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Texas Bill

Survival Fiction or Learning is Fun!

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Thanks, OC. A very informative and in depth review. Very few writers can do a good job of multiple threads in a book. J.R.R. Tolkien comes VERY close to getting it right in the Ring saga but it is tough to do and often it makes a decent story, if well told, into only one of several mediocre stories told only moderately well. If it sounds like I'm not a fan of stories with multiple threads that is only because I'm not a fan of multi threaded stories. I'd rather read several books simultaneously (I do LIKE my Kindle) than struggle through a botched attempt to combine stories.

 

Just my not so humble opinion. In this case I'm VERY opinionated but I don't have much fear that anyone can produce a counter example.

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Guest kevin

ever read dune capt? not really my style (sci fi) but herbert weaved well and duncan idaho is one of my favorite characters of all time. and ya the rings saga was awesome. if you are into "different" l. ron hubbards mission earth aint half bad either. ......maybe i DO like sci fi and just hate to admit it.

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Has anyone read any books by Jean Auel? They take place in prehistoric times but they give alot of info about how people dealt with things like medicine, shelter, sanitation, hunting and preparation of food, basically any skills needed to survive in the wild before any modern knowledge. They may fall under Oregonchick's definition of a para romance, but they are pretty good reads.

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Guest kevin

jean auel.......clan of the cave bear, mammoth hunters, ect? can't remember the authors name but if thats it then yep read 3 or 4 of those.

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Kevin,

Yes, Dune, Dune Messiah, etc. Not bad stuff. Hubbard has written some halfway decent stuff but he tends to get awfully wordy for my tastes. I have the same problem with him that I had with 'War and Peace'. It just got to be so much trouble to sort out I lost interest. I think it is because I started reading science fiction as a kid and just never grew up. I want my stories to flow and not lose sight of each other. It can be done otherwise but the author has to really work at it to keep my attention.

 

I've not read the Auel books but I have heard good things about some of them. I think (assuming the 'life skills' are accurately portrayed) that they might serve the same type purpose as my 'oat operas'. I look for a return to the 19th century as probable; the prehistoric stuff is several notches down on that ladder but would give a clue as to what it took to survive assuming accurate research.

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Guest kevin

oh hubbards crazy as hell....but i did like mission earths twisted style(its told from the bad guys point of view after the first book)

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Kevin,

 

I gotta go along with you on the Duncan Idaho reference.

 

I also have to thank Oregonchick- I think you made this recommendation, and if not I apologize- for setting me loose on the Renewal series. This is a 10 part serial published on Amazon for Kindle readers and tells the story of the Breakdown and the aftermath following an EMP attack and nuclear war. Quick, easy reading and a depth of prepper details are packed into these volumes, as well as a compelling storyline. I liked how the tale is told in tandem, as the oldtimer Bill relates the trials and tribulations of his family following he disaster to the youngster Terry, who is an idealistic Reclaimation agent living in an altered world 37 years after the inital attack. I was particularly struck by the way the family converted an old barn into their shelter for that first killing winter. Bill refers to his family as the "luckiest family in the world" a couple of times, which really tells you how bad things would be in this nightmare scenario. Anyway, good reading.

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Kevin,

 

I gotta go along with you on the Duncan Idaho reference.

 

I also have to thank Oregonchick- I think you made this recommendation, and if not I apologize- for setting me loose on the Renewal series. This is a 10 part serial published on Amazon for Kindle readers and tells the story of the Breakdown and the aftermath following an EMP attack and nuclear war. Quick, easy reading and a depth of prepper details are packed into these volumes, as well as a compelling storyline. I liked how the tale is told in tandem, as the oldtimer Bill relates the trials and tribulations of his family following he disaster to the youngster Terry, who is an idealistic Reclaimation agent living in an altered world 37 years after the inital attack. I was particularly struck by the way the family converted an old barn into their shelter for that first killing winter. Bill refers to his family as the "luckiest family in the world" a couple of times, which really tells you how bad things would be in this nightmare scenario. Anyway, good reading.

I'm gonna have to read these, who writes them?

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Ok, now that I have a second opinion (I recommended these to Oregonchick, and she liked it also), I submit for your consideration: Dies the Fire, by S.M. Sterling. This is a book about a TEOTWAWKI event, and it follows several groups of survivors in the Willamet Valley (Oregon).

 

It is not only -extremely- entertaining, it has quite a few points about scavenging, having a BoL and other prepper centric ideas. It is one of my favorite books of all time, I highly recommend the first 3 books in the series. After that I think the quality falls off, although they are still entertaining.

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Ok, now that I have a second opinion (I recommended these to Oregonchick, and she liked it also), I submit for your consideration: Dies the Fire, by S.M. Sterling. This is a book about a TEOTWAWKI event, and it follows several groups of survivors in the Willamet Valley (Oregon).

 

It is not only -extremely- entertaining, it has quite a few points about scavenging, having a BoL and other prepper centric ideas. It is one of my favorite books of all time, I highly recommend the first 3 books in the series. After that I think the quality falls off, although they are still entertaining.

 

I've been trying to remember the name of the series, thanks. It WAS very entertaining. The end of the world is caused by a sudden and mystical effect that stops everything technological from working - motors stop running, planes fall out of the sky, total technological EMP effect.

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I've been trying to remember the name of the series, thanks. It WAS very entertaining. The end of the world is caused by a sudden and mystical effect that stops everything technological from working - motors stop running, planes fall out of the sky, total technological EMP effect.

 

I thought there was a pretty good explanation. Everything that worked above a specific caloric heat point was dampened by some sort of advanced energy field. Implied some outside alien intervention.

 

I got up to book six or seven and the reading got tough and boring. Yup, first three books were best. I really need to buckle down and finish the series one day.

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Dies the Fire, by S.M. Sterling. This is a book about a TEOTWAWKI event, and it follows several groups of survivors in the Willamette Valley (Oregon)... It is not only -extremely- entertaining, it has quite a few points about scavenging, having a BoL and other prepper centric ideas. It is one of my favorite books of all time, I highly recommend the first 3 books in the series. After that I think the quality falls off, although they are still entertaining.

 

Completely agree (I'm in book four now... and darn you, Schoeny, for this new addiction!). There's a lot about the strength of position you would have post-event if you had some functional knowledge of "the old ways," like archery and bow-making, use of swords/lances/battle axes, could ride horses well, had an understanding of foraging/planting/healing herbs, etc. Along with the "usual" survivors (preppers, those with military background and training, and those who had experience hunting or farming), the others who made it in this scenario were involved in the SCA. For those who haven't lived in college towns, that's the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe.

 

The characters are richer and better developed than you might see in other series. I loved the description of the territory because it truly is exactly as Stirling paints it - aside from in larger cities, the forest is always trying to retake lost ground in the hills and valleys, so if cultivation stopped, it would be a riot of new woods, brambles, and tall grasses, all of it damp many months out of the year but so fertile that even inexperienced and poorly prepared farmers could likely achieve a sustainable yield from crops.

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S.M. Sterling has written some pretty interesting books over the years. Check out Peshawar Lancers sometime: alternate history story where a meteor crashes into the Earth and freezes out the northern lattitudes somewhere around the 1840s (I can't recall the exact date of the Crunch). Anyway, the US is toast and so is England and all of Northern Europe and most of Russia. The British Empire relocates to India and adventures ensue.

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Wow oregonchick, thats some pretty fast reading! Do you read about a book a day also?

 

Yes, 1-2 books per day at least. I'm a fast reader - well over 100 pages per hour - so I can read a novel in about the same amount of time I could watch a movie. And ever since I got my Kindle, I've found myself reading whenever I have downtime (like when I'm standing in line, or in a waiting room, or whatever). I also don't find much worth watching on TV, so when I relax, I read. I'm actually on my second Kindle, and have read around 2,000 books, novellas, and short stories on it, at least according to my archived items. LOL

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Yes, 1-2 books per day at least. I'm a fast reader - well over 100 pages per hour - so I can read a novel in about the same amount of time I could watch a movie. And ever since I got my Kindle, I've found myself reading whenever I have downtime (like when I'm standing in line, or in a waiting room, or whatever). I also don't find much worth watching on TV, so when I relax, I read. I'm actually on my second Kindle, and have read around 2,000 books, novellas, and short stories on it, at least according to my archived items. LOL

 

My Kindle and I have a similar relationship. I'm usually reading 5 or 6 books at any one time. My only concern, and I'll pass it along, is that I fear I lose situational awareness when I'm deep in a good book. That is NOT a good thing if I'm out and about.

 

No criticism, just be careful out there.

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My Kindle and I have a similar relationship. I'm usually reading 5 or 6 books at any one time. My only concern, and I'll pass it along, is that I fear I lose situational awareness when I'm deep in a good book. That is NOT a good thing if I'm out and about.

 

No criticism, just be careful out there.

 

Good point. It's a little like jogging with your iPod cranked up - you're just asking to be mugged (or hit by a car). I'm not necessarily just out in the world at large, reading with my head down, but... If I'm getting my oil changed or getting gas (since we have to wait for someone to pump it for us in Oregon), or if I'm waiting for my dentist appointment, I'll have my Kindle out. And since it's usually only for a few minutes at a time, I rarely get completely engrossed to the point where I am unaware of everything around me. But I'm also not waiting at a bus stop at night, holding a flashlight and ignoring the guy lurking in a nearby doorway. LOL

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Hehe, while Im not quite as fast a reader as you OC, Im close. I usually down a ~500 page book in about a day. It got to be a little expensive, so Im surfing the web and playing around on message boards now to keep from breaking my bank on books ;)

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