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

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Old October 12 2011, 03:42 PM   #31
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

OK so after the Anvil series...I finished my Typhon Pact book, then immediately went to the Benford's In the Ocean of Night....I couldnt hold back any longer since it's one of two books I missed in the series and happens to be where it all started. I have to say, of all the hard SF writers..if you compare him to those who gained popularity in the 50s-70s and as a long time writer, Benford's work holds up better than just about any of them...and that includes Asimov, Niven, etc. OK so after Across the Sea of Suns...I will get to my new arrival: Children of the Sky.
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Old October 14 2011, 04:15 AM   #32
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Jack London's The Jacket, also known as Star Rover. This is from before WWI, predating the clear formation of SF as a commercial genre.
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Old October 14 2011, 06:11 AM   #33
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

The book I'm reading now has some weird coincidental timing behind it. The book is "The Prisoner Trilogy" by Roger Langley. It is an omnibus collecting three unofficial novels based on The Prisoner TV series that were published in the late 80s by the official Prisoner fan club of the day. Recently the three books (Think Tank, When in Rome, Charmed Life) were put out in a new edition.

I once visited Portmeirion, Wales, where the show was shot, and at the time (and probably still today) one of the cottages was a Prisoner-related souvenir shop. They had 2 of the 3 books and I was actually told that I was buying the last copy of I think Charmed Life.

Fast forward to 2011 and I find out this Prisoner Trilogy has come out so I order it from the UK. It arrived on Tuesday. This week happens to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of the month-long trip I took to Britain in 1991, which was when I visited Portmeirion. So it's a nostalgia rush for me.

Technically the books are fanfic, but very well done fanfic. (And since the newer Prisoner novels from Powys Media by Andrew Cartmel and a couple others have proven impossible to obtain from where I am, it's a good substitute for those books.)*

Alex

* That's a subtle plea if anyone knows of an online retailer carrying them to please let me know!
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Old October 17 2011, 08:13 AM   #34
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Finished Venus Plus X by Theodore Sturgeon, which was a very interesting little book ultimately about what role sex and gender play and should play in the dynamics of human society... it has the overt structure of a present-day man [written in 1960] plucked into a strange future setting and what he finds about this utopian world, but ends up being a lot more than that. There are some nicely-drawn interspersed parts in the present that reflect the themes being addressed in the future sections, in some ways I liked those better than the "sf" parts. Amusingly it also had some of the same conclusions about where human society went wrong that PKD broached in the Valis books.

Now on to another classic, this a re-read for the first time in decades: City by Clifford Simak.
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Old October 17 2011, 01:18 PM   #35
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

The Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2012.
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Old October 18 2011, 12:39 AM   #36
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

In the very minimal amount of time that I have when I'm not reading books for my classes I've been slowly making my way through A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

Honestly, the section of the story that is keeping most interested is John Snow's experiences on The Wall.
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Old October 21 2011, 03:38 AM   #37
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

I just recently finished The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, at Kegg's general recommendation. A very definite thumbs up there.

I also just plowed through Rogue Squadron by Michael A. Stackpole, out of curiosity, because I needed some light bathroom literature. Thumbs sideway, nothing deep as expected.
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Old October 24 2011, 11:37 PM   #38
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

I put down A Dance With Dragons for the time being and am 2/3s of the way through How Firm A Foundation.
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Old October 25 2011, 04:41 AM   #39
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Finished re-reading Simak's City for the first time in over 20 years, and was again stunned at its power and depth. There are few future histories as simultaneously entrancing and disquieting as these tales of evolution and loss. Man leaving Earth to become aliens [or succumbing to ennui] and dogs striving to build a new world without killing and war -- and whether there is any hope for humanity to overcome its essential violence and inhumanity. Mutation, philosophical breakthroughs that can transform a society overnight, alternate universes, putting human [and canine] consciousness in alien bodies, robots of uncommon humanity and vision... this one has it all and more. Mournful, even elegiac at times, it reflects the postwar idea that perhaps humans had come about as far as their innate limitations and bloodlust would be able to take them.

I'd put it in my all-time top ten, you younger fry should check it out.

Note for those who have read the book: given that Juwain's philosophical breakthrough mainly resulted in most of the human race fleeing to become Jovian instead, should we judge Jerome Webster less harshly for not allowing it to flower centuries earlier? Or would the fact that the Jovian option wasn't there when it would have first been introduced given it time to develop into something else?

Next up: The Big Time by Fritz Leiber. I've not read much FL beyond Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, looking forward to it.
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Last edited by Klaus; October 25 2011 at 05:54 AM.
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Old October 26 2011, 01:41 PM   #40
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

And I forgot to mention that the story "Desertion" is one of the other places that Cameron stole Avatar from lol... humans entering alien bodies and not wanting to come back because of the sensation.
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Old October 26 2011, 03:52 PM   #41
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Just finished Diplomatic Immunity, which would leave Cryoburn as the only Vorkosigan book I haven't read yet. Been trawling through this series for the past few months (taking advantage of the fact the majority of them are available freely online, though I needed to pick up Memory, clever bastards) and I must say this by and large has been a fun, addictive set of space opera novels. They're brisk reads that are admittedly designed rather scrupulously with Chekov's Gun in mind (just about any detail a novel brings up will be important to the plot later on), and generally have a big interest - as far as the SF ideas go - in medical technology, especially 'uterine replicators', machines that render natural birth obsolescent and result in half a dozen different social and scientific implications over the novel series.

Gonna miss this when I'm done, that's for sure.

Also picked up my volume of Leigh Brackett stories where I left it. I have mixed views of the old sci-fi pulp I've actually read - E.E. Doc Smith is more fun than he is good, and as hilarious as the title and premise is, Edison's Conquest of Mars is fairly dire - but Brackett brings to the whole vanished Martian civilizations and drained canals and the lot of it... some darn solid writing. She's a cut above those contemporaries I'm actually familiar with.

CarbonCopy wrote: View Post
I just recently finished The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, at Kegg's general recommendation. A very definite thumbs up there.
Glad you liked it.

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And I forgot to mention that the story "Desertion" is one of the other places that Cameron stole Avatar from lol... humans entering alien bodies and not wanting to come back because of the sensation.
Not that I've read either story, but I've also heard it owes a bit to Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe". As familiar and as entirely legitimate as the observations of Avatar's unoriginality is, it does interest me that every other two accusations accuses it of ripping off completely different source material.
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Old October 26 2011, 04:05 PM   #42
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Klaus-if you enjoyed CITY that much, you should pick up The Instrumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith.

I'm re-reading the SM Stirling Nantucket Trilogy, having just finished Island In The Sea of Time. Always fun.
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Old October 26 2011, 06:10 PM   #43
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Kegg wrote: View Post
Klaus wrote: View Post
And I forgot to mention that the story "Desertion" is one of the other places that Cameron stole Avatar from lol... humans entering alien bodies and not wanting to come back because of the sensation.
Not that I've read either story, but I've also heard it owes a bit to Poul Anderson's "Call Me Joe". As familiar and as entirely legitimate as the observations of Avatar's unoriginality is, it does interest me that every other two accusations accuses it of ripping off completely different source material.
Larceny is the sincerest form of flattery!! I haven't read "Call Me Joe" in decades either, I"ll have to poke in my Hugo Winners volumes, I think it's there.

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Klaus-if you enjoyed CITY that much, you should pick up The Instrumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith.
I'll do that, thanks!
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Old November 2 2011, 03:06 AM   #44
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

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Old November 4 2011, 02:48 AM   #45
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

Finished The Big Time by Fritz Leiber, your Hugo-winning novel in 1958. It's a short but fascinating read... the backdrop is "The Change War", a temporal war going from a billion years in the past to a billion years in the future, with two sides changing the timeline back and forth to try and force their desired outcome. The kicker here is that the whole story is set in a "Place", an area outside time and space where soldiers can rest/recuperate/get medical attention before returning to the fight, told first-person by a woman who is an entertainer there. It almost reminded me of a play, with the whole thing revolving around interactions between people in a restricted setting. Some really cool ideas and one of those "hmmm-what-does-that-mean?" endings, too. I've only read Leiber's fantasy before.

Now on to Jack of Eagles by James Blish, a UK paperback with this lovely cover:

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