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Anyone read any good books lately? Nothing too specific or technical, I''m just after something that''ll get the old brain cells firing in different patterns. In fact I''d quite like to see a sticky thread of book recommendations from the regs here. Fiction as well as non-fiction. What do you all think?

Stimulate

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I highly recommend reading "The C++ Programming Language" from cover to cover. If you haven''t done so already, your knowledge of the language will greatly increase.

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Bonsai by Peter Chan

Okay, maybe not exactly what you were after, but I really don''t think you want to read the technical books I''ve been reading lately (or re-reading I should say!)

Handbook of Stochastic Methods (Gardiner)
Stochastic Processes and Filtering Theory (Jazwinski)


One book from my library you might enjoy:

C++ Neural Networks & Fuzzy Logic by Rao & Rao.

Cheers,

Timkin

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quote:
Original post by Timkin
One book from my library you might enjoy:

C++ Neural Networks & Fuzzy Logic by Rao & Rao.


Though everyone may have their own opinion I must say that this book was the _worst_ neural net book (I say neural net since it only had about 4 pages devoted to fuzzy logic) I have ever read. Maybe you got more out of it than me but I found it horrible.

You, obviously, enjoyed it -> could you tell me what you liked about it? (Maybe I missed something)

- mongrelprogrammer

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- The Hyperion trilogy by Dan Simmons
- The Ender Wiggin Saga (same as prev. poster, but deservedly)
- The Andromeda Strain by Crichton
- of course, The Martian Chronicles by Bradbury

oh.... can you tell i''m a sci-fi nut?

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quote:
Original post by firefly2442 -Enders Game
-Enders Shadow
-Shadow of the Hegemon
ALL BY ORSON SCOTT CARD


If you are going to read Ender''s Game, you HAVE to read the 2nd and 3rd in the series, "Speaker For The Dead" and "Xenocide". Then you can feel free to move on to the others (which I haven''t read yet.)



Dave Mark
President and Lead Designer
Intrinsic Algorithm Development

"Reducing the world to mathematical equations!"

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firefly2442: You left off Speaker For The Dead, Xenocide, Children Of The Mind. The series just isnt complete without those 3 books.

"The Requested Information Is Unknown Or Classified" -Anonymous

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Timkin: hehe, I thought Bonsai was going to be some sort of sci-fi novel... Is this a new hobby or have you been doing it for a while? Have you considered extendeding your skills to animals? ;0)

http://www.bonsaikitten.com/

and the incredible aftermath...

http://www.cruel.com/sub/bonsai.shtml

Here are some (non technical) book recommendations of my own. If anyone knows of any books as thought provoking as Hofstadter''s plz let me know.

Non-Fiction:

Godel, Escher, Bach... by Douglas Hofstadter
The Minds Eye by Douglas Hofstadter
Darwin and the Machines by George Dyson
Artificial Life by Steven Levy
The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
Creation by Steve Grand

Fiction (I''ll stick to sci-fi)

anything written by Iain M Banks
The Hyperion series by Dan Simmons
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
Fairyland by Paul J McAuley
The Skinner by Neal Asher







Stimulate

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Timkin: hehe, I thought Bonsai was going to be some sort of sci-fi novel... Is this a new hobby or have you been doing it for a while? Have you considered extendeding your skills to animals? ;0)

http://www.bonsaikitten.com/

and the incredible aftermath...

http://www.cruel.com/sub/bonsai.shtml

Here are some (non technical) book recommendations of my own. If anyone knows of any books as thought provoking as Hofstadter''s plz let me know.

Non-Fiction:

Godel, Escher, Bach... by Douglas Hofstadter
The Minds Eye by Douglas Hofstadter
Darwin and the Machines by George Dyson
Artificial Life by Steven Levy
The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
Creation by Steve Grand

Fiction (I''ll stick to sci-fi)

anything written by Iain M Banks
The Hyperion series by Dan Simmons
Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
Fairyland by Paul J McAuley
The Skinner by Neal Asher







Stimulate

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A few suggestions:
The "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman. The books are, in order, The Golden Compass , The Subtle Knife , and The Amber Spyglass . This has some of the best writing in a fantasy series I''ve seen in a while, and it has a good plot too. Check it out.

Anything by Neal Stephenson is a Good Thing. His books, in no particular order, are Snow Crash , The Diamond Age , Cryptonomicon , Zodiac , and The Big U . I would most certainly recommend Snow Crash above all the other ones, though The Big U (which was republished only a few months back) is truly hilarious and a fun read.

I also have to recommend The Sparrow and The Children of God by Mary Doria Russell. This is some really interesting science fiction, and it has perhaps the most brilliant idea in the history of the genre, which is to have the Jesuits make first contact with an alien race. This is also the only science fiction book with religious contexts that hasn''t bugged the crap out of me (this includes all of the Ender Wiggins series by Card with the exception of Ender''s Game and Ender''s Shadow ).

As far as non-fiction goes, I''d suggest The Science of Fractal Images (by various authors, including Mandelbrot and Peitgen, two of the founders of the field), and The Sleepwalkers by Arthur Koestler. The former deals with (as the name would suggest) fractals in all forms, and has some pretty interesting pseudocode inside to do anything from spectral synthesis of a fractal terrain to computing the Mandelbrot set. I had to get this through a used bookstore as it is out of print, but if you can find a copy of it, buy it. The latter deals with the history of science, most notably astronomy, and while I''m only halfway through it at the moment, it''s really quite interesting.

More books may occur to me, but making all these little italics tags is getting tiring, so I''ll stop for now.


------------------------------------------------
The wind shear alone from a pink golfball can take the head off a 90-pound midget from 300 yards.

-Six String Samurai

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quote:
Original post by fup
Timkin: hehe, I thought Bonsai was going to be some sort of sci-fi novel... Is this a new hobby or have you been doing it for a while?


Only for a year. I have several trees I have created from nursery stock and a couple obtained from the wilderness (although they need a few years to settle into pot life).

quote:
Original post by fup
http://www.bonsaikitten.com/


I don''t find this sort of thing funny. It''s not humorous, just stupid.

quote:
Original post by fup
http://www.cruel.com/sub/bonsai.shtml



I hope that''s the BonsaiKitten webmaster in there!

quote:
Original post by fup
Here are some (non technical) book recommendations of my own. If anyone knows of any books as thought provoking as Hofstadter''s plz let me know.



I have quite a few at home you''d enjoy then... I''ll make up a short-list and post it tomorrow.

Timkin



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quote:
Original post by mongrelprogrammer
You, obviously, enjoyed it -> could you tell me what you liked about it? (Maybe I missed something)



I wouldn''t say I ''enjoyed'' it... however I found it concise and easy to understand. That might be because it wasn''t the first book on either C++, ANNs or FL that I had read. The examples were reasonable and the fact that it came with code to play with and lots of data sets made it useful for being able to play around with and try different things without much overhead of having to write my own code. Hence that''s why I recommend it to people, particularly those that have some understanding of the field but maybe not the time to write code for all of the things they want to try out!

Cheers,

Timkin



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quote:

I don't find this sort of thing funny. It's not humorous, just stupid.


What a shame. It must be a brit thing then. (and yes, I love cats, I have several)

I'll look forward to your list of books...



[edited by - fup on June 25, 2002 1:48:48 AM]

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One of my very favourite books: Out of Control by Kevin Kelly

Other books I recommend:

Complexity by M. Mitchell Waldrop
The Conscious Mind by Chalmers


... and onto 3 books that I think every human who has an interest in science and/or religion should read (and no, they''re not books about God!):

Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock
Uriel''s Machine by Knight & Lomas
The Bronze Age Computer Disk by ALan Butler

Cheers,

Timkin

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Some fine sci-fi authors:
Ben Bova
Greg Bear
Gregory Benford
David Brin
Philip Jose Farmer''s Riverworld series
Jack McDevitt
Larry Niven (try Dream Park and California Voodoo Game)
EE Doc Smith (Skylark series - hard to find but fun)
Vernor Vinge
Roger Zelazny''s Amber series - intrigue aplenty

Other genres:
Tom Clancy''s books (but not the Op Center ones)
Stephen King''s Gunslinger series
JK Rowlings Harry Potter series
Anything from Raymond Feist
Neil Stephenson''s Cryptonomicon


Being an old fart, I''ve been through quite a lot of authors and am always looking for new ones. Sadly, most don''t pan out. Not to mention the fact that I hate to buy hardbacks, so when, say, a new Brin book comes out I have to grit my teeth for 6 months...

Bob

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I''m surprised that the Phillip K. Dick novels haven''t entered the list. Some of my picks:

Ubick - great story concerning the nature of reality. Very satirical.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Popularly known as Blade Runner.

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale - Popularly known as Total Recall.

Minority Report - aka, Minority Report.

Now Wait for Last Year
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich
The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.

Tons of short stories, too.

-Kirk

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While we''re on the subject of Mr. Dick (please refrain from your childish giggling), try Solar Lottery , A Scanner Darkly , and The Man in the High Castle . With the release of Minority Report there have been some interesting discussion about his novels, and how despite an apparent difficulty with writing "quality" stories, he was one of the few writers that was willing to envision a realistically dystopian future. Probably some good online articles out there if anyone actually wants to look.

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Harry Turtledove''s World at War - Alien invasion in the midst of WWII. Or how a lizard can really ruin your day.

Anything by David Brin, David Drake, Alan Dean Foster.

Verner Vinge''s A Fire upon the Deep - Best SciFi book of all time.

Tom Clancy - all the non-Op Center books

David Weber''s Honor Harrington Series - Tactical space combat that can be believed.

Stephen King''s Gunfighter Series

Eric

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Super Hard Sci-fi
Signal to Noise & Signal Shattered by Eric S Nylund. makes you think fast & hard

everything by Neil Stephenson and William Gibson


on the Technical side:
Design Patterns by gang of 4 at Amazon

-me

[edited by - Palidine on June 28, 2002 6:47:11 PM]

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I am glad (though not surprised) to see that William Gibson (you might have seen the movie Johnny Mnemonic, based on the short story in his book Burned On Chrome) and Philip K. Dick have been mentioned. I have to mention P.K. Dick''s novel Substance Death, which tells the tale of an undercover drugsquad agent and his descent into depravity, mainly because Dick hasnt only done short stories that then become movies.

I saw some of Orson Scott Card stuff mentioned. He has done quite a few series that are quite interesting. I really enjoyed the Homecoming series, for its mix of sci-fi and low tech, although I must say in this series OSC''s tendency to put a lot of emphasis on religion and God Almighty become almost tedious...
I absolutely adore the Alvin the Maker series, it''s just such a nice alternative history universe.
And for any programmer around here, try Lost Boys, brilliant stuff.

This year I discovered the works of the fabulous Terry Pratchett, and Laurell K Hamilton, but since I am getting kicked out of the library, this will be for another time...




Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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quote:
Original post by Geta
Harry Turtledove''s World at War - Alien invasion in the midst of WWII. Or how a lizard can really ruin your day.

Anything by David Brin, David Drake, Alan Dean Foster.

Verner Vinge''s A Fire upon the Deep - Best SciFi book of all time.

Tom Clancy - all the non-Op Center books

David Weber''s Honor Harrington Series - Tactical space combat that can be believed.

Stephen King''s Gunfighter Series

Eric



I''m no big fan of Tom Clancy (I find his stuff fairly dry, frankly), but to each his own. I would strongly recommend:

- Anything by H. Beam Piper;
- Anything by Mike Resnick, but especially his Birthright: The Book of Man collection of future history;
- The Charles Sheffield "Jupiter" series of books.




Ferretman

ferretman@gameai.com
www.gameai.com
From the High Mountains of Colorado

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quote:
Original post by tHiSiSbOb
Timkin, i saw u mentioned the book "The age of spiritual machines." Now that is a good book. It got my brain cells firing in a great way.




Er, I don''t believe I did... I think you''re confusing me with someone else!

Cheers,

Timkin

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