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What Are You Reading Now?

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Johan
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Johan replied on Mon, Jun 10 2019 7:11 PM

Lokwinske beocool. Happy birthday and enjoy the read!

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beocool replied on Mon, Jun 10 2019 7:51 PM

Johan:

Lokwinske beocool. Happy birthday and enjoy the read!

Tige Tank Smile 

 

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Jeff replied on Mon, Jun 10 2019 7:55 PM

I'm about halfway through "14" by Peter Clines:

https://www.amazon.com/14-Peter-Clines/dp/1618684981/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=14&qid=1560192711&s=gateway&sr=8-1

It's about a guy who moved into this strange apartment building in Los Angeles with a lot of weird mysteries, including bright iridescent green 7 legged cockroaches and in his kitchen no matter what kind of light bulb he puts in the ceiling light it only emits black light. Things get progressively weirder, delightful book, I can't put it down! Truly creative and original and well written.

Oh, and happy birthday!Beer

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beocool replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 5:12 PM

Thanks Jeff! Beer Sounds like a good read you have there Smile

 

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Jeff replied on Tue, Jun 11 2019 10:03 PM

Just finished "14." What a ride!!!

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beocool replied on Fri, Jun 14 2019 11:10 AM

Just finished Higher Justice, the sixth novel in the Sebastian Bergman series by Hjorth & Rosenfeldt. Great book.

 

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Jeff replied on Fri, Jun 14 2019 4:36 PM

Just started "The Fold" by the same author as "14." So far it's good too, about problems with a thing called The Albuquerque Door, a "teleportation" device under development and some issues with it. 

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beocool replied on Tue, Jun 18 2019 6:28 PM

Yesterday I finished 'Watching you', the first of the Sam Berger series by Arne Dahl. Excellent book, so now I'm reading book two of the series: 'Hunted'.

 

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Jeff replied on Tue, Jun 18 2019 10:24 PM

That sounds good. I've always kind of enjoyed serial killer stories where the killer is taunting a certain police officer. I remember the movie "7" and other tales that were very good.

I finished "The Fold" and it is a "side-quel" to "14." Same universe, a couple of same characters at the end, but people got to the same place by different paths. "The Fold" occurs maybe 5 or 10 years after "14." The author is a modern day Lovecraft, fascinating stuff.

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beocool replied on Wed, Jun 19 2019 12:55 PM

Jeff:
That sounds good. I've always kind of enjoyed serial killer stories where the killer is taunting a certain police officer. I remember the movie "7" and other tales that were very good.

I totally enjoyed reading it. The first Arne Dahl (pseudonym of Jan Arnald) book I've read was Misterioso. In that book Bang & Olufsen is mentioned Smile Another book where Bang & Olufsen is mentioned is 'The Chestnut man" by Søren Sveistrup (probably best known for the TV series 'The Killing').

 

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beocool replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 12:07 PM

beocool:

Yesterday I finished 'Watching you', the first of the Sam Berger series by Arne Dahl. Excellent book, so now I'm reading book two of the series: 'Hunted'.

Just finished 'Hunted'. Like 'Watching you' this is a great read. Will start the third and last book in the series, shortly. The original Swedish version is called 'Mittvatten', no English translation as yet available.

 

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Jeff replied on Thu, Jun 20 2019 2:00 PM

I've got quite a backlog of books to read, but those sound worth adding to the list. Thanks for the recommendation!

I've got a couple of more Murakami books to get to, and get back to Gene Wolfe's "Peace." I got diverted from that by the two Clines books, loads of fun those.

Between the books I have in my "to read" list and my Netflix and Amazon Video queues, I won't want for entertainment as I stumble off into dotage. Smile

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beocool
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beocool replied on Tue, Jul 2 2019 6:15 PM

Jeff:

I've got quite a backlog of books to read, but those sound worth adding to the list. Thanks for the recommendation!

I've got a couple of more Murakami books to get to, and get back to Gene Wolfe's "Peace." I got diverted from that by the two Clines books, loads of fun those.

Between the books I have in my "to read" list and my Netflix and Amazon Video queues, I won't want for entertainment as I stumble off into dotage. Smile

As soon as my backlog seems to disappear new books are added to it. The local library has a good selection of books so the backlog is kind of a permanent phenomenon for me. I stopped watching TV and I don't have Netflix or Amazon Video, my backlog would be even bigger then Smile

I haven't read any Murakami books yet, but will get to them eventually. In the meantime I've read 'Find her' by Lisa Gardner and Åke Edwardson's 'Hus vid världens ände', the eleventh novel in the Erik Winter series. I don't think there's an English translation, though.

Next up are a couple of books by Edward De Bono and Camilla Läckberg's 'En bur av guld', again I don't think the English version is out as yet.

 

 

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Jeff replied on Thu, Jul 4 2019 12:35 AM

I know what you mean. Plus things that creep onto the list often do so at the front of the list not the back. Another Clines novel, "Paradox Bound" is now what I'm into, so far an interesting read. HIs novels are not weighty, but with the summer months here they seem to fit, it's very hot right now here in the Sultry South. Good 4th of July reading.

Last week or so I've also been involved in car shopping, including driving a ways to a dealer who managed to find me what I wanted, which killed a day. Plus all the driving around a new car always seems to make you want to do, so I'm behind on reading and show/movie watching. That and rebuilding everyone else's computers.

Jeff

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OldJack replied on Wed, Jul 17 2019 10:15 AM

Beobible.From spark to icon

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beocool replied on Sun, Sep 22 2019 3:10 PM

beocool:
I would like to read 'Factfulness, ten reasons we're wrong about the world - and why things are better than you think' by the late Hans Rosling to get another perspective on this topic.

I finally read 'Factfulness'. Rosling was quite an interesting guy. The book's main focus is that we have ten instincts that prevent us from seeing the data that is presented to us clearly. I really enjoyed reading it.

 

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beocool replied on Sun, Sep 22 2019 3:15 PM

Jeff:
I know what you mean. Plus things that creep onto the list often do so at the front of the list not the back.

So true! Especially if you borrow books from the library that happen to be popular. Usually I can extend the loan a bit, but not when someone else made a reservation for the same book.

Jeff:
Last week or so I've also been involved in car shopping, including driving a ways to a dealer who managed to find me what I wanted, which killed a day. Plus all the driving around a new car always seems to make you want to do, so I'm behind on reading and show/movie watching.

Glad to hear you enjoy your new car. What did you get, if you don't me asking?

 

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Jeff replied on Sun, Sep 22 2019 4:15 PM

I bought a new Ford Mustang GT, with all the luxury goodies (nav, leather, etc.) and it even has the B&O sound system in it. Which, as I would have expected, sounds about exactly like every other Harman based car system in every new car I test drove. I think the only difference is the name on the badge on the speaker covers.

But I love the car, the sound of the engine brings a smile to my face, well worth the 15 mpg I'm getting. Big Smile

Right now I'm into a collection of short stories by Gene Wolfe and enjoying reading that. Previously I waded through "Revelation Space" by Alastair Reynolds, I'd read a book of his short stories previously.

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beocool
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Great car! Last time I was in the States I ordered a Mustang (or similar) from Hertz and I got a Camaro. Large displacement engines are a bit rare over here in the Netherlands because the car tax is directly related to the carbon dioxide output. But every now and then I stumble upon a Mustang, like the one here in The Hague in an event that's called 'The Saturday Night Cruise', which is a get together of American cars.

Right now I'm attempting to get rid of my backlog and reading Ferrari's autobiography. I had it for over a year Big Smile


 

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Jeff replied on Sun, Sep 22 2019 8:14 PM

Looks like a great car gathering! I know big engines are rarer over your side of the pond, and US cars tend to be longer and wider than many, which if you're driving thru a medieval town makes for issues. I know Mustangs are a lot more prevalent in the UK now than previously now that Ford offers a factory right hand drive version.

Hope you enjoyed the Camaro, hope it was a V8 one. I put the car in sport mode the other day and really hammered it, lordy. Made the seat wrap around me, fastest car I've owned, I had Mustangs in the 80s and they had half the horsepower, and a lot less brakes and handling. They handled really well up until the moment when they didn't, they could bite you if you weren't careful. Of course back then in my misspent youth I thought that was cool. Cool

I don't drive all that much being retired and living in a small town, so gas prices don't do much to me one way or another. If I had to commute 30 miles each day that'd be different. But everything in Podunk here is less than 5 miles from anything else.

This car has more luxury goodies than my Lincolns did.

I still can heartily recommend reading some Gene Wolfe, who sadly passed away this April at 87. He had been called the Herman Melville of Fantasy/SciFi, always thought provoking, he approaches things from a unique and original perspective. He has a great story "When I Was Ming The Merciless," and the short story "The Packerhaus Method" is one of the creepiest things I've read. Far better than Steven King, and it's only about 7 or 8 pages long but when it hits you what's going on it's terrifying! He's most known for two books, the novella "The Fifth Head Of Cerberus" and the series of books collectively known as "The Book Of The New Sun."

It's interesting, when I was young, up through the beginnings of high school, I loved Heinlein and Asimove and Clarke. Then they seemed to not offer what I wanted, and I moved to Bradbury, and eventually to Harlan Ellison, Philip K. ***, and Gene Wolfe, along with William Gibson and other cyberpunk authors. Darker and more challenging to me. Sadly we lost Harlan Ellison a year or so ago as well.

Jeff

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Jeff replied on Sun, Sep 22 2019 8:16 PM

By the way, is that a Checker taxi cab I see in the background? Wow. Those are rare over here now, and were outstanding cabs.

Jeff

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beocool
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beocool replied on Mon, Sep 23 2019 7:54 AM

Jeff:
Looks like a great car gathering! I know big engines are rarer over your side of the pond, and US cars tend to be longer and wider than many, which if you're driving thru a medieval town makes for issues. I know Mustangs are a lot more prevalent in the UK now than previously now that Ford offers a factory right hand drive version.

American cars have a small but dedicated group of followers here. The 'Saturday Night Cruise' is every first Saturday of the month from April to September, so I have to wait almost half a year before I can hear all that lovely V8 rumble Big Smile

The Mustang is enjoying increased popularity in Europe at the moment. Not so much here in the Netherlands. A Mustang 5.0 GT before taxes is € 38,500. Than you have to add VAT, which is € 8,085 and the carbon dioxide tax, which is a whopping € 63,270. Throw in the destination charge and you'll get a MRSP of € 111,005. Weeks go by and I won't see a Mustang. I went to Cologne in April this year and I saw a few Mustangs in one day. Not a big surprise as a Mustang is € 47,000 over there. That said, pick-up trucks are tax exempt, so you get a fair number of Rams and F150's over here.

Jeff:

I still can heartily recommend reading some Gene Wolfe, who sadly passed away this April at 87. He had been called the Herman Melville of Fantasy/SciFi, always thought provoking, he approaches things from a unique and original perspective. He has a great story "When I Was Ming The Merciless," and the short story "The Packerhaus Method" is one of the creepiest things I've read. Far better than Steven King, and it's only about 7 or 8 pages long but when it hits you what's going on it's terrifying! He's most known for two books, the novella "The Fifth Head Of Cerberus" and the series of books collectively known as "The Book Of The New Sun."

It's interesting, when I was young, up through the beginnings of high school, I loved Heinlein and Asimove and Clarke. Then they seemed to not offer what I wanted, and I moved to Bradbury, and eventually to Harlan Ellison, Philip K. ***, and Gene Wolfe, along with William Gibson and other cyberpunk authors. Darker and more challenging to me. Sadly we lost Harlan Ellison a year or so ago as well.

I'll see my backlog growing rather than decreasing in size. Wink I've been reading a lot of Scandinavian crime novels lately. I really enjoyed 'Knife' by Jo Nesbø. Other books I have read in the meantime are a couple of books in the 'Wisting quartet' by Jørn Lier Horst and a pseudo-scientific books about idea pathogens. 

 

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beocool replied on Mon, Sep 23 2019 7:55 AM

Jeff:

By the way, is that a Checker taxi cab I see in the background? Wow. Those are rare over here now, and were outstanding cabs.

It is. I was just browsing my photos, but sadly I don't have a picture of that particular car. 

 

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Jeff replied on Mon, Sep 23 2019 3:03 PM

I knew that big displacement engines had financial penalties in Europe, but damn! I paid 35,000 Euros out the door, tax, tag, transfer fees, everything. I got about 4000 Euros trade in for my old Acura, so figure total cost of 39,000 Euros or so. It's a GT Premium, auto trans, with the additional package that is leather and lots of electronics. Wow...

I can understand why you don't see many of them! We have the same kind of thing here, trucks are exempt from various regulations, so are often very inexpensive. However, people still love the luxury goodies so you can get an F150 Ford pickup priced at almost twice what my Mustang cost! Living in the more rural South I see lots and lots of pickups, ranging from brand new luxury ones to beat up old ones that will never stop being driven until they rust apart completely. Of course, what people around here spend on bass boats will boggle your mind too.

 

Jeff

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CB replied on Sat, Sep 28 2019 7:35 PM
beocool:

Jeff:

By the way, is that a Checker taxi cab I see in the background? Wow. Those are rare over here now, and were outstanding cabs.

It is. I was just browsing my photos, but sadly I don't have a picture of that particular car.

Seen in Paris this afternoon Smile

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Jeff replied on Sat, Sep 28 2019 10:56 PM

WOW!!! In great condition too! In Paris that must be akin to finding a unicorn down in the town square here.

Those were great cabs, I remember riding in them in the past, much better than the modern substitutes. If you've ever shoehorned your way into a Prius taxi, you can well understand why the roomy Checkers were a better ride. Also better than the classic Ford Crown Victoria cab/cop car, though those weren't bad.

 

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CB replied on Sun, Sep 29 2019 7:56 AM
Jeff:
In Paris that must be akin to finding a unicorn down in the town square here.

Big Smile

Exactly!

It reminds me of the very first time I went to the States (about 40 years ago). I was eager to see “in flesh” American cars, and especially yellow cabs. My flight stopped in a NY airport for several hours. I took this opportunity to go for a walk and... what a surprise Huh?

The only yellow cabs I saw where... Peugeot.

Confused
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Jeff replied on Sun, Sep 29 2019 2:55 PM

A Peugeot?! That must have been a disappointing surprise. Kind of like someone here traveling to Paris and eating at McDonald's. Which reminds me of when we went to Prague, oh, 15 or so years ago. The taxi driver taking us from the airport to the hotel pointed out the McDonald's and asked if that's where we liked to eat. We replied gods no, we didn't even eat there in the States. He kind of chuckled and gave us a thumbs up. Honestly, why travel that far and not explore different food?

I guess some people aren't very adventurous.

I hope you got to see some good US cars, and get that Yellow Cab ride eventually. Around the small town I live in now, all the cabs are old Ford Crown Victorias it seems, and not many of them. Plenty of country roads to let the Mustang breathe, but you have to be on the lookout for deer.

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beocool replied on Sun, Sep 29 2019 6:18 PM

Jeff:

WOW!!! In great condition too! In Paris that must be akin to finding a unicorn down in the town square here.

Those were great cabs, I remember riding in them in the past, much better than the modern substitutes. If you've ever shoehorned your way into a Prius taxi, you can well understand why the roomy Checkers were a better ride. Also better than the classic Ford Crown Victoria cab/cop car, though those weren't bad.

 

Great photo CB! Yes - thumbs up When I was in New York my first cab ride was in a Crown Vic. I avoided the Prius Stick out tongue

 

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beocool replied on Sun, Sep 29 2019 6:22 PM

Jeff:

A Peugeot?! That must have been a disappointing surprise. Kind of like someone here traveling to Paris and eating at McDonald's. Which reminds me of when we went to Prague, oh, 15 or so years ago. The taxi driver taking us from the airport to the hotel pointed out the McDonald's and asked if that's where we liked to eat. We replied gods no, we didn't even eat there in the States. He kind of chuckled and gave us a thumbs up. Honestly, why travel that far and not explore different food?

I guess some people aren't very adventurous.

I hope you got to see some good US cars, and get that Yellow Cab ride eventually. Around the small town I live in now, all the cabs are old Ford Crown Victorias it seems, and not many of them. Plenty of country roads to let the Mustang breathe, but you have to be on the lookout for deer.

As far as I know the Peugeots were popular for a while during the oil crisis, because of their fuel economy. The crisis didn't last and the taxi companies changed back to American wheels.

 

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Back to books, even though technically I'm not reading, since it's a photo book Smile


 

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Jeff replied on Sun, Sep 29 2019 6:50 PM

That looks interesting. From what I've seen (pictures and movies only alas so far, still want to visit) Iceland has some spectacular scenery.

 

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Jeff replied on Sun, Sep 29 2019 7:15 PM

I don't think I've mentioned this before:

This is one of the most unique and disturbing books I've ever encountered. It's an odd combination of stunning, surreal, disturbing artwork and spare, sparse text narrating the story. It's amazing, the two together add up to much more than you expect, the sum of the two is definitely far greater than the two parts. As you progress through it, you come to the realization that in this future world something has gone and is going seriously amiss. Society and humanity is decaying in a self induced collapse, and something is trying to be born to replace it.

Amazon describes it thusly:

NPR Best Books of 2018

A teen girl and her robot embark on a cross-country mission in this illustrated science fiction story, perfect for fans of Ready Player One and Black Mirror.

In late 1997, a runaway teenager and her small yellow toy robot travel west through a strange American landscape where the ruins of gigantic battle drones litter the countryside, along with the discarded trash of a high-tech consumerist society addicted to a virtual-reality system. As they approach the edge of the continent, the world outside the car window seems to unravel at an ever faster pace, as if somewhere beyond the horizon, the hollow core of civilization has finally caved in.

Thought provoking, surreal, and very good.

Jeff

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That looks like a great book. Currently reliving my childhood with a comic book I got from the library: Ric Hochet or Rik Ringers as he is known in the Netherlands


 

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Jeff replied on Thu, Oct 3 2019 8:29 PM

Ric Ringers looks interesting. Last "graphic novel" I read was "Watchmen" which is about as dark as they come. I enjoyed it. I recently watched the movie "Akira: Battle Angel" and found it surprisingly good. I had feared what would happen. I first saw the anime "Battle Angel Alita" years ago, which got me to read all, what was it, 19 volumes of the manga, which is very good.

I'm about halfway thru the 2nd Revelation Space scifi novel by Alistair Reynolds. You can tell he's a physicist, his approach to some things is unique and shows his understanding of physical processes. He also handles the fracturing of human societies that inhabiting multiple planets and no faster than light travel would induce. In his universe, there's cryogenic sleep for long journeys, but sometimes people will suffer almost complete amnesia when revived. There is a religious order, the Ice Mendicants, who exist to help people who this happens to. There is a great difference between societies on various worlds, and the group known as "Ultras" who run the interstellar ships are even more removed from normal human society. Even with life extension a normal human might live 200 years at most, whereas the Ultras spend a great deal of time near lightspeed, with the time dilation that entails, and much of that time cryogenically suspended, so they think in terms of centuries not years or decades. They might only revisit a world every few decades, or even centuries, so seldom interact with the same people.

I read a book years ago which dealt with how different cultures handled that. One world, everyone dressed in essentially a burka, no faces showing. If you hooked up with a woman and had kids, you never expected to come back in time to see them still alive, so the society didn't really support or have much in the way of long term connection, and they tried their best to make all other aspects of society to be stable and unchanging to lessen culture shock. Something similar happens in Halderman's "The Forever War" where every time the soldier protagonist makes it back to Earth things have changed so much he doesn't feel it's the same world. This was born out of the author's experiences coming home from service in the Vietnam War. Interesting book.

Jeff

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beocool replied on Sun, Oct 13 2019 2:16 PM

I'm not really into the graphic novel that much to be honest, but I haven't had a lot of time to read lately. But you can go trough one of these rather quickly.

Very interesting suggestions, Jeff. Sadly my library doesn't have either of them, but they'll go on the list of books to read. I've recently finished 'The last mile', which is the second book in the Amos Decker series by David Baldacci. Quite an interesting read, even though the characters appeared to be a bit too one dimensional and some twists in the plot a little farfetched. 

 

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Jeff replied on Sun, Oct 13 2019 4:49 PM

I'm not much into graphic novels either, there are a few exceptions. The "Watchmen" one, the manga mentioned, and Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" are the only ones really. I got into the "Watchmen" one after watching the movie, the movie is really a pretty good representation of the graphic novel, very dark.

I need to expand my reading a bit I think. I've explored various Japanese authors, but need to read some European, non-English authors as well, so your recommendations will bear fruit soon. I have a bit of a backlog but once I get thru a couple of more books I do need to move outside native English speaking authors more. I've really enjoyed the Japanese novelists I've read.

The "Revelation Space" books are all pretty long, I want to get to the end of that series as enough is linked that I don't want to try and remember everything if I take a break from it. That's one thing that is good about binge watching, when you only get an episode a week and then a year off it's harder to keep up with any nuances of the plot and characters, shows are much different if you can watch the development over a shorter time period.

Jeff

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vikinger replied on Sun, Oct 13 2019 9:52 PM

Local recognition for an almost forgotten pioneer of SF / philosophy (discussed previously in this thread). Incidentally, he was always known as Olaf, never William. The plaque is on an old railway bridge spanning what is now a linear park. My guess is that the present owner of Stapledon's house (near the bridge)  didn't want to attract nosey visitors. Stapledon has attracted a lot more American rather than British interest and research.

Graham

 

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vikinger replied on Sun, Oct 13 2019 9:55 PM

vikinger:

Local recognition for an almost forgotten pioneer of SF / philosophy (discussed previously in this thread). Incidentally, he was always known as Olaf, never William. The plaque is on an old railway bridge spanning what is now a linear park. My guess is that the present owner of Stapledon's house (near the bridge)  didn't want to attract nosey visitors. Stapledon has attracted a lot more American rather than British interest and research.

Graham

And for some reason the picture (plaque commemorating Olaf Stapledon) will not post, even after uploading to my files.

vikinger
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vikinger replied on Sun, Oct 13 2019 10:32 PM

Answer.... don't post from an iPad. iMac is fine!

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