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Book Club Thread 1: Jake's Magical Market, Spoilers Open

Which Book Shall We Read This Month?

  • Jake's Magical Market

    Votes: 4 57.1%
  • Armor

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Last Wish, Introducing the Witcher

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Pandora's Star

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Illusion

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • Her Majesty's Wizard

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7
  • Poll closed .

Agent23

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Okay, that's every person who's participated so I think we're done. I'm opening up the thread for anybody who wishes to post, no more spoilers needed.

So one note I'll make is that the fight with the angel was really stupidly overlong. One the one hand that can be taken as kinda game-appropriate since it was a boss fight against a boss that heals himself. But reading it was an incredible slog, not the least because of Jake's incessant whining about how evil he was for doing each and every action along the way.

I was also pretty disappointed at Jake winning in the first place. He really should not have been able to take on a massively-high-leveled son of the gods with all the best gear and an innate mastery of runecraft and expected to win. A narrow escape would have been thematically appropriate, Jake managing to kill the angel just felt like wank.

@Agent23, please cut your recs down to one, we can only put so many in the poll and everybody else deserves a chance to nominate a book too. But we'll go ahead and take nominations in this thread, then I'll start a new one with a poll once we have the nominations just as we did last month.

Also at this point I'll ask if anybody objects to opening up our next choice early, in addition @Agent23 has asked if people wish to consider a bonus short story along with a novel each month.
Ok, you are forcing me to choose between a book that is very important and relevant in the light of current events written by a Grandmaster of Golden Age science fiction and fantasy, and a book about a hot blonde elf ass in skintight red leather/latex...
I choose...
The hot elf in the red latex... 😤 :sneaky:

How do we decide on the short story idea?

Another poll?

Also, if we do an organizational poll can we maybe put the idea I had about 2 books, one fantasy and one science fiction, on it?
 
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Bear Ribs

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Ok, you are forcing me to choose between a book that is very important and relevant in the light of current events written by a Grandmaster of Golden Age science fiction and fantasy, and a book about a hot blonde elf ass in skintight red leather/latex...
I choose...
The hot elf in the red latex... 😤 :sneaky:

How do we decide on the short story idea?

Another poll?

Also, if we do an organizational poll can we maybe put the idea I had about 2 books, one fantasy and one science fiction, on it?
At this point, we only have half a dozen members or so, so a postcount will do. I don't think we need an actual poll for every single thing as each one, as near as I can tell, needs a new thread for each poll. That said I'm not super-sophisticated in the way of forums so I might be wrong.
 

Agent23

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At this point, we only have half a dozen members or so, so a postcount will do. I don't think we need an actual poll for every single thing as each one, as near as I can tell, needs a new thread for each poll. That said I'm not super-sophisticated in the way of forums so I might be wrong.
K, @The Whispering Monk @Terthna @Ixian @nemo1986 @Lord Sovereign @posh-goofiness @Bear Ribs what do you all think of doing a 2 for one this time?
One fantasy novel and one science fiction novel.

I think that we managed to all finish pretty early, even though the book we were reading was on the long-ish end, so I think that 2 books a month is feasible.

EDIT: and what do you think of the short story idea.
 
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Terthna

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K, @The Whispering Monk @Terthna @Ixian @nemo1986 @Lord Sovereign @posh-goofiness @Bear Ribs what do you all think of doing a 2 for one this time?
One fantasy novel and one science fiction novel.

I think that we managed to all finish pretty early, even though the book we were reading was on the long-ish end, so I think that 2 books a month is feasible.
I'm against it, personally; I'd rather the commitment was kept to just one book a month. Because while I could handle more, I also have other things I want to spent my time on as well.
 

Agent23

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I'm against it, personally; I'd rather the commitment was kept to just one book a month. Because while I could handle more, I also have other things I want to spent my time on as well.
K, got you.
What do you think about the short story idea?
 

Bear Ribs

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I too feel that one book a month is sufficient, we want to attract more people to the book club over time and a large commitment isn't the way to do that. Somebody can always nominate a short-story collection in order to get those read.
 

Lord Sovereign

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I have my suggestion.

Godborn (Gods of Bronze Book 1)

A demigod with inhuman strength meets an evil he cannot overcome.

On the cusp of manhood, Herkuhlos finds his homeland ravaged by unspeakable evil. A hundred clans have been destroyed and thousands lie dead on the endless grasslands.

Now Herkuhlos must hunt down the bloodthirsty horde responsible.

With just a handful of his faithful spear-brothers and a heartbroken young seeress at his side, his quest will take him on a perilous journey to the west through devastated lands and shattered peoples.

He is the son of the Sky Father and a mortal woman but Herkuhlos will need more than just his great strength to overcome the dark forces that stand in his way.

To save his people he must throw aside his fears and embrace his destiny.

For only the Godborn can win undying glory.

This is the Herakles myth as you have never heard it before.

Essentially this is Bronze Age Hercules with all the gore and glory one can imagine. I'm reading through it at the moment and I am very pleased with it. The author, Dan Davis, also knows a thing or two about the Bronze Age and the Indo-European peoples of the steppe, which we can see in these pages.
 

Bear Ribs

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I have my suggestion.

Godborn (Gods of Bronze Book 1)

A demigod with inhuman strength meets an evil he cannot overcome.

On the cusp of manhood, Herkuhlos finds his homeland ravaged by unspeakable evil. A hundred clans have been destroyed and thousands lie dead on the endless grasslands.

Now Herkuhlos must hunt down the bloodthirsty horde responsible.

With just a handful of his faithful spear-brothers and a heartbroken young seeress at his side, his quest will take him on a perilous journey to the west through devastated lands and shattered peoples.

He is the son of the Sky Father and a mortal woman but Herkuhlos will need more than just his great strength to overcome the dark forces that stand in his way.

To save his people he must throw aside his fears and embrace his destiny.

For only the Godborn can win undying glory.


This is the Herakles myth as you have never heard it before.

Essentially this is Bronze Age Hercules with all the gore and glory one can imagine. I'm reading through it at the moment and I am very pleased with it. The author, Dan Davis, also knows a thing or two about the Bronze Age and the Indo-European peoples of the steppe, which we can see in these pages.
Well, the cover's certainly promising. Hercules with a bare head/no cloak instead of properly wearing a lionskin is a pet peeve of mine.
 

Bear Ribs

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Given the number of readers we have, I think we have a majority for one book a month.

I'm mildly hesitant to make a nomination for next month myself, both because mine won last month and because it was #%$&. But, we only have a few so I'll pick something sci-fi and a short story collection to please @Agent23. Also going with a known and solid legend rather than an experimental book to avoid last month's embarassment.


Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series is legendary for a reason and this book is where it all began. It's generally fairly hard sci-fi that can be fairly described as Terminator... in Space... about twenty years before Terminator came out. Sometime in the vast ancient past, a short-sighted empire created a weapon to destroy their enemies, self-replicating robots called the Berserkers, programmed to wipe out all life except their creators.

Of course, they wound up wiping out their creators too because the morons didn't tighten up their definitions well enough. Berserkers have been steadily pushing through the cosmos leaving only dead worlds in their wake ever since, and recently hit the Empire of Man, who isn't taking that lying down and is forcing the Berserkers to create a new category for ridiculously resilient life that just... won't... die.

In comparison to most robots, the Berserkers aren't stupid nor limited in their scope and will try any gambit from multi-hundred-cubic-mile megawar machines designed to take on an entire solar system at once to attempting subtle meme manipulation to reduce birthrates and make the next generation of humans smaller and easier to manage. Consequently, you'll find a range of stories from spy thrillers to military sci-fi to fairly trippy stuff revolving around how things might work in you both have an FTL drive and need to fight inside the event horizon of a black hole.

At this point I believe our nominations are:
The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
Illusion
Sword Diplomacy
Godborn (Gods of Bronze Book 1)
Berserker

Let me know if I missed one or made a mistake here.
 

Terthna

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Fred Saberhagen
I loved his Book of Swords series; well, the first two at least. The third was something of a let down (especially the ending; so many inconsistencies and dropped plot threads), and the Books of Lost Swords sequels were even worse.
 

Agent23

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Given the number of readers we have, I think we have a majority for one book a month.

I'm mildly hesitant to make a nomination for next month myself, both because mine won last month and because it was #%$&. But, we only have a few so I'll pick something sci-fi and a short story collection to please @Agent23. Also going with a known and solid legend rather than an experimental book to avoid last month's embarassment.


Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series is legendary for a reason and this book is where it all began. It's generally fairly hard sci-fi that can be fairly described as Terminator... in Space... about twenty years before Terminator came out. Sometime in the vast ancient past, a short-sighted empire created a weapon to destroy their enemies, self-replicating robots called the Berserkers, programmed to wipe out all life except their creators.

Lovely to see more people familiar with that series. :D

Some of the Berserker stories were among the first science fiction I ever read.
 
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