Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Like the title says, anything and everything else goes here. As long as it follows the forum rules.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:19 pm

I just finished reading this book this past weekend. I think the only tip that I took away from it that I had not previously considered was the Asking A Fool one. I did think it was full of neato facts and trivia. Like learning the source of spaces between words or the development of the alphabet by a librarian was pretty fun.

I did hand the book to my husband because I think he has a lot to gain from trying some of the things in there. He is such a stoic, literal, non-lateral thinker, and I've caught him repeatedly over the years saying, "I'm not the creative one, you are." And even though it seems like the book is mean for kind of a engineery/developer sort of application, I really think some of the ideas would help him with his interpersonal relationships.

I did enjoy it. I flew through it in less than 24 hours I think.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:25 pm

private to chatbot: roll 1d18
chatbot (private): Rolling 1D18 gives 5. -tic-

LOTSOFPHIL!!! PICK LOTSOFBOOK.

I'm guessing most of you have given up on this shindig, but I REFUSE TO, OK?! I don't care if I'm knee deep in SLUTS and real life drama and pies that I have to ship to Omaha and Virginia. WE'RE READING BOOKS UNTIL uh... UNTIL WE STOP! YEAH!
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Ceirdwyn » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:08 am

I am still reading! I only skip non-fiction as that really isn't the sort of book I read for enjoyment :P

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by slaphappy snark » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:18 am

I'm sort of with Ceir--I read nonfiction, but I'm a lot more likely to just pick up fiction and finish it, so I have a much longer backlog of nonfiction in my to-be-read and partially-read piles. I'll definitely try to read either, but I'm a lot more likely to make it through fiction within the allotted timeframe.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:28 am

Oh my goodness! My turn! I'll have to go and get a library card.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by infern0 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:15 am

Mind if I join in?

I love reading, literature and writing but rather lack the time to do it.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:37 am

Sure, infern0 :) I've added you to the list.

I'm not actually fussed about whether people are reading or not; I just really enjoy cracking my whip. Dear LotsOfPhil, please pick a book that doesn't LotsOfSuck :D
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:53 am

JennyUnderpants wrote:Sure, infern0 :) I've added you to the list.

I'm not actually fussed about whether people are reading or not; I just really enjoy cracking my whip. Dear LotsOfPhil, please pick a book that doesn't LotsOfSuck :D
Is it okay if I take a couple of days/a week to pick the book? If you'd rather keep moving, I'll skip my turn.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:05 am

Sure! Take a week :)
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:30 pm

I'd like to read Ubik by Philip K. Dick. I've read a lot of his short stories but not many novels. This has been discussed in chat and I believe Ubik was one of the two or three I was told to read.

It's not a very out-there pick in this audience, so, should it be pooh poohed or too previously read, I have a backup.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:53 pm

lotsofphil wrote:I'd like to read Ubik by Philip K. Dick. I've read a lot of his short stories but not many novels. This has been discussed in chat and I believe Ubik was one of the two or three I was told to read.

It's not a very out-there pick in this audience, so, should it be pooh poohed or too previously read, I have a backup.
Ubik is an excellent choice for a first PKD novel: weird, but not so weird like most of the stuff he wrote in the 1970s and later.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (aka Blade Runner) and The Man in the High Castle (alternate history where Germany and Japan won World War II) are probably the most commonly read PKD novels, and they're good, but I don't think they give as much of a sense of the "what is real?" theme that he weaved into his best works.

Besides Ubik, the other PKD novel that I think really stands out is The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. They're kind of similarly thought-provoking, with the main difference being that Ubik is funnier and less scary.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:03 pm

I've read Do Androids Dream... . I thought A Scanner Darkly was incredible.

I think the other one mentioned in chat was Valis. I'll check out the Three Stigmata.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Verdigris97 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:27 pm

I'm looking forward to Ubik. Nice pick, Phil!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:18 pm

lotsofphil wrote:I've read Do Androids Dream... . I thought A Scanner Darkly was incredible.

I think the other one mentioned in chat was Valis. I'll check out the Three Stigmata.
I didn't like A Scanner Darkly that much when I first read it, but I've grown more fond of it.

Some of his others are "fun" reads, like The Game-Players of Titan (playing a cross between Monopoly and The Game of Life with aliens for control of the United States), and others are really weird, like The Unteleported Man, large portions of which were supposedly written while he was tripping out on LSD (and it shows).

VALIS and its sequel The Divine Invasion were written after he had some kind of epiphany (probably also drug induced) about religion.

Basically the stuff he wrote from 1961-66 is on average the highest quality work.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by quamper » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:29 pm

Raccoon wrote:Basically the stuff he wrote from 1961-66 is on average the highest quality work.
This!

Although, I like some of his stuff from the 50's as well. One the first books I ever read of his was Eye in the Sky and it got me hooked. Ubik is one of my favorites though, looking forward to rereading it.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:03 pm

lotsofphil wrote:It's not a very out-there pick in this audience, so, should it be pooh poohed or too previously read, I have a backup.
No one is allowed to pooh pooh it at this point because I started reading it tonight. My first thought was either that the book made no sense or that I was having a stroke. After the first chapter though, I was hooked.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Serra725 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:05 pm

Ooh, I thought about this after a chat discussion, but didn't quite do it. Looking forward to trying it!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by stupac2 » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:09 pm

thacon wrote:No one is allowed to pooh pooh it at this point because I started reading it tonight. My first thought was either that the book made no sense or that I was having a stroke. After the first chapter though, I was hooked.
Can I poo-poo it? I ran out of toilet paper.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:52 pm

I just finished reading Ubik. As I said, I had no idea what was going on in the first couple of chapters, but then I found it really engrossing. After admitting that I've never read/seen any of the Lord of the Rings, I'm not sure if I should further erode my nerd cred by admitting that I've never read anything by PK Dick before, nor did I really know anything about him. I'm already planning on reading more though.

Now for the more specific, spoilery stuff. Safe when used as directed.
People called Christopher Nolan a genius for inception, but it seems like he just added a few tweaks to Ubik and called it his own. It even had the same sort of obnoxious ending that's intended to flip your perception of reality and leave you asking questions at the very end.

Although while I didn't like inception, I really enjoyed Ubik. I found myself actively trying to figure out what was going on, who/what was causing the regression, and what was actually real. My only complaint is that the chapters moved too quickly and he went from one plot twist to the next without allowing me to really become immersed in the newly revealed reality. Right at the end, you become certain that Pat was behind the whole thing and he did a great job painting the picture of her reveling in his demise, but moments later you're told that she had nothing to do with it.

I would have liked for each chapter to have been twice as long and I would have liked more character development for the various inertials. The relationship between Joe and Wendy and Joe and Pat were both interesting, but again I could have used more development there. But regardless, the imagery and concept were fantastic and I really enjoyed reading Ubik.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:55 pm

thacon wrote:I just finished reading Ubik. As I said, I had no idea what was going on in the first couple of chapters, but then I found it really engrossing. After admitting that I've never read/seen any of the Lord of the Rings, I'm not sure if I should further erode my nerd cred by admitting that I've never read anything by PK Dick before, nor did I really know anything about him. I'm already planning on reading more though.

Now for the more specific, spoilery stuff. Safe when used as directed.
People called Christopher Nolan a genius for inception, but it seems like he just added a few tweaks to Ubik and called it his own. It even had the same sort of obnoxious ending that's intended to flip your perception of reality and leave you asking questions at the very end.

Although while I didn't like inception, I really enjoyed Ubik. I found myself actively trying to figure out what was going on, who/what was causing the regression, and what was actually real. My only complaint is that the chapters moved too quickly and he went from one plot twist to the next without allowing me to really become immersed in the newly revealed reality. Right at the end, you become certain that Pat was behind the whole thing and he did a great job painting the picture of her reveling in his demise, but moments later you're told that she had nothing to do with it.

I would have liked for each chapter to have been twice as long and I would have liked more character development for the various inertials. The relationship between Joe and Wendy and Joe and Pat were both interesting, but again I could have used more development there. But regardless, the imagery and concept were fantastic and I really enjoyed reading Ubik.
Unfortunately, this criticism is one that could be leveled at most of PKD's works.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by NardoLoopa » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:47 pm

Just saw the Adjustment Bureau, a good movie (3/5 on netflix). It looks derivative of the Matrix, except PKD wrote it about 3 decades before that movie. Also, an extremely good acting performance was turned in by Anthony Mackie.

So I asked Amazon to ship me Ubik on your recommendations.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:02 pm

NardoLoopa wrote:Just saw the Adjustment Bureau
Fun fact: Part of that movie was filmed in my apartment building.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by NardoLoopa » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:58 pm

Okay, just read Ubik. I pretty much agree with Thacon's summary.
I would have preferred if Pat played a bigger roll in the plot, rather than just a way to mislead the reader. And the halmark of a good mystery/riddle is that after you figure it out you can go back to the start and see all the hints -- I don't really see that in this case.
However, i found it it a compelling read. Finished it off in about 5hrs of heavy distraction. But really, I couldn't put it down.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:19 am

Thanks for the spoiler boxes, guys. I'm hoping to pick up a copy this weekend.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:00 am

lotsofphil wrote:Thanks for the spoiler boxes, guys. I'm hoping to pick up a copy this weekend.
ditto, ditto <3 I picked up my copy several days ago, but I'm determined to finish the last 70 pages of A Hundred Years of Solitude, which is taking forever both because I have hardly any time to read and because Gabriel Garcia Marquez crams SO MANY WORDS into a chapter. The man hates paragraph breaks. Anyway, a nice quick unspoiled read will be very welcome whenever I finish.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Eigenbasis » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:36 am

That's why I stick to GGM's short stories. "Nosotros, No" is the best Spanish short story I've read and one of my favorites overall.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by NardoLoopa » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:01 pm

I've found that I detest 3 things in fiction:

1) immigrant/cultural fiction that has nothing going on but a contrast in cultural norms -- Ha Jin, Chitra B. Divakaruni (I seethe with hate when reading that story), Jhumpa Lahiri

2) Authors in an auto-erotic relationship with their own writing. Long flowery sentences and monolithic paragraphs of setting description. -- Salman Rushdie (totally unlike his essays), most British 19th century writing.

3) the motif: "If I'm going to tell you about Joe, first I need to talk about his great great great great great grand uncle on his mother's side for 100 pages." -- GGM
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:23 pm

NardoLoopa wrote: 2) Authors in an auto-erotic relationship with their own writing. Long flowery sentences and monolithic paragraphs of setting description. -- Salman Rushdie (totally unlike his essays), most British 19th century writing.
Never, never, never read Possession by A.S. Byatt. Never.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:07 pm

NardoLoopa wrote:2) Authors in an auto-erotic relationship with their own writing. Long flowery sentences and monolithic paragraphs of setting description. -- Salman Rushdie (totally unlike his essays), most British 19th century writing.
At the opposite extreme are writers like Michael Chabon and David Foster Wallace, where there's not necessarily much story but much of the writing is just so clever that you have to marvel at their wordsmithing skill.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:05 pm

I really like David Foster Wallace, but I can't forgive him for Broom of the System. That pissed m

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Verdigris97 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:06 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:
lotsofphil wrote:Thanks for the spoiler boxes, guys. I'm hoping to pick up a copy this weekend.
ditto, ditto <3 I picked up my copy several days ago, but I'm determined to finish the last 70 pages of A Hundred Years of Solitude, which is taking forever both because I have hardly any time to read and because Gabriel Garcia Marquez crams SO MANY WORDS into a chapter. The man hates paragraph breaks. Anyway, a nice quick unspoiled read will be very welcome whenever I finish.
I've got the book from the library and read the first chapter, but based on some clan chat (involving you, Jenny, if I'm not mistaken) I also just bought a copy of The Name of the Wind, and I CANNOT put it down. Hopefully I can juggle the two...

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:16 pm

OOOOO, isn't it good?! I'm itching to crack The Wise Man's Fear open, but if I do, I'll never finish my last 50 (!!!) pages of Hundred Years of Solitude, and may not start Ubik :P

<3 Michael Chabon and his totally obscure enormous words. Also the fact that he was on The Simpsons. <3 <3 <3
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Verdigris97 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:49 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:OOOOO, isn't it good?! I'm itching to crack The Wise Man's Fear open, but if I do, I'll never finish my last 50 (!!!) pages of Hundred Years of Solitude, and may not start Ubik :P

<3 Michael Chabon and his totally obscure enormous words. Also the fact that he was on The Simpsons. <3 <3 <3
Yeah, it's amazing. I can't believe the breadth of story and character he (Rothfuss) can cover in 10 pages.

Re: Chabon. Kavalier and Clay was so much better than I thought it would be; I was completely hooked by the end of the first chapter. I really enjoyed The Yiddish Policeman's Union, but it took about 100 pages before I was committed.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by stupac2 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:19 pm

My friend just got into UC Irvine's MFA program, and she apparently loves Chabon (he went there). Hopefully some day you dudes will be gushing over her awesome novels!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by NardoLoopa » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:41 pm

Raccoon wrote:At the opposite extreme are writers like Michael Chabon and David Foster Wallace, where there's not necessarily much story but much of the writing is just so clever that you have to marvel at their wordsmithing skill.
Oh, god. I just can't suffer him. It's really for a similar reason. He's a very good wordsmith -- and he knows it. Some of his stuff reads like showcasing -- like he's a technical expert at playing J.S. Bach, but doesn't have the imperfection and soul behind it to make it mean something. I found Kavalier and Clay to be entertaining, but easy to put down. I thought Wonderboys was a great movie and [maybe too] faithful to the book. In fact, the book added only a slight deviation from the movie and didn't enhance the the movie much.

Jonathan Lethem is a similar author (similar topics/vaguely similar writing style). And he's not as good a writer as Chabon. Except I find his writing MUCH more compelling. Read Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude. Not great books, but damn fine books. I couldn't put either down.

This is kinda like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. The latter is a MUCH better writer. But he can't hold a candle to Dostoevsky.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:33 pm

NardoLoopa wrote:
Raccoon wrote:At the opposite extreme are writers like Michael Chabon and David Foster Wallace, where there's not necessarily much story but much of the writing is just so clever that you have to marvel at their wordsmithing skill.
Oh, god. I just can't suffer him. It's really for a similar reason. He's a very good wordsmith -- and he knows it. Some of his stuff reads like showcasing -- like he's a technical expert at playing J.S. Bach, but doesn't have the imperfection and soul behind it to make it mean something. I found Kavalier and Clay to be entertaining, but easy to put down. I thought Wonderboys was a great movie and [maybe too] faithful to the book. In fact, the book added only a slight deviation from the movie and didn't enhance the the movie much.

Jonathan Lethem is a similar author (similar topics/vaguely similar writing style). And he's not as good a writer as Chabon. Except I find his writing MUCH more compelling. Read Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude. Not great books, but damn fine books. I couldn't put either down.

This is kinda like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. The latter is a MUCH better writer. But he can't hold a candle to Dostoevsky.
I read one of the Lethem's books -- the one about the world with the genetically engineered animals. It was quite weird, and not that enjoyable.

The only Chabon books I've read are "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and "Wonder Boys." I have "Kavalier and Clay" but haven't read it yet. I actually don't like Chabon's books much, but I admire the technical writing skill. I totally get the lack of soul observation.

On David Foster Wallace, the funny thing is that I like "The Broom of the System" immensely, and didn't manage to get more than 100 pages into "Infinite Jest."
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:25 am

Raccoon wrote:On David Foster Wallace, the funny thing is that I like "The Broom of the System" immensely, and didn't manage to get more than 100 pages into "Infinite Jest."
Agreed. I've tried to read Infinite Jest a number of times and have never made it much further than that.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:11 am

I finally finished both Hundred Years of Solitude (gaaaah, nightmares) and Ubik this weekend.
I haven't read any PKD (or much sci-fi period) prior to this, but now I feel like the whole schtick of alternate reality of Dark City and Matrix-minus-the-parts-that-sucked ending with the protagonist beginning his endeavor of righting some wrong was totally ripped off :) I haven't seen Inception yet either, but I hear they stole it from old school Scrooge McDuck comics. It's just kind of neat to discover progenitors of that gentre.

Did NOT see Jory coming at all, and when he said that sometimes he calls himself Matt or Bill, my eyes went all buggy-eyed. I really thought there'd be a twist involving Hollis or Mick. Great pick, Phil <3
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:33 am

Finally got my library card but Ubik is checked out. I'll reserve it and hopefully read it quickly when I get it.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:37 am

JennyUnderpants wrote:
I haven't read any PKD (or much sci-fi period) prior to this, but now I feel like the whole schtick of alternate reality of Dark City and Matrix-minus-the-parts-that-sucked ending with the protagonist beginning his endeavor of righting some wrong was totally ripped off :)
Heh, well, if you didn't already know, the following movies are all based on Philip K Dick stories or novels:

Total Recall
Minority Report
Screamers
Paycheck
Adjustment Bureau
A Scanner Darkly
Imposter
Blade Runner

Sadly, most of the movies fail to live up to the intellectual promise of the source material. "Blade Runner" is pretty stunning visually, but it strips the novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" of its underlying hilosophical content. "Total Recall" is probably the best adaptation, but it's quite different from the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale."
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:43 am

Wait, I read Total Recall a long time ago, but it was by Piers Anthony. Are you telling me I read a novelization of a cinematization of a novel?? I wish I'd known; I would have gone straight to the source.

edit: Start the reactor, Quaaaaaaaaaaaid!
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Raccoon » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:46 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:Wait, I read Total Recall a long time ago, but it was by Piers Anthony. Are you telling me I read a novelization of a cinematization of a novel?? I wish I'd known; I would have gone straight to the source.

edit: Start the reactor, Quaaaaaaaaaaaid!
Yes, that was a novelization -- the original source material is a short story called "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale."
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by preniqueezer » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:13 am

I also read the Piers Anthony version, long ago. But back then I was a big Piers Anthony fan, so it's the only reason I read the book. Was years before I saw the movie, and thought it was kind of gross then. All the mutants were on the wrong side of the uncanny divide. Also, the movie seemed a bit short on plot depth compared to what I remembered for the book.

I liked "Do Androids Dream..." and haven't read Ubik, and I'd kind of like to, but I'm not going to manage it this month, sadly. Too many other things going on, not enough energy to track down the book. I do very much appreciate the spoiler tags, though, so I'm not going crazy skimming the discussion.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by reverkiller » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:05 am

I really want this book, but college shoe string budget and need to donate to japan makes it so my cash flow is at the moment quite minimal. I will try to find this online and read it, although that lacks the tangible enjoyment I get out of a worn paperback.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:15 am

RK, you can read my copy. Kmail me your address :)
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:34 am

reverkiller wrote:I really want this book, but college shoe string budget and need to donate to japan makes it so my cash flow is at the moment quite minimal. I will try to find this online and read it, although that lacks the tangible enjoyment I get out of a worn paperback.
I was going to berate you and say "go to your library" but your college appears not to have it :(

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:08 am

JennyUnderpants wrote:RK, you can read my copy. Kmail me your address :)
Don't trust Jenny with your address! You don't know what she's capable of! I heard that she bakes fresh-faced young college kids into pies!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:16 am

thacon wrote:Don't trust Jenny with your address! You don't know what she's capable of! I heard that she bakes fresh-faced young college kids into pies!
That is simply not true. None of the fresh-faced young college kids I've taken in have ever been made into pies. Stay away from my freezer.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:22 am

RK, I was wrong. Go for a short walk and get this book:

Call Number PS3554.I3 A6 2007
Author Dick, Philip K.
Title Four novels of the 1960

this link won't work, most likely http://tinyurl.com/4k3zwuy

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:26 am

There's also a PDF of Ubik floating around in internet-land. I found it prior to just buying the ebook. If you're too lazy/busy to get to the library, that's another option.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Draco Cracona » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:18 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:
thacon wrote:Don't trust Jenny with your address! You don't know what she's capable of! I heard that she bakes fresh-faced young college kids into pies!
That is simply not true. None of the fresh-faced young college kids I've taken in have ever been made into pies. Stay away from my freezer.
And I should hope not too - everybody knows that you should put the old people into pies, whilst doing more creative dishes with the whippetsnappers!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by thacon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:22 pm

You're right, RK is practically veal.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by reverkiller » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:55 pm

I wish I was as delicious as veal. I'd also like to thank phil for creepin' on my school, as I'm going to go to the library today and get it. Jenny, I may kmail you my address anyway :P

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:59 pm

reverkiller wrote: Jenny, I may kmail you my address anyway :P
Do it. Then around midterms and finals post something like "man, been studying so much no time to even *eat* pies, let alone bake them. I wish I had some comfort food."

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:02 pm

And now that this thread is thoroughly derailed, let me know if the library business doesn't pan out. I would be happy to ship you one paperback book. No pie. Pies must be earned. My birthday is April 20th. Please make a note of it.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by reverkiller » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:21 pm

Do you like short stories written in my own unique voice?
Thats what I like doing. ANyone who wants one for their birthday needs to give me a week and I will write a story of about 1000 words involving them in some dumb situation. Jenny's is already tossing in my head ;)

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by stupac2 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:38 pm

JennyUnderpants wrote:And now that this thread is thoroughly derailed, let me know if the library business doesn't pan out. I would be happy to ship you one paperback book. No pie. Pies must be earned. My birthday is April 20th. Please make a note of it.
Isn't that Hitler's birthday? I always suspected you were a pie nazi...

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:48 pm

Hitler's birthday, pot day, anniversary of Columbine, the oil rig explosion last year...I do share a birthday with Tito Puente!

RK, I would totally dig a short story written with your own unique voice!
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Omri » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:48 pm

Tax day for a birthday is way cooler... except the government takes money from you every year for your birthday D:

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by snarkypants » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:35 pm

Hey, I've read "Ubik"! Good choice, Phil. (I think it's pretty widely considered his best book by Dickheads^H^H^H^H^H fans; I think I go with "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said" as my personal favorite.) Maybe I'll burn through it this weekend and refresh my memory.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by big_mara » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:15 pm

I have mixed feelings about this one. It really caught my interest in the first half and from there just left me confused. After finishing it, I felt like he was trying too hard with an otherwise interesting concept. I really don't have a lot of experience with science fiction, so it could be that I was expecting a little more, I don't know, subtlety and continuity. It felt a lot like he was just trying to create an impact rather than an experience, which tends to be less successful in print than on screen.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by reverkiller » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:46 pm

I know Cracked is known for its in depth and scholarly articles, but I found this was a good read and helped explain a little why PKD is so fucking insane. In a good way.

http://www.cracked.com/article_19106_5- ... ovies.html

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Serra725 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:24 pm

Interesting idea, but I didn't enjoy it that much. I *do* read a lot of science fiction, but, like any good fiction, I expect it to have a narrative voice, decently complex characters, and some character development. Did Joe have any traits other than poor money management and good testing skills?

I think it's really fun, though, to read old science fiction and see where they thought we would be by now. His fashion ideas, for example, cracked me up- if only he could see people wearing peace signs and bell bottoms today!

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Eigenbasis » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:08 am

Just finished Ubik. I enjoyed it for the most part.

Regarding characterization:
It seems to me that PKD can give excellent characterization when he wants to. His descriptions of Runciter and von Vogelsang were excellent. But Joe Chip is sort of an everyman with little characterization, as Serra pointed out. This seems like a deliberate choice because PKD always seems to have an everyman protagonist who discovers that reality is not what it seems. I can't say that I agree with these choices, but it is what it is.
Regarding Pat:
Probably my biggest beef with Ubik is how Pat is just a red herring. I mean, sure, red herrings are great and all, but I feel like her character had so much potential. She had a unique power and she didn't really get to use it. She was labeled dangerous and possibly treacherous but it turns out she didn't really have a hand in the antagonist's plot at all. A letdown.
Regarding the ending:
Lots of twists and turns, but they were consistent with what Joe Chip knew and saw. I couldn't really tell if Runciter knew if Jory was behind it all along and not Pat. On one hand, Runciter seemed convinced enough that it was Pat and he has no reason to deceive Joe. On the other hand, it seems like he should have known the connection between Ubik, Ella, and Jory through his experiences with Ella. On an unrelated note, Inception was clearly inspired by Ubik and PKD has had a tremendous influence on modern sci-fi.
"Have you ever heard the expression, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then throw it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you originally asked for?’"

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by lotsofphil » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:54 am

Thanks again for spoiler boxes :) Still haven't read it.

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by NardoLoopa » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:50 pm

Eigenbasis wrote:Regarding Pat:
It was even worse than a red-herring. Pat starts out as an interesting character with potential plot altering powers. But after they get blown up she becomes a paper-thin character; a wall flower. Just a little over-reaction to accusations on why she didn't use her power -- and very weak excuses on her part. PKD needed to bring her in for the ending as some sort of force that challenges Jory but turns out to be ineffective due to some here-to-fore unrealized aspect of their new existence. It wasn't so much that she wasn't the cause of all the stuff going on that bothered me, it was the lopsided investment in her as a character that got dropped flat which bothered me.

At least it's a pulp read.
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by Eigenbasis » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:23 pm

You're absolutely right.
"Have you ever heard the expression, ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and then throw it in the face of the person who gave you the lemons until they give you the oranges you originally asked for?’"

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by NardoLoopa » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:52 pm

Ah, rage. I just read "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World" by Haruki Murakami because I mis-remembered what Snark picked.

Don't suppose anyone read this and would care to comment?
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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by slaphappy snark » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:09 am

NardoLoopa wrote:Ah, rage. I just read "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World" by Haruki Murakami because I mis-remembered what Snark picked.

Don't suppose anyone read this and would care to comment?
I like the idea of you poring over a shelf/list of speculative-fiction-y things looking for a name that sounds Japanese. I haven't read that, but it sounds interesting--recommended?

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Re: Less Seal Clubbing, More Book Clubbing!

Post by JennyUnderpants » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:37 am

NardoLoopa wrote:Ah, rage. I just read "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World" by Haruki Murakami because I mis-remembered what Snark picked.

Don't suppose anyone read this and would care to comment?
I read it! I'll get back to you at work though. I just woke up an my brain is all mushy, and that book was such a mindfuck to begin with. I loved it though!
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