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719 comments

frosty... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789007)

first "pingular is a douche bag" post

Don't forget... (-1)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789008)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

Re:Don't forget... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789041)

pwned

WHEE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789014)

BAd: First posts, and goatse...

My favorite: (3, Funny)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789023)

I thought the Lord of the Rings series was a great set of books. I can't wait for someone to make a movie out of it.

Re:My favorite: (1)

turangalila (649031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789139)

Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate".

Definitely Lord of the Rings (2, Funny)

AltImage (626465) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789024)

The LOTR trilogy gets my vote. Very faithful to teh movies.

Re:Definitely Lord of the Rings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789033)

RTFS. It says books of 2003 .

Re:Definitely Lord of the Rings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789059)

RTFP. It is a joke .

Re:Definitely Lord of the Rings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789074)

Did you just hear a whooshing sound over your head? That was the joke.

Re:Definitely Lord of the Rings (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789046)

I don't know, I didn't like that Tom Bombadil character they added in there. It was clearly just an attempt to pander to the female and homosexual audience, what with all the dancing and show tunes.

I say, if you're not going to write the book 100% faithful to the movie, don't write the book at all!

Re:Definitely Lord of the Rings (1)

ramdac (302865) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789121)

Hahaha, Jesus this is so funny.

I haven't laughed so hard at a /. thread in a long while.

By the way, I loved Tom Bombadil. I was sad that he wasn't in the movie =/

Not to mention, I wanted to see an tree eat a hobbit. =(

Re:Definitely Lord of the Rings (1)

pardey (568849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789189)

Four words: Two Towers Extended Edition. Lots of cool additional scenes in that one... Cheers.

RIAA/MPAA issues (-1, Offtopic)

garglblaster (459708) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789025)

I'm just wondering, if they can stand the new DMCA rules..

Quicksilver (1, Insightful)

elhondo (545224) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789026)

is at the top of my Best AND Worst list.

Re:Quicksilver (4, Interesting)

blighter (577804) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789107)

I'm with you on Quicksilver being a Worst.

I've loved me some Stephenson in the past but this thing was just ridiculous. Bought it the day it came out and still haven't finished it.

It was the long, long history-lesson-style monologue by Shaftoe's brother immediately followed by a second chapter of Waterhouse presented as a period-style drama that did me in.

I've only got like 120 pages left (out of what felt like several thousand when reading) so maybe I'll finish it. But reading novels shouldn't feel like an uphill battle, you know?

Re:Quicksilver (1, Funny)

thatnerdguy (551590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789173)

I'm with you on that. It took me the better part of two months to finish that book. Near the end, I couldn't wait to finish, I was just tired of it. Also, most of the time it didn't seem like the story was going anywhere.
Of course, I am still eagerly awaiting the next novels in the Baroque series (any word on when they are expected?)

Re:Quicksilver (4, Funny)

bentfork (92199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789219)

I was stuck at around the same point as you were for about a month. ( around the sand-sailing ).

I took another run at it a few days ago and was pleased to find out that the plot picked up one page later.

Stephenson books tend to reward the persistent reader. I remember having to convince friends not to burn cryptonomicon after reading the first 200 pages... Keep reading, its worth it... ;)

Same advice for the last 200 pages of this one.

Here's a list of the worst books (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789027)

here [slashdot.org]

worst (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789028)

anything by /. sucks fuckin' donkey balls

fuck you fucking motherfuckers

Fiction (4, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789030)

I'd like to nominate the SCO court filings for best work of fiction...and worst work of fiction.

Re:Fiction (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789104)

I think you could split the award evenly... give the court filings the Worst, and Darryl's PR screeds the Best - he's truly revived the fantasy genre!

Votes (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789035)

How about the Divinci Code?

And of course The Art of Unix Programming [catb.org]

Best issue (-1, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789037)

The July issue of Modern Gerbiler was pretty good.

The Last Goobye... (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789039)

My worst reading for 2003 was: The Last Goodbye [amazon.com]

I received the book to review ahead of time... It was absolutely terrible. I don't know about the rest of the world but I am not into reading books written as if I was reading at a third grade level (ie Stephen King's latest works). Trying to be bio-tech and computer savvy when you aren't just does not work.

I was also irked by the author's apparent need to mention the race of the characters in the novel. It was almost as if he was trying to point out that it is possible for those of color to become lawyers and famous musicians (duh). Let the read imagine whatever they like about the characters don't shove it in their face.

Just my worthless .02,

Worst Book (2, Funny)

canfirman (697952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789043)

Eleven Chapters on Chapter Eleven

I expect submissions from Daryl McBride soon. Hopefully I don't have to pay $699 for the book.

Re:Worst Book (0)

BdosError (261714) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789098)

That's Darl McBride.

WELL, CALIFORNICA, YOU GOT WHAT YOU DESERVED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789048)

I SAID IT AT THE TIME: GOD WILL NOT SMILE UPON YOUR RECALL ELECTION. GRAY DAVIS WAS A MAN OF GOD, AND YOU HEATHENS HAVE ELECTED AN ATHEIST ACTOR AS HIS REPLACEMENT. YOUR STATE IS NOW FORSAKEN. I EXPECT MANY MORE DISASTERS LIKE THIS EARTHQUAKE TO FOLLOW. BE WARNED, GOD FEARING CALIFORNIANS: REPENT AND LEAVE NOW. THE END IS NEAR.

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/_THE__\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__END___|_(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\IS_HERE/_//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Well... (-1, Redundant)

starseeker (141897) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789049)

If we bind all SCO's press releases together, does that count as the year's worst work of fiction?

Re:Well... (1)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789101)

I would categorize them as the year's worst work of friction.

quicksilver (1)

edmudama (155475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789050)

Quicksilver was good... but it took me about 400 pages to get "into" the story, and the ending 100 pages dragged for all but the final two sentences.

The book was good, but I wouldn't put it on my "best of" list. It ended with a soft fizzle the same as Snow Crash.

Re:quicksilver (1)

m00by (605070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789223)

it's part one of a three part series, it's not going to go out with a bang. that's what book three is for :) and I did quite enjoy it, although I was also disappointed in the ending to snow crash. =D

Lord of the Rings adaptations (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789052)

I am particularly fond of the "Lord of the Rings" novels that some guy with a name like Token wrote, inspired by Peter Jackson's wonderful film creations. His books are better than Alan Dean Foster's adaptations.

Havana - Stephen Hunter (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789053)

Latest from the Swagger novels. I suggest starting with 'Hot Springs' and reading the entire series. He is a fantastic writer

ESR's book (5, Insightful)

s390 (33540) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789057)

In the non-fiction category, Eric S. Raymond's "The Art of Unix Programming" gets my vote. It's simply excellent.

Re:ESR's book (0)

red floyd (220712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789238)

Unix Network Programming, Vol I, Third Ed.

china meiville (4, Insightful)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789058)

anything by him..

author of "Perdido street station"..

Re:china meiville (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789205)

is this in the best or worst category?

Robert "No closure" Jordan (-1, Troll)

manganese4 (726568) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789063)

I would have to say the Crossroads of Twilight. Now instead of wrapping up he is putting out a prequel in a month. Will the madness never end?

Re:Robert "No closure" Jordan (2, Funny)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789157)

After a failed venture in high school, I find myself trying to plow through this series once again. Does it ever end? I mean it's a truly remarkable story, but it HAS to end somewhere, right??

Re:Robert "No closure" Jordan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789166)

It amazes how he keeps drawing the lamest details out to infinite purportions. Get it MR. JORDAN - FINISH THE FREAKING 10 BOOK SERIES. I AM getting OLD and TIRED.

Just skip the prequil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789172)

I refuse to pick up a copy of "a new spring" or whatever the title is.

I might read it when the series is finished, but Ill not reward him for another delaying tactic.

Why it don't work like that (4, Insightful)

Koyaanisqatsi (581196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789064)

Movies have a definitive time they are out and you usually go see them during that period.

Books are much more flexible, you don't need to constrain yourself to a rigid schedule or anything. I usually go out a few times a year a pick several interesting books that I'll read as time allows me to. When deciding what to get, release date (that is, the 2003 books for example) is not even considered; I just search for interesting stuff or previously unknown stuff from interesting authors.

But it may just be me.

Hitler's Scientists (3, Interesting)

Skynet (37427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789065)

If you are into history I recommend this book:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/06 70 030759/qid=1072126966//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i0_xgl14/002 -1914962-9961668?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Interesting perspective into the role of science in the Nazi regime with moral/philosophical undertones.

Re:Hitler's Scientists (1)

Skynet (37427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789088)

Oops here's a link [amazon.com] .

Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time) sucked... (4, Informative)

nebaz (453974) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789067)

I hate to say this, but the Crossroads of Twilight, the 10th Robert Jordan "Wheel of Time" book, really sucked. No major plot advancement has happened at all. Several pages are spent on one of the main characters taking a bath! It seems like in these books, time goes slower and slower. I think the series has gone downhill, since about the fifth book or so, but this one was really bad. I see no way for him to end the series in my life time, at this pace, with so many dangling plot threads, and a release cycle of one book every two years,

Re:Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time) sucked.. (0, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789196)

ditto for the previous 9 books.

Like I say, there a great set of 300 page books stretched out into a set of 1000 page books.

Do we really need 3 pages on the fact that it is foggy?

Re:Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time) sucked.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789214)

Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

You get to the last book of a dekalogy only to realize that the author sucks.
Sturgeon's Law, dude, means that you have inverted the true number of Wheel of Time tomes that suck.
Jordan's corollary: Sturgeon was an optimist.

A friend suggested that Jordan's works were a manifestation of his subliminal hatred for trees spawned from the time he fell out of a tree as a child. Why else would so mulch wood pulp be wasted on his dreck?

Re:Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time) sucked.. (1)

rylin (688457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789236)

I'm looking forward to the long version of New Spring, due early January.
It's the first of the prequels jordan is writing - Starting with Rand's birth on Dragonmount.
Hopefully it'll let Jordan stop getting lost in his own threads for a while.

Re:Crossroads of Twilight (Wheel of Time) sucked.. (2, Informative)

TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789250)

As someone who's been prominently involved in RJ fandom for the last decade, I'd have to say...you're absolutely right.

I'd probably get up to book 7 on the "to read" list, just because of Dumai's Wells, but it's been a cereal-varnished-saucer sled ride from there.

(ObLink: 17 minutes of story after book 10 ends [aracnet.com] )

Best book published this year that I've read? Probably Brust's The Lord of Castle Black. Most of my reading this year has not been of books written this year, though. Best book I read for the first time this year? Probably either Gaiman's American Gods or Card's Ender's Game.

Charlies Angels - one of the worst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789075)

I thought I'd really like charlies angels -
chicks - guns .. even went to see it with 3-4
chicks.

BUT that movie sucked!

NOT worth renting, NOT worth
seeing on HBO/Showtime ..

probably not worth watching when I'm
in a in a near death coma for years ..

Pratchett is always good (4, Informative)

quantax (12175) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789078)

Terry Pratchett's "Nightwatch" wasn't too bad, though it was not IMO as good as the previous 'Nightwatch' books such as "Guards! Guards!" and "Men of Arms", but it is definitely worth checking out if you're a Discworld fan. I haven't read "Monsterous Regiment" yet, anyone have an opinion on how that was?

Re:Pratchett is always good (2, Interesting)

mir (106753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789228)

I liked Nightwatch, it revisits some recurring characters in a rather clever way.
Monsterous Regiment was not as good. It feels like Terry Pratchett released an alpha version of the book: lots of ideas and characters that could have been developped further but weren't. Overall a very frustrating book, quite below the usual level of the series.

Quicksilver? (5, Interesting)

cthrall (19889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789079)

Quicksilver was a cool book. However, IMHO it wasn't nearly as good as Cryptonomicon. Here's why:

* The characters feel similar to those in Cryptonomicon (another crazy Shaftoe, Daniel Waterhouse is akin to the main character from Crypto).

* One of the hardest things to do right when there are parallel plotlines is connect them in a flowing and lucid manner. Cryptonomicon did an excellent job of weaving the past and present together. In Quicksilver, we get large chunks of uninterrupted narration, but there's very little context switching. This left me a little bored at times.

It really felt rushed, like there was a great book in there that needed more time to be distilled.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to read the next two volumes, I was just a little disappointed that Quicksilver didn't live up to the high standards Stephenson has set himself in previous books.

You insensitive clod (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789081)

I'm an illiterate product of the American public school system.

Now lets return back to epic diatribes on Battlestar Galactica as quickly as possible.

The Wayfarer Redemption (0, Flamebait)

nathankerr (722077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789084)

By far, the worst book I've (tried to) read this year would be this piece of crap. There are better soap operas that have characters that are more realistic. Stay away from this and the rest of Sara Douglas's books. "The best writer in Austrilia"? Wow! I'm glad I don't live there!

The Best. (1)

readpunk (683053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789093)

The Watch by Dennis Danvers.

I know, it was published in 2001 but the paperback came out this year!

KROPOTKIN THROUGH TTTIIIMMMMEEEEE!!!!

Ha ha.

Some quickies (4, Interesting)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789095)

Some books that were "a hell of a lot better than I expected".

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was pretty good - some "duh" moments with the characters that made you want to smack them all in the head and shout "Stop acting like you're 12!", but overall, pretty damned good.

"Wolves of Callah". Go figure - I thought this would suck, since Mr. King seams to have lost something after his accident. But the story, even when I had pretty much figured things out, was still pretty good.

On the "not great but not bad" area I'd put "The Da Vinci Code". Clever as hell idea, some interesting observations that had me going to my art books to check it out - great from that point of view. Great book to get people interested in art and the symbols used in literature, paintings, music, and so on.

But why did the main characters Sophie and Robert suffer such massive brain farts at times? They'd talk about huge ideas in symbology - then 50 pages later, be stumped by a puzzle they had talked about earlier! (Well, and there was the incredible coincidence that a Harvard professor and a cryptologist both happen to be hot - how did that work out?)

I think for my most enjoyed book so far this year was "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" by Al Franken. I don't agree with all of his politics, thought he had some good points, some bad points, and some so-so points - but damn if it wasn't funny and at least thought provoking at times.

Worst book? "Chosen", the novelization for the last season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I mean - punctuation mistakes all over the place, and somebody used "find and replace" in a bad way. Amazing how the word First and Chosen are always capitzlized, even when "Buffy was First into the room"? Remember, kids - even after you use Command-F, Command-V, Enter, you still need to proof read the damned thing.

Just my opinions, of course. I still have to read Stephenson's "Quicksilver", but it's not out on peanutpress.com yet, and I'm not sure I have space in my backpack for another meatspace book.

Re:Some quickies (1)

Exiler (589908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789165)

They are like twelve. If you don't want to read about children, stop reading childrens books.

Re:Some quickies (3, Informative)

Bishop923 (109840) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789255)

Actually in Book 5 they are 15 years old, each book is one year in the series.

Re:Some quickies (1)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789180)

"Stop acting like you're 12!"

Ummm...... they ARE 12, aren't they? :)

Re:Some quickies (1)

Little Brother (122447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789254)

By the time of OoTP the main characters are 16, not twelve.

New Testament (4, Funny)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789099)

I thought the New Testament was pretty good, but it lacks a lot of the action of the Old Testament. The use of metaphor was nice. Personally, I would have like a better ending. The 4 horseman things has been way overdone...

Isaac Adamson/Hillary Clinton (4, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789100)

I tend to be a bit behind on books, as I get them mostly from the library. But since the only posts at this time are some LoTR comments and a particularly inane SCO bit, I'll kick in what I can:

I really enjoyed two books by Isaac Adamson -- Hokkaido Popsicle [amazon.com] and the earlier Tokyo Suckerpunch. It's hard to describe them, but they're perfect for Japanophiles and other Asia-pop enthusiasts>

Worst book of 2003 is easy -- Hillary Clinton's memoirs. As much as I detest her, she's obviously an interesting person but her book sounded like it was written by her staff and focus-grouped before publication.

I haven't read Hillary Clinton's book but... (3, Insightful)

rbird76 (688731) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789210)

it's probably an example of the "I'm going to run for President so I need to appear intellectual by writing a book" thing. It probably was focus-grouped before publication - that way she doesn't have anything in writing to embarrass her later. Since the books written by future/current Presidential candidates seem to have had anything interesting strained out of them to avoid conflicts with future political positions, they're probably best avoided anyway. For politics, there are probably better places to go for informed commentary on their plans, and as personal background it probably isn't very useful.

The more interesting version of her book should come out about thirty years from now.

My personal fav (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789110)

Mastering Unix [amazon.com]

OMG GUYZ DO NOT CLICK TAHT LINK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789183)

IT"S A VARY GROSS PICTARE of a woman with HER BUTT in teh air with teh POOPIE comuing out of her poophole and it OMGH IT SI TEH DSIGUSTING OMG OMGO OMGOMGOMG ROFLFLFLFES DON NOT CLICKOS THIS AT ALL KEKEKEKEEK

Worst! The Da Vinci Code (0, Redundant)

Dante (3418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789111)

I got this hoping for some cerebral cotton candy, I was familiar with a lot of the themes, Fibonacci numbers, secret societies, The Gnostics, reformation, DaVinci himself. I was drubbed with poorly thought out, halfhasardly researched drivel. Brown should of been shot.

Am I the only one that hates Stephenson's style? (1)

Rascasse (719300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789123)

I've tried 3 times to read Cryptonimicon and each time I get bored of the story. There is an irony in his seeming love for using Haiku in the story because I find nothing elegantly simple in the way he writes. I find that the story is far too verbose and would benefit greatly from a lengthy and discriminating editor.

Re:Am I the only one that hates Stephenson's style (1)

tepeka (572431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789243)

I find that the story is far too verbose and would benefit greatly from a lengthy and discriminating editor
Why should the height of the editor make any difference?

"Literature Geek?" (3, Interesting)

OECD (639690) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789132)

The phrase "Literature Geek" makes me wonder, can you be a "Sports Geek"? Or a "Fashion Geek"?

Re:"Literature Geek?" (2, Funny)

Neop2Lemus (683727) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789185)

It made me wonder too as thats what I am (I think). I mean, I don't code...

The fine link between geek and non-geek becomes particularly blurred when talking about "guitar geeks". I mean are they geeks or just knobs? I've always thought the latter but who am I to say?

Should this be a poll?

Re:"Literature Geek?" (4, Informative)

Little Brother (122447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789234)

Yes. I've met one of each of those. The sports geeks (if they're good) will know the history of most major sports, and a few minor ones. The history is beyond what would be found in almanics and will include the predesessors of the sport. They will understand one or two sports (like CS geeks will understand one or two programming languages) extensively. They are able to tell you about all the current rules and the progression from earlier rules that brought the current rules into being. They know nearly every current player in their sport of choice (The hockey geek I knew could give me the entire starting roster of every team in the NHL (I had to use google to even find out what the teams were)). Sport geeks often invent their own plays/moves, and these often actualy work on whatever level they are playing at and they can support why such a play/tecnique would work in the majors. (I'm sure some people in the majors ARE sports geeks, but I have no way of knowing.) Although a sports geek may be a fan of a specific team, they are able to list the strong and weak points of any team more-or-less objectively.

As for fasion geek, see fung shui (spelling) masters for more information. (I guess, I know less on this topic)

Plenty of tin-foil hat reading material in 2003 (2, Informative)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789133)

Oryx and Crake [oryxandcrake.co.uk] was a pretty decent number. Anyone who thinks that bio-engineering is out of control will eat this stuff up. Three cheers for pigoons and wolvogs!

Why all the need to rank things? (1)

csoto (220540) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789134)

Why not just ask for a list of books worth reading? I've read a few that aren't the "best" ever, or the "worst," but it was worth the time.

Michael Moore (1, Insightful)

shftleft (261411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789137)

Re:Michael Moore (2, Informative)

shftleft (261411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789187)

Positively Fifth Street [amazon.com] was an excellent piece of non-fiction.

What category? (1)

thorgil (455385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789216)

You forgot to place it in a category!!!

best or worst...?! .....INCOMING!!!...
# Begin flamewar!!!

Re:Michael Moore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789251)

That's fiction, right?

2 cents. (4, Interesting)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789138)

Personally, I'm interested in politics, so I found Dude, Where's My Country? to be a very interesting work. Moore improves on Stupid White Men a lot by incorporating many more references to works cited, and elaborating his position better. For that matter, one of my textbooks made interesting reading: Gov't and Business.
Worst book? Anything by Ann Coulter. She claims in her latest book, Treason, that being liberal is a sin worse than terrorism. If that isn't hateful and just plain wacked, I don't know what is.

Re:2 cents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789222)

Heh, I'm pretty much a staunch, hard-core conservative, but I freely admit 'that biatch is crazy.' On a side note, I must also admit I enjoyed "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" by Al Franken. I don't agree with the politics, but it was pretty insightful and darn funny (at least the first part, it began to drag later on.)

Quicksilver was neither quick or silver (1)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789144)

In fiction, Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver is toward the top of my best list.

Frankly, with my expectations based on Cryptonomicron, Quicksilver disappointed me. While it set the scene pretty well, and made its depiction of Stuart England after the Protectorate believable for me, the plot really went nowhere -- or it went too far afield.

And after about page 500, even the scenery began to dull, because so little was happening on the scenery. Plus, the clever ideas of Cryptonomicron were little in evidence; there was more exposition and less intellectual delight, even though one might think much could be done with a cast of characters including Newton, Leibniz and Hooke.

Best book of 2003 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789148)

The Linux zealots guide to getting laid had lots of great insight in this one. Even more useful than 2002's The Linux zealots guide to hygiene.

Re:Best book of 2003 (2, Funny)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789193)

The Linux zealots guide to getting laid.

Here's a synopsis [adequacy.org]

I want to read Quicksilver (1)

bmckeever (224043) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789154)

But Stephenson's style tries my patience. His books have gotten successively less fun to read. He clearly did a lot of research, but he bludgeons you with it instead of just letting it improve the story.

Best and worst of 2003 (1)

dokhebi (89124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789167)

Best book(s): Chobits by Clamp

Worst book: The Torcon 3 (2003 World Science Fiction Convention) Pocket Program

All political pundit books (5, Insightful)

Augusto (12068) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789177)

They're boring, predictable, and are big ego trips for the authors:

Ann Coulter : Treason : Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism

Al Franken : Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

Michael Moore : Dude, Where's My Country?

Bill O'Reilly : Who's Looking Out for You?

Eric Alterman : What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News

Sean Hannity : Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism

Alan Colmes : Red, White & Liberal : How Left Is Right & Right Is Wrong


And a lot more. Surprisingly, lots of these books sell a lot, preaching to the choir of the converted, yet contributing no new ideas or being slightly interesting.

The Da Vinci Code (4, Interesting)

Templar (14386) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789178)

The Da Vinci Code [amazon.com] by Dan Brown was a lot of fun, even if the Priory of Sion [fiu.edu] has turned out to be a fraud.

I'm looking forward to his next book which will be about Freemasonry.

Work book: Treason, by Ann Coulter. (1)

SpaceRook (630389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789186)

The sad thing is that there are people who will actually get this garbage for a Christmas present.

Quicksilver is leaden (5, Interesting)

tjic (530860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789202)

The ironically named _Quicksilver_ is the most disappointingly leaden book it has been my displeasure to read in recent years.

After _Cryptonomicon_ my expectations were high. Early on in _Quicksilver_ I realized that there was no way this book could be as good as the earlier one, so I adjusted my hopes downward accordingly...and even then, I was disappointed.

The flaws are numerous.

The one thing that everyone knows about the book is that it contains a frantic pile of trivia. I was actually looking forward to this aspect of the book, given that I enjoy random learning opportunities as much as the next geek, and given that this is one part of _Cryptonomicon_ that I was enthused about. _QS_ disappoints in this regard. To my mind there are two main bins that trivia are sorted in to: (1) those random items that are capable of clicking in an interesting way into the knowledge structure I already have; and (2) utterly random tidbits. NS delivered a few of the former, and a few truck-loads of the latter. In so far as the trivia was interesting, I already knew it (Germanic witch trials, etymology of the word "dollar", the broad outlines and purposes of the various 16th century political structures), and in so far as the trivia was not something I already knew, I found it dreadfully boring (hail-storms of random names of royalty, many of them playing minimal roles in the plot, etc.).

Ah. I used the word "plot", so I've segued onto the next region of disappointment. _QS_ does not have a plot, in the conventional sense. Sure, in a 900 page novel (or a 2,700 page novel, really), one wouldn't expect the broad sweep of the action to be clear by page 50, or 100...but by page 500 or so, one would hope to have an idea of where things might be going. The book has Theme aplenty.

The Theme, however ("Things Really Changed a Whole Lot, Religiously, Economically, Politically, and Scientifically"), is big, but too insubstantial and too vague to construct a huge novel like this on. _A Winter's Tale_ managed to work very well with out a real plot - it could hang off of the Theme that "New York changes a lot, and is magical through the ages". Then again, _A Winter's Tale_ was about 1/9th the length of Stephenson's Inflated Series.

Speaking of inflation, this book needed an editor, badly. Dialogue and exposition are clunky in many many places. For that matter, dialogue and exposition are poorly differentiated. There's a joke about 1950's science fiction that 3/4 of the plot and background information are revealed in "As you know, Bob" asides. The same is true of _QS_. There's some minor variation on a theme: there's "As you know", there is "I need not mention the fact that X ...< 1,000 words elided >...because you already know that", and there is "as everyone in the town knew...".

There's a persistent and pernicious meme in the art world that to truly convey some situations you need to recreate those situations for the audience. Thus, the only way to convey tedium is through a four hour movie, etc. NS seemed to be held by this meme: to convey the intellectual ferment and vast scope of the 17th century he felt the need write a book that was adrift in a ferment and vast in scope. Certainly he could not have conveyed these things in a novella, but that does not mean that he could not have pruned perhaps a third of what he wrote.

The book is large enough that there's a Dramatis Personae at the end, which was somewhat useful...but it didn't work wonderfully well for me, because the entries were fairly short and defined the characters (well, historical figures) mostly in terms of descriptors and events that did not take place inside the book. If I come across a character who I know was present 500 pages earlier, but I'm trying to remember whether that character was a alchemist or a merchant, it helps little to learn that the character was a friend of the Duke of Wessex (or what have you). This is not a huge departure from how Dramatis Personae are usually implemented, so this is not a failing unique to NS, but in a long, meandering, and yawn-inducing book the author should be at particular pains to provide aids to the reader.

Finally, I found it difficult to read the book at points because of several incidents of barbarous cruelty to animals. I understand that the moral code of the time was different, and that these actions are historically accurate, and even that some reference should be made in the book, so as not to commit the sin of omission, and thus render the book less of its time...but NS went further than that and introduced the cruelty repeatedly. If it was required to advance the plot, he'd have an out. I would wince (and more) at a book that had explicit scenes of child rape or brutality, but would accept it if the book was about the pursuit and capture of a child abuser...but I would find it hard to read a novel that threw in a random scene of a child being scalded as punishment just, because, you know...these things happen.

Yeah.

Yay verisimilitude.

The book was not with out wondrous scenes. Jack Shaftoe steps onto center stage in an audacious scene at the siege of Vienna, which matched the very best action scenes of _Cryptonomicon_. Daniel Waterhouse meets up with danger at sea, and the intellectual faint and bluff of the ensuing engagement is wonderful, as is the nonchalance of the captain of the ship that Daniel is on. However, the scenes are all too rare and far between, and concentrated disproportionately in the first half of the novel.

I suppose I'll end up reading the remaining two volumes to see if NS manages to pull a rabbit out of a very battered and pathetic looking hat...but I've got to say, I'm not particularly looking forward to another 1,800 pages of lying back and thinking of Enlightenment England.

Worst book ever (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789204)

I thought this would make my year but turns out it was nothing but a lie [stepbystepthreesome.com]

The Bible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789208)

My grandmother gave me one for last Xmas. According to some sources, it's #1 bestseller of all times.

I am sorry, it's boring and redundant, I couldn't take it after page 20 or so.

Bringing Down the House (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789211)

Though it came out late last year, I wasn't able to read it until this year. Bringin g Down the House [amazon.com] was a really cool book to read and was extremely interesting. The author created a great story around the true events.

Literature?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789218)

being a literature geek, I thought it would also be appropriate to ask for the best and worst books of 2003
If you're a literature geek, then does literature = sci-fi and fantasy? That's not what I learned in school. Good thing I have slashdot to reeducate me.

The history of science is "in" (3, Interesting)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789225)

I read Kim Stanley Robinson's _The Years of Rice and Salt_ and I like it a lot. It was a Hugo nominee. It's an alternate history, where all of Europe was destroyed by the Plague (instead of only a third) and world history is shaped by the Chinese, the Indians and the world of Islam.

I'm reading _Quicksilver_ now, and it's actually really cool that they are many parallels. Alchemists, invention of the scientific method, the books keep reminding me of each other. Very nice.

I don't know if there are any people who find the first part of Quicksilver hard going: read on, the second part is brilliant :-)

The last thing a geek needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789226)

...is yet another list that conforms to the Slashdot groupthink. Go read any non-geek book or simply go outside. You'll get nothing but the same-old same-old from this crowd

best & worst crooks of 2003 & beyond? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789227)

well, where to start? no matter, we ALL know who they are, despite their .constaNT spew over the airwaves procullaming yOUR great fortune to be their own personal doing/gift to US?

stay clear of these foulcurrs as the big flash occurs, as you would not want to get any of that unprecedented evile stuff on you?

consult with/trust in yOUR creators.... get ready to brighten up?

the badtoll continues? the creators' planet/population rescue, & newclear power mandates, will be fulfilled.

has anywon tried robbIE's gnu 'dating' service yet?

mynuts won, happy gnu year?

Linux From Scratch (5, Interesting)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789232)

LFS [linuxfromscratch.org] and BLFS [linuxfromscratch.org] 5.0 are certainly two of the most useful, informative "books" I've read.

And I have to agree with those bashing Robert Jordan, even though I haven't read his latest pile of crap. WoT is a series that started out so amazingly good, then was ruined by its author. It's his maddeningly slow pace, and more importantly, the fact that every single one of his female characters (except perhaps Min) is an arrogant b!tch. They're all extremely annoying, some more so than others.

One of my favorites of the year... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7789233)


Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions - Ben Mezrich

Amazon link [amazon.com]

Dan Brown's : The Da Vinci code (1)

ferratus (244145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7789245)

Personnally, my favorite book of the year would have to be this one. Da Vinci Code is a thriller / detective book that's absolutly brilliant.

What I think makes it better than other books of it's genre is that the story is based on real facts. This particular book is about Da Vinci's work and religion in general.

I've since read Dan Brown's other 3 books and they are all quite good. While they're not as good as Da Vinci Code, they are still quite good. If you've read DVC, you might want to check them out.

If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. This book has changed my view of what a good thriller was.
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