quantify that particular number though. How could he possibly know which readers came to the Witcher books because of the video games or who thought they were novelizations?

That bit about game artwork on books is silly too. Literally every novel that’s been adapted into a movie or show uses that promo artwork for the book reprints. My copy of American Gods has the show poster on it. My The Ritual book has a great big sticker on it letting me know it’s now a Netflix original movie. This is par for the course.

In one moment he’s going “the game is only popular because of my books,” then he goes on about how the games cost him readers or people don’t know that they’re based on a book.

The reason nobody in the US at least realizes The Witcher is a book series is because the games came out at the exact same time the first novel was translated in English, and even then the book came out like a year after the first game. The game franchise swallowed the novel franchise. I’d make the argument the books wouldn’t have been as popular here if not for the games. The games put it on the map here.

 

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You're right that he can't quantify the numbers, but I wasn't necessarily agreeing with his argument there. I was just correcting that saying such doesn't mean he hates the video games or that I makes him ass.

 

However you're point about book covers kind of just reinforces where I was going with that. I HATE when they do movie tie-in or TV tie-in covers for books that have been adapted. It's deriviative and it very often gives the wrong impression on new buyers. In this case, much like Sherlock Holmes' cap and pipe, the derivative material has replaced the original. For the creator of the original that has to be the sharpest of pains.

 

That said, his words weren't particularly harsh or detestable anyway. That was really my main point anyway.

 

 

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No, tie-in covers only help boost sales. An author who has a problem with better sales and more readership is off their rocker. There’s nothing deceptive about it and nothing will be misconstrued.

We don’t lament that Jurassic Park and Die Hard have been eclipsed by their movie adaptations because evidently they didn’t leave as lasting an impression as their counterparts.

Walking Dead might be more popular as a show then a comic, but Robert Kirkman isn’t shedding tears over his skyrocketing sales and fat paychecks from AMC just because people know the show better then his comic.

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Never said that they don't bring in more sales. I just hate them.

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Yeah, but we’re arguing about Witcher Guy, who hates Witcher game covers because he hates that it’s more popular and would draw in and boost his sales, while at the same time claiming his books were more popular then the game, while at the same time claiming the game took from his sales. Which is a dumb thing of him to say in an of itself when the Witcher games cut out large swaths of book stuff and pretty much tell you events happened in a book and that you should read it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I needed something long to read so picked up 1Q84. It is not good. Like, at all. Dialogue feels very stilted, and it’s convenient how the two leads happen to be very cold and boring individuals. The male lead Tengo either works or has sex with his girlfriend one day a week. He admits to wanting a quiet life. The female lead Aomame is cold, occasionally goes out to have casual sex simply to fulfill her base needs a human being, and has no friends to interact with. The only interesting things about them is their pasts (hers in particular was my favorite part of the novel) and they just so happen to be embroiled in a major conspiracy. There was one funny scene where she goes hunting for guys and she apologizes to the one she ends up sleeping with for having pathetic breasts.

Speaking of which, there was a lot of weird awkward references to her breasts and the breasts of other women throughout the large chunk of it I read, including references to a high school-age  girl’s large chest and Aomame mentioning in a passing reference that if she was gonna have to change her identity, she should get a breast enlargement.

Why would she need to change her identity? Because she’s a part-time assassin that is just asked out of the blue by her employer if she would be willing to give up her life to perform an assassination on a powerful target that would make her a wanted woman, to which she almost immediately gives a, “yeah, sure” response. That was sort of the point that clicked in my head how these characters don’t act like people. They don’t respond or think like people. I could give countless similar examples, but this one was the one where everything registered.

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Is that title literally just 1984 but with a Q? Also that's by Haruki Murakami right? I heard about him by hearing that he might be some kind of inspiration for Sen Takatsuki in Tokyo Ghoul.

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9 minutes ago, TheKingOfTheDragovians said:

Is that title literally just 1984 but with a Q? Also that's by Haruki Murakami right? I heard about him by hearing that he might be some kind of inspiration for Sen Takatsuki in Tokyo Ghoul.

It is. He’s very well known in the US. His books are always stocked in Barnes and Noble.

The “Q” refers to a divergence in reality that Aomame ends up trapped in, a reality where a fake cult is beginning to rise up in Japan. It takes place in 1984, so she refers to this reality as 1Q84. Characters call out the Orson Welles book constantly. It’s a bit heavy-handed in that respect.

I’ve got to tell you, I didn’t hear about that comparison to Takatsuki Sen, but she was the first thing I thought about when I found out an author within the story had written a novella called “Air Chrysalis.” Murakami himself had named his books “Kafka on the Shore” and “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” which just screams “Black Goat’s Egg.”

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Also The Hanged Man's MacGuffin, Monochrome Rainbow, Dropped Box, Industrial, Resentments, Salt and Opium, King Bileygr, and Dear Kafka.

Its all just so meta and I love it.

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4 hours ago, TheKingOfTheDragovians said:

Also The Hanged Man's MacGuffin, Monochrome Rainbow, Dropped Box, Industrial, Resentments, Salt and Opium, King Bileygr, and Dear Kafka.

Its all just so meta and I love it.

And speaking of manga with dead enigmatic authors, I’m 50 volumes deep into Naruto, just on the precipice of the Fourth Ninja War.

I didn’t totally agree with the Edgelord Sasuke meme (the fans made him seem like that) up until he started ranting about how full of hate he is after defeating Danzo and how borderline romantic Naruto’s love for Sasuke is. Dude is a wanted criminal that killed the would-be Hokage.

Which is another thing I find baffling about this manga. So many casual murderers are forgiven. People forget that Gaara butchered so many people during the Chunin exam (Naruto and Shikamaru freak out when they find corpses he left behind!). Kabuto and Orochimaru are never fully forgiven, but they ruthlessly murdered a lot of people. Orochimaru gets the least forgiveness solely because he experimented on people.

I am looking forward to the Fourth Ninja War though if only so I could see if it reads better as a binge in two weeks instead of 4 years of your life.

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Still working on The Witcher. I'm on like book 4 now I believe.

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Oh, man. You guys are reading way better fantasy book series then I am! For whatever reason I was compelled to continue reading Accel World. I thought the anime was okay, but for reasons beyond my comprehension I feel the need see where the story goes by reading the poorly written sci-fi source material meant for teenagers.

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I've tried reading a few foreign novels translated into English here and there (mostly sino-japanese Light Novels) and the dialogue and narration almost always come across as downright stilted, but I can't tell if that's a just a cultural difference or not, so I err on the assumption that it is. Even tried to read High School DxD in novel format, but couldn't convince myself to carry on after selecting a chapter at random.

I still have a collection of Doc Savage ebooks that need finishing off.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finally finished The Great Hunt and moved on to The Dragon Reborn.

There is something kinda magical about the experience of finishing  a book and heading out to the bookstore to buy the next one. Bookstores have a neat vibe and new books smell amazing.

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I've begun missing reading. I haven't read much for the past couple years thanks to my crappy masters program. It ends in a couple months and I think I'd like to dig into a big Science Fiction series once I'm done. Audio books have kept my reading itch scratched for a long time, but I think switching 100% to podcasts and music for a few months has triggered me to want to read again.

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Despite still loving physical books, I’ve been reading a lot more digital books during lunch at work. I’ve read more in the last year then I have since middle school.

One advantage of digital though is I’ve been branching outside of my normal tastes and the authors I read. The best example is when I was reading In Her Shoes, which is a chick-lit book about sisters who don’t get along. I mean, it was okay?

But I’ve found some winners. The Ritual, American Gods, Shogun (my favorite book at the moment, which I actually knew about a year before I started reading), and right now I’m currently reading The Love Affairs of Nathanial P. Incredibly snobby but I adore the writing style and the way she describes locations and events and the way the characters think and behave. I feel like I’m reading a modern This Side of Paradise in that it relates to a well off man and his relationships with women, though it’s admittedly a different story aside from that premise.

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I'm back to re-reading Dune, this summer.

What's better than Game of Thrones?  Game of Thrones in space, with psychotropic drugs!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finished a book called The Girl Before by Rena Olsen. It’s about the wife of a human trafficker who was also at one point one of the kidnapped children being groomed by her husband’s father. Having grown up in that environment, the punishments and lessons were ingrained in her and, as his wife, assisted in the training and trafficking of children, believing what she was doing was the right thing for them. The book follows what happens after their home is raided and shows how her brainwashing is gradually dismantled.

I appreciated how the book doesn’t gloss over her crimes, but at the same time reminds you that she was at one point a victim of these people as well. Only being favored by her kidnapper’s son saved her from harsher circumstances. There was a lot in there about forgiving yourself while seeking to atone from your crimes and healing from a traumatic experience.

The story was split into “Then” and “Now” chapters, with the “Then” chapters told out of order. Only issue was, as the story went on, it became harder and harder to justify those chapters, as they started to grow irrelevant in some instances as the “Now” story progressed. One of them towards the end almost got me bawling though. It was simply heartbreaking, as those chapters were told in present tense, as if they were just happening, so you see what she’s thinking and feeling during her kidnapping.

Really great book. I bought it along with another and read that one first, so I had totally forgotten what The Girl Before was about until I started reading it.

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