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  • Originally posted by Kepler View Post
    (from March)

    If you get to Christmas 2020 without reading something you've "always wanted to read," you are never going to read it.

    I have 2 days.
    Last edited by Kepler; 12-23-2020, 04:05 PM.
    Cornell University
    National Champion 1967, 1970
    ECAC Champion 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2010
    Ivy League Champion 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

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    • Originally posted by St. Clown View Post
      This is by no means a bad book
      yeah, it was. Cline caught magic in a bottle with RP1, but Armada was just a poorly written Last Starfighter ripoff and RP2 was as bad as most Hollywood sequels to surprise breakout hits.

      As just one example of extremely lazy writing, it takes the entire world several years to find the first new MacGuffin despite massive incentives to do so. But somehow the remaining ones can then be found in less than a day (along with a side quest for the ultimate weapon)?

      He got my money, so he's laughing all the way to the bank, but I won't be reading any more of his works unless I'm really bored and it's on the shelf at the library and there's literally nothing else catching my eye.
      Last edited by unofan; 12-24-2020, 10:29 AM.

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      • And I say all that as someone who reads, and enjoys, a lot of crappy sci-fi and fantasy novels. So don't take my comments as hating the genre. There's lots of books that are crap but highly entertaining. Cline's problem is RP2 isn't entertaining.

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        • Originally posted by unofan View Post

          yeah, it was. Cline caught magic in a bottle with RP1, but Armada was just a poorly written Last Starfighter ripoff and RP2 was as bad as most Hollywood sequels to surprise breakout hits.

          As just one example of extremely lazy writing, it takes the entire world several years to find the first new MacGuffin despite massive incentives to do so. But somehow the remaining ones can then be found in less than a day (along with a side quest for the ultimate weapon)?

          He got my money, so he's laughing all the way to the bank, but I won't be reading any more of his works unless I'm really bored and it's on the shelf at the library and there's literally nothing else catching my eye.
          I thought about that. Maybe you're right, maybe not. It took Wade some 3 years before cracking the first clue, and that was only done with help from another user via a reward scheme. After that, Wade and crew were given clues that had a different aim than the first. While the first contest/hunt was meant to be ultimately difficult in order to prove worthiness of owning the Oasis, this hunt was meant to provide an understanding and restore a perceived wrong. To me it made sense that the levels of difficulty would differ.

          Certainly this book was not as good as the first, but I didn't think it was a horrible book. I've read much worse.
          "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." George Orwell, 1984

          "One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume." Boromir

          "Good news! We have a delivery." Professor Farnsworth

          Comment


          • Originally posted by St. Clown View Post

            I thought about that. Maybe you're right, maybe not. It took Wade some 3 years before cracking the first clue, and that was only done with help from another user via a reward scheme. After that, Wade and crew were given clues that had a different aim than the first. While the first contest/hunt was meant to be ultimately difficult in order to prove worthiness of owning the Oasis, this hunt was meant to provide an understanding and restore a perceived wrong. To me it made sense that the levels of difficulty would differ.

            Certainly this book was not as good as the first, but I didn't think it was a horrible book. I've read much worse.
            The more I think about it, I think the Hollywood sequel analogy is apt. Because it reads like a standard mediocre movie jumping from set piece to set piece, with the underlying plot merely being the vehicle to get to the set pieces. RP2 reads like he wrote the pop culture laden set pieces ahead of time and then hastily crafted a reason to bind them together, which is bass ackwards. The focus needs to be on the plot and characters, because without that, there's no reason to care about the 50-page long battle.

            Comment


            • Yeah, chances are high that he made much more money on the movie than he has on all of his books combined. There's also a lesson for authors to not have their first novel turned into a movie or TV show prior to a few sequels (assuming that's the author's intent) having already been written, or for them to even sniff out the possibility of it being so.
              "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." George Orwell, 1984

              "One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume." Boromir

              "Good news! We have a delivery." Professor Farnsworth

              Comment


              • Originally posted by St. Clown View Post

                I think you've been using that same line since Vonnegut last published a book.
                Have I used it before?

                There are definitely writers who are "idea people." It isn't always bad writers, either. 98% of Arthur C. Clarke is the idea. The writing is kind of an unfortunate process of fleshing it out. Larry Niven, too, though at least he has a sense of humor about it (he was apparently pretty famous for denigrating his own writing ability).

                I'm opposing this to popular writers who can at least write a little. Asimov is the Ur example of quantity over quality, where the coolness of the ideas makes up for the paucity of writing talent. Heinlein is rather infamously another. A deep, dark secret is William Gibson is not really that good of a writer, but he's good enough to carry you along.

                Not everybody has to be a serious writer like Theodore Sturgeon, Frederick Pohl, or Ursula Le Guin, but they should have a modicum of writing ability. Cline does not have this. He had a good idea, and that was great for the first hundred pages or so, but after that it's basically Young Adult Fiction, like The Maze Runner or that thing with the hot archeress.



                Last edited by Kepler; 12-24-2020, 12:42 PM.
                Cornell University
                National Champion 1967, 1970
                ECAC Champion 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2010
                Ivy League Champion 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

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                • Originally posted by St. Clown View Post
                  Ready Player Two: It's the sequel to Ready Player One, and certainly not as good in terms of relating itself to the universe in which it's based. The story focuses on a new uber-villain, and it's tough to really get into that idea. Honestly, it felt a little like an old episode of Star Trek TNG. There are some fun references in the book that are completely new compared to the first book, and even a nod or two to the Ready Player One movie, which was unexpected and well done if you're paying attention. This is by no means a bad book, it just doesn't evoke the same desire to connect with the protagonist that the first one did.

                  Note: I listened to this one via Audible, as I did the first one. Will Wheaton is a great audiobook narrator. He's not doing voice acting, just reading with inflection, and the occasional accent when the character's accent is noted. Regarding the inflection note, he puts it into various characters' voices, fitted nicely to the situation at hand, and it's not overdone.
                  I listened to the book again. And...it really isn't a good book. I think I was just enamored with Will Wheaton's performance. There were a few parts I enjoyed, references to various geek-life bits, and Wade's personal issues/despair from the start of the book, but the majority of the book just doesn't hold attention. It relied upon too many of the situations where Problem X requires Solution Y. Luckily... That just removes all drama from the situation.
                  "The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." George Orwell, 1984

                  "One does not simply walk into Mordor. Its Black Gates are guarded by more than just Orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep, and the Great Eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume." Boromir

                  "Good news! We have a delivery." Professor Farnsworth

                  Comment


                  • I love those saying "Dr. Seuss is cancelled" not being able to name even one of the books the estate removed from publication. Not even one.

                    This has to be the end result of teaching to pass a state standardized test instead of developing critical thinking skills. Has to be. Or was that DJT?
                    Facebook: bcowles920 Instagram: missthundercat01
                    "One word frees us from the weight and pain of this life. That word is love."- Socrates
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                    Adventures With Amber Marie

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                    • Originally posted by MissThundercat View Post
                      I love those saying "Dr. Seuss is cancelled" not being able to name even one of the books the estate removed from publication. Not even one.

                      This has to be the end result of teaching to pass a state standardized test instead of developing critical thinking skills. Has to be. Or was that DJT?
                      You aren't supposed to think. You're just supposed to be outraged​​​​​​. ;-)

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                      • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

                        But one thing I don't like is I'm having a hard time holding my attention on a book. Any book.
                        Facebook: bcowles920 Instagram: missthundercat01
                        "One word frees us from the weight and pain of this life. That word is love."- Socrates
                        Patreon for exclusive writing content
                        Adventures With Amber Marie

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                        • The Portable Dorothy Parker.

                          I was familiar with Resume, but grown to like all her stuff.
                          Facebook: bcowles920 Instagram: missthundercat01
                          "One word frees us from the weight and pain of this life. That word is love."- Socrates
                          Patreon for exclusive writing content
                          Adventures With Amber Marie

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                          • Originally posted by MissThundercat View Post
                            The Portable Dorothy Parker.

                            I was familiar with Resume, but grown to like all her stuff.
                            That's a great collection, too.
                            Cornell University
                            National Champion 1967, 1970
                            ECAC Champion 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2010
                            Ivy League Champion 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

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                            • From a twitter book thread:

                              Cornell University
                              National Champion 1967, 1970
                              ECAC Champion 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2010
                              Ivy League Champion 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

                              Comment


                              • This is the second most up-voted review on Goodreads:


                                Cornell University
                                National Champion 1967, 1970
                                ECAC Champion 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2010
                                Ivy League Champion 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1978, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020

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