The Lounge => Media and Inspiration => Topic started by: Battlemaster on June 29, 2022, 07:14:16 PM

Title: The general book thread.
Post by: Battlemaster on June 29, 2022, 07:14:16 PM
Sharp end by David Drake.

David Drake is famous for the Hammer's Slammers SF mercenary novels.  Much of the action is combat oriented. Sharp end is different.  A team of slammers, some of whom are on thin ice for various reasons, are sent to a planet torn apart by gang warfare to see which faction the slammers should offer their services to. After seeing both sides they determine that neither side is acceptable rulers for the planet. (''Everybody dies someday.  When it's my day I don't want to have helped either of these people.'' one member of the team says during the discussion. )

 There is more personal interaction and non combat activity in the book, plus a good amount of violent action in various forms. If you're looking for inspiration for a military themed game with more roleplaying than combat, this is a book for you.

Crysis legion by Peter Watts.

Books based on video games usually suck. There are exceptions to easch rule.  Crysis legion is one. Based on crysis 2, the book follows a marine code named Alcatraz who is sent on a rescue mission to NYC only to end up in an alien invasion, previously wounded or possibly killed in action, stuffed into a suit of cybernetic symbiotic body armor called a nanosuit that he soon realizes is more advanced than any human technology could be, abd discovers he's becoming more than human.

Also, becoming more than human means becoming something that's not human anymore, and it may be a one way trip.

Peter watts is a scientist, and Crysis legion will have you looking up things like 'saccade' and 'Portia spider'. There are lots of advanced scientific issues raised, but still plenty of action too. All in all an excellent novel for serious readers.

The eternity artifact by L. E. Modessit jr.  In the distant future an expedition of people with diverse areas of expertise and knowledge are 'recruited' to be sent on an expedition to explore a planetary artifact of alien origin. A fairly hard sf novel, told from a multiple first  person perspective,  TEA is a good read if you likes serious SF novels.
Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: bromides on June 30, 2022, 08:37:02 PM
I think it's hard to be a good GM if you don't read a lot of everything.

I read everything, from trash to literature. I've literally read "Twilight" to understand that kind of storytelling to prep for a game.

Favorite novel? At this point in life, it might be Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian". Violent, expansive in scope, deceptively complex characters. If they say a book can't be made into a movie, then it might be pretty good. "Blood Meridian" is one that has mostly defied Hollywood's interest in making it into a film.

What do I have on Kindle... A lot of trash, mostly. I do have some good books, like Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go". I also have Sapkowski's "Witcher" stories and novels. The Lord of the Rings often finds my way into my kindle. CJ Cherryh's Foreigner books are also stuff that I enjoy, although that series tends to go nowhere.

I'm also into less woke flavors of lesbian romance novels these days. (Imagine that scene in The Remains of the Day, where the butler is hiding the fact that he reads common romance novels.) Am I ignorant of world events or other ways of living? I try not to be. I might be a conservative, but I'm not ignorant... Not is every liberal wise simply because they are woke White leftists.

(Woke lesbian stuff tends to go on about Trump, about how amazing all trannies are, how religion is not compatible with gay lifestyles, how small towns are crap, and so on. Less woke novels tend to be about characters and character-centric struggle.)

I read for pleasure and to see lives outside of my own. I think it enables me to be a better storyteller, but that's secondary to reading for enjoyment.
Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: Battlemaster on July 01, 2022, 11:02:24 PM
Strange aeons past I went thru a literary junk food phase where I read dozens of trashy action  and men's novels,  like 'the executioner', able team, remo Williams,  etc.

Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: I on July 02, 2022, 12:34:56 PM
I've literally read "Twilight" to understand that kind of storytelling to prep for a game.

Thank you for your service.  I don't think I have it in me to make that kind of sacrifice for my hobby, but I can admire it in other, braver souls.
Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: Lurkndog on July 06, 2022, 07:58:59 AM
I went on a minor buying spree recently when it seemed like some of the nice hardcover editions of PG Wodehouse had gone out of print. (That seems like a temporary thing, as the publisher is still taking orders for them.)

So, I just read Wodehouse's The Code of the Woosters which is a Jeeves & Wooster novel. There's not a whole lot of Jeeves in it, though, he just shimmers in at a couple points and dispenses wisdom and practical underhandedness. It's almost all just Bertie Wooster running around getting into trouble.

This is also the book that introduces Roderick Spode, would-be dictator, and leader of the fascist Black Shorts brigade (all of the shirt colors were already taken). He is a minor supporting character in this one, and the Black Shorts are only mentioned in passing.

I think I like Jeeves better in short story form.

I also have a new copy of The Virginian by Owen Wister, one of the two Ur-Westerns that started the genre (the other being Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey). I had started reading the book several years ago, but the paperback edition that I had fell apart on me a couple chapters in. I have the Penguin Classics edition of it now.
Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: Ghostmaker on July 06, 2022, 08:16:10 AM
Don't be afraid to wander outside your comfort zone in search of things to read. I've been reading some Westerns, off and on, and if nothing else I've picked up some ideas for use in gaming.

Also, if you're looking for inspiration for bad nobles, check out Karl Shaw's 'Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know'. This covers the misbehavior of European nobility from around the 17th-20th centuries, and hoo boy... plenty of material there to serve as grist for the mill of imagination.

Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: Lurkndog on July 06, 2022, 09:05:06 AM
The best nonfiction book I have read recently is Duel of Eagles (, which covers the struggle between the RAF and the Luftwaffe, starting at the end of World War 1, going through the inter-war period, and culminating with the Battle of Britain.

The book cover says "The Greatest Book on the Battle of Britain Ever." That's not hyperbole. It really is that good. The author was an RAF fighter pilot, and his firsthand account of the war is engaging, insightful, and a real page turner.

The coverage of the inter-war period, where Germany set up a covert training and aircraft development operation in Russia, while in Britain the RAF is set up in a long struggle against the forces of bureaucratic indifference, is also very good. If you're looking for ideas for adventures set in 1930s Europe, this is going to give you a ton of ideas.

Highly recommended. Buy the hardcover, this one is a keeper.
Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: Reckall on July 08, 2022, 08:49:11 PM
I think it's hard to be a good GM if you don't read a lot of everything.

I read everything, from trash to literature. I've literally read "Twilight" to understand that kind of storytelling to prep for a game.

I read "Twilight" too. When my friends asked for my opinion, I (don't even know why) mentioned that the two friends of Bella buy for the Prom ball a blue and a golden dress. When my friends said "you must really have liked the book to remember such a detail" I realised that the color of the two dresses was the only thing I remembered from the whole book. I had just read it and my mind was empty.
Title: Re: The general book thread.
Post by: Warder on July 17, 2022, 03:20:18 PM
Im two books in to the warhammer 40k Eisenhorn trilogy, finished book two today. Its a bit future noir themed, the idea of habitual crossing the moral horizon makes it worth reading for me. The real evil is absolutely there, fought by the Inquisition. The protagonists cross lines but kinda have to in order to get results. Im looking forward to the last book and subsequent series.

I find Web series can be interesting too, am regularly reading Path of Ascension. The world building is big, the magic system enticing, its a cultivation story. The main draw is the MC having a broken ability that takes a lot of work to reach high levels but the end results make him able to change the whole setting for the better. Regularly updated too.