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Darren

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  1. 25. Heretics of Dune - Frank Herbert I mentioned in the What Are You Reading thread that this is where I gave up on the Dune series when I first read them in the 80s. My memory is of really enjoying the first three, finding the fourth a bit of a slog but getting through it, then not even getting to the end of this one. Well either my memory is wrong or teenage me was an idiot (why not both?) because this time round I really enjoyed Heretics and rattled through it in under a week. However my memory is definitely wrong because since (partially) reading this 35-ish years ago I thought I remembered a chapter where some of the characters discover historical records of the Nazis etc. in an underground bunker, that indicate the planet they're on is actually the earth in the far future. So I spent this entire book waiting for that bit and, of course, it never came. There were a few chapters where some of the characters do indeed hide in a bunker and do find all kinds of historical records and artifacts, so I read those thinking "this is it" but nope, they just found stuff about things that happened in the Dune universe (relatively) shortly before the events of the first book. But my failing brain is irrelevant to the quality of this book, and I found it to be the best in the series since the first one. It's also (possibly deliberately) the most like the first one in terms of structure (as this was intended as the start of a new trilogy) - including a lot of build up to an apocalyptic climactic battle that is over in pages. In fact in this one Herbert goes even further and has almost all of the battle happen "off screen" - he obviously didn't like writing those sort of scenes and so just didn't bother. But these books aren't about the battles, they're about everyone having secret plans and strategies, and trying to work out what everyone else is up to so they can adjust their plans and come out on top. And like many of the previous books, this one has a central strategy so audacious that you simply don't see it coming until it's revealed, but when you think about it afterwards it makes perfect sense. And now I'm not only looking forward to finally reading the last of Herbert's Dune novels, I'm possibly foolishly considering also reading the two his son wrote after his death to complete the story based on his notes.
  2. Re Heretics of Dune, I’ve now finished it and the scene I thought I remembered wasn’t in it, nor can I find any reference to it on the web. So I think I’ve Mandela effected myself for the past 30-odd years.
  3. I've nearly finished Heretics of Dune, which I'm sure is the one I gave up on part way through when I read the series in the 80s, but I'm really enjoying it and I haven't yet got to the only bit I think I remember from it*, so either I gave up on it really close to the end, or I finished it after all, or the bit I remember is in the next book that I'm sure I never even started, or my brain has just turned to sponge and I can no longer rely on teenage memories. But still, I went in with (mistakenly) low expectations so I've been very pleasantly surprised by how good it is. *
  4. I think of a puzzle game as something like Picross, that presents an abstract challenge to be solved by following its own rules. The important thing is that each challenge has a specific solution and is completed when you've found that solution. So to me, things like Tetris or Puyo aren't puzzles because, although they share the abstract, blocky visuals, they aren't solved, they just get harder/faster until you lose (or win if you're playing multiplayer and your opponent loses first).
  5. You won't be wasting your life with Horizon, it's a masterpiece.
  6. 24. Star Wars: Thrawn Treason - Timothy Zahn Reviewed here:
  7. I finally got round to reading this and I'm kicking myself for leaving it so long. It's really good! As others have said, it's not quite as good as the superb first book, but it's better and much more consistent than the second one. And unlike the second, this actually picks up and continues the story from the first - and it's a great story too. Thrawn is his usual smartest person in the room type self, but now he has more of his fellow Chiss along for the ride to discombobulate all the Imperials they come into contact with. Meanwhile those Imperials are all plotting and scheming against each other, blissfully unaware that old blue-bonce is always at least three steps ahead of all of them like an alien Sherlock Holmes. I was never the biggest fan of Zahn's old Heir to the Empire trilogy (sacrilege I know) but I found this new Thrawn trilogy to be much more up my street. So I'm glad that there's going to be (at least) another trilogy following this one. I'll try to read them a bit closer to publication next time!
  8. Possed that not because I'm glad it's ending, but because I'm glad it's ending, if you know what I mean. Ewing always said he had the story planned with a beginning, middle and end, so I'm glad we're going to get that, rather than it being dragged out forever.
  9. [nerd mode] A squadron made up of different ship types, operating immediately after Return of the Jedi and overseen by Hera Syndulla should be Alphabet Squadron, but it doesn’t look like them in the trailer. [/nerd mode]
  10. That sounds like wishful thinking from the Not My Star Wars camp.
  11. Gorogoa seems like a good fit - some really clever puzzles in that. And another vote for Everyone's Gone to the Rapture, plus also Gone Home and What Remains of Edith Finch. To go with Edith Finch I'd be tempted to recommend the Unfinished Swan, but if they struggle with first person controls that might not be so good for them.
  12. 22. Shift - Hugh Howey 23. Dust - Hugh Howey After reading Wool I just had to carry on and complete the trilogy. What everyone said is true, the characters are (mostly) interchangeable but the story is fantastic. I loved the way it all fit together and even tied in with the reason for the very first "cleaning" at the start of the first book - amazing when you consider that was a self-published short story. These two books were brilliantly structured, with sets of chapters alternating between characters/locations and in Shift, between time periods, and often with subtle parallels between the different stories running alongside each other. I absolutely loved it.
  13. Darren

    Perfect Albums

    I thought of another one last night. Megadeth - Rust In Peace
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