Question What are you reading?

steph

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Just finished The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, at the urging of my recently converted to christianity ex-girlfriend. Quite a nice little read , actually. I was half expecting it to be full of bible quotes and other religious artillery propaganda like that, but it was fun to read.
I prefer real books during long trips, due to the obviousllack of battery issues. Other than that, I use e-reader apps on my phone. A while ago, I wouldn't have thought I'd be e-reading anytime soon, but it's incredibly convenient. You can basically read on the bus, if you have some spare time, etc. Pretty much anytime, anywhere.
 

jedidia

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Quite a nice little read , actually. I was half expecting it to be full of bible quotes and other religious artillery propaganda like that, but it was fun to read.

Not even "mere christianity", Lewis' official contribution to appologetics, is very loaded with Bible quotes. But the screwtape letters are definitely one of his best works. There's also the less well known "escape from puritania" which is an allegorical retelling of his own spiritual journey that I enjoyed quite a bit.
And of course there's the Perelandra triology which is somewhere between ingenious and bat-:censored: crazy :lol: (note: Lewis' definitely doesn't know his physics, but as far as old-school sci-fi is concerned it's really not bad, though rather tedious in places. Until you get to the third part, where [spoilers] a resurrected Merlin is invested with divine powers by Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars and gruesomly destroys the board members of an evil corporation TM by trampling them with mind-controlled elephants[/spoilers]. As I mentioned, crazy stuff... )

Anyways, lately I've mostly been reading various Heinlein and... a ton of GURPS Traveller manuals. That's some really good stuff in those books when it comes to world-building. I'd say between them and the atomic rockets homepage there's not much more you need if you're designing any kind of space opera scenario.
 
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statickid

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<snip>
I prefer real books during long trips, due to the obviousllack of battery issues. Other than that, I use e-reader apps on my phone. A while ago, I wouldn't have thought I'd be e-reading anytime soon, but it's incredibly convenient. You can basically read on the bus, if you have some spare time, etc. Pretty much anytime, anywhere.

A dedicated e-reader device pretty much eliminates battery issues. On an VERY extended trip, charging once every few weeks seems like not a big deal, and in such a case where no such charging will be available, like hiking, a USB battery pack will double the life and still be smaller and lighter than even one book. Any more battery needed and I'd be wondering why not stop reading and enjoy the outdoor activities involved in camping, like staring at a fire. :lol:
 

steph

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A dedicated e-reader device pretty much eliminates battery issues. On an VERY extended trip, charging once every few weeks seems like not a big deal, and in such a case where no such charging will be available, like hiking, a USB battery pack will double the life and still be smaller and lighter than even one book. Any more battery needed and I'd be wondering why not stop reading and enjoy the outdoor activities involved in camping, like staring at a fire. :lol:

Didn't realize they had such extended battery capabilities. I was going on the old-school "if you turn the brightness down and don't give it too much stuff to do, it might last a day" approach :lol:. Battery charger packs are a must in the long run, not just for e-readers, but for pretty much any electronic gadget you happen to take along in a trip. I'd go mostly for the kind of charger where you plug in some R6 batteries and they charge your device, since they're pretty much ubiquitous and you can get them at any roadside gas station

Edit: I think I'll start re-reading Solzhenitsyn's Gukag Archipelago. Read the 2nd volume a few years ago and it was definitely a good read, but I still need to read the other books to get the whole picture. Well...it's either that or start reading Sven Hassel's books again. For some reason, I don't feel like doing that, since I perceive Solzhenitsyn's work as a bit more serious (might be wrong, though). Well, if I do end up reading Hassel, at least I'd start with Legion of the Damned and see where it goes from there.
 
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statickid

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Didn't realize they had such extended battery capabilities. I was going on the old-school "if you turn the brightness down and don't give it too much stuff to do, it might last a day" approach :lol:. Battery charger packs are a must in the long run, not just for e-readers, but for pretty much any electronic gadget you happen to take along in a trip. I'd go mostly for the kind of charger where you plug in some R6 batteries and they charge your device, since they're pretty much ubiquitous and you can get them at any roadside gas station

Edit: I think I'll start re-reading Solzhenitsyn's Gukag Archipelago. Read the 2nd volume a few years ago and it was definitely a good read, but I still need to read the other books to get the whole picture. Well...it's either that or start reading Sven Hassel's books again. For some reason, I don't feel like doing that, since I perceive Solzhenitsyn's work as a bit more serious (might be wrong, though). Well, if I do end up reading Hassel, at least I'd start with Legion of the Damned and see where it goes from there.


Well it's the E-ink readers that have the battery life. Most of them don't have any lights to turn down. My friend kept asking me to sell her my old reader, so I just recently got a new one with a built in light. I was worried about the light but its very low energy. In fact, my new top-tier reader battery lasts about twice that of my two-year old entry-level one did without a light! I appreciate the light can be MUCH dimmer than any tablet or phone.

Also with an e-ink reader there isn't a whole lot of "other stuff" to do besides read your books, and really that's part of the appeal for me.

So just to clarify, I'm not talking about "e-reader devices" with HD movie viewing screens and speakers that can play video games and browse the internet, I'm talking about the black and white e-paper readers put into airplane mode and used *only* to read books. Put it in a ziplock bag and it's weather proof!
 

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Just put down The Martian by Andy Weir. It was crazy good. Probably one of the best hard science fiction novels I've ever read, certainly (with respect to 2001: A Space Odyssey) one of the most exciting. I was not surprised at all to see a movie adaptation is coming out late this year.
 

PhantomCruiser

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Did you happen to read the short story?
thumbs_2162-2717004837_983c63b8c5_b.jpg


Right now finishing up "The Templar Conspiracy" by Paul Christopher. And soon will start "Coming Home" by Jack McDevitt.
 

statickid

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@Kyle yeah I blazed through that book 'cuz it was very entertaining

Now reading Fields of Fire by James Webb
 

DanM

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Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and The Case for Mars by Robert Zubrin
 

PhantomCruiser

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Just finished "A Higher Calling". Which I would highly recommend for any WWII aviation fanboy, a seriously good read.

I'm about a third through" The Martian"; the photo op cracked me up, laughed for about 5 minutes (kiddo thought something was wrong with me), blame 70's television.
 

Thunder Chicken

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I read all sorts, not so much fiction, but wifee got me The Martian from the library last week and I was up all night reading it. An engaging book, and I'm looking forward to the movie. Hard to put my finger on why it was so good, as the story line is fairly predictable. Probably because it really connects you physically with Mars. You really feel the cold, thin atmosphere; you can visualize bouncing along in a rover across the desolate Martian landscape. It's very easy to put yourself into the situation. It's all plausible.
 

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I liked The Martian, but I felt that it had too much go wrong with no time to breathe. Everything that could fail almost always did, but that was the point of the novel.

There's one failure in particular that seems impossible to overcome. WARNING: SPOILERS
At the end of the book, Hermes has to lower its altitude and change its velocity to rendezvous with Watney. If the spacecraft flies by Mars at the incorrect altitude and velocity, it's certainly going to be deflected differently. Would it be possible for Hermes to make it back to Earth with a bad gravity assist at Mars? The book ends without discussing how the crew can still make it back to Earth. Considering how Ares 3 always has problems, the astronauts certainly won't make it home easily.
 

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Seveneves

Hi,

I played Orbiter years ago (2007-9 ish?), and have been following this forum sporadically.

I just want to bring to your attention Neal Stephensons (Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash) new book SEVENEVES. It is a story about what happens if the moon just suddenly explodes. Im actually not finished with it yet, but the detailed descriptions of orbital mechanics made me feel like I was back at playing Orbiter again, so I just wanted to mention it to you guys. I can not put it down, it is so extremely exciting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seveneves
 
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rseferino

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Right now I'm in a "marathon" H. G. Wells:

The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, The First Men in the Moon, The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth....
 

Star Voyager

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"Blue Gemini" by Mike Jenne. Great book, a lot of the hardware would make great add-ons.

51t51QYHAEL.jpg
 

steph

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I've been reading James Blish's Cities in Flight. Apparently, it's a series of novels. Only got to the first one, about a "bridge" being on Jupiter's surface. I mean, I know that it's not a known writer, but still...building structures on Jupiter? how badass is that? It's supposedly being built from ice, which, at those temps and pressures , is pretty much the only thing that can be used as a building material down there. I don't know how much truth there is in that claim , though Edit: the construction is automated, only remotely control from a manned base on Ganymede. Not sure how they deal with transmitting signals to Jupiter's surface though.
 
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birdmanmike

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:rofl:James Blish not a known writer? Where have you been the last 50-60 years?

This series is one of the most famous in SF and has been for all that time - wait till you read the later ones - and learn why the "bridge".

Also - there's this thing called a search engine . . .

I'm reading Ray Bradbury all over again - probably also not a "known writer"? For some anyway . . . :rofl:
 
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PhantomCruiser

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Blish, Bradbury and Sturgeon (Oh my!).

Currently reading some military stuff (Countdown - The Liberators) by Tom Kratman.
 
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