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OT: What book are you currently reading?

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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#421 » by spaceballer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:21 pm

Meat wrote:has anyone touched on the Awaken Online series?

I read the Awaken Online books recently. It's part of the binge I went on the last couple of months.

The past couple of months, I've been running through LitRPG books. I find it facinating that an entirely new genre/subgenre is developing before our eyes.

At first, when I originally encountered the term "LitRPG" thrown around (several months or maybe even over a year ago?), I assumed it referred to books like Dragon Lance, Forgotten Realms, Shadowrun, etc. that were based on D&D or other pen and paper RPG games. Or even that it referred to books involving the main character entering a virtual reality type RPG game, such as novels from the 90's like Kilobyte or The Sherwood Game, or even the recent Ready Player One (some consider Ready Player One to be soft LitRPG). So I simply dismissed the term.

So it was only a couple of months ago that I discovered I was mistaken. LitRPG is an entirely new genre/subgenre that formed a few years ago, originally in Russian literature where the term was first coined. It seems similar to things like Sword Art Online. The writing is distinct from things like Dragon Lance through the use of stats and character and skill leveling, as if you were actually playing an MMORPG.

I found that fascinating since the last new subgenres formed in SFF were steampunk, and cyberpunk prior to that . So it is always interesting to see an entirely new subgenre created. Since it is a new field, the general quality of writing is pretty lacking. It seems to be currently filled with lots of amateurs, writers still experimenting with the new medium, and foreign language translations from Russian writers. It seems to be a very "pulpy" genre in many ways, and it is not really high quality writing since the new genre is still finding its feet. There are already tropes and cliches being formed in the genre. But there doesn't seem to be a single completed series in the genre since the genre was only created a few years ago.

The Awaken Online series by Bagwell, which certainly has its flaws, is one of the better ones. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. (I also enjoyed the similarly titled Ascend Online series by Chmilenko.)

Of recent releases, I found Life Reset by Kuznits to be intriguing and one of the better books in the genre.

And within the LitRPG genre, there are even finer gradations, such as the dungeon core subgenre. They may be some of the weirdest books I've read -- where the main character is a sentient dungeon! And yet it works. I would suggest the Divine Dungeon series by Dakota Krout (first book is Dungeon Born) for a fun wacky example of the dungeon core books. It is a definite change of pace to see things from the perspective of a sentient dungeon.

Currently, I'm interested more in the village/base/guild/faction/nation building books rather than just action and adventuring. Or books with less popular races/character classes rather than standard fantasy stereotypes. (I've avoided the Aleron King books so far, since the buzz is that his writing is full of very immature and juvenile humor, despite the good base-building mechanics. And apparently he is an asshat to the community as well.)

The LitRPG genre has a prop of easily depicted stats/character/skills leveling or quest completions/rewards to give a sense of progression. But the challenge is to find an interesting and meaningful story beyond those artificial trappings, which many books in the genre fail at.

But, yes, I liked the Awaken Online books, despite the obvious flaws (very ham-handed and unrealistic beginning scenes, especially with respect to the school). I thought books like Ascend Online and Life Reset did a better job by not having their main characters be adolescents.

It's facinating to see a new genre/subgenre develop even if the general quality of writing is low as yet, as is typical of unrefined new things. Have to go back to steampunk and cyberpunk for the last time a new genre opened up in science fiction or fantasy. Hopefully better books come out as the LitRPG genre matures. The fact that there isn't a single completed series speaks to how young the genre is.

One thing I don't really like is the Russian influence that started the genre, inevitable since the first books in the genre were translated from Russsian literature. Specifically, I dislike the Russian worldview of all society's elite, government, corporations, police being corrupt mafia oligarchs and that people should just hide their heads and accept their lot in life to not stand out. And the outright sexism, misogyny, homophobia in many of those Russian books (how much did the iron curtain and now Putin stunt their social development that they lag behind so much?). Many Russian writers have such a horribly cynical, outdated, and pessimist worldview...which I suppose is understandable since they had to live through decades of the Soviets, oligarchs, and Putin. All the same, I'm glad the genre is moving away from that since it is no longer dependent on Russian writers. (Side note: The Ascend Online books by Luke Chmilenko don't have these flaws, since he is a Ukrainian-Canadian writing in English, and not part of the wave of translated Russian books that kickstarted the LitRPG genre).
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#422 » by Javier Acosta » Thu May 10, 2018 7:57 am

Image

Seriously, Stang Disney!!!!!!!!

Things were better before their takeover.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#423 » by WargamesX » Thu May 10, 2018 12:27 pm

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I can't recommend this enough

Its the type of reading that requires you do it in short burst to appreciate the knowledge he is relaying
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#424 » by don't panac » Thu May 10, 2018 5:52 pm

spaceballer wrote:
Meat wrote:has anyone touched on the Awaken Online series?

I read the Awaken Online books recently. It's part of the binge I went on the last couple of months.

The past couple of months, I've been running through LitRPG books. I find it facinating that an entirely new genre/subgenre is developing before our eyes.

At first, when I originally encountered the term "LitRPG" thrown around (several months or maybe even over a year ago?), I assumed it referred to books like Dragon Lance, Forgotten Realms, Shadowrun, etc. that were based on D&D or other pen and paper RPG games. Or even that it referred to books involving the main character entering a virtual reality type RPG game, such as novels from the 90's like Kilobyte or The Sherwood Game, or even the recent Ready Player One (some consider Ready Player One to be soft LitRPG). So I simply dismissed the term.

So it was only a couple of months ago that I discovered I was mistaken. LitRPG is an entirely new genre/subgenre that formed a few years ago, originally in Russian liteterature where the term was first coined. It seems similar to things like Sword Art Online. The writing is distinct from things like Dragon Lance through the use of stats and character and skill leveling, as if you were actually playing an MMORPG.

I found that fascinating since the last new subgenres formed in SFF were steampunk, and cyberpunk prior to that in . So it is always interesting to see an entirely new subgenre created. Since it is a new field, the general quality of writing is pretty lacking. It seems to be currently filled with lots of amateurs, writers still experimenting with the new medium, and foreign language translations from Russian writers. It seems to be a very "pulpy" genre in many ways, and it is not really high quality writing since the new genre is still finding its feet. There are already tropes and cliches being formed in the genre. But there doesn't seem to be a single completed series in the genre since the genre was only created a few years ago.

The Awaken Online series by Bagwell, which certainly has its flaws, is one of the better ones. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. (I also enjoyed the similarly titled Ascend Online series by Chmilenko.)

Of recent releases, I found Life Reset by Kuznits to be intriguing and one of the better books in the genre.

And within the LitRPG genre, there are even finer gradations, such as the dungeon core subgenre. They may be some of the weirdest books I've read -- where the main character is a sentient dungeon! And yet it works. I would suggest the Divine Dungeon series by Dakota Krout (first book is Dungeon Born) for a fun wacky example of the dungeon core books. It is a definite change of pace to see things from the perspective of a sentient dungeon.

Currently, I'm interested more in the village/base/guild/faction/nation building books rather than just action and adventuring. Or books with less popular races/character classes rather than standard fantasy stereotypes. (I've avoided the Aleron King books so far, since the buzz is that his writing is full of very immature and juvenile humor, despite the good base-building mechanics. And apparently he is an asshat to the community as well.)

The LitRPG genre has a prop of easily depicted stats/character/skills leveling or quest completions/rewards to give a sense of progression. But the challenge is to find an interesting and meaningful story beyond those artificial trappings, which many books in the genre fail at.

But, yes, I liked the Awaken Online books, despite the obvious flaws (very ham-handed and unrealistic beginning scenes, especially with respect to the school). I thought books like Ascend Online and Life Reset did a better job by not having their main characters be adolescents.

It's facinating to see a new genre/subgenre develop even if the general quality of writing is low as yet, as is typical of unrefined new things. Have to go back to steampunk and cyberpunk for the last time a new genre opened up in science fiction or fantasy. Hopefully better books come out as the LitRPG genre matures. The fact that there isn't a single completed series speaks to how young the genre is.

One thing I don't really like is the Russian influence that started the genre, inevitable since the first books in the genre were translated from Russsian literature. Specifically, I dislike the Russian worldview of all society's elite, government, corporations, police being corrupt mafia oligarchs and that people should just hide their heads and accept their lot in life to not stand out. And the outright sexism, misogyny, homophobia in many of those Russian books (how much did the iron curtain and now Putin stunt their social development that they lag behind so much?). Many Russian writers have such a horribly cynical, outdated, and pessimist worldview...which I suppose is understandable since they had to live through decades of the Soviets, oligarchs, and Putin. All the same, I'm glad the genre is moving away from that since it is no longer dependent on Russian writers. (Side note: The Ascend Online books by Luke Chmilenko don't have these flaws, since he is a Ukrainian-Canadian writing in English, and not part of the wave of translated Russian books that kickstarted the LitRPG genre).


very intriguing.
unfortunately none of the titles you mention is available on the NYPL web site, but i will keep an eye open for them

in unrelated news, i just finished Micro, by Michael Crichton, published posthumous from an incomplete manuscript, finished by richard preston.
Terrible.
Stay away from it. :D
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#425 » by Are We Ther Yet » Thu May 10, 2018 5:55 pm

RealGM Knicks: Where good times go to die!

It's a long book and a tiresome read but, once in a while it's good.
a knick fan forum. not a "argue ad nauseam about narratives and biases you hold like blood feuds that span decades" forum, you sentient buttplug. - Marty McFly :lol:
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#426 » by thebuzzardman » Thu May 10, 2018 6:44 pm

Are We Ther Yet wrote:RealGM Knicks: Where good times go to die!

It's a long book and a tiresome read but, once in a while it's good.



I'm reading "How To Transform LFT Into Draymond Green" by David Fizdale

It's like "The Power Of Positive Thinking" only a lot more so.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#427 » by Are We Ther Yet » Thu May 10, 2018 6:52 pm

thebuzzardman wrote:
Are We Ther Yet wrote:RealGM Knicks: Where good times go to die!

It's a long book and a tiresome read but, once in a while it's good.



I'm reading "How To Transform LFT Into Draymond Green" by David Fizdale

It's like "The Power Of Positive Thinking" only a lot more so.


I'm also reading "The Power of Negative Spin and, the ability to completely ignore context to your advantage"

It's a self help book for butt hurt sports fans. :lol:
a knick fan forum. not a "argue ad nauseam about narratives and biases you hold like blood feuds that span decades" forum, you sentient buttplug. - Marty McFly :lol:
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#428 » by thebuzzardman » Thu May 10, 2018 6:59 pm

Are We Ther Yet wrote:
thebuzzardman wrote:
Are We Ther Yet wrote:RealGM Knicks: Where good times go to die!

It's a long book and a tiresome read but, once in a while it's good.



I'm reading "How To Transform LFT Into Draymond Green" by David Fizdale

It's like "The Power Of Positive Thinking" only a lot more so.


I'm also reading "The Power of Negative Spin and, the ability to completely ignore context to your advantage"

It's a self help book for butt hurt sports fans. :lol:


Sounds like required reading here
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#429 » by NYKAL » Fri May 11, 2018 7:29 pm

to hell with reading! My new girl put me up on Graphic Audio books. They really are just like a movie in your mind. Listening to Steve Eriksons' Gardens of the Moon.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#430 » by Cubbies2120 » Fri May 11, 2018 9:20 pm

NYKAL wrote:to hell with reading! My new girl put me up on Graphic Audio books. They really are just like a movie in your mind. Listening to Steve Eriksons' Gardens of the Moon.


I recently tried a Graphic Audio book for book one of Demon Cycle series. It was...different. Not to say I hated it, but it's definitely not something I'll be trying often.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#431 » by Starks » Sat May 12, 2018 1:07 pm

NYKAL wrote:to hell with reading! My new girl put me up on Graphic Audio books. They really are just like a movie in your mind. Listening to Steve Eriksons' Gardens of the Moon.


I've been curious about audio books. Don't they make you fall asleep while listening?
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#432 » by mrpoetryNmotion » Sat May 12, 2018 2:29 pm

Comey's book is actually pretty good and insightful, I will say.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#433 » by Cubbies2120 » Sat May 12, 2018 10:33 pm

Starks wrote:
NYKAL wrote:to hell with reading! My new girl put me up on Graphic Audio books. They really are just like a movie in your mind. Listening to Steve Eriksons' Gardens of the Moon.


I've been curious about audio books. Don't they make you fall asleep while listening?


Depends on the narrator and the book. Also depends on Graphic AB or regular AB.

I personally could not listen to the Mistborn audio book for more than 15 minutes without getting drowsy. I think it was a combination of narrator's monotone reading and the slow pacing of the 2nd book.

Then there are audiobooks like the Red Rising series that are nothing short of amazing. The narrator is the best I've ever come across and really brings Darrow to life. IIRC, he's even won a few well deserved awards for his work there.

Graphic Audio is on a different level completely. As mentioned by NYKAL before, it really is a movie in your mind. But most movies are only about 2 hrs and they are my sole focus when I'm watching it for the first time. With audio books I'm usually doing chores/driving while listening and the Graphic Audio book just feels a bit overwhelming to me.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#434 » by NYKAL » Mon May 14, 2018 12:38 pm

Cubbies2120 wrote:
Starks wrote:
NYKAL wrote:to hell with reading! My new girl put me up on Graphic Audio books. They really are just like a movie in your mind. Listening to Steve Eriksons' Gardens of the Moon.


I've been curious about audio books. Don't they make you fall asleep while listening?


Depends on the narrator and the book. Also depends on Graphic AB or regular AB.

I personally could not listen to the Mistborn audio book for more than 15 minutes without getting drowsy. I think it was a combination of narrator's monotone reading and the slow pacing of the 2nd book.

Then there are audiobooks like the Red Rising series that are nothing short of amazing. The narrator is the best I've ever come across and really brings Darrow to life. IIRC, he's even won a few well deserved awards for his work there.

Graphic Audio is on a different level completely. As mentioned by NYKAL before, it really is a movie in your mind. But most movies are only about 2 hrs and they are my sole focus when I'm watching it for the first time. With audio books I'm usually doing chores/driving while listening and the Graphic Audio book just feels a bit overwhelming to me.


there is a narrator but, there was also a troop of actors & actresses who played the parts. Made me think of how people enjoyed radio before the television era.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#435 » by NYKAL » Mon May 14, 2018 12:44 pm

Starks wrote:
NYKAL wrote:to hell with reading! My new girl put me up on Graphic Audio books. They really are just like a movie in your mind. Listening to Steve Eriksons' Gardens of the Moon.


I've been curious about audio books. Don't they make you fall asleep while listening?


I never liked them for that reason but, "Graphic Audio" usually has a troop of actors playing the parts. Much more enjoyable than having a single voice droning on.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#436 » by magnumt » Sun Jul 1, 2018 12:49 am

What are some good nonfiction books to read? That you guys would recommend.

--Mags :beer:
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#437 » by earthmansurfer » Sun Jul 1, 2018 2:22 pm

magnumt wrote:What are some good nonfiction books to read? That you guys would recommend.

--Mags :beer:


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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#438 » by spaceballer » Sat Jul 7, 2018 4:04 pm

don't panac wrote:
spaceballer wrote:
Meat wrote:has anyone touched on the Awaken Online series?

I read the Awaken Online books recently. It's part of the binge I went on the last couple of months.

The past couple of months, I've been running through LitRPG books. I find it facinating that an entirely new genre/subgenre is developing before our eyes.

At first, when I originally encountered the term "LitRPG" thrown around (several months or maybe even over a year ago?), I assumed it referred to books like Dragon Lance, Forgotten Realms, Shadowrun, etc. that were based on D&D or other pen and paper RPG games. Or even that it referred to books involving the main character entering a virtual reality type RPG game, such as novels from the 90's like Kilobyte or The Sherwood Game, or even the recent Ready Player One (some consider Ready Player One to be soft LitRPG). So I simply dismissed the term.

So it was only a couple of months ago that I discovered I was mistaken. LitRPG is an entirely new genre/subgenre that formed a few years ago, originally in Russian liteterature where the term was first coined. It seems similar to things like Sword Art Online. The writing is distinct from things like Dragon Lance through the use of stats and character and skill leveling, as if you were actually playing an MMORPG.

I found that fascinating since the last new subgenres formed in SFF were steampunk, and cyberpunk prior to that in . So it is always interesting to see an entirely new subgenre created. Since it is a new field, the general quality of writing is pretty lacking. It seems to be currently filled with lots of amateurs, writers still experimenting with the new medium, and foreign language translations from Russian writers. It seems to be a very "pulpy" genre in many ways, and it is not really high quality writing since the new genre is still finding its feet. There are already tropes and cliches being formed in the genre. But there doesn't seem to be a single completed series in the genre since the genre was only created a few years ago.

The Awaken Online series by Bagwell, which certainly has its flaws, is one of the better ones. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. (I also enjoyed the similarly titled Ascend Online series by Chmilenko.)

Of recent releases, I found Life Reset by Kuznits to be intriguing and one of the better books in the genre.

And within the LitRPG genre, there are even finer gradations, such as the dungeon core subgenre. They may be some of the weirdest books I've read -- where the main character is a sentient dungeon! And yet it works. I would suggest the Divine Dungeon series by Dakota Krout (first book is Dungeon Born) for a fun wacky example of the dungeon core books. It is a definite change of pace to see things from the perspective of a sentient dungeon.

Currently, I'm interested more in the village/base/guild/faction/nation building books rather than just action and adventuring. Or books with less popular races/character classes rather than standard fantasy stereotypes. (I've avoided the Aleron King books so far, since the buzz is that his writing is full of very immature and juvenile humor, despite the good base-building mechanics. And apparently he is an asshat to the community as well.)

The LitRPG genre has a prop of easily depicted stats/character/skills leveling or quest completions/rewards to give a sense of progression. But the challenge is to find an interesting and meaningful story beyond those artificial trappings, which many books in the genre fail at.

But, yes, I liked the Awaken Online books, despite the obvious flaws (very ham-handed and unrealistic beginning scenes, especially with respect to the school). I thought books like Ascend Online and Life Reset did a better job by not having their main characters be adolescents.

It's facinating to see a new genre/subgenre develop even if the general quality of writing is low as yet, as is typical of unrefined new things. Have to go back to steampunk and cyberpunk for the last time a new genre opened up in science fiction or fantasy. Hopefully better books come out as the LitRPG genre matures. The fact that there isn't a single completed series speaks to how young the genre is.

One thing I don't really like is the Russian influence that started the genre, inevitable since the first books in the genre were translated from Russsian literature. Specifically, I dislike the Russian worldview of all society's elite, government, corporations, police being corrupt mafia oligarchs and that people should just hide their heads and accept their lot in life to not stand out. And the outright sexism, misogyny, homophobia in many of those Russian books (how much did the iron curtain and now Putin stunt their social development that they lag behind so much?). Many Russian writers have such a horribly cynical, outdated, and pessimist worldview...which I suppose is understandable since they had to live through decades of the Soviets, oligarchs, and Putin. All the same, I'm glad the genre is moving away from that since it is no longer dependent on Russian writers. (Side note: The Ascend Online books by Luke Chmilenko don't have these flaws, since he is a Ukrainian-Canadian writing in English, and not part of the wave of translated Russian books that kickstarted the LitRPG genre).


very intriguing.
unfortunately none of the titles you mention is available on the NYPL web site, but i will keep an eye open for them

in unrelated news, i just finished Micro, by Michael Crichton, published posthumous from an incomplete manuscript, finished by richard preston.
Terrible.
Stay away from it. :D


Some authors put up their first drafts online as they write, getting feedback on sites like Royal Road Legends. Eventually, you may have to pay for the final edited and proofread version. If you don't mind a typo here and there, an unedited/non-proofread version of Threadbare by Andrew Seiple is on RRL.

https://www.royalroadl.com/fiction/15130/threadbare

The Threadbare trilogy was completed earlier this year. I don't know how long it will stay up (If I recall correctly, Life Reset by Shemer Kuznits was also on RRL and Shemer Kuznits only chose to remove it from RRL a few weeks ago in accordance with Amazon's publishing requirements) . But for now, you can read the Threadbare trilogy for free on RRL if you don't want to buy the final version that's been released already on Amazon.

According to the author Andrew Seiple's blog, Threadbare will be recommended by Whoopie Goldberg on The View TV show on July 9th. That is huge for the emerging genre of LitRPG to recieve a mainstream boost. Already, some writers who are established in other genres are starting to dip their toes in LitRPG, and recently a traditional publishing house started up a new imprint just for LitRPG.

I highly recommend Threadbare. It is a very heartwarming tale. The main character is a stuffed toy teddy bear golem. Imagine if Winnie-the-Pooh were in Toy Story, except he begins as an inanimate object given life as a golem and slowly develops sentience and speech. And he has to level up into a badass necromancer to rescue his human and save the world from a demonic invasion. :lol:

While it is not typical of most LitRPG to have a non-human protagonist, Threadbare should give a good demonstration of how the LitRPG system works with character classes/stats/abilities and leveling up. It has some humor, some poignant moments, and a lot of heart. I quite enjoyed the trilogy. It is such a heartwarming story that you just can't help but smile. And for now, you can read it for free.

So if you are curious about how the LitRPG genre mixes an RPG system with storytelling but can't find a LitRPG book at the local library, here is your chance.
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Re: OT: What book are you currently reading? 

Post#440 » by thebuzzardman » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:44 am



I'll be looking for CIA "soft coup" clues in it....

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2005/6/2/118821/-

Interesting take on whether Bob Woodward has always been a CIA agent. Now, this isn't the first time I've read that speculation, and generally I feel Daily KOS is FOS, but it's a decent collection of some articles etc, the fastest thing I could find for my snarky remark - dig a little deeper on your own if you like, it's definitely very interesting.

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