What are you reading?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Snowlilly, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I had a feeling you'd be disappointed. I was disappointed, too, although I still loved it-- Clarke's my favorite, after all. My major disappointments were the abandonment of the Trinity storyline, the Halman business, the retcon of the Stargate and the fact that, far from being the "final" Odyssey, it ended on a cliffhanger.
     
  2. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I can see why you were telling me it was a disappointment. What makes it all the more disappointing is how strong it started out. 2061's epilogue had set up some great potential that never really amounts to anything more than a passing mention. I'd have thought that the discovery of the monolith on Earth would have done something significant for humanity, giving the story a philosophical note. It's as if the story was relying too heavily on the technology to dazzle, and I know it sounds ironic in terms of a sci-fi, but the story seemed to be more about the technology surrounding them rather than their affected lives. I felt the end was a bit too neat and tidy. I think he fumbled it, but on the other hand, it's difficult to end such an iconic series that started out as a single story.

    And I don't really understand Clarke's comments about the stories not really being direct sequels, and more as stories taking place in the same universe, as they certainly read like direct sequels to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Well, he kept fiddling with the timeline. If you look at his description of Poole's life, it's clear that the events of 2001 couldn't have taken place in 2001 and so forth. And then there was the retconning, such as with the Stargate. I think the term he used was "variations on a theme." I didn't like that aspect, either.

    But he was very old when he wrote it. He could still come up with the ideas, but didn't seem to have the focus or energy to develop them.

    My favorite aspect was bringing back Poole, giving the series a feeling of circularity. But I really wished that he would have brought back Clindar and Eos from Lost Worlds of 2001 and given us a real epic finale. Instead it turned into a confrontation and was put off for another 900 years.
     
  4. Pingfah

    Pingfah Admiral Admiral

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    I am continuing to work through the novels of Charles Bukowski, and am now on Women. Great stuff, really dark, seedy and also hilarious.

    I have just bought a collection of his short stories too, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town, and I intend to read that next.
     
  5. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Commodore Commodore

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    Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt. Excellent so far..
     
  6. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    More Kennedy assassination lore: Killing the Truth by Harrison Edward Livingstone.
     
  7. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that much was clear. Still, despite the differences, it everything still lined up fairly well and they read like sequels rather than variations, which to me sounds more like unrelated stories set in the same universe, which this wasn't. It never felt like they weren't connected as they all referred to each other. So, his comments about that just left me confused.

    The finale, I agree, left a lot to be desired. I actually feel that with a series as epic and iconic as it was, that it would have been better served to have it end in an open-ended manner that would have made people wonder, instead of what he did. I did like bringing Poole back too, though Clarke didn't really do much with him to further the story and make it interesting. He kind of was just there without much purpose.

    Like you said, his ideas weren't as good as he was older, and it's plain to see when he starts to borrow whole chapters from 2001 and 2010 instead of writing entertaining synopses to those referred events. That bugged me quite a bit. With Poole, to make it even more circular in nature, I would have liked Clarke to have found a way to get him down on the surface and be a part of the discovery of TMA-0, much like Floyd was critical to the investigations of TMA-1, which would have given him more of a purpose and a neat parallel to him having been revived. It was a wasted potential, and I was actually frustrated that so much of it took place in space, if that makes any sense.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ Yeah, I agree with all of that, especially Poole. He was just an observer and a plot device to communicate with Halman; he should have had something to do to make his character the equal of Bowman and Floyd. Also, defeating the aliens using a Trojan Horse computer virus was far too mundane a climax for story that started out as the essence of "the sense of wonder." It's really too bad.

    Now that's interesting and topical. Can you give us an idea of what he has to say?
     
  9. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, tell me about it. It zapped the sense of wonder out of it. Too simple a solution for one of the greatest mysteries ever created. I think a better ending would have been for their plan to backfire as an underestimation of TMA, and as a result sending humanity back to where it all began with the opening scenes of 2001. That would have had more of an impact and would have followed the themes in a better way.
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Or have an epilogue showing advanced Europans discovering TMA-0 on an idyllic but uninhabited Earth. :rommie:

    The publisher should hire Jack McDevitt to write 4001: Ultimate Odyssey or something.
     
  11. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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    I am now reading Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach.
     
  12. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    wouldn't it be 5001? wasn't the message something like 1,000 years to get there, 1,000 years for a response?
     
  13. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Premium Member

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    A History of the English Speaking Peoples
     
  14. Ghost07

    Ghost07 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Dead Men DO Tell Tales...it's the MOST interesting non-fiction book I've ever read; by ...oh...a Forensic Scientist, the one who examined the remains of Tzar Alexander and his family. I didn't know non-fiction could be so spellbinding.
     
  15. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Sounds good. I just added it to my reading list. Your description of it as spellbinding non-fiction reminds me of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which I just finished.

    Currently reading I am Spock. So far, interesting but not spellbinding.
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Maybe so. I seem to remember thinking that it would be 950 years if the aliens responded immediately, but I'd have to check to be sure. Maybe I was thinking in terms of ignoring the Stargate retcon.
     
  17. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On the other hand, maybe it's been so long that they'd never respond at all. Maybe they'd be like the Preservers who perished long after spreading their obelisks around the universe, their technology having outlasted them.
     
  18. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A couple of chapters of High Treason 2 by Harrison Edward Livingstone (1992).
     
  19. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Commodore Commodore

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    I'm currently reading Marc Cerasini's "Godzilla 2000", as well as the Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (the Wordsworth hardcover edition, so I'm not taking it on the bus with me, way too heavy to carry around). With the latter, I'm still at the beginning, I guess, having finished A Study In Scarlet just this evening.
     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Maybe there's a new administration. That would be hilarious. :rommie:
     

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