babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Closet sci-fi fans of Babble, unite!

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Closet sci-fi fans of Babble, unite!
sherpafish
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1568

posted 24 October 2001 01:47 AM      Profile for sherpafish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OK, so for some reason there is a lot of bad sci-fi out there in the broad univerce, or at the local used book shop. But I want to here about the good stuff. What you like and why.

I love Dr. Azimov and Larry Niven. Both have non-technical, character driven, fiction that seems to be an accurate reflection/prediction of our society.

Sci-fi enables them to place interesting personalities in otherwise imposible situations and forces them to make decicions accordingly. Both writers are very moral and very intelligent.

Ooops! Let me amend my list to a triune; can not forget Frank Herbert!

(You know the books! Foundation et all, Ringworld et all, and Dune et all; respectivly)


From: intra-crainial razor dust | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 24 October 2001 02:18 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Give me Asimov, or give me, well, um... we'll save that for next time.

I got hooked on Dr. A when I was 12. I've never really been able to get into other science fiction, probably because nobody can write quite like the Good Doctor can. The closest I can get to other authors is a short story by Orson Scott Card (The Tunesmith), Poul Anderson (Two Dooms) or authors writing in "Isaac's worlds", see for example the extensions to the Robot novels written by Roger MacBride Allen, or Mark Tiedemann.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
machiavellian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1365

posted 24 October 2001 04:47 AM      Profile for machiavellian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While we're talking about the greats - personally I've always loved Robert Heinlein - esp. how he takes on religion. (My favorite - Friday). And Roger Zelazny is amazing (Frost & Fire is a good collection of his short stories). I like his use of allusion, but some people find it pretentious, so to each his own. I'd recommend him to you, though, Dr. C. Orson Scott Card's Ender series was excellent, although I think occasionally his novels fall flat. "Cruel Miracles" is a short story collection of his that I love. And let's not forget Philip K. Dick. William Gibson also has his moments although I think he could use a lesson in rising and falling action - he tends to be full-tilt all the way.

Used to be an Omni freak, too. I'll never forget reading "Sand Kings". My God, was that story creepy.

Actually Asimov hasn't really been my favorite - kind of dated, kind of nationalistic, kind of chauvinist. He's a master, I know, but he never grabbed me the way Heinlein or Zelazny did. Just me, I guess. Sorry, guys.

I haven't read a lot of sci-fi lately - I've been disappointed with the serialization of everything. IMHO books should be able to stand alone. Not enough new talent out there - just the same people churning out book after book in this series or that series. What a turn off. Same thing that happened to the Shannara series (Terry Brooks) in fantasy - the first three, amazing. Then the rest became money-making to-be-continueds. (Bah, the publishing industry, bah).


From: Peace River (no, not actually in the river, silly) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 24 October 2001 10:11 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The only sci-fi authors I've read regularly:

  • William Gibson
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Douglas Adams
  • Grant Naylor

From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 24 October 2001 10:28 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hitchhiker's guide! Woo hoo! But you know, I read that more as a philosophical work than a sci-fi novel.

Actually, I guess it was really both. Adams really was a genius.

I haven't read much sci-fi - I've been more into the mystery, Eng. Lit., religious writing, philosophical stuff, and non-fiction. But there was one story that I remember reading that I found fascinating - was it by Heinlein? Asimov? Can't remember. Anyhow, it was a short story and the rough outline was that humans technologized themselves and the earth to the point where they knew almost everything - they were a zillion times more advanced than they are now, but then they did something or other that caused the species to be wiped out. Except for a handful of people, who knew how to regenerate humans. So this handful regenerated the earth and put some humans on it, and the end of the story where they're doing this is narrated like the beginning of Genesis from the Bible. It was so neat.

I've probably read other sci-fi, but I don't remember right now - it's not really something I've been into.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 24 October 2001 10:34 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I an extremely big fan of C. J. Cherryh. Her site hasn't been updated in a few months though. I like first contact SF mainly, and she is probably its best provider. People here may also like her voluminous novel on human cloning, Cyteen. It's one of her most difficult books however--the politics is extremely paranoid. But fun and quite effective. I mostly prefer her Foreigner books, where the main character is a diplomat-linguist.

I also like David Brin, though some of you may not care for his biological determinism. A few months ago I became an insatiable fan of Lois McMaster Bujold.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
sherpafish
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1568

posted 24 October 2001 11:25 AM      Profile for sherpafish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Actually Asimov hasn't really been my favorite - kind of dated, kind of nationalistic, kind of chauvinist. He's a master, I know, but he never grabbed me the way Heinlein or Zelazny did. Just me, I guess. Sorry, guys.

That's funny, you just summed up exactly how I feel about Heinlein! But I'd have to add war-monger to the list. Sorry, again, just me.

Cyteen is indeed good'n'complex a'la Herbert in my opinion. The melding of politics, biology, psycology, and fiction! Love it.

Anybody ever read any Neal Stephenson? I've only read one of his, Snow Crash. Liked it a lot. Sort of cyber-punk in a Gibbson way but with a lot more humor - the main character is named Hiro Protagonist. A Gibson meets Adams mixture.

Mandos - Have you read A Mote In God's Eye or Ringworld by Larry Niven? Great first contact novels.

[ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: sherpafish ]

[ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: sherpafish ]


From: intra-crainial razor dust | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 24 October 2001 12:19 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dr. A. has, however, been a vigorous proponent of zero population growth and if for no other reason, that would be why I like him.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 24 October 2001 12:37 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read both Snow Crash and The Diamond Age; Or, A Young Lady's Electronic Primer (something like that). I very much liked both, but I especially liked the Diamond Age (sci-fi Dickens and disturbingly like where we seem to be heading).

I have read some Niven, including some Ringworld. Haven't read Mote In God's Eye. I did read some of the Man-Kzin Wars books--often quite amusing, lucky monkeys vs. ferocious tigers.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Debra
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 117

posted 24 October 2001 01:08 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"I have no mouth and I must scream" Harlon Ellison. Fantastic book and the the quote gives me shivers till this day.
From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 24 October 2001 03:30 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"The Mote in God's Eye" is one of my favourites. Also, Heinlin's "Stranger in a Strange Land". Ursula La Guin has some great ones. Piers Anthony did a really good one but I can't find it in my very large, crowded bookcase, something about ice, I think. Asimov, of course-even dated his work is great. Larry Niven, Roger Zelazny, so many others I can't name offhand. It's a genre that contains a lot of greats and a lot of garbage. I've run into those too and they don't get kept.

I read everything but love stories, so I've got quite a collection of books I read over and over. I consider fantasy a separate genre, in these, I like the light, comedic ones best.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 24 October 2001 03:53 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
HEY M'BOY!

WHEN is Enterprise on here in our city? I know it's on Citytv, but I don't know what time.

What did you think of the first episode... that was the one where the guy got impregnated right?

**I found it! Thanks anyway. 8pm

[ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: Trinitty ]


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 24 October 2001 04:02 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wednesday at 8.

The one where the engineer got pregnant wasn't the first episode. It was episode #3 or 4.

I'm watching the show religiously.
www.startrek.com


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 24 October 2001 04:03 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
CRAP!

I frigging well missed 2 episodes?!

How were they, do you like it so far?


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 24 October 2001 04:08 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes.
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
machiavellian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1365

posted 24 October 2001 06:49 PM      Profile for machiavellian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That's funny, you just summed up exactly how I feel about Heinlein! But I'd have to add war-monger to the list. Sorry, again, just me.

I cheerfully admit that that's probably true. Still love him, though.

earthmother - Harlon Ellison - oh my God yes, one of my all-time favorites too. Can't believe I forgot to mention that.

And le Guin too. What was the name of that book where there was a race of people who went through both male and female stages? The Left Hand of Darkness, right? Really makes you think.

Of course Star Trek had to come up...
Re Enterprise - I haven't seen it yet. I'm not optimistic about the casting of the captain - that guy from Quantum Leap is just so mild-mannered and friendly seeming. I can't picture him doing anything other than smiling and maybe looking mildly concerned. Those who have seen it - does he fit the role?


From: Peace River (no, not actually in the river, silly) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 24 October 2001 09:02 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I used to have a really well organized web site that listed all the Hugo and Nebula award winners. This one isn't as good, but it will do.

Can't go wrong

I have fond rememberance of Asimov, and his non-fiction stuff is good, too.

And, I'm on a quest in the used book stores to get a copy of "Time Enough for Love" so I can re-read it.

"Left Hand of Darkness", "Ringworld" "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman, "Canticle for Liebowitz", There's a lot of great stuff out there.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 25 October 2001 07:37 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does Vonnegut count as sf? I guess Moorecock is too big a stretch.
Love William Gibson - not the stories, so much (though they're fun) as the atmosphere. Wonderful description of places, both physical and cyber.
Kate Wilhelm.
LeGuin, for sure.
Early Heinlein - the skinny books.
Silverberg, Sturgeon.

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 25 October 2001 09:35 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's a little-known series of first contact stories by Margaret Wander Bonanno: The Others, Otherwhere, and Otherwise.

It's very interesting, with a big feminist twist that some of you might like. Basically, an advanced, technological society that is egalitarian but focused on the "female principle" has been stranded on a small island for thousands of years, on a planet populated by patriarchal savages. The story takes place when it finally comes time to meet the natives. This begins a 200-year saga of happiness and suffering, that ends with a fascinating synthesis...


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 25 October 2001 10:01 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Of course Star Trek had to come up...
Re Enterprise - I haven't seen it yet. I'm not optimistic about the casting of the captain - that guy from Quantum Leap is just so mild-mannered and friendly seeming. I can't picture him doing anything other than smiling and maybe looking mildly concerned. Those who have seen it - does he fit the role?


I thought the same thing - until I saw the show. Scott Bakula's doing a great job, and the casting of the other characters was really well done as well. Bad casting was one of the problems with Voyager, but the casting people for this new show are doing a great job.

I can't wait for the upcoming 'Andorian Incident' episode.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 25 October 2001 12:25 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I liked last nights.

Neat that there is cultural tension between the Vulcans and Humans.

I totally agree with you on the casting, I think they did a great job.

That ROD STEWART SONG as the intro HAS GOT TO GO! Bleh, I spit at it. I saw it for the first time last night. WTF?! I like the space exploration montage, I accept they are trying to tie it closer to "us", but that contemporary song REALLY licks.

Where did the doctor come from though? I've not seen his species before on NG. Were they on Voyager?


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 25 October 2001 12:36 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He's new. Last night they finally told us what his species is called.

I like how they are handling the doctor. In past series there was always a really corny conversation in the premiere episode to explain the "new alien dude."

Human: Gee whiz, you look funny. What are you?

Alien: I'm a [enter species name here]. I come from the planet [enter planet name here]. Let me give you a short history of my planet and species!


In the new series, the crew has already trained together for a long time. They know each other already. There is no need for them to have deep discussions about each others' species.


I like the theme song.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trespasser
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1204

posted 25 October 2001 12:54 PM      Profile for Trespasser   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This seems to be the best place to ask: has anyone read or heard about

Joanna Russ
Samuel R. Delany
John Varley
James Tiptree, Jr
Octavia Butler
Vonda McIntyre

I keep finding sci-fi references in Donna Haraway works and my lack of sci-fi knowledge prevents me from enjoying those pages. In her classic Cyborg Manifesto she introduces these people with "These are our story-tellers exploring what it means to be embodied in high-tech worlds. They are theorists for cyborgs", and then she goes on with highest praise for "Anne McCaffrey's pre-feminist The Ship Who Sang (1969)", Joanna Russ' The Adventures of Alyx and The Female Man, Delany's Tales of Neveyon, enchants readers with her rendition of Octavia Butler and Vonda McIntyre...

Help would be appreciated.


From: maritimes | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 25 October 2001 01:45 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh YUCK M'boy! :P I was SURE that I would find an ally in you. And besides that, it's not even original to Star Trek. It's a soft rock air-punch hit from about 5 years ago.

Fie on ye!

I do like the crew a lot, I agree it's refreshing not to have the same-old conversation.

The dangerous place they're in though is the same peril that Episode One had. Doing a prequele always opens the door for continuity mistakes (I had never heard of the doc's species before in ST)..... at least they have the alternate time threads and dimensions to fall-back on though.

For example, technically, those Klingons they ran into on the last episode should have just been men with bushy eyebrows and a bad attitude, for they precluded the ones on the Captian Kirk era... before their ?genetic manipulation? Warf illuded to in NG.


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 25 October 2001 01:57 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nobody at Berman and Co. cares about aesthetic continuity as it relates to The Original Series. We're not going to get female crew members in miniskirts wearing beehive hairdos as the series goes along. Only really obsessive Trekkies care about that stuff.

Worf never said they were genetically altered. He said "it something we don't like to talk about with outsiders". The episode in question was from DS9, and it was a JOKE.

Future Enterprise episodes will, no doubt, contain the occasional joke reference to the bad make-up and fx of TOS, but they won't be trying to conform to continuity too much.

Example: the Enterprise communicators are smaller than the ones from TOS, but they are still "flip-phone" style.

Next week is "The Andorian Incident", which will update an infamous TOS species.

[ October 25, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trinitty
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 826

posted 25 October 2001 02:04 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was guessing that's what they were reffering to on that episode, sorry, I thought it was NG.

Oh, I don't want them to revert back to the old way, that would suck, I was just pointing out the sticky spots.

Last nights was directed by Lavar Burton, did he do any Voyager.

Sorry for yapping about Star Trek, I'll leave it there for now.


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
vaudree
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1331

posted 25 October 2001 02:19 PM      Profile for vaudree     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What is the major differences between science fiction and other types of ficiton?
From: Just outside St. Boniface | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
StephenGM
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 305

posted 25 October 2001 02:22 PM      Profile for StephenGM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ah, SF. So much chaff, but so much wheat, too.

I must admit that I can't really read many of the Golden Agers any more. The ones who don't have reprehensible prose tend to have reprehensible politics, and vice versa. (There are exceptions, of course, the biggest being the inimitable Cordwainer Smith.)

Huxley and Orwell's dystopias are excellent SF, and have the added advantage of being considered literature by academia and the general public. On that note, has anyone else read E. M. Forster's excellent science fiction short story, "The Machine Stops" ?

Zelazy - I loved Zelazny, though even his SF is really fantasy in disguise. I love Ursula Le Guin, especially The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Dispossessed. Harlan Ellison writes better non-fiction - his film and TV criticism is more fun than invective should be allowed to be.

Norman Spinrad's The Iron Dream is brilliant, ironic, funny, and horrifying.

I like William Gibson's short stories and the Sprawl novels. The aptly-named Virtual Lightand its sequels feel a little too, well, light.

Neal Stephenson has great ideas, characters, and dialogue, but he can't pace a book properly or write an ending to save his life - Cryptonomiconwas so overrated! - not to mention his increasingly overt and irritating techno-right-libertarianism.

I like David Brin - he seems to be able to hide his philosophical biases better than Stephenson, although I've never read the books where he's said to be the most egregious.

I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned Jeff Noon - Vurt is a work of beauty and genius.

And in terms of newer novelists, China Mieville is impressing me quite a bit. King Rat isn't SF at all, but Perdido Street Stationat least arguably is, and both are very good indeed.

Stephen


From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 25 October 2001 02:25 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Click here for a few definitions of "science fiction" from respected sources. I especially liked Ray Bradbury's definition.

quote:
I like William Gibson's short stories and the Sprawl novels. The aptly-named Virtual Lightand its sequels feel a little too, well, light.

I disagree. Neuromancer was a ripping good yarn, and incredibly prophetic to boot, but Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive were meandering action stories that really didn't have much to say.

I found the "Virtual Light Trilogy" to be much more rich in the way it commented on where society is headed. The writing was also more focused.

Idoru was especially interesting to me in how it commented on both the changing nature of celebrity and the effects that advanced computer literacy at a young age will have on how children mature.

Virtual Light and All Tomorrow's Parties were interesting speculations about how the "lower classes" will live, work and survive in a corporate-dominated future.


Any disagreement with my evaluation of the works of William Gibson will result in the teleportation of the dissenter to an orbit around Pluto.

[ October 25, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
StephenGM
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 305

posted 25 October 2001 02:51 PM      Profile for StephenGM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are some excellent definitions available through KBMediaboy's link, vaudree, but I thought I'd also throw out my own definition (I do write SF, by the way, for what it's worth.)

It's often said that science fiction differs primarily from other forms of literature in being essentially speculative - in being the literature where the defining question is "what if?"

Of course, it could be argued that speculation - about internal and external human motivation and behaviour - in inherent to all literature. (What if an intellectual Danish prince were forced to become a man of action and avenge his father's murder? What if a sea captain became obsessed with vengeance against a whale? What if the butler did it?)

However, science fiction is unique in that it extends the field of speculation beyond human emotion and reaction to internally consistent speculations on the world, or universe, at large. The point of departure is usually one that could broadly be described as "scientific" - early SF was primarily concerned with the hard sciences, or with very extreme sociological ideas. (What if a scientist developed anti-gravity in secret? What if we flew to Mars? What if we met hostile aliens?)

Later SF expanded this to the soft sciences, to social science, even to philosophy and history. (What if refugees from a capitalist society founded an anarchist society on a habitable neighbouring planet? What if women developed a language specifically to express the female experience? What if the South won the American Civil War? What if a Messiah arose on a desert world?)

Contemporary SF contains lineal descendants of both streams, and, especially since the post-New Wave godfathers of cyberpunk, has increasingly brought the two branches together. (What if human interaction were affected by the ubiquity of cloning technology? What if we were able to access a metaphysical world through virtual reality?)

Note that science fiction, as a form dealing with internally consistent and logical speculation, differs from magic realism, fantasy, and horror, within which speculative or unrealistic elements are usually either internally inconsistent, or not based on the same, logical progression of cause-and-effect.

Stephen


From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 25 October 2001 04:02 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mandos,
thanks for the reminder; i'd forgotten about Bonnano. I read Otherwhere some time ago and liked it; will try to find the others.

And i forgot to mention Sheri S. Tepper - thogh not every book is equally good, 'Gate to Women's Country' and 'Grass' are terrific; i rather liked 'Six-Moon Dance', in spite of its wordiness, but got bogged down in 'Singer from the Sea'.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 25 October 2001 04:32 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Trespasser: I like Tiptree. I remember being morbidly amused by some of her stories. I especially enjoyed the one where she recast the earth as masculine (as opposed to Mother Earth).

nonesuch: I think the point of the series is lost if you read only one of the Other books. But for first contact stories, my favorite is still Cherryh's ongoing Foreigner series (latest out next month)--Bonanno's books are like Foreigner, only focused on gender rather than language.

I have an ambiguous relationship with Tepper, having read a few of her books. The Gate to Women's Country, well, it was very powerful, but I'm not sure what she's trying to say. Gibbon's Decline and Fall was also very powerful, but the ambiguous ending turned me off, maybe because I'm a guy

As for David Brin, Brin's most famous novels are the Uplift books, which are very good, except that I think he started flailing around a bit on the last one (Heaven's Reach). His most political one is Glory Season, which made me uncomfortable for the same reason that Tepper does--superficially, it seems like he's saying the opposite thing from Tepper, but in reality they are pretty disturbingly similar in their positions on gender.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 25 October 2001 04:35 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, and Trespasser, I've read some of Vonda McIntyre as well, the one with the gloppy creature in the asteroid...My brain is on the fritz, or I'd remember it better.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trespasser
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1204

posted 25 October 2001 06:44 PM      Profile for Trespasser   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Morbidly amused" sounds good. Do tell more.
From: maritimes | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 664

posted 25 October 2001 07:20 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The nice thing about Babble is that it is so contemporary. 30 years ago we were still slugging hand written manuscripts to the typists and having huge arguments about whether it was good editorial policy at the student newspaper not to publish handwritten letters to the editors.

I must confess all this activism makes me feel passive or is it just peaceful ?

Right now for example or when I finish this post I am going to slide over to Nasa and see what's up with the Mars satelite that is now orbiting the planet looking for signs of life.

Quite honestly I expected that we would have a colony on Mars and the Moon by now. I wonder if there are reasons of an X-File character that we don't.

On the other hand I think the trillion dollar price tag is too high and that this high tech futurism is extremely misleading. I prefer speculative lo-tech fiction and fantasy myself.

It agrees more with my neoHippie ideology I guess.


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1275

posted 25 October 2001 10:47 PM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
With a few exceptions (thanks to those) everyone's naming the classics - Herbert, Heinlein, Asimov, Gibson. Or talking Star Trek (a pox on those).

If you can suggest some newer material, I'll be in your debt. I haven't found any sci-fi worth reading in years.

A few suggestions for others:

How about Guy Gavriel Kay - the only fantasy writer since Tolkien worth reading.

Or Russell Hoban? He's written dozen's of great children's books, and at least two of my all time favorite post-apocalyptic sci-fi classics - 'Pilgerman', and 'Ridley Walker'.

Speaking of classics, there's one that I have to read at least once a year, 'Inferno', by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle. I don't know if you can really call it sci-fi, but the main character is a sci-fi novelist. It's an update on Dante's Inferno, but way more entertaining.

But I was looking for newer reading, wasn't I?
Guess I won't dwell on the genius of Philip K. Dick then - though the man who inspired Bladerunner surely deserves some mention.

How about Rudy Rucker?
Rudy's lots of fun - keeps it lite while introducing all kinds of new memes to infect the way you look at the world.

[ October 25, 2001: Message edited by: Lard tunderin' jeesus ]


From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1394

posted 25 October 2001 11:28 PM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lard tunderin' jeesus, I just braved the elements to go from my office building to my house where my sci-fi library is to bring you some new authors and titles. Here they are:

Michael Moorcock: “The end of all songs” trilogy [beautiful fantasy/sci-fi about human destiny]

Paul Anderson “High Crusade” [Absolutely hilarious about Middle Ages Englishmen hijacking an alien spaceship for transportation to the Crusade to Jerusalem], “Brain Wave” [very intriguing story about sudden brain-development of humans and its consequences]

Harry Harrison: “Technicolor Time Machine” [Hilarious – a movie studio on the verge of bankruptcy has to produce a major movie by next Monday – they use a time machine to go back to the past to make it – I almost died laughing reading it]

D.F.Jone “Colossus” [trilogy about smart US and Russian computers teaming up to save mankind from itself]

Lerry Niven/James Pournelle “Lucifer’s Hammer” [End of the world, comet hits Earth story, very entertaining, well written, best I have seen yet]

Sherri Tepper: “Family Tree”[incredible twist at the end – left me gasping] “Gate to women’s Country” [best feminist fantasy story I have seen yet – deeply philosophical]

Fred Hoyle; “The Black Cloud” [dated technologically but incredibly funny and intelligent analysis of scientific problem solving mixed together with power-hungry politicians]

Tom Holt “Only Human”[Hilarious – what happens when God goes on vacation for a few days], “Flying Dutch” [Hilarious story built on the concept of money and what it means]

Terry Pretchett: “Small Gods” [how power and faith interrelate – very funny and true], “Jingo”[frighteningly appropriate and hilarious story about war hysteria]

Frank Herbert “Santaroga Barrier” [a deeply philosophical mystery story about a Valley in California where no outside sales men can ever sell anything]

James Hogan: “Voyage from Yesteryear”[One of the best Utopia stories where a whole new generation of humans is raised scientifically on another planet by robots and evolve into a sane society which is now threatened by Earth attempting to conquer them], “Thrice upon a Time”[The most logical time-travel story I have read, I actually could believe it was happening – without the crazy contradictions.

Well, I hope you guys find something interesting in the list. If I repeated some titles, please forgive me, I scanned for most but I may have missed a few.


From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 26 October 2001 01:38 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe you folk can help me here.

I once saw in a book on comics, pages of text which were interspersed with reproductions of a science-fiction-type comic, starring an erstwhile British naval cadet named Jason January. It was done in, I believe, the 1920s or 1930s.

I've been trying for some time to gather any info on this, but nobody has a darned thing.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1387

posted 26 October 2001 01:50 AM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
KBMB - I thought the episode of Enterprise where the engineer got pregnant was pretty funny. If he had given birth to it, millions of women would say in a Bill Clinton-ese voice "I feel your pain."

I think this series should be good because we know now that things weren't always rosy between the humans and the Vulcans after their first contact. And also the Enterprise is the only deep space exploration ship. It would be a fitting end series for Star Trek.


From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 664

posted 26 October 2001 09:26 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Mars Odyssey stuff, as an example of real life Sci Fi was somewhat mundane - a thrill for biochemists and such but lacking the high drama of H.G. Wells or Edgar Rice Burroughs - two of my favourites.

[URL=http://www.nasa.gov/ ]nasa[/URL]


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
MJ
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 441

posted 26 October 2001 11:14 AM      Profile for MJ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
If you can suggest some newer material, I'll be in your debt. I haven't found any sci-fi worth reading in years.

Someone mentioned CJ Cherryh earlier, but it's worth repeating. She's brilliant at creating highly realistic visions of the future. What she does is very rigorous and internally consistent, and mixes politics and strong characterization in with the SF.

And, of course, Ken McLeod. I'm surprised no one has mentioned him yet, considering he's a very hot SF writer these days, and considering a few of the following quotes I found from reviews of his books:

"'Ken McLeod’s distinctly Scottish and unashamedly Socialist tales have become one of the highlights of the Science Fiction year'"

"There was a lot I liked about this book. He has scenes set in places I've been to in Edinburgh and London, and I recognise his descriptions of seventies student activism."

I'm reading Stone Canal by McLeod right now, and it's quite good.


From: Around. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 26 October 2001 11:47 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
KBMB - I thought the episode of Enterprise where the engineer got pregnant was pretty funny. If he had given birth to it, millions of women would say in a Bill Clinton-ese voice "I feel your pain."

I think letting him have the baby would have been a typically cheesy Star Trek plot. Personally, I don't even like the idea that different species can cross-breed at all. To me, the idea that a Klingon and a Human can have a baby together is like saying a dog and a cat could have a baby together.

quote:
I think this series should be good because we know now that things weren't always rosy between the humans and the Vulcans after their first contact. And also the Enterprise is the only deep space exploration ship. It would be a fitting end series for Star Trek.

I don't think there's any need to end the franchise. The Star Trek Multi-Verse is big enough to support lots more material in the years to come. I'd like to see Star Trek tv movies from a wide variety of eras, and alien points of view. You could have stories set at Starfleet Academy. You could have stories in a civilian Earth setting, with Starfleet only making incidental appearances in the background. You could have stories from the Romulan point of view in the TOS era. The possibilities are endless.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1394

posted 26 October 2001 11:58 AM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I forgot one from my list last night and it is the best I ever read.

Sandor Szathmary: "Kazohinia" - originally written in Esperanto (in the thirties) then translated to Hungarian (the authors native language) and then to English.

It is the funniest parody of Humanity I ever read and a unique marriage between Utopia and counter-Utopia, in the framework of another Gulliver adventure. Philosophically this book was the single greatest help in my quest for understanding.

I am dying to find an english translation copy (so far unsuccessful) and am willing to pay serious money for one.

If anyone is curious where the name "Zatamon" comes from -- this book was the inspiration for it.


From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doug
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 44

posted 26 October 2001 10:24 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm very much looking forward for the last book of Tad Williams' Otherland series to come out in paperback. It's a very solid, if long, speculative fiction involving an international virtual reality network created by the planet's elite in order to give them immortality in a virtual world; a network that relies upon the brains of children that have been trapped on the internet of the mid-21st century. It's an excellent read.
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 26 October 2001 11:34 PM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, by Walter M. Miller Jr. If I could have written one book myself, it would be that!!!

quote:
If you can suggest some newer material, I'll be in your debt. I haven't found any sci-fi worth reading in years.

Not exactly hot off the press new, but Julian Mays' Many Coloured Land series, with all its wonderful prequels and sequels has been conspicuous in it's absence from these discussions. It's not really a lot like Guy Gavriel Kays' stuff, but if you like one, I could see you liking the other.

Speaking of Guy Gavriel Kay, he's just great. He rejuvinated a genre that was becoming trite and shop worn. One of the things that really appeals is that I used to major in medieval history, and Kay really understands the ethos in which he writes.

[ October 26, 2001: Message edited by: oldgoat ]

[ October 27, 2001: Message edited by: oldgoat ]


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 690

posted 27 October 2001 12:07 AM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does anyone read old sci-fi thinking whether it did really apply to the current time? Someone mentioned Vonnegut, and I have (somewhere) one of his old novels about the near future. I can’t remember the name, nor finished the book. So I can’t comment on this…
It’s one thing to say sci-fi ponders the future, it is quite another to say it has a track record of this.

From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
andrean
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 361

posted 27 October 2001 12:32 AM      Profile for andrean     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
oldgoat, were you in my Grade 13 English class? I don't know anybody else who's read Canticle! I liked it when I read and started (though didn't finish) reading it again not so long ago and liked it even more!
From: etobicoke-lakeshore | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 27 October 2001 01:32 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Andrean: I was in grade 9 twice, I was in grade 10 three times, but I was never in anyones grade 13 class. Mine was a tumultuous high school career. Fortunately, I never confused school with real education!

LEIBOWITZ is a fine book. It is spiritually uplifting, ennobling of humanity, and definitly worth a read.


From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 27 October 2001 04:27 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Andrean, if I hadn't dropped out of high school, I would have had to read A Canticle for Liebowitz too. Apparently my school (in Kingston) had that on the gr. 13 reading list. I've heard it's excellent - what did you think? I just might put that on my (very, VERY long) to-read-list.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1275

posted 04 November 2001 11:00 PM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Zatamon, MJ - Thanks.
From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zatamon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1394

posted 04 November 2001 11:11 PM      Profile for Zatamon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lard tunderin' jeesus, it's been a while since I posted a list. Have you looked at any of the books? Just curious. You are welcome.
From: where hope for 'hope' is contemplated | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca