Discussion:
Your "that was fun" reads
(too old to reply)
puppetsock
2018-06-01 19:09:43 UTC
Permalink
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.

For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.

Any other suggestions?
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2018-06-01 19:43:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Well, there is plenty of humorous SF, and we have had threads on
that from time to time (and I consider _Hell On High_ to be in that
space..), but here are a few from my recent reviews with comments pertinent
to your request in square brackets after each:


"Lover's Knot" (Dorina Basarab series)
by Karen Chance
http://amzn.to/2xjR4ib

I'm much more favorably inclined to Chance's most recent Dorina Basarab
story (now $0.00 on Amazon!) which takes place during the course of
_Ride The Storm_ but separately (the influx of "baby vamps" is explained
in 'Storm'). Here Dorina must track down her missing lover with only the
help of her Fabulous uncle, his tailor and a bunch of useless baby vamps.
It is entirely typical of Dorina's adventures that at one point this dialog
appears:
"Read my ass!"
"What?"
"Just do it!"

This is a character driven funny story that manages to satisfy as
_Ride the Storm_ didn't.

[This is a funny story for funny story's sake though it is true to
the characters and advances the storyline somewhat. I don't think
you have to know the setting.]


The Flaw in All Magic (Magebreakers Book 1)
by Ben S. Dobson
http://amzn.to/2gSMpNt

Here's another second-world-steampunk-with-magic series that I found
very entertaining. Tane Carver was a university student on a island
that is a loose analog to Victorian Britain. Here the magical races
and humans with magic are free to live their lives apart from the
draconian restrictions that prevail in most of the Europe analog since
the magic wars of centuries ago. I say *was* a university student
since it was a Magic University and Carver has no magic. He got
by on bluff and sleight-of-hand, writing his thesis on why it was
important for the non-magical to be taught the theory of magic whether
they could actually invoke it or not. The climax of his thesis was
the big-reveal of his mundane status. It went over.. poorly.

Now two years later, the disgraced and expelled Carver is called
back to campus to consult on the murder of a student whose killer
ported into an area which was strictly warded against portals.
It all seems to have something to do with the incipient launch of
the kingdom's new airship and apparently the killers have no plans
to quit at one murder and it's up to Carver, the half-orc partner he has
somehow picked up and his now "Scotland Yard" inspector ex to
stop them.

I like the concept of magic as sort of a computer program where
bugs can manifest themselves in deadly ways: The flaw in all magic
is the mage, as Carver says.

This is an entertaining setting, and the characters complement each
other well. Carver is not perfect. He tends to do things he believes
are in the best interest of other characters without consulting them,
and it gets him and them into trouble. And while he is brave enough,
he is no great fighter. His half-orc companion is the other half of
that coin. Though she is no dummy, she is much more a woman of action
and can often punch her way out of the messes Carver has thought them
into. I guess it's kind of a Holmes & Watson thing if the power dynamic
of those two had been more equal.

All ends well (if with a little more luck than strictly speaking makes
sense), and we are set for more adventures for the pair.

[This is an adventure story and there is some death and danger, but for
the most part it's light adventure. It's not comedy, but there is some
humor.]

Dragon Storm (Heritage of Power Book 1)
by Lindsay Buroker
http://amzn.to/2DQcCCE

I kind of got a little burned out on Buroker's Star Wars/Firefly space
series. I'll probably go back and finish it at some point, but her
new series goes back, wisely I think, to her strengths in second world
fantasy.

"Heritage of Power" is a spin off from her "Dragon Blood" series.
As her introduction notes, she left most of her major characters from that
series in a pretty good place and now introduces two new main leads with
their own problems.

Telryn "Trip" Yert is a pilot in the Iskandian air force mostly tasked
with fighting pirates in the somewhat backwards eastern reaches of
the country. Suddenly called to the Capital by the semi-legendary
General Zirkander for a special mission, he finds that the rumors
of trouble to the west are more than true: Dragons are back in the world,
the kingdom's only dragon allies have vanished, and the Capital and
surrounding areas are under daily dragon attack. Trip is not sure
why he was chosen, especially as he always trys to keep a low profile
on anything to do with magic as his mother was hung (non-judicially, but
just as dead) as a witch.

Rysha Ravenwood is a bookish and possibly brilliant young woman who
has decided, in the wake of Zirkander's well publicized exploits
in saving the kingdom from invasion and then dragons, to break with
her noble family and join the Iskandian special forces. She has
just started the training, doing OK, if not outstandingly well,
when she too is summoned by Zirkander.

The assembled team, which includes some welcome faces (and blades) from
"Dragon Blood" has the mission to a) Find a historic dragon killing sword
believed to be currently in pirate hands and b) Find the portal dragons
are using to return to the world and close it with extreme prejudice.

This book sees them off on "a" and is entertainingly done. Buroker'heroes tend to banter in a way people don't anymore when any joke gone
bad can get you fired and are generally fun to be around. She usually
has a "budding romance" subplot, and here you'll not be surprised to
learn it is the two viewpoint characters, not that there's a lot of
time for romance in between skulking and blowing things up. The series
title appears to refer to Trip, who it seems obvious (though not yet to
him) is most likely a half-dragon though how that could be possible
given the historical dearth of dragons remains to be seen.

[Again, this is light adventure, with real danger, but also there is plenty of
light hearted banter and wry observation.]

Villains Don't Date Heroes!
by Mia Archer (Author)
http://amzn.to/2BTDbZt

Our first person narrator, technology based supervillain Night
Terror is pretty much top dog in Starlight City, her first base in
her campaign for world domination. She quickly puts down all comers,
be they rival villain, upstart hero, or the US Government to keep
her city under control. Not that she's a control freak. In general
she believes in taking care of what is hers which means not brutalizing
the population beyond those who choose to make examples of themselves
and take her on. She even has arrangements with the police so they
get to take first shot at her and then withdraw "honorably" and
without casualties when she shrugs it off.

Feeling a bit bored one day, and tired of arguing with her evil
supercomputer CORVAC about his giant killer robot body idea, Night
Terror decides to pull off an old fashioned bank-vault heist. Things
are going about as expected -- the cops have made their strategic
withdrawal and the bank manager has decided that not standing where
the disintegrator ray will be going is the better part of valor,
when suddenly the situation goes pear-shaped: A new hero is in
town, the obviously Supergirl inspired "Fialux", a (presumed) strange
visitor from another planet with real superpowers, not just a
supersuit and a bunch of gadgets.
Having unexpectedly had her hat handed to her, Night Terror limps back
to base to face the day's other totally unexpected event: She's head over
heels in love.

Well, a little case of love is one thing, keeping up her rep is another,
and if some patented Night Terror tech expertise, hmm, maybe a "Non Newtonian
Field" for instance, can get Fialux in her clutches, well, that's two birds
with one stone. Of course CORVAC is not going to wait forever if she
goes off the whole world domination mission to concentrate on this one
little hero..

This was a generally fun book. Night Terror's narration is suitably over
the top and witty in places. I do think the "love at first sight" aspect
was a bit much. It would have been better, to use a standard comic plot,
if Night Terror and Fialux had had to band together to fight a common
enemy early on and had the sparks start to fly then. That would have
also fleshed out Fialux, who is a bit of a cipher here. In fact, Night
Terror is the only real character in the book, though she is sufficient
to carry it.

[Pure superhero silliness. Night Terror doesn't squeam from killing
people, but it's still a funny book.]


Beneath the Surface (The Emperor's Edge 5.5)
by Lindsay Buroker
https://amzn.to/2swMqZm

Here's another low cost ($2.99) Kindle auto-recommendation that I
quite enjoyed.

"Beneath The Surface" is "an Emperor's Edge novella" so I use
short-story quotes for the title, but really it's quite long enough
to be a full fledged novel, or was in the era where you had 190
page SF books instead of doorstops.

This is the first story I've read in Buroker's "Emperor's Edge"
setting, but the basic story isn't hard to figure out. The boy
emperor has been deposed and is now in hiding with a ragtag group
trying to restore him to the throne.

In the last episode our heroes apparently managed to blow up an
underwater hideout of the bad guys and are now in hiding on a
steamboat heading back for the capital city with a not quite
formulated plan to restore the Emperor and institute some sort of
new liberal constitution.

The whole thing is complicated by the fact that members of the group
whose hideout they destroyed are *also* on the boat heading for the
capital as are members of the Imperial police who know our heroes
by sight. And in the meantime, a cache of forbidden magical weapons
has been discovered in the steamship's hold, and must be destroyed
before the rebels (who are pretty magic ignorant as are most
Imperials) use them in the capital possibly killing all the
inhabitants.

So, OK, the stakes are pretty high, but this is a fun light hearted
adventure, verging on Marxian farce at times. The riverboat setting,
and the general reluctance of the lead heroine to kill anyone lead
to lots of folks being pushed over the side and swimming to shore.

There's also plenty of romance developing among the loyalist group
and alarums and excursions and hiding in smokestacks.
The four main characters here are the loyalist leader Amaranthe
Lokdon whose irrpressible optimism never flags as she spins 1000-to-1
plans out of the thinnest threads, sneaks pastries and woos the
Empire's deadliest asassin, Guard Sergeant Evrial Yara who is in a
crisis of confidence since recent events have proved the boy emperor
is not the "rightful" ruler, given that his mother cheated on the
old emperor, her growing crush, the poppinjay Maldynado who is
perhaps not the airhead aristocrat that he seems to be and finally
Sicarius the asassin (and incidentally the true father of the boy
emperor) whose dry as toast personality may be softening under
Amaranthe's attentions. Despite the semi-farcial plot and execution,
the chracters are appealingly drawn, and real enough that I was
rooting for them. (Compare and contrast with
http://www.amazon.com/review/R15M0KCV3X65GV Katie MacAlister's awful
_Steamed_. This is the sort of book that *that* should have been,
modulo the fact that "Beneath The Surface" is not a romance).
Things chug right along, and come to a reasonable stopping point
after a satisfying number of leaps overboard, explosions, unlikely
trysts and feats of derring do.
Definitely a fun little book, and I will be looking for the next
full-length one.

[This is a mid-series pure farce episode. It's true to the characters
and advances the plot, but basically it's just a story for fun. If
you like it you will probably like the rest of the series]
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2018-06-01 20:02:22 UTC
Permalink
And to follow myself up, I see that although I never reviewed it,
Debra Dunbar's _A Demon Bound_, the first of her "Imp" books is now
available for free from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Demon-Bound-Imp-Book-ebook/dp/B008MOP308

Sam is an Imp, the lowest of the low in Hel (not Hell: the cosmology here has
very little to do with Christian theology). Hiding out on Earth, she
gets involved in, very likely fatal, Angel business. Impulsive,
scatterbrained, perhaps a little evil, and perhaps a little more than
she seems, Sam is a fun character and keeps the action going. Could there
be a little romance in the future as well? This is the start of Dunbar's
mainline "Imp" series, which is still her best work.

[Lots of humor, though the stakes are mortal]
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Jerry Brown
2018-06-01 19:51:44 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 1 Jun 2018 12:09:43 -0700 (PDT), puppetsock
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Bob Shaw: Who Goes Here?
--
Jerry Brown

A cat may look at a king
(but probably won't bother)
D B Davis
2018-06-02 05:01:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Brown
On Fri, 1 Jun 2018 12:09:43 -0700 (PDT), puppetsock
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Bob Shaw: Who Goes Here?
Now that you mention it, yes, _Who Goes Here?_ makes me laugh all of the
way through it. _Wasp_ (Russell) is sort of funny like the Shaw, but the
Russell also contains a serious vibe that dampens its humor somewhat.
The "Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Adventures" (Anderson) shorts also make me
laugh.



Thank you,
--
Don
Robert Carnegie
2018-06-01 21:05:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
If I've got the right link and it works
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05y4h3v>
shoukd be BBC national radio's "Bookclub"
featuring _The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_
with the author participating.

Sherlock Holmes's "The Red-Headed League"
is more jocular than other stories about the
hero, but doesn't have lot of science fiction interest. Artificial kneecaps are mentioned
in a setting that hardly has a use for them,
unless they are worn exoskeletally (not stated),
but that doesn't make it steampunk. Indeed
perhaps I err in supposing that these artificial
kneecaps are to be used as kneecaps by people
suffering deprivation in their natural constitution
in respect of kneecaps. What else do you use
kneecaps for? Mock-turtle soup spoons?
Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
2018-06-01 21:29:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
If I've got the right link and it works
<https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05y4h3v>
shoukd be BBC national radio's "Bookclub"
featuring _The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_
with the author participating.
Sherlock Holmes's "The Red-Headed League"
is more jocular than other stories about the
hero, but doesn't have lot of science fiction interest.
Artificial kneecaps are mentioned in a setting that hardly has a
use for them, unless they are worn exoskeletally (not stated),
but that doesn't make it steampunk. Indeed
perhaps I err in supposing that these artificial
kneecaps are to be used as kneecaps by people
suffering deprivation in their natural constitution
in respect of kneecaps. What else do you use
kneecaps for? Mock-turtle soup spoons?
It does appear to refer to what we would call knee pads or
protectors. Possibly for horses.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-06-01 23:19:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Well, the thing I'm rereading now is _John McNab_, by John Buchan
(whom you *might* have heard of as the author of _The Thirty-nine
Steps)). It's not a barrel of laughs, but it's fun.

What I reread just before that was Pratchett's _The Unadulterated
Cat_, which had me incoherent with laughter about twice per page
(and they're small pages). But I'm a cat person; YMMV.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Titus G
2018-06-02 03:53:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
snip
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Well, the thing I'm rereading now is _John McNab_, by John Buchan
(whom you *might* have heard of as the author of _The Thirty-nine
Steps)). It's not a barrel of laughs, but it's fun.
snip
I inherited a 1950 hardback edition of "Complete in One Volumne of 1204
Pages The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay" but have forgotten the plot
of the first, the 39 steps.
Titus G
2018-06-02 04:11:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
snip
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Well, the thing I'm rereading now is _John McNab_, by John Buchan
(whom you *might* have heard of as the author of _The Thirty-nine
Steps)).  It's not a barrel of laughs, but it's fun.
snip
I inherited a 1950 hardback edition of "Complete in One Volumne of 1204
Pages The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay" but have forgotten the plot
of the first, the 39 steps.
The Thirty Nine Steps is available at Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/558
. I am going to reread it thank you Dorothy.
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-06-02 05:31:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Titus G
Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Well, the thing I'm rereading now is _John McNab_, by John Buchan
(whom you *might* have heard of as the author of _The Thirty-nine
Steps)).  It's not a barrel of laughs, but it's fun.
snip
I inherited a 1950 hardback edition of "Complete in One Volumne of 1204
Pages The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay" but have forgotten the plot
of the first, the 39 steps.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/558
. I am going to reread it thank you Dorothy.
You're welcome. I know I've read it, but it was a while ago and
I don't own a copy. Whereas my _John McNab_ is falling apart
from re-reading. :)
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Titus G
2018-06-18 03:06:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Well, the thing I'm rereading now is _John McNab_, by John Buchan
(whom you *might* have heard of as the author of _The Thirty-nine
Steps)).  It's not a barrel of laughs, but it's fun.
snip
I inherited a 1950 hardback edition of "Complete in One Volumne of 1204
Pages The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay" but have forgotten the plot
of the first, the 39 steps.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/558
. I am going to reread it thank you Dorothy.
You're welcome. I know I've read it, but it was a while ago and
I don't own a copy. Whereas my _John McNab_ is falling apart
from re-reading. :)
The Thirty Nine Steps has not stood the test of time. It is ridiculous,
being mainly a series of very serious adventures by Hannay who is
running from the English Police as well as plain-clothed Nazi murderers.

I have John MacNab from Gutenberg but have not begun reading yet.

http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300621.txt
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-06-18 04:55:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Well, the thing I'm rereading now is _John McNab_, by John Buchan
(whom you *might* have heard of as the author of _The Thirty-nine
Steps)).  It's not a barrel of laughs, but it's fun.
snip
I inherited a 1950 hardback edition of "Complete in One Volumne of 1204
Pages The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay" but have forgotten the plot
of the first, the 39 steps.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/558
. I am going to reread it thank you Dorothy.
You're welcome. I know I've read it, but it was a while ago and
I don't own a copy. Whereas my _John McNab_ is falling apart
from re-reading. :)
The Thirty Nine Steps has not stood the test of time. It is ridiculous,
being mainly a series of very serious adventures by Hannay who is
running from the English Police as well as plain-clothed Nazi murderers.
I have John MacNab from Gutenberg but have not begun reading yet.
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300621.txt
Well, it will probably suffer from the effects of time in your
opinion. It contains two elements that now read as severely
anacrhonistic: (a) the seriousness of hunting and fishing, the
way some Americans get about basketball, and (b) the fact that
all of the main characters are members of the uppermost class and
full of _noblesse oblige_. No, I take that, there's always Fish
Benjie, the only practical-minded person in the entire _dramatis
personae._

But I reread it every couple of years, and enjoy it.

I just checked the original date of publication: 1926. So it was
written *after* World War I, but it seems reality hadnot quite
sunk in yet.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Titus G
2018-06-21 05:30:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Titus G
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Well, the thing I'm rereading now is _John McNab_, by John
Buchan (whom you *might* have heard of as the author of
_The Thirty-nine Steps)). It's not a barrel of laughs, but
it's fun.
snip I inherited a 1950 hardback edition of "Complete in One
Volumne of 1204 Pages The Four Adventures of Richard Hannay"
but have forgotten the plot of the first, the 39 steps.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/558 . I am going to reread it
thank you Dorothy.
You're welcome. I know I've read it, but it was a while ago and
I don't own a copy. Whereas my _John McNab_ is falling apart
from re-reading. :)
The Thirty Nine Steps has not stood the test of time. It is
ridiculous, being mainly a series of very serious adventures by
Hannay who is running from the English Police as well as
plain-clothed Nazi murderers.
I have John MacNab from Gutenberg but have not begun reading yet.
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300621.txt
Well, it will probably suffer from the effects of time in your
opinion.
I picked it up to briefly look at it and am now over a third through and
enjoying it; as you originally said, "it's fun".

It contains two elements that now read as severely
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
anacrhonistic: (a) the seriousness of hunting and fishing, the way
some Americans get about basketball, and (b) the fact that all of the
main characters are members of the uppermost class and full of
_noblesse oblige_. No, I take that, there's always Fish Benjie, the
only practical-minded person in the entire _dramatis personae._
But I reread it every couple of years, and enjoy it.
The tone is completely different to The Thirty Nine Steps and that is
what is making it enjoyable. Although not so slapstick, it reminds me of
Jerome K J. My neighbour has supplied me with much venison whilst
telling of the hunt and a close friend was a fly fishing guide for
millionaire (mainly from the US) tourists one of whom I have
helicoptered in to remote trout streams with. I have played and refereed
basketball at provincial level, have met people who believe their wealth
makes them superior to others*, enjoy Jeeves and Monty Python so thank
you for the recommendation.

P.S. The Scottish language slows me down a bit!
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
I just checked the original date of publication: 1926. So it was
written *after* World War I, but it seems reality hadnot quite sunk
in yet.
Titus G
2018-06-27 04:10:08 UTC
Permalink
Quotes from John MacNab by John Buchan:

.......Breakfast, ..........., should consist of no kickshaws like
kidneys and omelettes; only bacon and eggs, and plenty of 'em.


Once let the masses get into their heads that landed property is a thing
to play tricks with, and you take the pin out of the whole system.


"Every waster," he said, "makes an excuse of being shell-shocked. I'm
very clear that the war twisted nothing in a man that wasn't twisted
before."


But they're as rich as Jews,


.... the voice of this tatterdemalion ...


....no eye at the Beallach had seen the signs of the gralloch.


.... finically proud of her house,


John Macnab .....only awaited sepulture ......


It's a dangerous thing to weaken the sanctities of property."
Titus G
2018-06-02 04:24:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Short stories from R. A. Lafferty?
m***@sky.com
2018-06-02 04:33:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge (first of a three-book series) - Correia and Ringo
Robert Carnegie
2018-06-02 11:42:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Oh - _The Stainless Steel Rat_; the first few books
in order of publication, anyway. Actually... some
are not so much pure fun as others.
Bill Gill
2018-06-02 13:02:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Harry Turtledove, "The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump."

Bill
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-06-02 16:34:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Gill
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Harry Turtledove, "The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump."
Oh, yes, that's a good one. It follows the well-known pattern of
everything-is-just-like-reality-only-different-because-magic.

For those who don't live in California, I should explain that a
lot of place-names here, particularly in the Los Angeles area
where the story takes place, are in Spanish. Turtledove has
painstakingly translated them all into English, with some amusing
effects. So Los Angeles is Angels. San Diego is Saint James.

Now, Angelenos tend to add a definite article to the names, or
numbers, of freeways. So, a San Franciscan would say, "We're
going to take I-5 down to Los Angeles," but an Angeleno would
say, "We're going to take the I-5 up to San Francisco." (He'll
have to get off the I-5 and head west by different routes
actually to reach San Francisco, but that's by the way.)


There's a freeway in the Los Angeles area called "The El
Segundo," presumably because it goes there. Turtledove's
protagonist describes himself driving on "the The Second", and
wondering why the definite article is doubled. Okay, that's a
linguistic joke that may not appeal to you as much as it does to
me.

But it's a very interesting alternate-universe story, with all
the major and minor religions cooperating (even those that are on
the critically endangered list and possibly extinct), except of
course for those who go in for human sacrifice. Which drives the
plot.

And as you'd expect from Turtledove, tons of puns.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Bill Gill
2018-06-03 12:22:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Bill Gill
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Harry Turtledove, "The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump."
Oh, yes, that's a good one. It follows the well-known pattern of
everything-is-just-like-reality-only-different-because-magic.
For those who don't live in California, I should explain that a
lot of place-names here, particularly in the Los Angeles area
where the story takes place, are in Spanish. Turtledove has
painstakingly translated them all into English, with some amusing
effects. So Los Angeles is Angels. San Diego is Saint James.
Now, Angelenos tend to add a definite article to the names, or
numbers, of freeways. So, a San Franciscan would say, "We're
going to take I-5 down to Los Angeles," but an Angeleno would
say, "We're going to take the I-5 up to San Francisco." (He'll
have to get off the I-5 and head west by different routes
actually to reach San Francisco, but that's by the way.)
There's a freeway in the Los Angeles area called "The El
Segundo," presumably because it goes there. Turtledove's
protagonist describes himself driving on "the The Second", and
wondering why the definite article is doubled. Okay, that's a
linguistic joke that may not appeal to you as much as it does to
me.
But it's a very interesting alternate-universe story, with all
the major and minor religions cooperating (even those that are on
the critically endangered list and possibly extinct), except of
course for those who go in for human sacrifice. Which drives the
plot.
And as you'd expect from Turtledove, tons of puns.
I especially liked the Gypsy with the gold tooth. She has an
office at 36th(?) and Vine.

Bill
Scott Lurndal
2018-06-04 15:33:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Now, Angelenos tend to add a definite article to the names, or
numbers, of freeways. So, a San Franciscan would say, "We're
going to take I-5 down to Los Angeles," but an Angeleno would
say, "We're going to take the I-5 up to San Francisco." (He'll
have to get off the I-5 and head west by different routes
actually to reach San Francisco, but that's by the way.)
The Angeleno would more likely say he's taking The Golden State
freeway (north of downtown) rather than "the five". Southbound
it's the Santa Ana freeway. I10 is The Santa Monica freeway westbound
and 405 is the 'parking lot freeway' (aka the San Diego south of the
Harbor freeway) and so forth. 101 is at times the Hollywood freeway,
or the Ventura freeway (but always a parking lot).
Bill Gill
2018-06-05 13:15:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Now, Angelenos tend to add a definite article to the names, or
numbers, of freeways. So, a San Franciscan would say, "We're
going to take I-5 down to Los Angeles," but an Angeleno would
say, "We're going to take the I-5 up to San Francisco." (He'll
have to get off the I-5 and head west by different routes
actually to reach San Francisco, but that's by the way.)
The Angeleno would more likely say he's taking The Golden State
freeway (north of downtown) rather than "the five". Southbound
it's the Santa Ana freeway. I10 is The Santa Monica freeway westbound
and 405 is the 'parking lot freeway' (aka the San Diego south of the
Harbor freeway) and so forth. 101 is at times the Hollywood freeway,
or the Ventura freeway (but always a parking lot).
Yes, but the book is written tongue in cheek. The freeway names
are given more literal translations. Remember this is an alternate
universe.

Bill
Steve Dodds
2018-06-02 18:08:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
The funniest book I have ever read is First Contract by Greg Costikyan.
The aliens have landed, only they are not slimey monsters, but super
capitalists just here to sell you stuff. Earth tech can't compete with
alien tech and within weeks the DOW is in single digits and unemployment
is 90%. This is the story of one mans attempt to compete on the aliens
level. It's absolutely hilarious.
Titus G
2018-07-06 03:16:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Dodds
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
The funniest book I have ever read is First Contract by Greg Costikyan.
The aliens have landed, only they are not slimey monsters, but super
capitalists just here to sell you stuff.  Earth tech can't compete with
alien tech and within weeks the DOW is in single digits and unemployment
is 90%.  This is the story of one mans attempt to compete on the aliens
level.  It's absolutely hilarious.
After struggling with the first 20 to 30 pages, I am starting to really
enjoy this and am about a third of the way through. For me, it is not
laugh out loud humour but a grin epidemic. More humourous human social
insights so far but there is a serious undercurrent and I am wondering
where it is going.
a***@yahoo.com
2018-06-03 12:55:40 UTC
Permalink
Zod Wallop and Resume with Monsters by William Browning Spencer Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede by Bradley Denton. Noir by Christopher Moore. ( I am reading this now. It's mainly "noir", but hints of Area 51 are leaking in..
Kevrob
2018-06-03 13:18:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Zod Wallop and Resume with Monsters by William Browning Spencer Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede by Bradley Denton. Noir by Christopher Moore. ( I am reading this now. It's mainly "noir", but hints of Area 51 are leaking in..
+ many, many for Matt Ruff.

Don't miss "Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy" either.
[If, like one reviewer, you are overly sensitive to the mass extermination
of imaginary people, you may want to avoid.]

Kevin R
Jaimie Vandenbergh
2018-06-03 23:34:33 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 1 Jun 2018 12:09:43 -0700 (PDT), puppetsock
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
Anything by A Lee Martinez.

Anything by Ursula Vernon aka T Kingfisher.

_Bridge of Birds_ by Barry Hughart.

Pratchett's a given.

Most of Matthew Hughes' Vancean-flavoured SF/F stories.

Charlie Stross' _Laundry_ books.

Anything by Jasper Fforde.

Anything by Yahtzee Croshaw.

I'd have mentioned Red Dwarf and Douglas Adams except you already did.

Cheers - Jaimie
--
Actually, the Singularity seems rather useful in the entire work avoidance
field. "I _could_ write up that report now but if I put it off, I may well
become a weakly godlike entity, at which point not only will I be able to
type faster but my comments will be more on-target." - James Nicoll
h***@gmail.com
2018-06-04 03:18:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Brown
On Fri, 1 Jun 2018 12:09:43 -0700 (PDT), puppetsock
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
Charlie Stross' _Laundry_ books.
Um, that's a strange call for mine...
Jaimie Vandenbergh
2018-06-04 09:28:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Jerry Brown
On Fri, 1 Jun 2018 12:09:43 -0700 (PDT), puppetsock
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
Charlie Stross' _Laundry_ books.
Um, that's a strange call for mine...
Witty banter and sysadmin sarcasm. No cuddly Cthulhu, although in the
Elf Invasion book I was highly entertained to see all the places I've
lived in Yorkshire get crushed into rubble.

Cheers - Jaimie
--
"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English
is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion,
English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious
and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." -- James Nicoll, rasfw
This signature was made by SigChanger.
You can find SigChanger at: http://www.phranc.nl/
Gary R. Schmidt
2018-06-04 12:20:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Brown
On Fri, 1 Jun 2018 12:09:43 -0700 (PDT), puppetsock
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
Anything by A Lee Martinez.
Anything by Ursula Vernon aka T Kingfisher.
_Bridge of Birds_ by Barry Hughart.
Pratchett's a given.
Most of Matthew Hughes' Vancean-flavoured SF/F stories.
Charlie Stross' _Laundry_ books.
Anything by Jasper Fforde.
Anything by Yahtzee Croshaw.
I'd have mentioned Red Dwarf and Douglas Adams except you already did.
And The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, they're novellas but very
diverting.

So far we have "All Systems Red" and "Artificial COndition," with more
to come. :-)

Cheers,
Gary B-)
--
When men talk to their friends, they insult each other.
They don't really mean it.
When women talk to their friends, they compliment each other.
They don't mean it either.
David DeLaney
2018-06-05 03:18:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
Inexplicably long and detailed enthusiastic rant follows:

Written by a guy who had READ _Worm_, and decided that that world and setting
and story was way too grimderp and crapsack, it crosses Worm with an obscure
four-episode anime series called Luna Varga, about a Magical Princess who, to
save her kingdom, merges with a gigantic lizardy demon, such that afterwards
at her normal size she has a large lizard tail, and at full size she is a
comparatively small from-the-legs-up protrusion on Varga's forehead. Demon
magic exists & is used. Shenanigans and anime tropes ensue.

mp3.1415player had Taylor, in the locker event, reach out and, through the
intervention of a Higher Power, merge with Varga and become his Brain, long
long after Varga, the last of his kind and imprisoned at last, had last had a
partner. Instead of triggering with her canonical insect-control powers.

In this fic it turns out that Taylor has a taste for humorous trolling (the old
style, not the chewy flamebait kind we got after the webforum wars) which is
amplified by Varga. She also gets a fairly overpowered set of powers from the
demon magic. But she does NOT get the conflict drive that triggering and getting
a Shard-based power would have caused.

One of the first things she finds out is that yes, she got a tail. A
demon-magic Assassin's Cloak spell turns out to be able to hide this.
Selectively. She can also shapeshift, although only into lizard-related forms,
and make temporary matter of any kind (or make it permanent). Demon magic turns
out to involve complex math, which sharing a mind with Varga gives her an
aptitude for. Shenanigans begin, and never really slow down; Brockton Bay
doesn't know what hit it, and she invents, accidentally, out of whole cloth, a
group of dinosaurian relatives called The Family who all are superheroes. See,
she may not be forced to conflict, but she DOES want to help out, and make sure
she and her dad and friends get left alone... and hey, there's crime, and
local villains, to fight and steamroller over! When she encounters them in
passing, anyway; she doesn't go out patrolling or looking for Evil to Stomp.

Soon some of the local heroes-and-villains get roped in and read in on the
secret(s). Shenanigans intensify, since one, Panacea, is a biostriker who can
do absolutely ANYTHING to carbon-based life if she can touch it (and had been
limiting herself to being the world's best healer, so the Authorities didn't
figure out she was a possible walking extinction-level event), and another,
Tattletale, has the power of filling in logical gaps and getting conclusions
from insufficient data, a Thinker power...

Needless to say, the "stations of canon" that a lot of Worm fanfic follow -
the fight with Lung, joining tthe Undersiders as a villain, the Slauighterhouse
Nine attack, etc. - get pretty thoroughly derailed. Instead, it's an intensely
humorous slice-of-life story about people and superheroes, trolling and helping
out, which people have which inaccurate theories about what's actually going
on, and making people's lives in Brockton Bay a lot more surreal, as well as
giving intense repeated headaches both to the public authorities and to the
sekrit evul conspiracy trying to run the world, Cauldron.

You don't need to know -anything- about Worm to read it. Enough detail is gone
into to give you any background you need. I think even Dorothy would enjoy most
of it, unless she has a Thing about giant talking polite helpful confusing
lizard-girls wih Lots Of Teeth and Big Claws.

It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread containing it and
the related omakes (which are a collective hoot and trip in and of themselves)
was 1003 pages long the last time I refreshed a few minutes ago. Give it a try:

< https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-
luna-varga.32119/ >

Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm only halfway
through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts, not just using the
story links to skip to the next piece.

Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Ahasuerus
2018-06-05 05:16:00 UTC
Permalink
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
Written by a guy who had READ _Worm_, and decided that that world
and setting and story was way too grimderp and crapsack, it crosses
Worm with an obscure four-episode anime series called Luna Varga,
about a Magical Princess who, to save her kingdom, merges with a
gigantic lizardy demon, such that afterwards at her normal size she
has a large lizard tail, and at full size she is a comparatively
small from-the-legs-up protrusion on Varga's forehead. Demon
magic exists & is used. Shenanigans and anime tropes ensue.
[snip]
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)

Is that about right?
h***@gmail.com
2018-06-05 06:10:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
Written by a guy who had READ _Worm_, and decided that that world
and setting and story was way too grimderp and crapsack, it crosses
Worm with an obscure four-episode anime series called Luna Varga,
about a Magical Princess who, to save her kingdom, merges with a
gigantic lizardy demon, such that afterwards at her normal size she
has a large lizard tail, and at full size she is a comparatively
small from-the-legs-up protrusion on Varga's forehead. Demon
magic exists & is used. Shenanigans and anime tropes ensue.
[snip]
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
seeing as the post included
"You don't need to know -anything- about Worm to read it. Enough detail is gone into to give you any background you need."

it seems somewhat short of being right.
Ahasuerus
2018-06-05 13:19:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
Written by a guy who had READ _Worm_, and decided that that world
and setting and story was way too grimderp and crapsack, it crosses
Worm with an obscure four-episode anime series called Luna Varga,
about a Magical Princess who, to save her kingdom, merges with a
gigantic lizardy demon, such that afterwards at her normal size she
has a large lizard tail, and at full size she is a comparatively
small from-the-legs-up protrusion on Varga's forehead. Demon
magic exists & is used. Shenanigans and anime tropes ensue.
[snip]
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
seeing as the post included
"You don't need to know -anything- about Worm to read it. Enough
detail is gone into to give you any background you need."
it seems somewhat short of being right.
Hm. Apparently posting after 1am may not be such a good idea after all.
Who knew?..

Does it indirectly spoil _Worm_, by chance?
Ahasuerus
2018-06-05 20:57:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
Written by a guy who had READ _Worm_, and decided that that world
and setting and story was way too grimderp and crapsack, it crosses
Worm with an obscure four-episode anime series called Luna Varga,
about a Magical Princess who, to save her kingdom, merges with a
gigantic lizardy demon, such that afterwards at her normal size she
has a large lizard tail, and at full size she is a comparatively
small from-the-legs-up protrusion on Varga's forehead. Demon
magic exists & is used. Shenanigans and anime tropes ensue.
[snip]
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
seeing as the post included
"You don't need to know -anything- about Worm to read it. Enough
detail is gone into to give you any background you need."
it seems somewhat short of being right.
Hm. Apparently posting after 1am may not be such a good idea after all.
Who knew?..
Does it indirectly spoil _Worm_, by chance?
To answer my own questions, the author says that "a working
understanding of Worm is assumed"
(https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/).
David DeLaney
2018-06-06 02:45:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Ahasuerus
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
seeing as the post included
"You don't need to know -anything- about Worm to read it. Enough
detail is gone into to give you any background you need."
it seems somewhat short of being right.
Hm. Apparently posting after 1am may not be such a good idea after all.
Who knew?..
Does it indirectly spoil _Worm_, by chance?
Yesnomaybe.

You learn about Caludron long before Worm's timeline doled out info about it,
and the principals are finding out things about Shards that their originals
never did and we only know about from interludes from other points of view...
but they don't even know to call them Shards or why, or what the actual
backstory is or WHY Lisa's Shard wants so hard to tell her something but
apparently can't, Or anything about the coming apocalypse (which TV will almost
certainly completely derail in surreal ways).

And since the TV timeline is just now for me, halfway through 1000 pages of
posts-plus-commenting, getting to where Worm -started-, it's not gonna get to
Golden Morning too fast at ALL. Or even to the Endbringer fight in [REDACTED].

Reading the comments in between story pieces _will_ spoil a lot of Worm,
in various ways, because the commentors either have all read it or have read
much Worm fanfic, most of which is not nearly this cheerful. But knowing, for
instance, WHY Taylor didn't want to join the Wards originally is already
irrelevant nearly at the start of the TV story, as things progress in a
completely different direction here. Etc.

But yeah, you'll learn things like what Kid Win's specialty is, or who
Alexandria's secret identity REALLY is, a good bit before Worm gave them.
But without having to read Worm, whose motto really is "It gets worse"...

Dave, along with "Doing the wrong things for the right reasons"

ps: and if you're going to read Worm anyway all the way through, there's a
really good chance you'll reread it completely very soon just to see what-all
you missed the first time around
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Juho Julkunen
2018-06-05 12:12:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
Written by a guy who had READ _Worm_, and decided that that world
and setting and story was way too grimderp and crapsack, it crosses
Worm with an obscure four-episode anime series called Luna Varga,
about a Magical Princess who, to save her kingdom, merges with a
gigantic lizardy demon, such that afterwards at her normal size she
has a large lizard tail, and at full size she is a comparatively
small from-the-legs-up protrusion on Varga's forehead. Demon
magic exists & is used. Shenanigans and anime tropes ensue.
[snip]
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
Also it is not that funny, and even when it is, the fun is hidden
amongst vast eternities of chaff. Most of the time the joke is
'overpowered protag pwns people and it is funny'.

It is very, very long, mostly needlessly. I did not read terribly far,
proportionally, as it didn't seem to be in any hurry to get anywhere
anytime soon. It's one of those things that looks like it could be fun,
but you kinda keep waiting for the good stuff to start.

It is definitely funnier than _Worm_ itself, though.
--
Juho Julkunen
-dsr-
2018-06-05 19:13:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
Also it is not that funny, and even when it is, the fun is hidden
amongst vast eternities of chaff. Most of the time the joke is
'overpowered protag pwns people and it is funny'.
It is very, very long, mostly needlessly. I did not read terribly far,
proportionally, as it didn't seem to be in any hurry to get anywhere
anytime soon. It's one of those things that looks like it could be fun,
but you kinda keep waiting for the good stuff to start.
It is definitely funnier than _Worm_ itself, though.
Well, that wouldn't be hard.

Is there a method of reading it more conveniently than scrolling through
a webforum for a month? An updated ToC, for instance?

-dsr-
Juho Julkunen
2018-06-05 21:16:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by -dsr-
Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
Also it is not that funny, and even when it is, the fun is hidden
amongst vast eternities of chaff. Most of the time the joke is
'overpowered protag pwns people and it is funny'.
It is very, very long, mostly needlessly. I did not read terribly far,
proportionally, as it didn't seem to be in any hurry to get anywhere
anytime soon. It's one of those things that looks like it could be fun,
but you kinda keep waiting for the good stuff to start.
It is definitely funnier than _Worm_ itself, though.
Well, that wouldn't be hard.
Is there a method of reading it more conveniently than scrolling through
a webforum for a month? An updated ToC, for instance?
_Taylor Varga_ is also up on Archive of Our Own (
https://archiveofourown.org/works/7830346/chapters/17874580 ) and the
author's wordpress site ( https://excessverbosity.wordpress.com )
--
Juho Julkunen
Ahasuerus
2018-06-05 21:56:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by -dsr-
Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-luna-varga.32119/
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
Also it is not that funny, and even when it is, the fun is hidden
amongst vast eternities of chaff. Most of the time the joke is
'overpowered protag pwns people and it is funny'.
It is very, very long, mostly needlessly. I did not read terribly far,
proportionally, as it didn't seem to be in any hurry to get anywhere
anytime soon. It's one of those things that looks like it could be fun,
but you kinda keep waiting for the good stuff to start.
It is definitely funnier than _Worm_ itself, though.
Well, that wouldn't be hard.
Is there a method of reading it more conveniently than scrolling
through a webforum for a month? An updated ToC, for instance?
_Taylor Varga_ is also up on Archive of Our Own (
https://archiveofourown.org/works/7830346/chapters/17874580 ) and the
author's wordpress site ( https://excessverbosity.wordpress.com )
Thanks. Archive of Our Own is supported by WebToEpub, which makes it
easy to create an epub version of the book.
David DeLaney
2018-06-06 02:32:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
[snip]
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-
luna-varga.32119/
Post by Ahasuerus
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
Almost, except backwards. You do NOT actually need to have read Worm at -all-.
(And, for the guy I was recommending it for, doing so is disrecommended, as it
would have the opposite of the effect he was looking for.)

A familiarity with superheroes and their tropes is helpful but not required.
It'll be fairly obvious what people's powers do, and who is who, at least
before the Family (like the Yendi) start Confusing The Issues. It's nice to
know that the Protectorate's the organization set up over the last 20 years to
be in charge of superheroes, and the Wards are the "junior league" branch for
children who have triggered, while the PRT is connected to it but also helps
deal with supervillain attacks, but not necessary. Knowing about Cauldron
clarifies some things early on, and knowing that the top three capes in the
Protectorate are secretly Cauldron employees, and that Cauldron is trying to
Save The World but doesn't realize the path it's taking is seriously flawed,
gives insight but again is not necessary to enjoy TV. Ditto with knowing what
Coil did to Dinah Alcott in the original timeline, or what Taylor did while a
member of the Undersiders or later as a warlord of Brockton Bay.

tl;dr - there's a lot of background you COULD have, which is illuminative but
not necessary for the aims of the story. It just makes it more, er, multi-
dimensional. (you will understand after readong that that last sentence is bad
and makes me a bad person.)

Dave, read, laugh, carry on
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Robert Carnegie
2018-06-06 08:36:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by David DeLaney
Post by Ahasuerus
[snip-snip]
Here's one I bet hasn't come up: a web fanfiction named "Taylor Varga".
[snip]
It is LONG. The author updates impossibly fast; the thread
containing it and the related omakes (which are a collective hoot
and trip in and of themselves) was 1003 pages long the last time
https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/taylor-varga-worm-
luna-varga.32119/
Post by Ahasuerus
Currently ONLY about three times as long as War and Peace. I'm
only halfway through the thred, but then I'm reading all the posts,
not just using the story links to skip to the next piece.
Dave, laughter virtually guaranteed
Let me make sure I understand. _Taylor Varga_ is a Web serial 3 times
the size of _War of Peace_, i.e. around 1,800,000 words. In order to
start reading it, you need to be familiar with the Web serial _Worm_,
which is around 1,680,000 words long (not counting the sequel, _Ward_.)
Is that about right?
Almost, except backwards. You do NOT actually need to have read Worm at -all-.
(And, for the guy I was recommending it for, doing so is disrecommended, as it
would have the opposite of the effect he was looking for.)
A familiarity with superheroes and their tropes is helpful but not required.
It'll be fairly obvious what people's powers do, and who is who, at least
before the Family (like the Yendi) start Confusing The Issues. It's nice to
know that the Protectorate's the organization set up over the last 20 years to
be in charge of superheroes, and the Wards are the "junior league" branch for
children who have triggered, while the PRT is connected to it but also helps
deal with supervillain attacks, but not necessary. Knowing about Cauldron
clarifies some things early on, and knowing that the top three capes in the
Protectorate are secretly Cauldron employees, and that Cauldron is trying to
Save The World but doesn't realize the path it's taking is seriously flawed,
gives insight but again is not necessary to enjoy TV. Ditto with knowing what
Coil did to Dinah Alcott in the original timeline, or what Taylor did while a
member of the Undersiders or later as a warlord of Brockton Bay.
tl;dr - there's a lot of background you COULD have, which is illuminative but
not necessary for the aims of the story. It just makes it more, er, multi-
dimensional. (you will understand after readong that that last sentence is bad
and makes me a bad person.)
Dave, read, laugh, carry on
I suppose "Ward" refers either to non-parental
guardianship of a child, or to Burt Ward, or both.
(In _Batman_ on TV, Burt Ward /was/ both.)

_Worm_ sounds like if "Ward" comes from there,
it isn't supposed to be funny.
-dsr-
2018-06-06 10:19:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
[snip-snip]
I suppose "Ward" refers either to non-parental
guardianship of a child, or to Burt Ward, or both.
(In _Batman_ on TV, Burt Ward /was/ both.)
_Worm_ sounds like if "Ward" comes from there,
it isn't supposed to be funny.
_Worm_ has some humorous moments in order to provide contrast for the
depths of disaster that befall the Earth. Earths. A bad time for humans,
anyway.

-dsr-
David DeLaney
2018-06-06 15:02:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by David DeLaney
tl;dr - there's a lot of background you COULD have, which is illuminative but
not necessary for the aims of the story. It just makes it more, er, multi-
dimensional. (you will understand after read[i]ng that that last sentence is
bad
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by David DeLaney
and makes me a bad person.)
Dave, read, laugh, carry on
I suppose "Ward" refers either to non-parental
guardianship of a child, or to Burt Ward, or both.
(In _Batman_ on TV, Burt Ward /was/ both.)
The former. And really, who WANTS to be the parents responsible for a teen (or,
in Missy Biron's case, pre-teen - the earlier the trigger the more powerful the
cape, sort of like with wizards, as a rule, and Missy's power is to twist and
distort space, she's rated as I think Shaker 9) superperson? SOOO many issues,
plus all the ones that come with normal teenhood... at 18, they could
'graduate' into the Protectorate proper (or, rarely, just leave & go
independent).
Post by Robert Carnegie
_Worm_ sounds like if "Ward" comes from there,
it isn't supposed to be funny.
Well, Worm does have its funny bits, but most of them are ... dark humor.

Quite coincidentally, Ward is the title of the currently on-going sequel, set
maybe 5 years after Golden Morning (the apocalypse that they managed to win,
against considerable odds, with more than 50% of humanity surviving, I think!).

Dave, but all this is just because I thought Taylor Varga fit the original
poster's request for humor, slice-of-life, laugh-provoking. the superheroes
and giant demonic trolling helpful polite lizards and derailment of Worm's
dark gritty it-gets-worse is a side-effect
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Jay E. Morris
2018-06-06 02:36:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Funny, this just hit my inbox.
https://www.torforgeblog.com/2018/05/17/7-sci-fi-novels-for-when-you-want-to-laugh/?utm_source=exacttarget&utm_medium=eblast&utm_term=na-torjune2018&utm_content=na-readblog-blogpost&utm_campaign=torjune2018
h***@gmail.com
2018-06-18 05:23:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Gini Koch's Alien series starting with Touched by an Alien
Extremely fun
m***@gmail.com
2018-06-26 18:45:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better. It does not
have to be lose-control-of-your-bodily-function funny, though
if you have that, I'm glad to get it. But something that I
will start to grin when I'm reading it is about right.
For example, I will probably be reading something from the
Dirk Gently books. Or possibly something from the Red Dwarf
books. Just as two examples of things that are in the right
general neighborhood.
Any other suggestions?
Dig up some old Eric Frank Russells. Wasp, Next of Kin, The Great
Explosion and Men, Martians and Machines are all good.

So are Poul Anderson's The Makeshift Rocket and William R Burckett's Sleeping Planet..

Mike Stone, Peterborough England.

Always drink upriver from the herd.
Michael R N Dolbear
2018-06-26 22:13:47 UTC
Permalink
I piggyback for a correction,

John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps was first published in 1915 and
Greenmantle in 1916

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_John_Buchan

I would add a recomendation of Huntingtower/ Castle Gay / The House of the
Four Winds which are post WW1
--
Mike D
David Duffy
2018-07-06 05:37:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better.
Leonard Richardson's _Constellation Games_ (2011).
Aliens arrive on the moon and offer our narrator the chance to play
and review old computer games.

Gatekeeper (c. 90 million years ago)
A game by Clan Snowman
Reviewed by Ariel Blum
Publisher: Clan Snowman
Platforms: Brain Embryo
ESRB rating: T for light blasphemy

...Gatekeeper is a dull game, a simple arcade-type game similar to
games that went out of style here thirty years ago. It's a game from
another planet that I can play on my television. I recommend it.
Update, two hours later:
Curic: Those are not zombies. They're probably people
who want a refund.
ABlum: a refund on what?
Curic: Their lives.
ABlum: sounds like a zombie to me
Curic: I am going to do research on human zombies to prove you wrong.
Update #2, ten minutes after that:
Curic: Zombies are fully dead people who come back to life for no reason.
What you are seeing is when one half of a person
dies, the other half wants a refund. Otherwise the entire
person will die in a few hours.
ABlum: who gives out the refunds?
Curic: There are no refunds. That's the point of the game.
Robert Carnegie
2018-07-06 07:35:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Duffy
Post by puppetsock
So it's been a tough week. I could use something that will
take my mind off work and make me feel better.
Leonard Richardson's _Constellation Games_ (2011).
Aliens arrive on the moon and offer our narrator the chance to play
and review old computer games.
Gatekeeper (c. 90 million years ago)
A game by Clan Snowman
Reviewed by Ariel Blum
Publisher: Clan Snowman
Platforms: Brain Embryo
ESRB rating: T for light blasphemy
...Gatekeeper is a dull game, a simple arcade-type game similar to
games that went out of style here thirty years ago. It's a game from
another planet that I can play on my television. I recommend it.
Curic: Those are not zombies. They're probably people
who want a refund.
ABlum: a refund on what?
Curic: Their lives.
ABlum: sounds like a zombie to me
Curic: I am going to do research on human zombies to prove you wrong.
Curic: Zombies are fully dead people who come back to life for no reason.
What you are seeing is when one half of a person
dies, the other half wants a refund. Otherwise the entire
person will die in a few hours.
ABlum: who gives out the refunds?
Curic: There are no refunds. That's the point of the game.
Philosophical message? Philosophical zombies?
David Duffy
2018-07-10 08:22:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by David Duffy
Leonard Richardson's _Constellation Games_ (2011).
Philosophical message? Philosophical zombies?
You want spoilers too? ;) Given it is a game review,
he was thinking conventional eat-your-brains. It
_is_ an enjoyable read.
1***@compuserve.com
2018-07-10 17:32:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
Any other suggestions?
"Fandom for Robots", EscapePod 624, currently at http://escapepod.org/page/2/ (but it'll roll over to page 3 in a month or two).

I don't keep up, just randomly grab a podcast from here once in a while. This one was fun.

JimboCat
--
"If you took all the buggy lines of code written over the years and strung them all together end to end...
It'd probably be a valid Perl expression." [David Morgan-Mar]
Scott Lurndal
2018-07-10 17:42:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by puppetsock
Any other suggestions?
Frederik Pohl's excellent autobio _The Way the Future Was - A Memoir_ has
been an enjoyable read.
William Hyde
2018-07-10 19:32:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by puppetsock
Any other suggestions?
Frederik Pohl's excellent autobio _The Way the Future Was - A Memoir_ has
been an enjoyable read.
Seconded.

And to whoever has my copy: time to return it!

William Hyde
Kevrob
2018-07-10 19:41:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by puppetsock
Any other suggestions?
Frederik Pohl's excellent autobio _The Way the Future Was - A Memoir_ has
been an enjoyable read.
Seconded.
Move to approve by accclamation!
Post by William Hyde
And to whoever has my copy: time to return it!
Call the Sgt At Arms!

Kevin R
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-07-10 19:49:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by puppetsock
Any other suggestions?
Frederik Pohl's excellent autobio _The Way the Future Was - A Memoir_ has
been an enjoyable read.
Seconded.
And to whoever has my copy: time to return it!
Hm. I have Knight's _The Futurians,_ but not the Pohl. Must
think about acquiring it.

For some of the same material, there's Asimov's _In Memory Yet
Green._

And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Ahasuerus
2018-07-10 21:07:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by puppetsock
Any other suggestions?
Frederik Pohl's excellent autobio _The Way the Future Was - A Memoir_ has
been an enjoyable read.
Seconded.
And to whoever has my copy: time to return it!
Hm. I have Knight's _The Futurians,_ but not the Pohl. Must
think about acquiring it.
For some of the same material, there's Asimov's _In Memory Yet
Green._
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
Permit me to re-post what I wrote last year:

===========================
Here is a list of the top 13 highest grossing movies of 2016 (domestic
only, see http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2016):

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Finding Dory
3. Captain America: Civil War
4. The Secret Life of Pets
5. The Jungle Book (2016)
6. Deadpool
7. Zootopia
8. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
9. Suicide Squad
10. Sing
11. Moana
12. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
13. Doctor Strange

Every single one of them is science fiction, fantasy, anthropomorphic
animals or some combination of the above. It's only when you get to
number 14 that non-speculative films start to appear and even then
they constitute a minority until you get well into the 30s.

==========================

And here is a list of the top 5 sub-genres on American TV in 2017
(among titles that drive the Top 20% demand)
(https://mipblog.com/2018/01/the-most-popular-television-subgenres-for-2017-in-the-united-states/):

1. Apocalyptic dramas
2. Historical adventures
3. Superhero series
4. Fantasy dramas
5. Sci-Fi comedies

So, back to that "smallest teapot in the history of humankind". In terms
of consequences, I can think of few comparable teapots. Perhaps that
feud between religious sects in Palestine about 2,000 years ago?
William Hyde
2018-07-11 19:41:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by puppetsock
Any other suggestions?
Frederik Pohl's excellent autobio _The Way the Future Was - A Memoir_ has
been an enjoyable read.
Seconded.
And to whoever has my copy: time to return it!
Hm. I have Knight's _The Futurians,_ but not the Pohl. Must
think about acquiring it.
For some of the same material, there's Asimov's _In Memory Yet
Green._
Both excellent reads. And both of which I still have.

Other books in this area are De Camp's "Time and Chance", and a Lester Del Rey autobiography whose title I can't recall or find.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
I doubt that I have the background in fan culture to appreciate that one and as it happens I've never seen a copy. Probably just as well, as once in a while I have this odd desire to read it.

He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers. This was in our library when I was a child and I read it at least twice. I remember well the story about Lester Del Rey's one-armed father, Ramon Del Rey ....

William Hyde
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-07-11 20:16:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
I doubt that I have the background in fan culture to appreciate that one
and as it happens I've never seen a copy. Probably just as well, as
once in a while I have this odd desire to read it.
I don't have the old-fannish background either, being merely 76
and not having discovered fandom till 1966, through the SCA.

As I said, it would make an interesting paper for a sociologist.
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
My copy of _TIS_ has a reference to that work on its back cover.
I don't think I'm tempted, what with book money being chronically
short.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
William Hyde
2018-07-12 02:58:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
I doubt that I have the background in fan culture to appreciate that one
and as it happens I've never seen a copy. Probably just as well, as
once in a while I have this odd desire to read it.
I don't have the old-fannish background either, being merely 76
and not having discovered fandom till 1966, through the SCA.
As I said, it would make an interesting paper for a sociologist.
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
My copy of _TIS_ has a reference to that work on its back cover.
I don't think I'm tempted, what with book money being chronically
short.
On Amazon it is available for from as little as $4 to $1700. With all respect to Mr Moskowitz, I don't recommend you buy it at the latter price. But if it's available on inter-library loan it might be worth making the effort to get it.

The Merril collection here in Toronto has a copy, but only for reference, it cannot be checked out.

William Hyde
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-07-12 06:43:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
I doubt that I have the background in fan culture to appreciate that one
and as it happens I've never seen a copy. Probably just as well, as
once in a while I have this odd desire to read it.
I don't have the old-fannish background either, being merely 76
and not having discovered fandom till 1966, through the SCA.
As I said, it would make an interesting paper for a sociologist.
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
My copy of _TIS_ has a reference to that work on its back cover.
I don't think I'm tempted, what with book money being chronically
short.
On Amazon it is available for from as little as $4 to $1700. With all
respect to Mr Moskowitz, I don't recommend you buy it at the latter
price. But if it's available on inter-library loan it might be worth
making the effort to get it.
Getting to a library (even if the Vallejo Library were capable of
doing inter-library loan, about which I am uncertain) isn't
within my physical powers nowadays. It would be about a
ten-block walk downhill. I've fallen downhill twice since moving
to Vallejo, broke a wrist each time. I've run out of wrists.
And I don't drive. (And never mind the problem of walking back
uphill, because it wouldn't arise.)

What a good thing I don't really want to read any more Moskowitz.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
William Hyde
2018-07-12 19:59:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
I doubt that I have the background in fan culture to appreciate that one
and as it happens I've never seen a copy. Probably just as well, as
once in a while I have this odd desire to read it.
I don't have the old-fannish background either, being merely 76
and not having discovered fandom till 1966, through the SCA.
As I said, it would make an interesting paper for a sociologist.
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
My copy of _TIS_ has a reference to that work on its back cover.
I don't think I'm tempted, what with book money being chronically
short.
On Amazon it is available for from as little as $4 to $1700. With all
respect to Mr Moskowitz, I don't recommend you buy it at the latter
price. But if it's available on inter-library loan it might be worth
making the effort to get it.
Getting to a library (even if the Vallejo Library were capable of
doing inter-library loan, about which I am uncertain) isn't
within my physical powers nowadays. It would be about a
ten-block walk downhill. I've fallen downhill twice since moving
to Vallejo, broke a wrist each time. I've run out of wrists.
I seem to favour breaking the right arm. Four times so far (wrist twice, elbow, shoulder - counting mere cracks) once in a fall this May. At the moment I am unable to open pickle jars with the right hand, thereby losing the only cooking skill that the women in my life do not have.

I take it a trip to the Merril collection is Right Out.

We used to have a volunteer service in which people with mobility problems were brought library books. Not sure if that has survived today's harsher climate, though.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And I don't drive. (And never mind the problem of walking back
uphill, because it wouldn't arise.)
Hills are steeper now than they used to be. I blame Newton. Gravitational "Constant" indeed!
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
What a good thing I don't really want to read any more Moskowitz.
Not even the story of Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey? (Wikipedia confirms the Ramon, so now I'm going to gloat a bit about my memory).

William Hyde
Ahasuerus
2018-07-12 21:24:24 UTC
Permalink
On Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 3:59:42 PM UTC-4, William Hyde wrote:
[snip-snip]
Post by William Hyde
We used to have a volunteer service in which people with mobility
problems were brought library books. Not sure if that has survived
today's harsher climate, though. [snip]
There are all kinds of interesting tidbits about US/Canadian spending
on library programs at
http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2017/12/the-2017-public-library-data-service-report-characteristics-and-trends/
starting with:
"Figure 1 shows that since FY2012, library income per capita
increased $3.87, an average of 2.9 percent/year, whereas the US and
Canadian economies grew at an average annual rate of 2.06 percent and
1.86 percent respectively over the same period."

More pragmatically, there is Overdrive (https://www.overdrive.com/),
Project Gutenberg and other free online sources, ebooks, Kindle
Unlimited, etc.

As an aside, it's not just mobility problems that make it hard to use
traditional library books. It doesn't matter that you can walk 3 miles
to your local library and back if you wrists go on strike when you
try to force them to deal with hardcovers...
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-07-12 21:14:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
I doubt that I have the background in fan culture to appreciate that one
and as it happens I've never seen a copy. Probably just as well, as
once in a while I have this odd desire to read it.
I don't have the old-fannish background either, being merely 76
and not having discovered fandom till 1966, through the SCA.
As I said, it would make an interesting paper for a sociologist.
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
My copy of _TIS_ has a reference to that work on its back cover.
I don't think I'm tempted, what with book money being chronically
short.
On Amazon it is available for from as little as $4 to $1700. With all
respect to Mr Moskowitz, I don't recommend you buy it at the latter
price. But if it's available on inter-library loan it might be worth
making the effort to get it.
Getting to a library (even if the Vallejo Library were capable of
doing inter-library loan, about which I am uncertain) isn't
within my physical powers nowadays. It would be about a
ten-block walk downhill. I've fallen downhill twice since moving
to Vallejo, broke a wrist each time. I've run out of wrists.
I seem to favour breaking the right arm. Four times so far (wrist twice,
elbow, shoulder - counting mere cracks) once in a fall this May. At the
moment I am unable to open pickle jars with the right hand, thereby
losing the only cooking skill that the women in my life do not have.
And I assume your right is your dominant hand?

Sympathies. I've done something to a muscle in the base of my
left thumb, which complains loudly if I (a) grip anything too
tightly, (b) extend it too far away from the fingers; (c) do the
kind of rotational movement involved in unscrewing a bottle cap.

And my left is my dominant hand.
Post by William Hyde
I take it a trip to the Merril collection is Right Out.
Probably. Where is it?
Post by William Hyde
We used to have a volunteer service in which people with mobility
problems were brought library books. Not sure if that has survived
today's harsher climate, though.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And I don't drive. (And never mind the problem of walking back
uphill, because it wouldn't arise.)
Hills are steeper now than they used to be. I blame Newton.
Gravitational "Constant" indeed!
You've noticed that too?
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
What a good thing I don't really want to read any more Moskowitz.
Not even the story of Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey? (Wikipedia confirms
the Ramon, so now I'm going to gloat a bit about my memory).
I think I'll survive. I'm now rereading volume 1 of Asimov's
biography, which hasn't yet gotten to when he met del Rey. There
is a footnote, however, in which (paraphrasing from memory) Asimov
was reminiscing about how his father didn't want him playing on
the street "because if you hang around with bums, you'll become a
bum yourself!"

Del Rey: "So why do you still hang around with bums, Isaac?"

Asimov: "Because I love you, Lester."

Del Rey: [speechless, for the first and only time in Asimov's
recollection]

Asimov is second to no one in making trivia interesting.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
William Hyde
2018-07-13 19:34:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And if you're really in a penitential mood, there's Moskowitz's
_The Immortal Storm_, which could be paraphrased as "the biggest
tempest in the smallest teapot in the history of humankind." It
would be great material for a sociologist, if s/he were *really*
in a penitential mood.
I doubt that I have the background in fan culture to appreciate that one
and as it happens I've never seen a copy. Probably just as well, as
once in a while I have this odd desire to read it.
I don't have the old-fannish background either, being merely 76
and not having discovered fandom till 1966, through the SCA.
As I said, it would make an interesting paper for a sociologist.
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
My copy of _TIS_ has a reference to that work on its back cover.
I don't think I'm tempted, what with book money being chronically
short.
On Amazon it is available for from as little as $4 to $1700. With all
respect to Mr Moskowitz, I don't recommend you buy it at the latter
price. But if it's available on inter-library loan it might be worth
making the effort to get it.
Getting to a library (even if the Vallejo Library were capable of
doing inter-library loan, about which I am uncertain) isn't
within my physical powers nowadays. It would be about a
ten-block walk downhill. I've fallen downhill twice since moving
to Vallejo, broke a wrist each time. I've run out of wrists.
I seem to favour breaking the right arm. Four times so far (wrist twice,
elbow, shoulder - counting mere cracks) once in a fall this May. At the
moment I am unable to open pickle jars with the right hand, thereby
losing the only cooking skill that the women in my life do not have.
And I assume your right is your dominant hand?
Yes, and the one I instinctively fling out to break falls, hence the cracks. This time I managed to get my left to take some of the impact, which may have saved me from a broken, instead of cracked, elbow.

But the elbow is almost entirely healed, the wrist ditto. I should be opening jars with abandon by August.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Sympathies. I've done something to a muscle in the base of my
left thumb, which complains loudly if I (a) grip anything too
tightly, (b) extend it too far away from the fingers; (c) do the
kind of rotational movement involved in unscrewing a bottle cap.
I can't imagine what that injury would be, but rotation always seems to be a problem.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And my left is my dominant hand.
Post by William Hyde
I take it a trip to the Merril collection is Right Out.
Probably. Where is it?
Toronto.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
We used to have a volunteer service in which people with mobility
problems were brought library books. Not sure if that has survived
today's harsher climate, though.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
And I don't drive. (And never mind the problem of walking back
uphill, because it wouldn't arise.)
Hills are steeper now than they used to be. I blame Newton.
Gravitational "Constant" indeed!
You've noticed that too?
Working on a theory of it.
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
What a good thing I don't really want to read any more Moskowitz.
Not even the story of Ramon Felipe Alvarez-del Rey? (Wikipedia confirms
the Ramon, so now I'm going to gloat a bit about my memory).
I think I'll survive. I'm now rereading volume 1 of Asimov's
biography, which hasn't yet gotten to when he met del Rey. There
is a footnote, however, in which (paraphrasing from memory) Asimov
was reminiscing about how his father didn't want him playing on
the street "because if you hang around with bums, you'll become a
bum yourself!"
Del Rey: "So why do you still hang around with bums, Isaac?"
Asimov: "Because I love you, Lester."
Del Rey: [speechless, for the first and only time in Asimov's
recollection]
Asimov is second to no one in making trivia interesting.
It may well be time for me to reread that.

William Hyde
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-07-14 05:31:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by William Hyde
I take it a trip to the Merril collection is Right Out.
Probably. Where is it?
Toronto.
Definitely.

Though I was in Toronto, briefly, twice, in the airport, changing
planes to fly to the UK. I don't think that counts. And it was
in 1984, half my life ago; I don't think I could do it now.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Lawrence Watt-Evans
2018-07-12 03:15:18 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:41:28 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers. This was in our library when I was a child and I read it at least twice. I remember well the story about Lester Del Rey's one-armed father, Ramon Del Rey ....
I'm not familiar with the story, but I'm quite sure it was fictional.
Everything Lester ever said about his family was untrue.
--
My webpage is at http://www.watt-evans.com
My latest novel is Stone Unturned: A Legend of Ethshar.
See http://www.ethshar.com/StoneUnturned.shtml
Ahasuerus
2018-07-12 03:19:57 UTC
Permalink
On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 11:15:18 PM UTC-4, Lawrence Watt-Evans
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:41:28 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
This was in our library when I was a child and I read it at least
twice. I remember well the story about Lester Del Rey's one-armed
father, Ramon Del Rey ....
I'm not familiar with the story, but I'm quite sure it was fictional.
Everything Lester ever said about his family was untrue.
In addition, to quote SFE3
(http://sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/moskowitz_sam):

"Moskowitz's scholarship and criticism were not to everybody's taste,
and these works have at times been criticized within the genre and by
academics for inaccuracies"
William Hyde
2018-07-12 04:14:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:41:28 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers. This was in our library when I was a child and I read it at least twice. I remember well the story about Lester Del Rey's one-armed father, Ramon Del Rey ....
I'm not familiar with the story, but I'm quite sure it was fictional.
Well, yes. The biography is one of his more endearing fictions. I can imagine him chuckling as he spun a good story for Sam.

William Hyde
Dorothy J Heydt
2018-07-12 06:44:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
On Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:41:28 -0700 (PDT), William Hyde
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
This was in our library when I was a child and I read it at least twice.
I remember well the story about Lester Del Rey's one-armed father, Ramon
Del Rey ....
I'm not familiar with the story, but I'm quite sure it was fictional.
Everything Lester ever said about his family was untrue.
Switching IP rapidly:

"Rule One: the Doctor lies."
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
Klaus Meinhard
2018-07-12 13:26:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
Seekers of Tomorrow
--
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

* Klaus Meinhard *
Kevrob
2018-07-12 13:52:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Klaus Meinhard
Post by William Hyde
He also wrote a book of short biographies of twenty or so SF writers.
Seekers of Tomorrow
I never read that. I did read some of the articles it was based on,
that were in some old copies of AMAZING I picked up in a used bookshop
in the 1970s.

See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seekers_of_Tomorrow

"SoT" and "Immortal Storm" in ebook form may be borrowed here:

https://archive.org/details/seekersoftomorro00mosk

https://archive.org/details/immortalstormhis00mosk

I've never done this, myself, so I don't know if this is
a snap or what.

Kevin R
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