books?

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Jizaboz
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Re: books?

Post by Jizaboz »

Re-reading level one entry book of the Luciferian Order before I let a friend borrow it.

Surprisingly (not to me) has nothing to do with "devil worship" and is more about seeing the light of how the world works and knowing yourself. I can't elaborate further as after "daring", and "willing", one is to "keep silent" after understanding such things. Reminds me of books such as "The Art of Hacking" haha

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Re: books?

Post by RealNC »

Yesterday I finished "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L. Forward. I think "hard sci-fi" can be too "hard" sometimes. As was the case with this one. Fascinating, but ultimately too far removed from common sense. I think.

Telling a story about intelligent beings the size of sesame seeds who live on the surface of a neutron star seems kind of silly already. Because they don't consist of normal matter as we know it, but their chemistry is instead based on "nuclear molecules," their "nuclear chemistry" reactions happen millions of times faster than in normal matter. As a result, they experience time a million times faster than humans (30 seconds for us is something like 60 years for them.) Of course there's a human ship orbiting the star and the experiments the humans do in orbit over the period of a few hours has a huge impact on the civilization of that species over, what to them, are thousands of years. Religiously and politically. At some point the humans become aware that some form of intelligence exists on the surface, and they try to establish communication.

So the whole thing is just too far out there for me. Fascinating, but ultimately I think I wasn't completely ready for science fiction that is this "hard."

Edit: I should mention that the aliens are really, really into orgies. Sometimes they have huge orgies in the middle of battle. So it's "make love and war" in this case.

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Re: books?

Post by Tdarcos »

RealNC wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:22 am As a result, they experience time a million times faster than humans (30 seconds for us is something like 60 years for them.) Of course there's a human ship orbiting the star and the experiments the humans do in orbit over the period of a few hours has a huge impact on the civilization of that species over, what to them, are thousands of years. Religiously and politically. At some point the humans become aware that some form of intelligence exists on the surface, and they try to establish communication.
Star Trek:Voyager did an episode like this with almost the identical premise. ("Blink of an Eye" Season 6, Episode 12.) The ship gets caught in the planet's gravity and can't escape. What was a short time - days - on Voyager was centuries on the planet below, and the object in the sky became their god. The crew of Voyager discover this by sending The Doctor, who was able to be sped up to their speed and spent the equivalent of 3 years on the planet in a very short period of time. Voyager is causing their society to develop as the people below want to meet them. Eventually the planet sends a pair of astronauts, one of whom survives to communicate with the crew of Voyager.

The Memory Alpha page about this episode mentions its similarity to Dragon's Egg, as does its page on Wikipedia.
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RealNC
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Re: books?

Post by RealNC »

Yeah. That's the first thing that came to mind when I discovered the book. It's probably why I decided to read it in the first place.

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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

That's the story with the hard direction on the surface of the planet and the little spaceship they christened the flying toilet if I remember correctly. It was a difficult read because of all the science but it was a pretty cool story. I think there are sequels, but I probably won't look for them.

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Re: books?

Post by Casual Observer »

RealNC wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:22 amI should mention that the aliens are really, really into orgies. Sometimes they have huge orgies in the middle of battle.
Hey tDarcos, this book has dirty sex in it, you better get right on it.

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Re: books?

Post by pinback »

RealNC wrote: Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:22 amreally, really into orgies.
"hard sci-fi"
heheheheh
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Re: books?

Post by Tdarcos »

Having mentioned putting an iceberg in Los Angeles Harbor, I decide to re-read Oath of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. In one part it mentions that a corporation did that, set up an iceberg in a tub near Santa Monica so Southern California would stop taking water from Northern California.

But the story is not about the iceberg the Romulus Corporation moved, it's about an independent community they created called Todos Santos built over what was a huge blackened space in Los Angeles after one too many riots, The place is an "arcology," an attempt to build a self-sufficient community which rises up from the ground, part of the idea being a group of people in an area use less resources - power, space - than if spread out over an area in single houses. They got special concessions from the state and Federal Governments. For example, the residents of Todos Santos do not file or pay income tax. It's charged as part of the rent and a single income tax payment is made by the city on behalf of all residents. Also the city is exempted from a number of laws and regulations that make it difficult to accomplish things on the outside, which rules they are are not explicitly stated.

Todos Santos has also constructed an extensive subway system throughout Los Angeles, with itself as the central hub, for about 1/10 of what it would cost the city to do so. The sophisticated tunnel boring equipment is a significant part of the story, but much later. The story looks into the aspects of the attitudes of Los Angeles residents living outside of Todos Santos and those who live inside of it, sometimes called "the box" or "the hive." A serious "us vs. them" mentality arises, with the relatively safe, clean, crime-free corridors and paths in Todos Santos and the dangerous, dirty, crime-ridden streets of L.A., where some subway stops are in areas so bad that being fatally mugged is very likely.

There is a big difference in attitude. Police and security operated by Todos Santos is directed toward keeping residents and visitors safe, whereas police in L.A. are directed toward arresting people. One example, if someone is on the street drunk, L.A.cops would arrest them and take them to the drunk tank, whereas if a Todos Santos resident is too inebriated to figure out where his residence is, guards would walk him home. Thus there is a different attitude, where residents see them as "our" guards and "our" police.

Some might think this is a bit unrealistic, except this is similar in part to the situation Walt Disney got when creating Walt Disney World in Florida, it's located in the "city" of Lake Buena Vista, and is part of the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), which provides various services to that area such as fire protection. The only people who have any say in what happens or get to vote for the members of the RCID are the permanent residents of the District, which are about 50 people, all of whom, by no coincidence, are Disney employees.
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Re: books?

Post by pinback »

Image
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Now reading The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore. Not really sure how this title got into my tablet. It's s'posed to be a comedy, but so far I haven't laughed, smirked, chuckled or grinned once. The guy is trying too hard.

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Re: books?

Post by Tdarcos »

pinback wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:58 am Image
I've got Jonsey's Disease, all I see is a "missing picture" image.
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Re: books?

Post by Tdarcos »

if any of you have ever written a book-length story (say 150 pp or longer), or at least short story length (say at least 25 pages) you might have experienced the same thing I've noticed where at times you have to go back and change something because later events contradict the earlier ones. I've had incidents where I read the book, and realize a piece has to be removed or altered because in the process of writing I've made a mistake, because while I know the entire story, I don't always remember all the minutia.

Or sometimes you have to change a character's name.

In my current (in progress) book Marnie, one of the characters is Marnie's friend Charles Bear, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of Vicron. At first I had him referred to as Charley, but i thought that was the female form for names like Charlene, etc., so i changed it to Charlie. Then I found out both Charley and Charlie are not gender specific, so i changed all the references back to Charley.

In my book Instrument of God there is a character named Ann, but later in the story, there is reference to a news service with the name ANN, so I changed her name to Luann.
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The 28th Gate Vol. 1

Post by Tdarcos »

I have finished reading Volume 1 of The 28th Gate Kindle Edition by Christopher C. Dimond. I think I downloaded it because Volume 1 is free, but it actually is a good book, probably because te author wants you to buy his later stories. The link for it is here.

This is a hard science fiction story which takes place in a spacefaring society that has arisen from the collapse of the previous ("Gate Age") civilization, but the current civilation is still less technologically advanced than the previous one. A lot of technology has to be reverse engineered from older gate age technology that it implies was several hundred years ago, although it's hard to tell exactly how long that was, because time references are all different. A year, I think, is a "rotation" or "rota," while a day is a chron and some part of a day is a sub-chron. This does not detract from the story, it's just different.

The narrator, who goes by the alias of Hunter (because he doesn't know his name, for reasons explained later) is a combination skip tracer, bounty hunter, and salvage collector. He has his own set of rules. He won't take jobs where the client wants him to kill the person he''s going after, but if he has to save his own life he won't hesitate to kill, if he can't knock them out first. Because he has found - or acquired - various weapons, he is fascinated by the guns he has, and he has lots of them, some for specialized purposes, like one that will knock down a door in just about any building, and if there isn't a door, will create a person-sized hole in any common building materials.

Hunter's favorite gun is the "Warlock," which uses "silvers," as ammunition, anything from a #1, which will knock out someone all the way to a #7 which will do to a building the equivalent damage of a tornado. These are gate age technology, so silvers are rare expensive, and hard to find; the best ordnance scientists can't duplicate them. A group that tried to disassemble a silver thought being several yards away in another building was enough, their attempt to remotely open what turned out to be a #7 silver vaporized everything within a three block radius, including them.

Hunter has artificial leg and artificial arm implants, which allow him to handle some very tough assignments, like going bounty hunting after wanted people who shoot back. What he's really mad at is the Maunhauser Corporation, which gave him the implants, and suspects against his will, as some of the other cranial implants had to remove parts of his memory to fit in his skull, so he has no way to know if he actually volunteered, (as Maunhauser claims) or he was shanghaied (as he suspects).

It's an interesting read, enough that I purchased Volume 2 (it's an 8-volume series) which is on sale for 55c.
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Re: books?

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Tdarcos wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:48 am if any of you have ever written a book-length story (say 150 pp or longer), or at least short story length (say at least 25 pages) you might have experienced the same thing I've noticed where at times you have to go back and change something because later events contradict the earlier ones. I've had incidents where I read the book, and realize a piece has to be removed or altered because in the process of writing I've made a mistake, because while I know the entire story, I don't always remember all the minutia.
The IF comp game that Mike Sousa and I are releasing in a couple days was something we started 8 years ago. There were large chunks of inactivity, of course, and then we wrote each other in January and have been working on that together for the last 9 months. For this particular game I wrote down every single plot element ahead of time. I had never done that before with a story. There were still plenty of errors along the lines of what you were talking about. Bryan B. was finding things like, "The detective doesn't know the name of this person yet" in the week that was.

I think that's something that a good editor can help with.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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Re: books?

Post by RealNC »

So I tried to read Gateway (by Frederik Pohl.) NOPE. Gave up almost halfway through it. It's one of those carrot-on-a-stick sci-fi novels. It only promises sci-fi, but the book is about depression, domestic violence, psychology, sex and relationships. It's also written in first person and has the most unlikable protagonist in any book I've ever read. Only maybe 10% of the book actually deals with the actual premise. Basically it's "sci-fi for people who hate sci-fi." I guess that explains why it got so many awards.

Reading Blindsight now (Peter Watts.) Seems much better so far.

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Re: books?

Post by Flack »

Story Bundle currently has a DRM-free eBook bundle with 95 game-related books (computer game, video game, arcade game) for $30. It also includes my books Commodork and Commodorkier. Treat yo'self this holiday season!

Link: StoryBundle.com/games
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Re: books?

Post by pinback »

I finished a book recently. Wasn't a big fan.
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Gateway was good. The sequels are better, though.

Jaws the book was lame. The shark doesn't even blow up at the end. WTF

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Review: In the Matter of: The Gatekeeper: The Gate Contracts

Post by Tdarcos »

The First Book I wrote is one that I don't talk about much, In the Matter of: The Gatekeeper: The Gate Contracts, is the story of George Green, a 22-year-old confused college student who has issues because of his being overweight. He is taking a class in Analytical Symbolics, an advanced math course which (although I don't say it in the book) is a thinly-disguised metaphor for programming. George explains that AnSym (the short name for the subject) is mathematics with built-in checks.

A formula is built out of "bridges" which are constructed out of "translations:" simple formulas. Once you construct a problem using Analytical Symbolics, and simplify the bridges and translations, you get the result. The result must then be correct, or it won't "balance," the rules won't allow it. One example he gives is that if you multiply any number by 9, the digit sum of the result must equal 9. While doing so does not necessarily mean your answer is right (multiplying 9x21 giving 198 does give a number summing to 9 but the result is incorrect) but if it doesn't add up to 9, it is guaranteed to be wrong.

Analytical Symbolics is hard, like advanced calculus. It is hard enough that the problems assigned require at least two, and often three people to solve. In one instance, he has a really bright partner, named "Speedy," named because of his speed in solving problems, who is actually bright them alone, and George actually slows him down. Then George is partnered with a lady named Sonya, whom he discovers is so far behind in her knowledge of the subject that she shouldn't even be in the class. Talking about it with his professor, George discovers he's not the only one who has problems with her. George gets the bright idea to talk Speedy into pairing with Sonya, and the instructor allows George to team up with another two students who were even further behind than he was.

George is paired with Lynn for the next assignment, a lady for whom he has feelings, which bothers him, because of his "secret," which, although he doesn't say, implies that he is gay. George and Lynn complete the assignment quickly, and work together so well, that they decide to pair together for the next assignment, which is so complicated, it has to be done in three part over about a months. They get the first part done in a week, and the second a few days later. This seems fast, but the equations all balance, which means it must be right.

When they come back to class, the instructor is discussing the first, early part of the project, which seems odd. At the end of class, the instructor calls out to the two of them to come see him after lunch, which usually means they've had a problem with their assignment. They arrange to meet at his office, he tells another instructor that he will miss part of the class, and takes lunch early; when he arrives outside the closed office. Lynn is there, so nervous she couldn't eat lunch. Their instructor, Mr. Allen, goes into his office, gets an envelope, and asks them to come with him, as he escorts them to the dean's office. Three older men are there, one of whom George recognizes is Mr. Wilson, head of the Math Department, and Mr. Allen's boss. Mr.Allen wants George and Lynn to explain how they got the result of the assignment, because there is a problem in how they answered. George suspects they've done something considered impossible: they got a wrong answer where the formula balanced.

What he discovered is, they did the entire month's assignment in one week, then accidentally did the following assignment, which should take two weeks, in only a few days. At one point, the dean flatly says two medium-high (B+ to A-) students couldn't do the work this fast, and he wants to know who gave them the answers. George realizes the awful truth: the issue with their assignment isn't that it's too bad, it's that it's too good, and this "meeting" is actually a formal expulsion hearing for suspicion of plagiarism or cheating.

George blows his stack, as he knows he's innocent, and as a result the dean suggests they do a few problems in front of them, and George and Lynn agree. George finds out that the two men watching this are the Head of Analytical Symbolics at the state university, and the #1 expert on the subject, Dr. Hugo Sign. After seeing copies of their work, everyone suspected the two of them were fronting for a scientist who wanted to expose some theories of their own.

George and Lynn do all the offered problems, and additional tests are performed, whereupon the letter Mr. Allen brought with him is opened and read, in which it is admitted that the whole hearing was a ruse to get them to demonstrate what they are capable of, and to confirm a suspicion, since they are not known for having such amazing capability - they had turned in an assignment before Speedy did, which is considered almost impossible - that the men suspect the reason is some form of ESP, such as telepathy or receiving information from the universe. The testing was done as an expulsion hearing because the normal rules do not allow an outside observer to watch students proving how they did their work, that can only be done during an expulsion hearing.

Dr. Sign wants to invite George and Lynn to lunch and then invite out to his University for two weeks of testing, paying them $1,000 a week plus expenses, with a $3,000 bonus for completing the testing. They agree, of course. While George is leaving the dean's office after telling him, he's able to overhear the dean dictating a letter to the registrar, a close friend, about how he expects after Dr. Sign gets his clutches into George and Lynn, they will dropout and go to Dr. Sign's university, and that they have had dealings with Dr. Sign before, who is considered almost omnipotent.

Even more confused, George goes to see Dr. Wilson to let him know he agreed to accept Dr. Sign's offer and will need a leave of absence. Dr. Wilson congratulates him, telling him how they'll have a wonderful time, will like it so much they won't come back, and it doesn't matter what George and Lynn think, they will take Dr. Sign's offer because Sign will make it impossible to refuse. George has some suspicions, and discovered that Dr. Sign, who is currently 83 years old, had been a student there about 10 years earlier, and had blackmailed Dr. Wilson to let him have late admission to Mr. Allen's class, because he promised to do something amazing. He did, but it is so complicated that nobody else can figure out what it is, and Mr. Wilson is scared of what Dr. Sign could do, as he has mentioned some really bad things in an article he wrote. But George and Lynn would not be in danger going to test for Dr. Sign."It's everyone else I'm worried about."

Now George is even more confused. Dr Wilson suggests George go see Mr. Allen during his free period. He does, and Mr. Allen confirms some of what Dr. Wilson says, but offers an explanation. What Dr. Sign knows could be very powerful, and he only wants people who are not tempted to use that knowledge irresponsibly. This makes George feel better, as he was afraid Dr. Sign might try to hurt them, and he also confirms that wouldn't happen, but if George is worried, he can go see Dr. Sign (under the terms of the contract) and tell him he changed his mind. But he decides that won't be necessary, they're going.

They fly in to Chevy Chase County where Dr. Sign's university is located, and on Monday, they arrive to take tests. They split for separate lunches, where George meets Dr. Michaels, who works in Parapsychology. George almost tells him about what they are doing, then remembers there is a secrecy clause in his contract with Dr. Sign. He tries a distraction,then leave sand goes back to testing. Later, someone barges in to see Dr. sign, very upset. It turns out it is Dr. Quarles, head of parapsychology, who is upset Sign didn't inform him that he is doing Parapsychology studies. Dr. Sign is curious how Dr. Quarles found out, because of Quarles' attitude, he was going to tell him about George and Lynn, but not until the last few days of the test. George realizes it happened because he shot his mouth off to Dr. Michaels, and it shows enough that Dr. Sign spots it. Dr. Sign has a discussion with George and Lynn about how George needs to learn that he made a mistake and how to fix it. They agree to extend the contract by another week.

The next day George is in the cafeteria and runs in to Dr. Michaels, and isn't happy about it. George tells him to go see Dr. Sign if he doesn't know why George is upset. He leaves, and when George goes back to work, Dr. Sign is meeting with Dr. Michaels. It turns out it was a misunderstanding, Dr. Michaels didn't realize George would get into trouble or he'd never have said anything to Quarles. George gets over his mad and becomes friends with Dr. Michaels again

The next day, while doing tests, the Chancellor of the university calls, and Dr. Sign has George and Lynn be witnesses. The Chancellor gets Dr. Sign to allow Dr. Quarles to have George and Lynn for the remaining three days of the week, but at what it costs Dr. Sign, which is about $800 a day. Hilarity ensues as George and Lynn discover Dr. Quarles bad reputation is well deserved, at one point a fight between Dr. Quarles and George almost breaks out, until stopped by Quarles' assistant Dr. Michaels. George and Lynn run off and go back to their hotel, where Lynn gets so excited she propositions George, then discovers his secret. George isn't gay, he's a virgin. George has the most powerful experience of his life as they make love.

The remaining two weeks involve more tests, Dr. Sign having a heart attack, George getting pulled over by a police officer for making an illegal U-turn, and instead of a ticket, hears a story about how Dr. Sign did something that helped the officer's wife, and also saved his life. George and Lynn's torrid romance become public knowledge when Lynn pulls a stunt on George, and the resulting response by Dr. Sign is too much to believe. George also gets to meet the real Tansin A. Darcos, an Arizona businessman and close friend of Dr. Sign. George also gets to learn Dr. Sign's big secret, "Who is Al Johnson?"

The book can be found here (in PDF format for free).
Last edited by Tdarcos on Tue Dec 08, 2020 4:10 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

I just now finished the summary, but thank you.

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