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Author Topic: The Readers' Corner  (Read 472 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: April 11, 2020, 06:26:22 am »

Dear ladies and gentlemen, I thought that perhaps we could use a literature list as an alternative to the COVID - related threads we have started to help us pass the time during this quarantine.

What I'd like to propose is to start a list of books, articles, and any kind of text, short or long, that could help us not only to be entertained, but become enlightened as well. To make it easier for the reader, I'd ask that a very brief abstract or a few lines be written in the nature of the text. For a scholarly article, that'd be an abstract a couple of lines long. For a novel it could be a description which doesn't give away the plot, just the nature of the story (mystery, sci-fi, etcl, and the name of author, publisher, magazine, etc. After all, when will we ever have the chance ti do this when our busy lives resume?

Ill start the list with a scholarly article, a theoretical physics and mathematics article:

"Does Time Really Flow? New Clues Come From a Century-Old Approach to Math," by Natalie Wolchover for Quanta Magazine. April 7, 2020
https://www.quantamagazine.org/does-time-really-flow-new-clues-come-from-a-century-old-approach-to-math-20200407/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The article is beautifully simple to read and deals with a little known debate among physicists at the start of the 20th century  on the nature of real numbers, as defined by mathematicians, but which the author argues needs to be revisited because it may have profound implications in relation to the apparent clash between classical physics and quantum mechanics today.
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 04:53:04 am »

Greetings My Dear J

great idea!

please allow me to start with this one, the Internet Archive aka wayback machine
BUT it's not just the Wayback,

"Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
web      424B items
texts      25M items
movies 5.7M items
audio     10M items
tv            2.0M items
software  532K items
image      3.4M items
etree       215K items
collection   822K

here is the link to the front end to millions of archived books, videos, etc etc etc
https://archive.org/
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 11:29:53 am »

I moved home last September but I have only just found my copy of the complete adventures of Sherlock Holmes (and my copy of 20,000 Leagues). I don't think either of those need descriptions. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am busy working and don't have much time for reading.

I also found my collection of Biggles books Smiley They may not be PC by today's standards but for a youngster interested in aviation and heroes, they worked.

Sorontar
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2020, 12:24:05 pm »

The historical children's novels written by Rosemary Sutcliff, especially those of Iron Age Britain, had a tremendous influence on my thinking and behaviour as a young child, and indeed even now they have a strong influence my own code of conduct and personal honour. I am trying to track down copies of many of these titles.

Eagle of the Ninth series
(They were not written as a series by the author.)
1. The Eagle of the Ninth (1954), illus. C. Walter Hodges ‡
2. The Silver Branch (1957), illus. Charles Keeping ‡
3. Frontier Wolf (1980)
4. The Lantern Bearers (1959)
5. Sword at Sunset (1963); "officially for adults"
6. Dawn Wind (1961), illus. Charles Keeping
7. Sword Song (1997, posthumous)
8. The Shield Ring (1956), illus. C. Walter Hodges
‡ Three Legions (1980), or Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles (2010), is an omnibus edition of the original Eagle of the Ninth trilogy (The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch and The Lantern Bearers, 1954 to 1959).

Arthurian novels
Raymond Thompson credits Sutcliff with "some of the finest contemporary recreations of the Arthurian story" and names these seven works. The first two are also part of the Eagle of the Ninth series (above) that attempt to depict Arthur as an actual historical figure.
* The Lantern Bearers (1959)
* Sword at Sunset (1963)
* The Arthurian Trilogy[9] (Inspired by Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur.)
    * The Sword and the Circle (1981), illus. Shirley Felts
    * The Light Beyond the Forest (1979), illus. Shirley Felts
    * The Road to Camlann (1981), illus. Shirley Felts
* The Shining Company (1990); retells the Y Gododdin story (the earliest mention of Arthur's name)
King Arthur Stories: Three books in one (1999), or The King Arthur Trilogy (2007), is an omnibus edition of the Arthurian Trilogy (1979 to 1981)
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2020, 03:02:57 am »

I have read and own various Arthurian stories. Some are good (like Sutcliff), some are not (Lawhead's series was too Christian for me).

If you want to read one series of novels that is Arthurian, but different (and good), try the one by Jim Morrison's wife - Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/92667.Patricia_Kennealy_Morrison) . The Keltiad series is inter-planetary science fiction but with a medieval/magical touch. I love it.

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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2020, 04:08:21 am »

I have read and own various Arthurian stories. Some are good (like Sutcliff), some are not (Lawhead's series was too Christian for me).

If you want to read one series of novels that is Arthurian, but different (and good), try the one by Jim Morrison's wife - Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/92667.Patricia_Kennealy_Morrison) . The Keltiad series is inter-planetary science fiction but with a medieval/magical touch. I love it.

Sorontar

I have all three of the Keltiad books - love 'em!

Heading in a different direction, Philip K High, Sci-Fi writer from the great time of pulp Sci-Fi, almost unobtainable in hardcopy. "Blindfold from the Stars", "Butterfly Planet", "Sold for a Space Ship" & "Time Mercenaries" just four of my favourites - and, of course, any J.D. Robb!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2020, 07:16:21 am »

For archeology aficionados, I truly recommend "A Forest of Kings" by the late Linda Schele. Schele was the world's foremost Mayan language epigrapher from the University of Texas who is credited with turning around what was though about the Classic Maya and is credited together with her protégé David Stuart with deciphering most of the Mayan gliphs which make the Mayan writing system.

In the process of trying to tie the culture and language of modern day descendents from the ancient Maya glyphs, she single handedly erased centuries of grave (and often condescending) misconceptions about Native Americans held by the scientific community, which persisted until the 1970s. Once the language began to release its secrets, a whole new perspective of politics, culture and warfare, not to mention mathematics and astronomy were revealed to scientists who dismissed the Maya as, the New York times put it, "idiot savants," peaceful "quasi - monks, obsessed with measuring time and the objects in the heavens, but otherwise incapable of understanding their own mathematics or writing, and unable to develop politics, warfare and conquest, with the only exception of mathematical calendars, which scholars saw as the only true achievement of the Maya civilization. After Linda Schele, scientists were confronted with a body of history, civic organization, and dynastic warfare that was thought impossible prior to the 1970s, and which revealed a much higher mathematical development as well.

A Forest of Kings, looks not so much at the writing system, archeology or their math (although it takes a good look at their calendar), as much as the relationship between Mayan astronomy, math and religion, in other words, their Cosmology. The Mayan cosmology was recovered by correlating the ancient translated writing to modern day Mayan culture, the same way that the glyphs were deciphered, but the level of richness and detail placed by Schele in the book almost reads like a science fiction book. When you read it, you are transported to another time, to a people living far, far away on another world.

Five star reading as far as I'm concerned.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 07:39:17 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Hez
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2020, 12:27:59 am »

Quote
unable to develop politics, warfare and conquest,

Snicker.  Clearly the people who thought this had never seen a room full of 3 year olds.  Politics, warfare and conquest don't need to be developed.

First reaction over, it sounds like an interesting read.

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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2020, 12:48:03 am »

Just read 'The Time Traveller's Wife'. One of the most boring books I've ever read. Unfortunately it did not come in 3 ply.
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2020, 02:03:20 am »

Next door neighbour lent me the "Jeff Resnick" series by L L Bartlett - different kind of hero!  Just finished the last of them last night.
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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2020, 11:33:28 am »

I'm reading 'The Sunne in Splendour' by Sharon Penman, an historical novel about the English War of the Roses, mid 1400's.
Romanticised of course, but quite good.
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2020, 01:27:22 pm »

I am exceedingly happy project Gutenberg still exists.

https://www.gutenberg.org/

Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired. Thousands of volunteers digitized and diligently proofread the eBooks, for enjoyment and education.

Looking for something to read? Project Gutenberg eBooks are mostly older literary works. Most were published before 1924, with some published in the decades after. Use one of the Search methods on this page, or try using the Bookshelves to browse by genre, age group, and topic.

That said I've been personally reading the Janitors of the Post Apocalypse books by Jim C Hines, Victorian Internet, and Search Sophistication & Simplicity: The Life and Times of the Apple II
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 01:29:42 pm by Lazaras » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2020, 01:56:21 pm »

I'm reading 'The Sunne in Splendour' by Sharon Penman, an historical novel about the English War of the Roses, mid 1400's.
Romanticised of course, but quite good.

One of my history tutors at uni once said that "a good historical novel was history with conversation"!
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2020, 09:08:54 pm »

By chance I recently stumbled onto Leigh Brackett's Sea Kings of Mars and the rest of her "Solar System" books. This is old 40s-50s pulp, half scif and half sword and sorcery. Actually, "sword and science" might be a perfectly good description since Brackett always makes sure to hint that the magic might have a scientific explanation. I had to wonder if Sea Kings might have been a partial inspiration for Indiana Jones since the protagonist is a rogue archaeologist. They're light but Brackett knew how to tell a story and sometimes her imagery and metaphor could be quite captivating.

I found them as ebooks at the Baen web site but I wonder now if I could have found them at Project Gutenberg or the Internet Archive.
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2020, 09:54:09 pm »

Okay, the article "Does Time Really Flow? New Clues Come From a Century-Old Approach to Math" really is pretty cool. I only barely understand it, if that, but I did like what I barely understood.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2020, 12:59:47 am »

Now then, there's a couple of things for me to hunt up! I quite like sci-fi pulp, and the paper on time sounds quite interesting!

I have made a note!
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