Potential July pick

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For July, I was thinking about A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22733729-the-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet

It's science fiction, has some interesting crew dynamics and world building issues that can apply to RPGs.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • 1

    Works for me!

  • 0

    Splendid :smile: I'd be in for sure.

  • 1
    I already have it on my "to read" pile, so it sounds good to me!
  • 1

    Anyone else in on this one? @clash_bowley @NeilNjae Brother where ya been @Ray_Otus?

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    Looks like fun! I'm in!

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    I'm afraid I'll skip that one. I'd heard lots of good things about it, tried to get into it, but got rather bored. The first third is nothing more than a bunch of nice people being nice to each other, and it seems the rest of the book is much the same. Still, from the reviews, it seems I'm in the minority.

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    I can understand your opinion, @NeilNjae It is definitely not a plot driven book. Despite that, I found the conflicts inherent in the situation compelling enough to keep going, and liked the characters. I can certainly see where someone else might not.

    I'm usually not a fan of "rich world building" as a draw, but something about this one really appealed to me. I hope the discussion here will she's done light on why.

    FWIW, I listened to the audiobook, which is really excellent. I'll be rereading it in ebook in preparation for the discussion, so I'm curious if the format will make an impact.
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    > @Michael_S_Miller said:
    > FWIW, I listened to the audiobook, which is really excellent. I'll be rereading it in ebook in preparation for the discussion, so I'm curious if the format will make an impact.

    I have backed away from audiobooks now and gone back to kindle (or even dead tree). I found that I could only follow some kinds of book on audio, and they tended to be books I was less interested in!

    I just lost the thread of complex books, and wasn't appreciating word play or good use of language, both of which I like in a book.

    Now, I have good friends and family members who love audiobooks and get a lot out of them, so I presume that it is a matter of learning style or some such. So it always intrigues me to hear what different people think about all this.
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    For me, it's been a matter of wanting to read a book, either for the club or just for pleasure, but not having the time. However, my commute is about 25 minutes each way, so audiobooks allow me to turn that time into reading time. The experience definitely isn't the same, but this will be the first time I'll be rereading the same book in a different format, so I'll be interesting to see the differences.

    Some times I'm sure I miss out on wordplay, but other times, I suspect it comes through more prominently. For example, The Riddle Master of He'd had a character called Deth. Since I heard his name as "Death" the allusion was pretty obvious, but I may have missed it on the page.

    The narrator also brings so much to the table, with pacing, emphasis, and character voices really shaping the experience.

    In short, audiobooks will never replace the written word for me, but I really love then as their own separate but related art form.
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    I have found the same. Audio books don't replace print books for me, but supplement them. I can absorb audio books best when I'm doing something menial, and washing the dishes and gardening are have proved to be ideal circumstances. I can also listen while driving, but only on a long boring highway trip. And sometimes when I'm designing in AutoCAD at work, in the winter when I don't have much to think about, and the task is mainly playing with geometry or rote. Sometimes also when I wake up too early, I can lie in bed and listen for an hour and listen.

    And even then, an audio book needs to be not too demanding outside of it's story, and well performed. I've found the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell to be superb. I've now started The Land God Gave to Cain and it's going wonderfully - as have all of my Hammond Innes listens. But when I listened to The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, I was frustrated at not being able to take notes, so I've resolved to read that one in print.

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    Audiobooks frustrate me to no end. :smiley:

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    @clash_bowley said:
    Audiobooks frustrate me to no end. :smiley:

    Well, sure - your head is already full of songs.

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    @Apocryphal said:

    Well, sure - your head is already full of songs.

    Hahaha! So full it leaks out and makes a mess! :wink:

  • 1

    I read this and got the sequel. I'm sure I can contribute some amount of discussion. I've also just recently discovered that audiobooks put me to sleep...

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    > @NeilNjae said:
    > I'm afraid I'll skip that one. I'd heard lots of good things about it, tried to get into it, but got rather bored. The first third is nothing more than a bunch of nice people being nice to each other, and it seems the rest of the book is much the same. Still, from the reviews, it seems I'm in the minority.

    Unfortunately I'm also going to have to skip, for similar reasons. Nice people being nice to each-other, who yet somehow managed to be a little annoying. There must be something wrong with me, judging by the reviews.

    Though I wonder if the audio book would have been better. I usually have trouble getting into audio books, but in this one an awful lot of it comes across in speech (generally, by the way, something I like) so it already almost feels like a play script.
  • 0
    I'm about 1/4 of the way through and enjoying it so far. That's partly because some of the plot elements and background are similar to something I once thought about writing (except I was going to use quantum probability tunneling rather than wormholes) but also because I like the crew diversity which thus far seems very well handled. I don't think it's going to become a _great_ book for me, unless something startling happens in later sections, but I do rate it as a _good_ one.
  • 2
    I’m finished. There were definitely some worthwhile things in the book, and it was better toward the end as we learned more about the races and their beliefs and interactions. However, there wasn’t a lot of originality, and the cool things have all been done before, in more thought provoking ways. It think the real selling feature of the book is its light nature - an sf novel written for, and probably by, people raised on a diet of tv sf. It’s a lot like Star Trek TNG meets Futurama (which my nearly two year old nephew calls ‘Robot Show’) and the dialogue and situations reflect this. It’s also, judging by the dialogue, written for millennials, with many of their favourite cliches (like “you don’t get to do that” though it misses out on the “you’re better than this” line. Maybe that’s in the sequel.

    And I think that if you didn’t like the book, you won’t like the audio version, either.
  • 2

    The end of the month already? Impossible!

    So, time got away from me. I'll get discussion questions up over the weekend.

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