The Walter B Stine Memorial Book Thread


Doesn’t that describe basically all his books


He isn’t Stephen King you plebs


Finished Expanse #4. This and the last one reminded me of the Rama series, but a much better take on the same ideas (spooky weird alien encounter, humanity in microcosm being shit). Super hyped at the Epilogue and the promised return of Bobbie to the fore. Bit confused when I download the next book and the four POVs are the crew of the Rocinante.

Two more books and then I’m caught up with publication. (Edit: three more books. They’re up to 7 now) Might finally circle back to Snow Crash then, but I’ve also got The Magicians and Altered Carbon on deck. And I’ve still got to finish The Name of the Wind. And I picked up The Innocent Mage too.

Too many books.


I waited a year for Babylon’s Ashes to come out. Then I waited another year for it come out on paperback since all my other books were paperback.

I realized 20 pages in that the series lost me in the previous book. I’m still trying to push past it, but every time I look at it my jaw clenches.


posting about comics but i wanna read this


I recently read some German comic with a similar sort of theme, but the ending was really really bad


Been reading a lot of Eugene Thacker


Free book alert


I took a brief detour to read Conspiracy: [some long subtitle about Thiel and Gawker and Hogan]. The author did his own ebook. His reading is very slow and deliberate, but it worked out okay. The book was a mixed bag. It took a fairly even look at all parties involved. You could at least understand the position of all involved. But the final message bizarrely seemed to be “the world needs more people willing to undertake conspiracies because they like take a lot of effort and planning and we don’t see that kind of gumption anymore.”

I circled back to Altered Carbon. I am nearly done, but it’s a struggle. I just don’t care anymore. The core concept is super neat – even if it is a complete and unashamed ripoff of Eclipse Phase – but the actual story drags down. I can see why they changed some elements in the show to spice up the stakes and given Kovacs a reason to care.

So this morning I flipped back to The Magicians. I am 11% in and so far I dig it. There are some parallels to an urban fantasy story I sketched out a few years back. That was damned sneaky of Lev Grossman, stealing my ideas before I had them. The book is helped tremendously by the guy reading it.

I’ve still got a gaggle of other books on deck: the rest of Expanse, The Name of the Wind, stupid fucking Snow Crash, The Innocent Mage, and I’m trying to finish up the Witcher books (I’m on #3). Those I skip the audio and read the old fashioned way like a pleb.

Edit: Turns out Altered Carbon predates Eclipse Phase by several years. Oops. In other news, how do I strikethrough text on these nu boards?


Lev Grossman’s got chops. The Magicians was phenomenal. Bought the sequel soon as I’d finished the first one.


~25% in, I think Snow Crash is finally starting to click for me. Less focus on the wonky ancap stuff (that gimmick loses its luster fast) and more into Sumerian mindhacks.


Back when I was reading Snow Crash I thought the ancap stuff was mostly being played for a joke. (What if companies owned everything and it was ultrashit?)


I mean, I certainly don’t think Neal Stephenson is actually advocating for any of this shit and the whole book has a humorous tone. I just didn’t feel the joke had enough mileage for how long the book carries it. A sizable portion of the runtime so far is just Hiro talking about how the world works now. It was enjoyable in the first chapter with Cosa Nostra pizza delivery and the burbclaves. 50 pages later we’re still going on about it and nothing’s actually happened yet.


the first 25% is cringe as fuck but after that it smooths out until you get to the child rape / sex scene.




If the cyberpunk sex scene doesn’t sound like a race car pit crew, then you’re not reading authentic cyberpunk.


For reference:


Welcome to the world of Neal Stephenson


the sex scene isn’t bad when you consider it was written by a guy who did an unsuccessful crowdfunded katana swordfighting simulator


exactly the sort of person who has no business writing about sex