RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 139,700
Posts: 5,431,459
Members: 24,832
Currently online: 459
Newest member: eltonlight


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 28 2011, 03:32 AM   #16
The Lensman
Fleet Captain
 
The Lensman's Avatar
 
Location: Milky Way Galaxy
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Klaus wrote: View Post
I have a signed copy of Foundation that is my proudest geek possession... saw him speak twice. I'd second the Lije Bailey/Daneel Olivaw books for a good start -- start with The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun.
Two of my best "geek possessions" are the last couple of parts to both "Currents Of Space" and "Now You Don't" in their original magazine forms.

As for the Foundation books, I only read the original trilogy when I re-read the books. Don't care for the books written from the 80's up. Got tired of going back to Seldon, who really only serves the purpose of setting the whole thing up.

These books work almost like a stage play and I love all the conversations about history and psycho-history.
__________________
"Everyone Booze Up And Riot!!"
.....Milk and Cheese.....
The Lensman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 03:36 AM   #17
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Isaac Asimov?

I think Asimov's prose style is underrated. Sure, it isn't especially flashy or poetic, but it's solid, clear, expressive, efficient, clever, and literate. I quite enjoy the way the Good Doctor uses words.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 03:37 AM   #18
Allyn Gibson
Vice Admiral
 
Allyn Gibson's Avatar
 
Location: South Pennsyltucky
View Allyn Gibson's Twitter Profile Send a message via AIM to Allyn Gibson Send a message via Yahoo to Allyn Gibson
Re: Isaac Asimov?

io9 recently did a seven-part look at the Foundation series, which was far more interesting and far more insightful than I was expecting. They have a wide-ranging conversation about the series and Asimov, and I was quite fascinated by it.

In order...

Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation
Foundation's Edge
Foundation and Earth
Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation

I'd like to think that Asimov is a better writer than Australis suggests above. I think it's the first io9 article that discusses Asimov's prose style, and it pointed out some things that I hadn't noticed. In college I noticed that there's a certain Hemingway-esque-ness to Asimov's prose; it's not just the emphasis on conversation, it's the use of active verbs to drive the story forward.
__________________
"When David Marcus cited the great thinkers of history -- "Newton, Einstein, Surak" -- Newt Gingrich did not make his list." -- 24 January 2012

allyngibson.net
Allyn Gibson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 03:42 AM   #19
Goliath
Vice Admiral
 
Goliath's Avatar
 
Location: The Fifth Dimension
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Mysterion wrote: View Post
^^^
Agreed. I'd group Bradbury with Ellison, and...well, I can't think of a third for that particular group. LeGuin maybe?

More emotional writing as oppossed to the more sweeping/futuristic style of Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein.

Sturgeon?
Maybe.

It's been a while since I read any SF criticism, but I think the true distinction is between the Golden Age SF of the 40s and 50s, and the New Wave of the 60s.

Ellison was part of the New Wave, along with John Brunner, Samuel R. Delany, and Michael Moorcock. I don't think LeGuin was considered a New Wave writer, but she had a lot more in common with them than with her predecessors.

As progressive as it was, for a television program, Star Trek was pretty old-fashioned compared to literary SF in the late 60s. That's why Forbidden Planet seems like an episode of TOS, despite being made in 1956.
__________________
An illusion--with intelligence! A malignant vision, with a will of pure evil!
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 04:04 AM   #20
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
In college I noticed that there's a certain Hemingway-esque-ness to Asimov's prose; it's not just the emphasis on conversation, it's the use of active verbs to drive the story forward.
Interesting, seeing as how I enjoy Asimov's prose style but hate Hemingway's. Eye of the beholder.


Goliath wrote: View Post
As progressive as it was, for a television program, Star Trek was pretty old-fashioned compared to literary SF in the late 60s. That's why Forbidden Planet seems like an episode of TOS, despite being made in 1956.
Well, naturally. SFTV is almost always a decade or two behind prose SF. The only exception I'm aware of is Max Headroom, which was a cyberpunk show just a few years after the term "cyberpunk" was coined. ST was progressive in that it introduced a television audience to prose-SF concepts and approaches that TV hadn't previously caught up with.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 04:18 AM   #21
Admiral Buzzkill
Fleet Admiral
 
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Science fiction has yet to produce a writer of Hemingway's calibre, of course.
Admiral Buzzkill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 04:37 AM   #22
CorporalCaptain
Admiral
 
CorporalCaptain's Avatar
 
Location: Kentucky
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Goliath wrote: View Post
The last Asimov novel I read was The Gods Themselves, and I couldn't even tell you what that was about.
In a nutshell, it's a metaphor for pollution.
__________________
John
CorporalCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 04:53 AM   #23
RandyS
Vice Admiral
 
RandyS's Avatar
 
Location: Randyland
View RandyS's Twitter Profile
Re: Isaac Asimov?

I've read the seven original Foundation novels, the ones by Asimov, I have yet to get to the others. I've also read his Galactic Empire trilogy and his four Robot novels (though again, only those by him, I haven't yet gotten to the continuations by Roger McBride Allen). I've also read The Gods Themselves, and The End of Eternity.

I definately recommend Asimov.
RandyS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 05:04 AM   #24
USS Triumphant
Rear Admiral
 
USS Triumphant's Avatar
 
Location: Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Here's the list for Asimov's Robots-Empire-Foundation series, in the order that *I* would recommend reading them (by Asimov unless otherwise stated):

The End of Eternity (actually, you can read this at any point before Foundation)
I, Robot
Nemesis
Mind Transfer by Janet Asimov
Caves of Steel
Naked Sun
Robots of Dawn
Mirage by Mark W. Tiedemann
Chimera by Mark W. Tiedemann
Aurora by Mark W. Tiedemann
Robots and Empire
Caliban by Roger MacBride Allen
Inferno by Roger MacBride Allen
Utopia by Roger MacBride Allen
The Stars, Like Dust
The Currents of Space
Pebble In The Sky
Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation
Foundation's Edge
Foundation and Earth
Prelude to Foundation
Forward the Foundation
Foundation's Fear by Gregory Binford
Foundation and Chaos by Greg Bear
Foundation's Triumph by David Brin

For your amusement if you're still craving the Asimov universe after all of that (and I expect that you will be):
Isaac Asimov's Robot City series by misc authors
Isaac Asimov's Robots and Aliens series by misc authors
Foundation's Friends (anthology by other authors)
The Norby Chronicles and the rest of the Norby series, by Janet and Isaac Asimov
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams (not really directly connected, but pays homage in places throughout, and worthwhile on its own, besides).

That might seem a bit intimidating for someone who just wants to try Asimov's stuff, so if you just want to read a single book that can stand alone, try any of these:

I, Robot
The End of Eternity
Nemesis
The Stars, Like Dust
The Currents of Space
Pebble In The Sky

I hope you enjoy his works as much as my wife and I both have and do.
__________________
As the brilliant philosopher once said... Everybody, have fun tonight. Everybody, Wang Chung tonight.
USS Triumphant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 05:19 AM   #25
Owain Taggart
Rear Admiral
 
Owain Taggart's Avatar
 
Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
Re: Isaac Asimov?

You certainly can't go wrong with any of his works. One thing to note though, is that he eventually tried to tie all of his stories and series together, probably one of the first attempts of world building on a big scale, and likely due to his publisher. So, his later books had more direct hints of the series being interconnected, which in my opinion felt forced as I don't think he originally intended for them to be connected. I'd enjoy the stories for what they are, good stories with lots of insight from the golden age of science fiction. The good thing is, they can be read as standalone novels.


Btw, Triumphant, there's one you didn't mention and I'm not sure if you've ever read it. It's a tribute novel set more or less in the same universe but using different names for everything since the author couldn't get permission from the estate, but it's Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury. It's a very good novel if you liked the Foundation series and I think it probably pays more respect and does it more justice than the second trilogy by the big 3. I highly enjoyed it.

Here's a review:

http://www.ansible.co.uk/writing/psychris.html

Prologue:

http://www.donaldkingsbury.com/Psych...choCrisis.html

The different names for everything can take some getting used to, but the way I explained it away to myself was to have the references for things having changed over centuries and the world having evolved over time.

Last edited by Owain Taggart; May 28 2011 at 05:36 AM.
Owain Taggart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 05:50 AM   #26
KB24
Fleet Captain
 
KB24's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Send a message via AIM to KB24 Send a message via Yahoo to KB24
Re: Isaac Asimov?

My favorite is The End of the Eternity. It is a short time travel novel relatively stand alone, as compared to all of the other Foundation and Robots that all end up tied together. It might be a good place to test if you like his style or not before committing to the series. Or there are several short story anthologies out there. Or Nightfall.

I read a lot of Asimov as a kid and have always intended to go back and reread, but never do. My husband was just asking similar questions about him, as he liked the movie versions of I Robot and Bicentennial Man. Though they take plenty of liberties, that might give you an idea, too.
__________________
FATE and FANGS: Tales from the Vampire Family Kindle Available Now!
http://vampfam.blogspot.com
I Think, Therefore I Review- Criticism, Conjecture, Rants
http://ithinkthereforeireview.blogspot.com
KB24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 06:01 AM   #27
Non Sync
Captain
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
Re: Isaac Asimov?

There is also a large collection of non-fiction that he's also written.
__________________
"You're gonna need a bigger boat"
Non Sync is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 11:56 AM   #28
Aeolusdallas
Captain
 
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Although the Foundation and Robot books are what he is most famous for his non fiction books are the best reads. He could take almost any subject and make it easily understandable.
Aeolusdallas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 01:05 PM   #29
Klaus
Rear Admiral
 
Klaus's Avatar
 
Location: Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
View Klaus's Twitter Profile
Re: Isaac Asimov?

The Lensman wrote: View Post
Klaus wrote: View Post
I have a signed copy of Foundation that is my proudest geek possession... saw him speak twice.
Two of my best "geek possessions" are the last couple of parts to both "Currents Of Space" and "Now You Don't" in their original magazine forms.
I have the Currents of Space issues of Astounding too, though they're very brittle. Somewhere I have Lord Valentine's Castle and The Gunslinger in F&SF, too.

I think the simplicity of Asimov's writing is definitely part of the appeal, and I mean that in a good way.
__________________
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain
t-shirts!
deviantArt
Klaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 28 2011, 01:32 PM   #30
Goliath
Vice Admiral
 
Goliath's Avatar
 
Location: The Fifth Dimension
Re: Isaac Asimov?

Christopher wrote: View Post
SFTV is almost always a decade or two behind prose SF.
That is true, but my point was that the gap between the two was particularly wide during the period of the New Wave.

In the case of TOS, television was a decade behind the cinema--which was already pretty far behind literary SF in 1956.

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
In a nutshell, it's a metaphor for pollution.
Thank you. But once again: this is rather beside my point.

I didn't have any difficulty understanding the novel. As other people have noted, Asimov's writing is nothing if not clear.

I have difficulty remembering it. I just reviewed the plot by reading the novel's Wikipedia entry, and I still don't remember any of it.
__________________
An illusion--with intelligence! A malignant vision, with a will of pure evil!
Goliath is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.