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imlad

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About imlad

  • Birthday 07/29/1973

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    Science Fiction and Fantasy (both written and on film/televison), watching YouTube videos (educational: science & history; entertainment news), watching science and history documentaries, trying to ignore American politics and smoking as much cannabis as I possibly can. (It do be legal here, ya know)

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  1. This one is a little bit different, as it pulls characters from not just literature but film and televisions as well (I just couldn't come up with that many characters from SF literature alone that I loved enough to put on this list, so I added the other two mediums). Here goes! 1 Ozzie Fernandez Isaacs - Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton 2 Kara Thrace - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) 3 Gaius Baltar - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) 4 Paula Myo - Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton 5 Jean-Luc Picard - Star Trek: The Next Generation (and more)*** 6 G'Kar - Bablyon 5, Babylon 5: Legend of the Rangers 7 Rodney McKay - Stargate Atlantis (and more)*** 8 Data - Star Trek: The Next Generation (and more)*** 9 Valentine Michael Smith - Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein 10 Spock - Star Trek: The Original Series (and more)*** 11 Stephen Franklin - Babylon 5 12 Karl Agathon - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) 13 Ronon Dex - Stargate Atlantis 14 Eli Wallace - Stargate Universe 15 Louise Kavanaugh - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton 16 Mellanie Rescorai - Commonwealth Saga by Peter F Hamilton 17 Londo Mollari - Babylon 5 18 Ione Saldana - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton 19 Josua Calvert - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamilton 20 Galen Tyrol - Battlestar Galactica (Ronald D Moore version) Honorable Mentions (in no particular order) Syrinx - The Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F Hamiliton Vir Cotto - Babylon 5 (and more)*** Miles O'Brien - Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Teal'c - Stargate SG-1 (and more)*** Duncan Idaho - Dune series * Not necessarily good characters or heroes, may be antagonists ** Not including characters from Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe (those are for a totally different list of mine) *** "and more" means also appears, sometimes just briefly, in other properties within that franchise
  2. Damn, you probably did more tabletop VtM in one month than I have my entire life; most of my WoD RPing has been LARP. I didn't play any Garou, they never really interested me, I played a couple of mages, one a Verbena and another was something I don't recall (it's been forever, but I think she was Cult of Ecstasy; yeah I don't always play male characters, even in Live Action.. I've been known to wear dresses and makeup at LARPs several times 😎). When it comes to Changeling characters, I played at one point an Eshu and another point a Satyr. The Eshu was the character I played during our Dark Ages game, set in 1195 in Constantinople, after the very unfortunate demise of Calis, my Setite Elder, who everyone thought was actually a potent Nosferatu ancilla; he got jumped by a Tzimisce ancilla (who the player had decided had modified itself to look like a xenomorph from the Alien franchise), a Gangrel ancilla and an Assamite elder. Calis got his arse "waffle-stomped" as the other players described it. The Storyteller was pissed that those three decided to kill Calis, and some bad bad bad Trolloc poodoo* came down on their heads when some sort of demon creature rose up shortly after Calis' death and rained havoc on the Kindred and other supernaturals of the city; apparently the death of an Elder upset some sort of balance that was keeping said demon at bay, which was news to me! Unfortunately the Eshu didn't survive the demon, so I ended up making a Ravnos, the grand-Childe of a friend of mine (the one I mentioned in the above post, I misspoke up there referring to him as her progeny; he was actually the progeny of one of her progeny). * Yes, I did just mix a WoT term with a Star Wars term!
  3. I was half joking with that gracias thing, but only half: I have no idea the percentage of Spanish speakers in the UK. Here in the States it is pretty high, so Spanish is a fairly common second language, and one everyone grows up knowing bits of it culturally, even the most backwoods racist person's kids are going to grow up knowing bits of Spanish, its just part of our culture. And I didn't know if that was in any way the case with the UK or any of the other English speaking countries. I've never taken Latin, although I have picked up a bit of Latin through stuff I have read and/or watched over the years, and also from learning bits and pieces of Romance languages (especially Spanish, the only one I spent more than a semester "studying") I can puzzle out the meaning or at least the general topic of a sentence. Sometimes. If I'm lucky. I'd say my Read Languages Skill Check is at like maybe a 6 in D&D terms (3/3.5 ed). Basically low, but at least I can do it better than most people who can't even try LOL. At least that's what I tell myself. 😎 That surely is high praise, and well deserved I would say. Once the good ones are out of the wash and off the line I'll take some pics and share them with ya. πŸ˜ƒ Tie-dye is basically my trademark, I'm almost always wearing it. I do have monochromatic shirts as well (a large number of them red, as that's the color of the volunteer shirts I get at a music festival I attend and volunteer at every year since 2003), but I don't wear them as often, and when I do (weather permitting) I will tend to wear a long-sleeved tie-dye underneath the monochromatic t-shirt just to have some tie-dye showing. I even have tie-dye pillow cases and blanket LOL! If I had the money I would be ridiculous and have a three-piece suit made in tie-dye fabric with a tie-dye dress shirt and tie. Beyond silly, I know but I just love the idea. Add in the long hair (a little over half the way down my back at this point) and everyone just started calling me "hippie" around town, And cops always wanted to search cars I was in that they pulled over... (but not anymore, 'cuz we legalized it on our last ballot).
  4. That's good news, then. So I'm guessing their style is pretty close as well, which is good too. Gracias Thank you (hey, don't know what languages I can count on native English speaking Europeans being "quasi-polylinguistic" in like most Americans are; we all seem to know a handful of words in like a handful of languages LOL, but I figure everyone does know "gracias" right?/EndTangent). I'm a (tie)dyed*-in-the-wool geek, so I definitely better know who River Song Alex Kingston is πŸ˜‹ (but yeah, I also knew her back in her ER days as well). Owen Teale was a recurring character on Game of Thrones for a number of seasons, so I knew his name on sight (and I've seen in him some other minor roles, I've watched a number of British TV shows over the past decade, shows the same friend who gets me books gets me, and probably in the same manner, I just don't ask). I didn't recognize the name Lindsay Davis, but when I looked up the imdb for the show I saw Lindsay Duncan's name, and she has been in just about everything ever made on telly from The Leftovers, Sherlock, Merlin, Doctor Who, Rome, Spooks (aka MI-5 for my fellow Americans) to Black Mirror just to name the titles I have actually seen her in, or at least remember her in. She was exceptional on Rome as Servilia, but pretty much everyone on that show was exceptional, yet she did stand out. This scene (strong language warning kiddos!) stands out in my memory of her on Rome. She's a truly remarkable force to be reckoned with when it comes to acting over there in the UK, I would say. One of your artistic "national treasures," who I am surprised has not yet actually won a BAFTA. As to the other names you mentioned, Trevor Eve I have apparently seen in two projects (Death at Pemberly and Troy but he didn't stand out in either, even seeing his face: chalk that up to him being "random older British dude #1"). Teresa Palmer I only know from her role in Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond Doss' (Andrew Garfield) wife. The rest are unknown to me, even after checking their imdb pages to see if they had been in anything I had seen. I think I might add this show to my TBW list. Thanks for the info 😎 (*The majority of my t-shirts are tie-dye shirts, and almost all of my tops are t-shirts, thus the "Geeky Hippie" appellation. I might include some pics of some of my favorite shirts sometime if people are interested; some I dyed myself, others I bought.)
  5. A lot there that I don't know, which is good, part of the whole point of this: to find authors you don't know. Some of what you list I've read (the obvious ones from my own list aside) I liked but barely remember, but I do know I read Hobb during the year my buddy and I basically celebrated St Patricks Day for a year and a half (we started drinking one year on the holiday, but had nothing to do with it, and drank every night from then on until like six months after the following St Patrick's Day; not a healthy or a good idea, and not my proudest moment(s) for sure). It just occurred to me, it's been so long since I read a new Pern novel or story that I don't think I've even ever read one co-written by Todd McCaffreu.. I still plan on getting around to reading them (like so many other books!) but I need to cut some more time I spend watching crap on YouTube (mostl history and science stuff, with larger helping of entertainment news added in; it's how I keep up to date on stuff as much as possible). And when I go to read those new novels and short stories (if there are new short stories) I plan on rereading the entire series all over again as a refresher course. What do you think of the adaptation to television of A Discovery of Witches so far?Is it worth watching for someone who has zero knowledge of the show or the books?
  6. Dude, you have no idea how deep of a dive into the World of Darkness I took! For several years, back in the late 90s and early 00s was when I was heavily involved with several LARP troupes playing Mind's Eye Theatre rules (from White Wolf of course). It was mostly Vampire, but we also had Mage, Werewolf, and Changeling characters involved. And with the vampires, it wasn't just the Camarilla, it was also Sabbat characters and the "unaligned" clans and bloodlines. Pretty much everything but Wraith characters (I think we did have some Hunters in the one troupe). At one point I was involved in four separate games at once, two of which were out of town (a good 75 minute drive each way). Several of our games had us doing stuff during "downtime" the period of time between game sessions (these games played in real time). For those games many of us created accounts on AoL Instant Messenger so we could chat with each other and the Storyteller in character between game sessions, which is something I did throughout my day when I was not at work. I'm talking 8-10 hours a day sometimes! And not only all that, but I would be reading sourcebooks (I had bought almost all of them, or borrowed from others) for the WoD setting, not just stuff connected to the type of character I played (I was more than just vampires over the course of those years), but stuff related to the other types of supernatural beings, or on the world in general. All of this was before the World of Darkness spanning event of Gehenna/Apocalypse that changed everything up. I haven't been into the game (tabletop or LARP) since that happened and they came out with new rulebooks and new setting books because the world had changed so drastically. I had a major financial investment in the setting before that (well over a grand), and I was rather pissed that all of my books were no longer going to have any relevancy. I read a handful or so of the novels that were leading up to the Gehenna event IIRC, but don't remember too much from them, but the name Theo Bell does stick out. I've also written a piece of short fiction set in the world, but I'm not going to be sharing that here (it's erotica, based on a friend's dreams she told me about that she had about me, which caused me to be rather embarassed, but I took what she told me and used her vampire character, a Ravnos, and mine, her progeny, and wove a story about them together using that dream; I had a fairly large number of women who read it suggest I try writing "women's erotica" professionally; I declined, because that crap ain't easy!). Truly interested parties that can prove they are 18 or older that want to read it, we can find a way to share it to you. Otherwise, wait until you're older.😎
  7. I don't quite have any direct connections to Norway, but I have two "older brothers" from Finland (exchange students that lived with us when I was 10-12 years old) as well as a Danish exchange student we had around that same time. I'm also of a large percentage Danish ancestry, although apparently one of the towns a Danish ancestor was from is now part of Germany. So while not Norwegian myself, my distant ancestors had distant, distant, distant kinfolk there LOL. πŸ˜‰ I'm not much of a fan of Stephen King's books. I've tried a couple and wasn't thrilled. I was enjoying The Stand a lot (I'm kind of a sucker for post-apocalyptic tales, or have been), but then I saw the ending the the TV miniseries that was done here in the States and thought the ending was Trolloc excrement. So I skimmed through the last quarter of the book that I hadn't finished yet, and sure enough, that's how the book ended. Pfft! Put that book down in disappointment. What I do like of King's are the movies that are adapted from some of his short works; like you I love Shawshank (such an amazing movie, Top 50 for me), and I also liked The Green Mile and Stand by Me. His horror stuff, of course, I avoid typically. I have considered trying his The Dark Tower series, but it is way down my list of stuff to read, and most new stuff goes on the list above it. Part of my problem with King is he has a problem ending his stories (the aforementioned movies aside). I love hardcopy books, actual paper books. I love them. But for the past decade or so I have done almost all of my reading either on a laptop or on my Kindle or no Amazon Fire. A large part of this reason is that I can change the size of the text, change the color of the "paper" (I go with the sepia tone), adjust all the margins and spacing, etc. You also don't need a light to read by, the device itself is the light. There is also the fact it costs less in trees (although I am sure there is a trade off in some other way environmentally). But then, I can also carry around in one hand literally thousands of books. I can't do that with harcopy books. Right now my old Kindle Fire, which I use only for reading, has over 4000 books on it, mostly thanks to one of my best friends. He told me to loan it to him for the weekend a couple months ago, and said I'd be happy with him when I got it back (I have an Amazon Fire and a laptop, so I was able to get by without the Kindle for that time). When I got it back it was chocked full of books, tons and tons of Science Fiction and Fantasy. As well as a lot of science books (he knows my preferences in reading). I didn't ask where he got all those books, or how. I don't want to know (I can make some guesses, and probably pretty accurate ones). I was not about to refuse the gift (the way I see it, if I delete my copy of the book file after reading it, it is essentially no different that if I had borrowed a hard copy book from a friend or the library and then returned it, assuming the original copy was acquired legitimately, which I have chosen to do as that is more convenient than deleting nearly 4000 books that I might actually want to read). I know that's a slippery slope, and probably a weak argument, but I'm simply not going to delete those files at this point. But this isn't the forum discussing digital copyright laws and the ethics surrounding them. Just suffice it to say, I don't see myself reading many physical bound books in the near future, unless they are new releases, or otherwise something my mate didn't find (he's told me to let him know what I'm looking for, but I haven't given him any titles yet, since I think I have enough to read for the next 20 years LOL). And for the record, there is a good number of books on my Kindle that were acquired by me totally legitimately, either by me purchasing them for myself, or family or friends purchasing them for me; not everything I'm reading is from my (presumably) pirating friend. As to audiobooks, I've only ever tried it once, back when they were still called, and literally were, "Books on Tape." I had, just for the heck of it, picked up a copy of The Shadow Rising (my #2 favorite WoT book) on on tape (actual tape cassettes!!) and listened to it while reading along. I soon discovered that it was seriously abridged, which was disappointing. I don't remember if I actually finished listening to the whole thing. But that is my one and only experience with an audiobook. I'm not good with audio; I don't follow along well to audio-only formats, I tend to get distracted by things I see, or by my own mind. I need my eyes to be pulling in the information along with my ears (which is why I love television and film so much, they are, IMO, the epitome of the storytelling art, well, telly is at least). I have a couple of podcasts I do listen to, but it takes an immense amount of mental energy to focus on them, to the point where the only things I can do is something so mindless as to be rote, like doing the dishes or mowing the lawn, or cooking (well, certain dishes that I can make without thinking about it). I couldn't possibly drive while listening to a podcast or audiobook, I would lose my place in the story/'cast or get into an accident.
  8. I don't know about the rest of the U.S., but here in Michigan (or at least my hometown), the bookstores, and even one library, put all the Science Fiction, Fantasy and even Horror into one section (I'm not one for Horror at al, whether on screen or on the page; I do not like to be scared). It never occurred to me that other places might not bunch them together, as I've only ever seen them in the same section (or marked with the same stickers in the case of most of the libraries here in my city). Do you mind if I ask where you are from and what your native language is (not asking for town or city)? If you don't want to say, that's no problem, I'm just curious. Obviously I'm in the United States, Michigan being my state (we're the state that is the two peninsulas jutting into the Great Lakes, the southern peninsula, where I'm at, looking like a glove). I'm only asking so I can put what you're saying into better context. Even though you have never read Science Fiction, I would still highly recommend the Commonewealth Saga. In many ways it sort of feels like Fantasy; think of it almost like you would a novel set during the Age of Legends from The Wheel of Time. How the devices (ter'angreal) they have work doesn't matter, they just do work. Nobody really concerns themselves in their day to day lives with the how or why (sort of like how the vast majority of the populace today in the real world couldn't care less how their smartphones or laptops work). In Hamilton's setting we have instantaneous transportation from one world to another, the tech equivalent to the Fountain of Youth (people are able to rejuvenate their bodies from old age back down to somewhere between 18-25 or so). People can even be brought back from the dead thanks to a "magical implant" that essentially records your memories and thoughts (your "essence" or "soul" in more Fantastical terms), and when your body dies this implant can be put into a clone of your body giving it your "essence," making It, You. People now live hundreds of years, if not longer. Even the poor have access to rejuvenation ("Fountain of Youth") and re-life technology (resurrection via clone and implant). Everyone essentially has telepathy (what else you call it when you can mentally think a text or "voice" message to a computer chip in your brain and have it sent to another person who will then read it in a augmented reality display or "hear" it via their own chip?) and mental connection to the Internet-On-Super-Steroids. Basically, your smartphone is in your head now, with an augmented reality/heads up display overlayed on your vision. None of this is ever explained; you just see the characters using it, like you would see a character using a telephone, refridgerator or car in a novel set in 2019. It is the most accessible Science Fiction series I can think of for someone who doesn't actually read SF. And it does help that you at least enjoy the genre in TV, film and games; some concepts won't be entirely foreign to you (like, I'm pretty sure you know what "cybernetics" means, or what AI is). I introduced a buddy of mine to it, and he couldn't put it down (and all he ever seemed to be reading was Stephen King or Terry Goodkind). I'm one of those fans that is indifferent as to whether George RR Martin finishes aSoIaF. I still love the series, but I'm not actually counting on seeing it completed. I'm also one of those rare individuals (at least rare online, not so much offline in my personal interactions with fans of the show) that was happy with Season 8 and how Game of Thrones ended. Yes, I acknowledge that there was some rushing; Season 7 should have been 1 or 2 episodes longer, and Season 8 probably could have used 1 more episode. I'm don't think Season 8 was perfect, not by a longshot, but I'm still happy with it. And I consider it good enough of a conclusion for me to the story so that if we never actually see A Dream of Spring published, I can be satisfied. I know many won't be though, which is a shame. I do hope GRRM finishes these books, but I'm not holding my breath. And to be honest, right now I'm not even in the mood to read anything in that tone of Fantasy. The next book could arrive at my doorstep tomorrow and I doubt I would even start it for a while. Just not in the mood for that sort of Fantasy, so no GRRM, Erikson, Abercrombie, Bakker... I see a certain theological theme running through your selections. I want to suggest an author and series: Elizabeth Moon's The Deed of Paksennarion. It has similar themes I think, and I feel is the best embodiment of what the Paladin character class is (rarely I think do people ever actually play Paladins properly, they always seem to be represented poorly). There are a couple trilogies involved in that series, so I hope you have some fun with it; I've read most of them, just haven't gotten around to the rest. Someday soon I hope.
  9. The Commonwealth Saga is a Space Opera (a Science Fiction sub-genre) series by Peter F Hamilton. It started with two books, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, which technically are all that is in the Saga itself. But then a few years later Hamilton started publishing The Void Trilogy, which takes place in the same setting, but about 1200 years later. After he concluded that trilogy he wrote a couple of standalone books before coming back to the Commonwealth and writing the Chronicles of the Fallers duology, which takes place sometime between the Saga and the Void Trilogy (I'm not sure exactly at what point between them, sorry). I seem to find a lot of people who love Science Fiction in their games, movies and television, just not in their reading habits, but read tons of Fantasy. Myself, I've always read both for about as long as I can remember (but to be honest I can't recall what my first SF book was; I know my first Fantasy book: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). Do you know why you never got into reading Science Fiction instead of just watching or playing it? I am honestly curious what leads to that behavioral mindset. Not saying there is anything wrong with it, I'm just trying to comprehend it, because for me the two genres are so inextricably intertwined I cannot imagine the one without the other, especially since the libraries in my hometown always had them either shelved together in the same area (like all the bookstores do), or labelled with the same special sticker, showing to me (or at least my impressionable young mind when I was a kid) that the two were "supposed" to be together. If you want to read some good SF, let me know I can get you started right, especially if you let me know your tastes in film/telly SF, and your tastes in Fantasy reading (well, I can already see that LOL). But a good start would actually be Pandora's Star, since in many ways that series almost feels like Fantasy. It isn't SF where it is all about the technology and science and the author gets into the nitty gritty of how stuff works. Instead, you're just introduced to the different technologies as the story progresses and they are just... there. It is like how George Lucas introduced us to lightsabers, and never bothered to tell us how they worked, we just knew they were there and that they did work. A lot of modern SF, especially Space Opera, is like that. But if you do happen to like techno-babble (like you get on Star Trek), I can probably find you some authors for that as well. I read the Gap Cycle years ago when it was being published, and it was pretty good. It had its darkness at times (especially the first book: TRIGGER WARNINGS!!), but was a solid SF series, with good politics and spacefaring adventure combined from what I recall. It has been a long time, 23 years since the last book, and I only read each one once. Yeah, if people want to talk about a Mary Sue character.... LOL I loved Caesar in these books too though. I had the same reaction as you throughout. I'd love to see a telly series done of these books, and stick to the history, not that bastardisation that was Rome on HBO (as much as I loved the show!). And with some serious Amazon money put into it you could do something groundbreaking: use all of those lifelike busts we have of the ancient Roman patriarchs like Caesar, Cicero, Pompey, etc and do the whole Tarkin-in-Rogue-One thing (or Gemini Man thing) and map those faces onto actors so that what we see on screen is the actual faces of the real Roman personages. I dunno, just a pipe-dream. We are pretty much at such a level of technology right now that we could do that. It would be expensive, but Bezos could afford it with what he makes in the course of one week (and that to cover the budget of the show for a couple of seasons at that I wager!).
  10. July 1973. For me it isn't 18 that feels like yesterday, it's more like 25, when I felt the most thriving and alive. I consider Historical Fiction to be something an author writes that happened decades before their time. The number of decades it requires, well, that is a bit looser to define. Dumas wrote stories that took place long before his time, but from what I understand, didn't most of Dickens tales take place during his own era? If so, I wouldn't consider it Historical Fiction. And if a book about WWII was written at the time, or within say 10-20 years, I wouldn't call that Historical. Perhaps a litmus test could be "is the time period covered in the story during the lifetime of the author?" and if so, then it is not Historical Fiction (that literally just came to me as I typed).
  11. I'm loving all the love Verin Mathwin is getting on these lists! I've seen her on a couple now. And also gotta say I totally dig the fact that you also picked Gollum/Smeagol. That poor little guy was so much more of a victim than a villain, at least in my opinion. And yeah, I totally understand how your opinion could change on a day to day basis, mine wavers a lot too, the one I posted isn't quite the same as what I had originally put down, nor what I had tweeted a week or so after originally writing down (I think I changed it a few times in between). I read a few of the VtM books and rather enjoyed them. Brujah were pretty cool, but when it came to actual playing the game (in my case I preferred LARPing) I always liked to play Followers of Set or Malkavians. Totally love seeing some Feist characters (Pug and Jimmy) on there! None of my fantasy and science fiction reading friends have ever read any Feist, and I just can't get them to read him for some reason (they always have something else to read). It is nice knowing other people have read, and loved, his books and love his characters. They have all been a big part of my escapism for 30+ years now, it is like I know them personally, like old friends; I know them just as well as any of Tolkien's characters basically. Only Tolkien, Feist and Jordan have characters that are that embedded in my psyche when it comes to Fantasy literature (GRRM doesn't even get his characters in there, despite having read nearly every book several times and seen each episode at least three times). With Science Fiction literature there are none, you have to go to film and television: Star Wars (all films and canon shows), Star Trek (all versions), Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica (RDM version), and Stargate (all TV series and movies, but not the initial theatrical movie).
  12. I've read most of your list, with a few exceptions. Namely the last two Covenant books, any of the Sword of Truth books past Wizard's First Rule (did not enjoy the first one at all, found it to be more derivative than the first Shannara book ever got), anything Shannara past the first trilogy (planning on reading the later books though, have them on my Kindle ready to read), Rawn's Exile books (only read Dragon Prince of hers), Hobb's Liveship Traders, Donaldson's Mordant's Need (always meant to get around to this one), the Clavell stuff and Jean Auel. Clavell and Auel are two authors I've always had on my "eventually I'll read them" list, but there's just always been something shinier to catch my attention. My goodness they don't make miniseries like this anymore. Well, okay, maybe they do, they just call them "limited series." But yeah, Shogun was an amazing miniseries event, something I binge watched a few years ago, over the course of one day (started in the morning). I was fairly annoying to my friends and family for about a week as I would pepper my speech with Japanese words I'd picked up from the show. Unfortunately, the only one I can actually remember now is "hai." Dang that side effect from that South Farthing "pipe-weed" I've been smoking all these years!😎 (Of course, I had some memory issues before I started smoking it, so I can't entirely blame that stuff). I think my next Historical Fiction plunge will probably be Clavell. Although the first serious* plunge I took was Stephenson with the Baroque Cycle (which he actually considers Science Fiction, and has a very good case for), I wasn't actually hooked by the genre until reading McCullough's masterpiece the Masters of Rome. Damn, thinking about it, I'm not sure which series is more densely packed between those two. It's pretty close, but it probably has to go to McCullough, because Stephenson has more blatantly fictional characters and plotlines than she does. * I'm sure over the course of my 46 years I've read other Historical Fiction books that I'm just not recalling off hand (one just popped into my mind: The Fallon Blood by Robert Jordan Reagan O'Neal).
  13. See, I like Duncan Idaho, a lot (but obviously not enough to put him on my own list). The thing is, that liking comes from books later in the series than Dune. I mean, he's hardly in the book from what I remember. Granted, it has been two decades since I last read the book, so I might just be remembering it by how little he's in David Lynch's "adaptation" from back in the 80s (I barely remember the SciFi Channel miniseries, except for thinking at the time that it was much more accurate to the novel than Lynch's...um, movie was). This is why I've been thinking that Jason Momoa's popularity (not so much "talent") is wasted on Denis Villeneuve's upcoming film (Light but that cast is stacked!). I'm not arguing or judging or questioning you putting him on the list, just puzzled over you putting him on for just Dune and not the whole series or for one specific book later in the series where he plays much bigger part. Kvothe is a cool cat from what I recall of those two normal sized books. But that's not saying much, as I don't have the greatest recall for reasons that are pretty clear if you read my "About Me" and take into consideration that I consume tons of content; in the past I would read anywhere from 80-100 books a year (most 500+ pages long), and being unemplyed and not in school (and currently in the process of trying to get disability benefits) I now consume a lot of video content which includes a lot of scripted programming. Basically my brain has become a jumbled mess of characters and plotlines, not just the ones I've consumed by the ones I've come up with myself (I gotta keep those separate!). So something I've only read the one time, while sitting back mildly intoxicated... yeah, there's some memory slippage, and it happens with many books (and shows) for me. I'll remember stuff when someone starts talking about specifics, usually, but not unprompted. So suffice it to say, I do remember thinking Kvothe was cool and fairly badass. Which brings me to a complaint I've heard online and I'm not sure if it is warrated (this one rarely is): that he's a Mary Sue (I won't call him a "Gary Stu" as I believe we should cut the gendered crap out). Most such accusations are just a load Trolloc feces, at least in this current era of The Toxic Fandom. So while I figure it is most likely not the case, it will be something I will keep in the back of my head when I re-read the first two books in preparation for the 3rd book to come out. Vin is frakking awesome. I can tell you this: if the pertinent author were to balefire from their works just one character off of my list, Vin would be the one to move into the Honorable Mentions list. She's essentially #26, even though I wasn't numbering anyone past #20. It was tough to not include her (or Kelsier). She's definitely my favorite female character of Sanderson's, followed very closely by Shallan Davar (Stormlight Archive). So I really love this pick. I don't recall that much about Artemis Entreri (aside from him having one of the coolest names in all of Fantasy) except that he was the primary antagonist/nemesis for Drizzt in the drow's first three books, wasn't he? Was he also in the Icewind Dale trilogy? I πŸ’™ the way you put Perrin and Faile together as one; I personally love their relationship in the books, don't mind Perrin's hunt for her, and have always liked her character. Not popular opinions in the WoT community in my experience LOL. I really look forward to seeing who they cast to play opposite Rutherford (that's a role I haven't even tried casting in my head yet, and only partially because I was unsure what they were going to do for Saldaean ethnicity equivalents). Faile is just as strong and fierce and amazing as any other woman in the WoT. Alas, I couldn't fit her on my list. And Perrin is another one that was hard to leave off of the list, but had to be. The one that has me the most interested in hearing more about is The Mule. I'm not judging you for having him on your list, but I am curious why he stands out to you, what it is about him that you like? If that's even something you can actually put a finger on. From what I remember of him, he's an odd choice, to me at least, for a list like this. Not saying he's an invalid choice, mind. To be honest, I'm not even sure you could say I even liked The Mule either time I read The Foundation series. But to be fair, I have Jaime Lannister, Sandor Clegane and frakking GOLLUM on my list LOL. I figured as much on the "you" front. I was just acknowledging my flaw when it comes to my genre snobbery. I admit it, accept it and even embrace it at times (like a Malkavian emracing their Madness; now I wonder who will get that reference?😎).
  14. Here's the "sequel" to my "Favorite Characters in Fantasy Literature" topic! This time it is Favorite (Top 20) Books or Book Series (not necessarily Fantasy or Science Fiction, or even Fiction for that matter if you are so inclined). Again, I did this in Top 20 format, with five Honorable Mentions (which are in no particular order). I will note which entries are for just a single book, and unless specified as such the rest are for a series. Hope you enjoy and share your own, and have some interesting discussion, and potentially find some new TBRs! 1) Commonwealth Saga (the full series, including the Void Trilogy & Chronicles of the Fallers series) -- Peter F Hamilton* 2) Lord of the Rings (including The Hobbit and The Silmarillion) -- JRR Tolkien 3) A Song of Ice and Fire -- George RR Martin 4) The Wheel of Time -- Robert Jordan 5) Riftwar Cycle` (this includes the Empire Trilogy with Janny Wurts) -- Raymond E Feist 6) Memory, Sorrow and Thorn -- Tad Williams** 7) Stranger in a Strange Land (novel, Uncut Edition in particular) -- Robert A Heinlein 8 ) Mars Trilogy -- Kim Stanley Robinson 9) The Deed of Paksennarion -- Elizabeth Moon 10) Dune (just the book, not the series) -- Frank Herbert*** 11) Night's Dawn Trilogy -- Peter F Hamilton 12) Masters of Rome -- Colleen McCullough 13) The Pern series -- Anne McCaffrey (and Todd McCaffrey)** 14) The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (first trilogy only) -- Stephen R Donaldson 15) Foundation -- Isaac Asimov 16) Thrawn trilogy (aka Heir to the Empire trilogy) (Star Wars) -- Timothy Zahn**** 17) The Baroque Cycle -- Neal Stephenson 18) Time Enough for Love (novel) -- Robert A Heinlein 19) God Emperor of Dune (novel) -- Frank Herbert*** 20) Mistborn (Era I) -- Brandon Sanderson Honorable Mentions (again, in no particular order) Dragonlance Chronicles -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman Dragonlance Legends -- Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman The Stormlight Archive -- Brandon Sanderson (even though it is unfinished) The Incarnations of Immortality -- Piers Anthony** I, Jedi (novel) -- Michael A Stackpole * This setting is my favorite all time fictional setting, and the one I would most want to live in if I ever found the Genie's Lamp and had three wishes. I would just have to decide which time period, as the three separate series are each a different time period in the overall saga. ** There are newer books in these series that I have not read, books that have come out since I last paid any attention to those worlds and moved on to other pastures. I plan to go back to these realms soon and see what the authors have cooked up. *** You will note that I only included Dune and God Emperor of Dune here from Frank Herbert's oeuvre, and that's because I personally find the rest of the Dune books to be rather weak, both those written by Frank and those written by his son and Kevin J Anderson. Not that I didn't enjoy them for themselves, I just didn't think that they were on par with these two nor were they as good as anything else I listed here. There are a handful of books by Brian and Kevin that I haven't yet read that might be good, I just don't know yet. **** This is the original, now non-canon, trilogy from back in the mid 1990s, not the newer Disney-canon Thrawn books that Zahn has recently written.
  15. It is most definitely not gratuitous, it is very much a part of the character's development and mental state and belief set at the time it occurs. I fully acknowledge that my distaste for mainstream literature, especially "the classics" is immature and very much a prejudice and, well, a form of bigotry I guess one could say. I've considered going back and trying to read Moby Dick again (I only managed about 2/3rds of it when we read it in high school, at which point I gave up and started using the Cliffs Notes). I've become more used to nautical tales since then thanks to several fantasy and even science fiction authors (thank you David Weber for your Safehold series!), and I think I could handle that sort of story telling much better now than before. I'll still never try Gatsby again though; I can't even sit through either of the film versions of it. And I cannot picture myself reading Hemingway or any other F Scott Fitzgerald, they just aren't my style. I did read a lot of Twain in my youth (and just ignored a certain word used extensively in the Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer books, even though I myself am not black). And I did enjoy Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scartlet Letter when we read that in school. And I even read, for myself, Louisa May Alcott's Little Women books (all three or four of them, I don't recall how many). And some of the English lit authors, I've read them and enjoyed them (a long long time ago), especially the older ones (period pieces are some of my favorite movies, so books like that are great IMO, and I actually recently acquired a bunch of the books by the Bronte sisters, and also plan to read some Dumas-- yeah, I know, he's French, but still classic older literature).
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