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Thread: Conspiracies in literature

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Foucault's pendulum...Also - Baudalino.
    except neither of those will ever be half as awesome as In the Name of the Rose, which is basically Umberto Eco's Da Vinci Code .

    Q (yunno Luther Blissett) is ok too. especially if you're into really detailed accounts of Anabaptist uprisings during the Protestant Reformation as a very extended metaphor for post-60s radical disillusionment + recuperation. plus some po-mo bollocks about identity + art, or something.

  2. #32
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    also please let's not kid ourselves, Gibson >>>>>> Stephenson

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    except neither of those will ever be half as awesome as In the Name of the Rose, which is basically Umberto Eco's Da Vinci Code .
    Never dug it that much TBH. Clunky.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    also please let's not kid ourselves, Gibson >>>>>> Stephenson
    When it comes to cyberpunk? Sure. GIbson has never written anything like Anathaem or the baroque trilogy though.

  5. #35
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    I read Gibson's Virtual Light recently, which was...OK, kinda silly though. I do like how all his characters are too cool to speak in complete sentences.
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  6. #36
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    Does there exist a word more redolent of the 1980s than 'cyberpunk'?
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    Q (yunno Luther Blissett) is ok too. especially if you're into really detailed accounts of Anabaptist uprisings during the Protestant Reformation as a very extended metaphor for post-60s radical disillusionment + recuperation. plus some po-mo bollocks about identity + art, or something.
    I thought Q was pretty awful, actually. It's an interesting enough idea, but the actual book is boringly conventional in style and ploddingly tedious in execution.
    Last edited by Slothrop; 31-01-2012 at 02:57 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    I thought Q was pretty awful, actually.
    that is the point.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Anathaem or the baroque trilogy though
    Stephenson's just so tedious + wordy + I dunno, boring. the only great Gibson work is the Sprawl trilogy but I'll take it hands down over any 1,800 pages about cryptography + quantum mechanics + whatever.

    also you're joking yourself about In the Name of the Rose. its genre fiction clunkiness is a large part of the appeal. I like his other stuff but most of it is, like, a bit up its own arse of semiotics yunno?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    Stephenson's just so tedious + wordy + I dunno, boring. the only great Gibson work is the Sprawl trilogy but I'll take it hands down over any 1,800 pages about cryptography + quantum mechanics + whatever.
    You havent read anathaem though have you? What Stephenson excels at is combining compulsive narrative and action with theory and high concept. When he fails it gets dull (cryptonomicon), but when he succeeds hes brilliant. Ive read everything Gibson has written and am a huge fan, but his ambition is much more limited.

    also you're joking yourself about In the Name of the Rose. its genre fiction clunkiness is a large part of the appeal. I like his other stuff but most of it is, like, a bit up its own arse of semiotics yunno?
    Each to their own of course, but IMO Pendulum is his crowning achievement, the weaving in of acres of history, theories and references couldnt be more suited to the topic of conspiracy (or meta-conspiracy in this case). Baudalino is flawed, but has this amazing dream like mythic sequence towards the end.. I loved the island of the day before as well.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by padraig (u.s.) View Post
    that is the point.
    Why? What does it achieve beyond leaving me bored and no more edified than I could have been by spending ten minutes on wikipedia?

  12. #42
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    There's a bit in one of the Baroque Cycle books that's a description of an alchemical still as having a copper vessel that terminates in "a snergly tube". I actually laughed out loud at this and had to re-read it to make sure I'd read it right. I love how he's just made up a word but you straight away understand what it means.
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  13. #43
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    I definitely thought Foucault's Pendulum was waaaay better than The Name of the Rose - which in turn was even more better (if I can write such a terrible sentence) than The Island of the Day Before which put me off ever reading Eco again. Would like to check Baudolino though, I think it's been long enough since IotDB that I can forgive him and give him another chance.
    But I really enjoyed Q so what do I know?
    I also liked it when people suggested that Luther Blisset was Eco under an assumed name and they put out a statement saying "We've got nothing to do with the old wanker".

  14. #44
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    no I've ever never read Anathaem. thought Snow Crash was goofy Sprawl-lite fun, slogged through the endlessness of Cryptonomicon, got about halfway through the first Baroque before giving up on it. will try Anathaem on your recommendation tho.

    as far as Eco, let me make an extended, highly iffy metaphor to jungle that we will both appreciate. In the Name of the Rose is a '94 banger, nothing spectacular, just well chopped Amens + nicely EQ'd sub bass. it's quality is in the craft, it's avant-weirdness in jungle's inherent subversion of, yet simultaneous faith, to pop music (or in this case, airport giftshop level historical detective fiction). F's P is drill + bass , aloof + brimming with superiority. except unlike Squarepusher Eco's superiority is justified. (Baudalino is "The Angels Fell" or "Valley of Shadows" or something)

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    What does it achieve beyond leaving me bored
    confusing awful with boring. ambitious failures are a helluva lot more interesting than not trying in the first place. honestly personally I like it more/think it works better as straight up historical fiction it more than any of the supposed po-mo stuff. but then I enjoy reading regular historical fiction.

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