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paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,326
Registered: ‎08-16-2007

Introduce Yourself!

Instead of having every new person post a thread saying "Hello!" here's a thread where everyone can go to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about yourself, your reading preferences, etc. It's kind of like the front door of the forum where all newbies can stop and say hi. 

 

So why don't I start? Ahem – my name is Paul Goat Allen and I'm a 43-year old full-time book reviewer. I've written more than 5,000 book reviews – mostly SF and Fantasy – for esteemed establishments like BN.com, Publishers Weekly, BookPage magazine and The Chicago Tribune, to name a few. I've always loved SF and Fantasy and grew up reading stuff like Tolkien's LOTR, Michael Moorcock's Elric saga, Asimov's Foundation novels, and basically everything from authors like Arthur C. Clarke, Roger Zelazny, Heinlein and Herbert. I love SF/Fantasy and it's always been a part of my life and career: after teaching high school English for a year, I ended up managing bookstores for almost a decade before hooking up with B&N's SF/Fantasy book review Explorations, which sadly no longer exists. During my time as editor of Explorations, I had the pleasure of interviewing dozens of genre legends like Anne McCaffrey, Stephen Baxter, Moorcock, Laurell K. Hamilton, R.A. Salvatore, Orson Scott Card, Vernor Vinge and Terry Goodkind, to name a few. 

 

Too much information?

Paul 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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krb2g
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Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Hi! I found my way over here from the now-defunct Tolkien board (although I didn't participate there hardly at all; I found the board and then life got in the way). I'm a grad student, particularly interested in 19th century American fiction (especially gothic) officially, but I also read a fair amount of sci-fi/fantasy when I can find the time.
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avidreader2
Posts: 143
Registered: ‎09-09-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Hello!

I've been here for a little while...well compared to most people on this site I'm fresh meat, but whatever.

 

I am a student who is greatly interested in becoming an artist, zoologist, or writer... I haven't really decided yet. I love to read, but it hasn't always been that way. I did not have a good reading teacher when I was young, so I had a very hard time reading. My mother saw me struggling, and for this reason and some others, she pulled me out of school and began homeschooling both me and my brother. She promptly began re-teaching me to read. I tried, but I just wasn't interested. Then she began reading the Chronicles of Narnia to me before I went to bed every night. I loved them. I wanted to read them for myself... and I did. This gave me the push I needed to start reading for myself.

 

and now I can honestly say I read more that I sleep! I love all things fantacy because it gives my imagination nutrients it needs. 

 

there's my story... I kind of rambled but there you go.:smileytongue:

"When camping in Canada, do not wear fruity chapstick... you might get mauled by grizzly bears."
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Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself!


krb2g wrote:
Hi! I found my way over here from the now-defunct Tolkien board (although I didn't participate there hardly at all; I found the board and then life got in the way). I'm a grad student, particularly interested in 19th century American fiction (especially gothic) officially, but I also read a fair amount of sci-fi/fantasy when I can find the time.

Hi kbr2g,

 

I am fugitive from the Tolkien group as well in case someone hasn't noticed.


 

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Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

[ Edited ]
I see there are a lot of people on this board who have had or are giving their kids home schooling. It is a sad statement of our school system that it is necessary but in some ways I think it is better. The curriculum is then structured more toward your own personal interests rather than having to be force-fed what some committee thinks you should learn.
It is interesting that you learned to read using Narnia. I'm using the series right now to learn to read and understand Spanish. It is perfect -- challenging enough but not too much so, an interesting story with lots of variation in vocabulary and grammar. All the books have been translated into Spanish and there are audios in Spanish as well, though only the first book audio (Lion, Witch and Wardrobe) follows the Spanish version in a word for word translation. I first read the English while listening, and then follow the audio with the Spanish translation (kind of like subtitles but better), and eventually hope to go solo. The movie is also dubbed in Spanish and I can use the English sutitles to start, though I find the captions for the deaf better and more complete and I can toggle them off and on while I'm watching the movie. It also has Spanish subtitles I can run with the dubbed Spanish but they don't match the spoken Spanish.

avidreader2 wrote:

Hello!

I've been here for a little while...well compared to most people on this site I'm fresh meat, but whatever.

 

I am a student who is greatly interested in becoming an artist, zoologist, or writer... I haven't really decided yet. I love to read, but it hasn't always been that way. I did not have a good reading teacher when I was young, so I had a very hard time reading. My mother saw me struggling, and for this reason and some others, she pulled me out of school and began homeschooling both me and my brother. She promptly began re-teaching me to read. I tried, but I just wasn't interested. Then she began reading the Chronicles of Narnia to me before I went to bed every night. I loved them. I wanted to read them for myself... and I did. This gave me the push I needed to start reading for myself.

 

and now I can honestly say I read more that I sleep! I love all things fantacy because it gives my imagination nutrients it needs.

 

there's my story... I kind of rambled but there you go.:smileytongue:


 

Message Edited by Nadine on 10-05-2008 07:17 PM
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paulgoatallen
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Registered: ‎08-16-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Avid and Nadine:

Again, here's another great topic –  the state of our education system. Right after I graduated from college, I taught high school English and I cannot tell you the overwhelming frustration I felt with simply trying to "teach." We were doing a poetry unit and I wanted to bring in a few poetry books I had to read poems from but I couldn't do it because all books had to be approved by either the board or the department head, I forget exactly but I was blown away at the sheer amount of bureaucracy involved. Needless to say, one year later, I was managing bookstores instead. It's really sad because back when I went to school some of my most influential teachers were the ones that cared enough to show us more than just what was on the syllabus. 

 

As a parent, I'm not only intrigued by home-schooling but by private schools as well... Any thoughts on this?

Paul 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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avidreader2
Posts: 143
Registered: ‎09-09-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

I went to private schools in California until the I finished the 2nd grade. My brother was pulled out of private school  when he finished 4th grade. It was the best thing my mother could have done for us. I am eternal grateful that she decided to do the right thing and devote herself to our education.

 

most people think that homeschooling stunts your social development, but that really depends on the family.I personally have a VERY busy social schedule. I take private art lessons, I play soccer on a recreational soccer team, I am involved in a student ambassador program called People to People, and I am a member of a homeschool co-op. Homeschoolers don't have a good name because the media singles out the families who over shelter or undereducated their children. This IS NOT as common as the media wants you to think. I personally know 20 homeschool families (most of which have 5-8 children) who take their children's education very seriously yet keep their children socially involved. So... don't think that homeschooling is a social or educational downsize compared to public school.

 

Homeschooling also helps young people develop good studying skills. I personally taught myself Algebra 2 because I had too. I also pass biology with a 101% average. I have scores above average on ITBS testing since the 3rd grade. My brother was invited to Yale... so we're smart too... we are not unsocialized idiots like people think we are.

 

if anyone has ant questions about homeschooling, I'll do my best to answer them... sorry if I rambled... i have a tendency to do that. 

"When camping in Canada, do not wear fruity chapstick... you might get mauled by grizzly bears."
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qarae77
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎10-01-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Thanks for getting this going Paul!

 

Hello, I'm Rachel.  I'm 31, and I am a Quality Assurance analyst for an advertising agency in downtown Austin, Tx. I've been here at the book club for about a week and am having a great time.

 

I love reading, but unfortunately reality has increased and my reading time decreased.  But I squeeze it in whenever possible...mostly on the weekends.  I do get to listen to lots of audio and podio books while at work though.  So I guess that makes up for it.

 

Right now I'm reading "Inkheart" which is a young adult series, but pretty good so far.  And I'm listening my way through the Wheel of Time series.  I've read them all before, but trying to refresh my memory in preparation for book 12 coming out. (By the way, does anyone know when that might be?  Sometime next year I heard.)

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,832
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Hi,

I'm Debbie from a small town in Missouri near St. Louis. I have been a member of several book clubs here at B&N for several years. I'm in several in-person book clubs and serve on the Board of Directors of my library district, occasionally I review books for publishers as well as here at the First Look book club. My two passions are my family and reading, and I read in several genre's I enjoy this genre, paranormal, general fiction and romance.

I'm 54 been married to my hubby for 30 years, we have one daughter 28 who's in graduate school and also teaches at SIUE & St. Charles Community College.

 

Talking about home schooling, I had the opportunity to send my daughter to private school but chose to give her a public education because of her tendency to get into her shell. I thought that exposing her to a more integrated type of environment would be the best in her case and at that time our school district was first in the State so I felt confident in sending her there and I made the right decision. If however today I had to make the same decision I would probably choose to home school her as well. 

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krb2g
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Nadine--I took an intensive Spanish course this summer, and a few weeks in, I got a package in the mail from my grandmother: she had seen El león, la bruja y el ropero (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) in a bookstore and mailed it to me. After I got through all the verb tenses in my class, I used the book to help me practice my Spanish. Since I have read the series a few times in English, and knew where the story was headed generally, reading in Spanish was a big help to me.

 

Rachel--I did the same thing for my German with the Inkworld series. It was really hard for me to get the first one (I think it was the language barrier), but I really enjoyed the series once I got into the rhythm of the writing. I also enjoyed Herr der Diebe (Lord of the Thieves, or something close in English), which Ms. Funke wrote earlier. 


qarae77 wrote:

 

Right now I'm reading "Inkheart" which is a young adult series, but pretty good so far.


 

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BlueLou
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-07-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Hi all!

 

My name's Luis, go by BlueLou (unfortunate incident in my youth)

 

I like to read most anything, from history to religion to science, but when I need my head cleared, there is nothing like a great space opera (Honor Harrington) or a BFF (Big Fat Fantasy) like George RR Martin Game of thrones.  I've been known to buy my books by their weight :robothappy:

 

I've been reading SF/F since learning to read english as a lad, with "Planet Class G-O" being the first book I ever paid my own money for back in the 70's.

Moderator
paulgoatallen
Posts: 7,326
Registered: ‎08-16-2007

Re: Introduce Yourself!

Hey all! What do you think of the new and improved forums?

Paul 

"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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marilynpsychic
Posts: 266
Registered: ‎09-20-2008

Re: Introduce Yourself!

Hello fellow Sci Fi Fans!

I started reading "Twilight Zone" short stories in high school.  I think that was the only science fiction the high school library had!  But science fiction short story collections by major authors helped me get thru many a boring college class, and helped reduce my college stress level after classes.  My very favorite Science Fiction author remains Ray Bradbury.  He wrote a lyrical kind of psychological sci fi that I love.  (Ending up with a BS in Psychology may have predisposed me to his kind of writing.)  Is there ANY science fiction writer out there today writing this kind of science fiction?  I'd love some suggestions!

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope." Chaucer (character) in movie "A Knight's Tale"
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CasualObserver
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-14-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Hi!

Calling myself the : CasualObserver. Those of you from my generation will recall the character (born 1942) Been a SciFi and Fantasy reader since early teens. I don't think that there has been a major writer on the scene that I have not read and enjoyed. I enjoyed both The Lord of the Rings and the Harvard Lampoon Bored of the Rings. The Foundation series was great. I'm waiting impatiently for the next title in the Hellsgate series. Anything in the Posleen universe would be welcome. I'm a new convert to the Dresden Files and I wish Terry Brooks would write faster! John Ring, David Drake, George R. R. Martin and L.E. Modesitt Jr., also. I don't mean to insult all of the other great authors out there (living or dead) by not mentioning them. I honor them all. Those were just the 1st names that popped into my aging mind. Certainly Ursula K Le Leguin belongs on everyone's respected list and Andre Norton.

 

At any rate, I'm 65, Live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, have lived and traveled here and there and started life's journey in West Springfield, MA, USA. I have recently discovered Bernard Cornwell and am re-reading "A Peace to End All Peace" (David Fromkin). I also plan to re-read "The Thousand Mile War".

 

I'd also like to chat with others who may be interested in the concept of using subduction zones to recycle a society's discards. I'll have to reread the novels to confirm but I think that I encountered the idea in David Brin's Uplift novels. I'd like to find out if any of our strong environmental advocates have looked into the science and engineering aspects of the idea. I understand the Japanese are investigating the other concept that fascinates me, beaming down free solar energy in microwave form. I'd enjoy hearing from anyone who has any knowledge of either idea.

 

Be well and may the Force be with you.

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Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself!


CasualObserver wrote:

Hi!

Calling myself the : CasualObserver. Those of you from my generation will recall the character (born 1942) Been a SciFi and Fantasy reader since early teens. I don't think that there has been a major writer on the scene that I have not read and enjoyed. I enjoyed both The Lord of the Rings and the Harvard Lampoon Bored of the Rings. The Foundation series was great. I'm waiting impatiently for the next title in the Hellsgate series. Anything in the Posleen universe would be welcome. I'm a new convert to the Dresden Files and I wish Terry Brooks would write faster! John Ring, David Drake, George R. R. Martin and L.E. Modesitt Jr., also. I don't mean to insult all of the other great authors out there (living or dead) by not mentioning them. I honor them all. Those were just the 1st names that popped into my aging mind. Certainly Ursula K Le Leguin belongs on everyone's respected list and Andre Norton.

 

At any rate, I'm 65, Live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, have lived and traveled here and there and started life's journey in West Springfield, MA, USA. I have recently discovered Bernard Cornwell and am re-reading "A Peace to End All Peace" (David Fromkin). I also plan to re-read "The Thousand Mile War".

 

I'd also like to chat with others who may be interested in the concept of using subduction zones to recycle a society's discards. I'll have to reread the novels to confirm but I think that I encountered the idea in David Brin's Uplift novels. I'd like to find out if any of our strong environmental advocates have looked into the science and engineering aspects of the idea. I understand the Japanese are investigating the other concept that fascinates me, beaming down free solar energy in microwave form. I'd enjoy hearing from anyone who has any knowledge of either idea.

 

Be well and may the Force be with you.


Hi CasualObserver, nice to see there are more of us older generation people here. You might bring up your recycling ideas in "The Cantina Bar and Grill" where we have our more casual and sometimes off-topic chats. It would be most interesting if you did tie it into some SF novels.

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VTfan
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎09-23-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

[ Edited ]

I have been a fan of SF since grade school (I'm pushing 50) and still love the genre.  Started out with the normal, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Asimov, Clarke, Bradbury, EE "Doc" Smith, Van Vogt, ect.  The last 10 years I have also been reading mysteries like Susan Conant, Lillian Jackson Braun, Nevada Barr, Faye Kellerman, Tony Hillerman and Sue Grafton to name a few.  I am not drawn to fantasy as much, but I have read some of David Eddings, Stephen R Donaldson, Patricia Mcphillips, L Frank Baum, Lois McMaster Bujould (although I like her Miles better) to name a few.  I also like Robin Cook, David Morrell and Max Brand.

 

My current choices in SF have been Greg Bear, John Ringo,  Sherman and  Cragg, David Webber, Alan Dean Foster, Elisabeth Moon, Neal Stephenson and Eric Flint.

Message Edited by VTfan on 10-14-2008 10:44 PM
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Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

VTfan,

 

Welcome and you will find that you are not the only one in that age group that has been a long time fan of this genre.  I am glad that I was able to give you some help with other Vampire authors.  I hope that you enjoy joining in the conversations.  I hope that there are some books for next month you will want to discuss.  Great having you here.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
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New User
Bialys
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-15-2008
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

[ Edited ]

Michael Bialys

Author/Lawyer:manwink:

 

Chronicles of the Virago  

Message Edited by Bialys on 10-15-2008 03:23 PM
Author: Michael Bialys Esq.
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yvonne93sd
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-14-2008

Re: Introduce Yourself!

 :smileyhappy: Hello

love science fiction

and fantasy (w/ romance if its possible!)

Im a girl, I think its a guy site. o well =) any recommendations?

 

How good it's the book Hannibal? they gave it to me.. should I read it ?:smileyhappy: 

tnx

xoxo yvonne

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Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself!

Yvonne,

 

Welcome and this is not just a guy site.  Many of us females have been joining in the conversations, I'm one, with a lot to say.  Hannibal is a book I haven't read so I can't help you there.  As far as reccommendations it would help to know some of the authors you have read.  Right now I am rereading David Drake's Lord Of The Isles series in preparation for his new book coming out next month called The Gods Return.  I really liked it the first time I read the book and am enjoying it now.

 

Toni

Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care