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Sturgeon

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Finished "A Canticle for Leibowitz" and "The Postman" a while ago. Still not sure which post apo to go next. I am thinking of "The Road", and "Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman", but I am still looking for a .pdf of the latter. After that, I think I'll try "Dies The Fire", I heard it's OK. Not sure.

The Change series by Stirling is ok.  I'm about 3-4 books behind on it.  The first 3 books are def worth a read tho.

 

Colli isn't kidding about Stirling's fetish tho. 

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Yep.  I have yet to read any novels by SM Stirling that don't contain generous helpings of his weird sexual fetishes.  Even some of his short stories do.  Apparently one of the most common menaces of the multiverse is the transdimensional lesbian space nazi.  The goddamn things are everywhere, just waiting to jump out of the nearest interplanar portal, flex their muscles and start burning your cities and raping all your nubile women.

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I think the Nantucket ones were the better part of the series for the Change ones, but it may just be a personal preference. A stranded remnant of modern civilization isolated in ancient times and fighting to both survive and to defeat its own sins is more interesting to me than the post apocalyptic society with the primary change being a lack of modern technology, not to mention that while I'm fine with the single magic element throne in - "The Change" - I had thought the vaguely pseudo-magic boogeyman they were fighting against from Montana? less palatable. I'm also unconvinced that nationalism would disintegrate to feudalism so easily, although admittedly in the shock and chaos I could see a reversion for a period of time. But provided that reasonable quality printing presses exist, universal literacy is possible, and is the bane of a feudal organization of society ultimately. I haven't read that side of the series in a long time and I haven't read some of the newer books at all though. I did like the earlier books more than the later ones. 

 

I have finished reading China against the Tides: Restructuring through Revolution, Radicalism, and Reform. In general it is a bit (maybe more than a bit) biased in favor of the Chinese communists and of the hardline Maoist period, but it did provide a comprehensive view of the evolution of CCP politics and policies, and PRC internal social and governmental structures. I also thought the part on Nationalist China to be intriguing for its analysis of its problems; some of what it says is backed up elsewhere (such as its tax policies, which saw most tax income come from industry and indirect sources rather than the landlords and the countryside, in addition to having a wretched financial structure overall), and some not, such as when it downplayed the Nationalist Chinese role in the war against Japan and lauded the Communist contribution. Admittedly, this could be due to the older publishing date of the version I read, from 1997, I vaguely remember something being said about the Western scholarly view over the Nationalist contribution becoming more rosy over time. 

 

Next I am either embarking on A History of Modern India, 1480-1950, or finishing Strategic Views from the Second Tier: the Nuclear Weapon Policies of France, Britain, and China. I also intermittently read A Storm of Swords, the third Song of Ice and Fire book.

 

Downloading books I will never read from FreeBookSpot is also a pleasurable way to feel better without exerting any effort. 

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If you're interested in the Lavi, get this book.

 

About a third of the book is the story of the Lavi.  This is the story of the Israelis suddenly losing access to French and British weapons, turning to the USA as weapons suppliers, and deciding the USA wasn't quite reliable or timely enough after nearly losing the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  Thoroughly spooked, the Israelis decided to increase their self-sufficiency in weapons production, and proceeded to develop a rifle, a tank, some missile boats, and various other gadgets.  The thing about fighter planes is that they're outrageously expensive, even compared to tanks, and in the 1980s a host of must-have new technologies like fly-by-wire, directionally aligned and mono-crystal turbine engine blades, and graphite composite construction came about and made fighter aircraft even more expensive.  And some people in the US weren't too happy about the Israelis developing a jet.  As it turned out, some people in Israel weren't all that hot on the idea either. 

 

The remaining two thirds of the book are extensive appendices explaining technical, quantitative assessment of combat aircraft.  Things like the pros and cons of canard designs, E-M diagrams, operational range estimation, how pulse-doppler radar works, how range-gate-pulloff jamming works, are all covered in great detail.  In fact, anyone who is interested in the engineering aspects of the design of combat aircraft should probably get this book, because it's way cheaper than something like Design for Air Combat.

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After watching the first season of the SciFi show, I picked up the Expanse novels by Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank. Turns out the books are really quite delicious, so I burned through them quickly (in fact, I finished Nemesis Games on Dec. 5th, and it turns out the next book, Babylon's Ashes, was released Dec. 6th).

Along the way, I realized my mental image of Naomi Nagata drifted quite a lot from Dominique Tipper's portrayal of her in the show. No offense to Tipper, but Nagata is described in the books as much weirder looking, where Tipper is a pretty straight mulatto:

Weinstein+Company+Presents+LA+Premiere+V

I'm not sure this is quite right, but my head image of Nagata seems to be more along the lines of Jetta John-Hartley, but with epicanthic folds.

 

Jetta-3.jpg

 

If you've watched the show, one of the major pieces of cognitive dissonance regarding her appearance in the books is caused by the descriptions of her covering her face with her hair. This is impossible with Tipper's hair as show in the TV series:

cast_expanse_naomi_nagata_s1.jpg?itok=0X

 

Dunno why I'm going into so much detail on this. Just that I thought it was interesting that I started out with a very clear image of the character created by the show, which subsequently radically changed as I read through the books.

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I was pretty impressed with the how close they got the cast. For the most part they match the mental images I had created of them. 

 

Babylons Ashes in on the way to my house right now. (yes, I'm a Luddite when it comes to books, still like turning pages).

If you haven't already, I'd suggest picking up the novellas that take place slightly before Leviathan Wakes and in between the other books of the series. 

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I did expect Amos to be a little taller and more gruff looking. Some reason I had an image of a turn of the 19th/20th century dock worker.

Also, Amos is supposed to be bald and the other thing. Not sure I see ol' Wes doing a good job as skipper of the finer points of Amos's character.

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44 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

Started reading The Walking Dead comic. Holy shit, the TV show is miscast and mis-edited.

Yeah. I'm not a fan of the comics, per say, but the TV show is kind of bullshit even in comparison.

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I just got Flying Wings and Radical Things, a very nicely illustrated book on all of Northrop's actual aircraft and paper projects until they merged with Grumman.  There are all sorts of wonderful things in here, from this twin-engined Black Widow derivative:

 

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To this carrier-based flying wing:

 

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To this stealthy cruise missile:

 

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