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Basel Gill

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  1. Now I have to play some catch-up after my niece stayed the last several days in the computer/guest room. Chapter 15 (Tyrion III): Cersei is a good actress. She does a marvelous job of playing the grieving widow here, perfectly incensed by Stannis's little flyer detailing her adultery with Jaime. She wants to suppress talk of the letter quite burtally. But Tyrion suggests they just ignore it, and the smallfolk will forget about it. An interesting nugget is that Cersei is worried that word of the letter's contents will reach Joff's ears. That says to me that maybe Joff himself still thinks R
  2. While I wouldn't throw out his earlier stuff (especially the bona fide classics), Arthur C. Clarke's work took a noticeable dive in quality from the late 80s onward. His first collaboration with Gentry Lee, Cradle, was godawful, and the two of them then put out a trilogy followup to Rendezvous with Rama that wasn't that great either. I enjoyed his work that was done with Stephen Baxter, but I got the feeling that it was mostly Baxter that did the work.
  3. Chapter 12 (Danaerys I): Well, I had been wondering how much longer before we got to Dany. Things aren't going so well for her, Jorah, and the Dothraki who have stayed with her. She's down to a hundred, and only four of them are warriors, counting Jorah. She takes the blood-red comet as an omen and for lack of a better plan, decides to head in its direction wherever that may take them. I haven't even mentioned the comet yet, I don't think. Everyone seems to get some sort of omen out of it, but they all seem to come up with something different. Following the comet doesn't turn out to be such a
  4. I enjoy all the multidirectional intrigue, even in parts when I'm not actually rooting for anyone. I've been pulling for the Starks so far, even though they have long odds of coming out winners in the end. I'd also likely to see Tyrion do well on an individual level, regardless of how the Lannisters do. He's more likable than the rest of his family, and his skill with words is awesome. Martin's action scenes are very well written, too.
  5. Chapter 9 (Arya III): The band of recruits for the Wall is starting to run into trouble. Hot Pie was brave before, but now we see he still has his moments of fear. They have to leave the Kingsroad for safety, and forage for food. That proves difficult, since those they meet on the way are unwilling to help them, and make a point of running them off. Yoren is disgusted by this behavior. Ayra runs into some wolves in the woods, and they leave her alone. I wonder if they're part of Nymeria's pack, and she still cares enough for Arya to make sure she is left alone. Chapter 10 (Davos I): Yay, a
  6. Thank you! That's close to what I felt, plus I simply found it boring.
  7. Are we limiting this to SF&F? Cause I'd like to nominate Catcher in the Rye.
  8. Being on the small council shouldn't preclude other duties. Littlefinger and Varys head up their own department while serving as councilors. And Pycelle does all the Grand Maester stuff.
  9. You should change your name to Deanna Troi.
  10. Sitting here at a motel desktop the day before a cousin's wedding, and found some time to record my thoughts. Chapter 6 (Jon I): This chapter seemed to me to be just there to fill in the background. You have to have those every now and then, or your story is a bunch of characters running around through an empty, boring, undeveloped world. Which doesn't work for single novels, let alone sprawling multi-book series. The Watch is planning a huge ranging up north, commanded by Mormont himself. This has raised some hackles, it would seem. The acting First Ranger, who considers himself to not be
  11. Chapter 2 (Sansa I): Oh, poor Sansa. Stuck in King's Landing surrounded by evil types, forcibly engaged to a psychotic monster who can (and does) order others to beat her, and now she has to watch a pathetic, sorry excuse for a tournament. The last one she attended, she actually wanted to be at, and it was well worth watching. This tourney, however, is a total farce. The field has no excitement to it, and no big names. The sparse attendance, part because of it being held inside the protected Keep, and part because so many people are off fighting a war, gives further indication of how unworthy
  12. One thing I noticed but forgot about is that Dragonstone is mentioned as having a volcanic mountain (with "hot vents") called Dragonmont. Now that's just gotta be a Jordan reference! As for Melisandre, I sure hope they pick the right actress to play her in the TV series. They need an absolute hottie, but one that has a formidable screen presence, not a gorgeous woman who can't do anything but look gorgeous. And they have to get the red hair right, if not a real redhead then someone who can make a dye job look realistic.
  13. All right, I had meant to save this for next weekend when I go out of town and have a four-hour car ride each direction. But it's a thousand pages in paperback, so I think I'll have plenty left by then. Prologue (Maester Cressen): So now we finally get to see what's going on with Stannis after having it shrouded in mystery for all of AGOT. Cresen has official confirmation that summer is ending in the form of a white raven. Not just an albino, but a raven that was bred to be white. Special bird. I fee sorry for Shireen, and I hope there are good things in store for her. The rest of the fami
  14. These are all excellent. The one of Dragonmount looks very realistic!
  15. I just finished this a couple of days ago. I enjoy some zombies every now and then. I loved the approach of making this read like a work of non-fiction, as if the zombie war had actually happened. It's supposed to be a novel, but it reads like a history book. I kept having to go back and check who an interview subject was when someone from earlier in the book would pop back up again. Has anyone else read this one? I hadn't heard of Max Brooks's earlier zombie book, the Zombie Survival Guide. I'm adding it to my to-read list.
  16. I enjoyed the Mars trilogy. I found it occasionally got bogged down in technical science talk, though. I found it necessary to have a dictionary handy when reading it.
  17. Congrats Ithi! You've been doing such wonderful things with Damodred, I'm sure you'll make a great head of house when Mills moves on.
  18. That would make more sense. Things should get interesting once Stannis finally joins the chaos.
  19. Clash is being saved for an out-of-town trip the second weekend in July. I may begin it before then, but not immediately cause I don't want to finish it before I get back home and then have nothing to read during the trip.
  20. This should be my last installment here till I crack open Clash of Kings. That won't be for another several days. Chapter 68 (Danaerys IX): So Drogo isn't doing so well. Mirri's techniques have left him pretty much a brain-dead invalid. Mirri has taken her revenge, Dany's child has been delivered stillborn. This was where it got weird for me. I could understand her magic killing the baby, she'd already said that death would be the price for Drogo's life, and that no one should enter the tent while she was weaving her healing spells. But leaving the baby looking like it has been dead for ye
  21. "She was not a pretty little porcelain doll; she was a beautiful little porcelain doll. On the outside, anyway. Inside, where it counted, was another matter." Siuan talking about Moiraine, NS
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