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Thread: The Sci-Fi Discussion Thread

  1. #26
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Daniel Davis (view post)
    How did you get involved with this project?
    i held a job as a translater for a publishing house. aside from clarke's, i also did a few kiddie, one biography, and a mathematic text. i don't do that anymore. after my writing career was lanched, this job sucks in comparison.

  2. #27
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    back to clarke. i don't want to give him too much shit. if anything, odyssey is a basic for MAPS, one of the best manga series about operatic space adventures. besides, he belongs to a different breed of writers. clarke is very humanistic. (some adjective i've never associated with kubrick.) he believes in goodness deep-rooted inside human heart, our potential to develope out-of-the-universe technology and use it for good cause. you don't find such person that much nowaday in literature world.

  3. #28
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting lovejuice (view post)
    i held a job as a translater for a publishing house. aside from clarke's, i also did a few kiddie, one biography, and a mathematic text. i don't do that anymore. after my writing career was lanched, this job sucks in comparison.
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: you, sir, are a superstar. Seriously, how do you manage to do this stuff while completing a degree? Are you older than I think?
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

    lists and reviews

  4. #29
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Melville (view post)
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: you, sir, are a superstar. Seriously, how do you manage to do this stuff while completing a degree? Are you older than I think?
    translation requires discipline. it's an easy enough job for a proficient user of two languages. if you can force yourself to go on four pages a day, it'll last no more than 3 monthes for an average book.

    i'm very slacking with my degree. only these past two years have i picked up gear. i'm fortunate (or damn unfortunate) enough to spend my undergrad in a hell of a science institute. my life after that is much easier in comparison.

  5. #30
    It's all in the caffeine EvilShoe's Avatar
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    I'm halfway through "So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish".
    It's almost like Douglas Adams is deliberately trying to piss his fanbase off.
    (To be honest, I don't loathe the book or anything, it just doesn't feel like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy at all)
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  6. #31
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    D, so what's the first book in this elric saga called? i notice three fantasy novels from moorcock, but have no idea which one to read first?
    "Over analysis is like the oil of the Match-Cut machine." KK2.0

  7. #32
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting lovejuice (view post)
    D, so what's the first book in this elric saga called? i notice three fantasy novels from moorcock, but have no idea which one to read first?
    This kind of depends on what version you read, as the Elric saga was first serialized in magazine form. I would look for the two omnibus versions that collect all of the original parts, in narrative order. I believe these stories were published in a different order.

    Here is the listing of the individual books:
    • Elric of Melniboné (novel, Hutchinson 1972, cut vt The Dreaming City 1972 US; DAW 1977)
    • The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (collection, Quartet 1976; DAW 1977)
    • The Weird of the White Wolf (collection, DAW 1977)
    • The Sleeping Sorceress (novel, NEL 1971; Ace 1971 as The Vanishing Tower; DAW 1977)
    • The Bane of the Black Sword (collection, DAW 1977)
    • Stormbringer (novel, fix-up, cut, Herbet Jenkins 1965; restored, DAW 1977)
    Later novels
    • Fortress of the Pearl (novel, Gollancz 1989)
    • Revenge of the Rose (novel, Grafton 1991 as The Revenge of the Rose: A Tale of the Albino Prince in the Years of his Wandering)
    Look for this:



    As well as part 2. These are hardback book club editions that you can pick up for cheap.

  8. #33
    nightmare investigator monolith94's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    Anyone read any of these?

    "Foundation and Empire" - Isaac Asimov
    "2010: Odyssey Two" by Arthur C. Clarke
    "3001: The Final Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke
    "Rendezvous With Rama" by Arthur C. Clarke
    "Ringworld" by Larry Niven
    I remember liking them all, but this was back in middle school mind you.
    "Modern weapons can defend freedom, civilization, and life only by annihilating them. Security in military language means the ability to do away with the Earth."
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  9. #34
    nightmare investigator monolith94's Avatar
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    Ringworld and Foundation are probably the best of that bunch, though.
    "Modern weapons can defend freedom, civilization, and life only by annihilating them. Security in military language means the ability to do away with the Earth."
    -Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

  10. #35
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    I started Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke, this morning. It's okay so far, 20 pages in.

  11. #36
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    So, I am a little more than half way through my first Arthur C. Clarke novel, Childhood's End, and it is pretty good. There have been a few remarkable moments sprinkled throughout the first 110 pages, and only a scant few mediocre ones. At its core, it is a basic alien invasion novel, prototypical even; this is a very influential book and has been an inspiration for countless other novels and movies. Clarke succeeds when he details humanity's longing for answers and their road to discovery, he fails when he tries to construct a logical idea of Utopia and dive deeper into human relationships. I've never really liked Utopian stories (and this is not purely a story about Utopia, as we learn), because they never really make any sense to me. The world that Clarke describes sounds boring, not Utopian, and honestly, I don't think humanity could be coaxed into living like this. There are parts of the book with far too much exposition, but these are balanced out by some truly amazing moments.

    It's strange though, almost all of the recent books I've read have been divided into 3 distinct sections. A Canticle for Leibowitz, More Than Human, A Case for Conscience, The Gods Themselves, and now this are all comprised of 3 interconnected novellas, or parts that could be read as novellas. I find this structure interesting.

  12. #37
    Quote Quoting Daniel Davis (view post)
    So, I am a little more than half way through my first Arthur C. Clarke novel, Childhood's End, and it is pretty good. There have been a few remarkable moments sprinkled throughout the first 110 pages, and only a scant few mediocre ones. At its core, it is a basic alien invasion novel, prototypical even; this is a very influential book and has been an inspiration for countless other novels and movies. Clarke succeeds when he details humanity's longing for answers and their road to discovery, he fails when he tries to construct a logical idea of Utopia and dive deeper into human relationships. I've never really liked Utopian stories (and this is not purely a story about Utopia, as we learn), because they never really make any sense to me. The world that Clarke describes sounds boring, not Utopian, and honestly, I don't think humanity could be coaxed into living like this. There are parts of the book with far too much exposition, but these are balanced out by some truly amazing moments.
    .
    Do you know the storyline?

  13. #38
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting SpaceOddity (view post)
    Do you know the storyline?
    Do you mean, do I know how this will all end up?

    Not really, but I have an idea. I think it is clear to assume that the Overlords are not all they are cracked up to be!

    I love the part where the humans first meet the Overlords in "person." This part is very cool.

  14. #39
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke

    Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End, is a prototypical alien invasion story. It is safe to assume that just about every book or movie featuring such a scenario made after Clarke's Hugo award winning novel owes some deal of debt to it. Humongous spaceships appear in the skies over the Earth's major cities, and throughout the course of many generations, the seemingly benevolent alien Overlords solve all of humankind's problems. They create a so-called “Utopia,” in which crime, hunger, homelessness, and other undesirable things vanish completely. But at what cost? For every good thing that the Overlords give to mankind, for every problem they help to solve, what are they taking away? And why won't they let us explore the heavens? Why have they declared that “the stars are not for man?” What are the Overlords hiding from the people of Earth?

    Clarke's book is, for the most part, an enjoyable read. There are many remarkable moments peppered throughout the short, two-hundred page volume. The book possesses more than a handful of sequences that are truly gripping: I recall a few times when I simply could not read fast enough to discover the outcome to a particularly suspenseful situation. However, also sprinkled throughout are a few passages of highly questionable quality. It is quite strange, really. Taken as a whole, the book is well written, engaging, thought provoking, and endearing. But, during some of the long-winded execution, in which there is too much “telling” and not enough “showing,” Clarke lapses into territory that can only be called amateur, and makes some baffling continuity errors.

    Most of these ill-conceived passages occur when Clarke is describing the Utopian society mankind enjoys, one that doesn't sound all that appealing to me. We do not get to experience the Utopia, but, rather, it is simply and drably detailed in an unengaging manner. Sure, some of the ideas are neat, but how did the Overlords orchestrate their master plan? I get the impression that Clarke didn't really know how or why, either, and so he just came up with the final outcome; these passages feel empty because they skip past the most interesting aspects of the notions. Clarke does not reveal the subtle societal changes through the actions of his characters, but rather he just comes out and tells us that religion no longer exists, or that mankind has grown lazy and no longer creates stuff, or that scientific discover has been halted. He also seems to contradict himself from time to time. During one passage, he tells of how mankind has grown apathetic towards the arts, and has lost its creative edge because of the over abundance of entertainment and television. But, then, who is creating the entertainment and the programming the people are spending all of their time watching?

    These moments are rare, but they are baffling enough to stand out because the majority of the stuff surrounding these missteps is interesting and entertaining. Like most of the books I've been reading lately, Childhood's End is divided into three distinct parts. The first part focuses on the initial “invasion” and the discovery of mankind's chosen emissary, Rikki Stormgren. Stromgren is the only human to which the Overlords directly speak, and he finds himself in a no win situation being pitted between a group of human malcontents and the plans of the Earth's new rulers. The second portion of the book introduces the ideas of Utopia and a surprising paranormal twist. It begins with the aliens finally revealing themselves to their human subjects, and this part is incredibly awesome. I won't spoil what the Overlords look like, but rest assured Clarke delivers an interesting glimpse into human-born mythology, psychology and religion.

    The final third of the book takes a detailed look at a colony of outsiders whose goal it is to preserve the arts, and eventually reveals the Overlords' end game. Here, the book takes a remarkable turn, and ends up going in a direction that I never expected. During the final pages of Clarke's book, I was constantly being reminded of Theodore Sturgeon's More Than Human, and I'll simply leave it at that. The last few closing chapters are quite powerful and poetically written, and I couldn't help but feel a little wistful about all of things that had come to fruition. This is clearly an example of powerful science fiction, and I will remember the closing moments for some time to come.

    While the book is far from perfect, it still comes highly recommended. It covers a ton of ground, spanning hundreds of years, and offers up some wildly imaginative plot points in its engaging narrative. It's just too bad that much of the exposition is simplistically told rather than shown, as the effects of the societal changes are rarely discussed in terms of individual impact. I would have preferred a heavier does of characterization to accompany the lofty ideas, but I do realize that these problems, as they are, are due more to the style of this classic era of science fiction than they are to Clarke's abilities as an author. Childhood's End feels more like a collection of short stories than it does an epic narrative, but this is, by no means, a warning to stay clear, because when it is all said and done, Clarke's classic deserves all of the praise it has been given.

  15. #40
    nightmare investigator monolith94's Avatar
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    I hated Childhood's End when I first read it. Not only was the story bland, but I disagreed with each and every ideological point that Clarke made. Humbug.
    "Modern weapons can defend freedom, civilization, and life only by annihilating them. Security in military language means the ability to do away with the Earth."
    -Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

  16. #41
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting monolith94 (view post)
    I hated Childhood's End when I first read it. Not only was the story bland, but I disagreed with each and every ideological point that Clarke made. Humbug.
    It has its problems, and I too disagreed with a lot of Clarke's ideologies, or at least with the ways in which his characters arrived at their place under the Overlords' reign. Most of these problems pop up in the second part during the exposition of the "Utopia," and most of the things I dislike about this are the same things that I dislike about all stories in which a utopia is described. They just seem so boring and dystopian to me, and I cannot imagine mankind being led so easily down this path.

    However, the first and third parts are quite good, especially the end of each. They are so good that they helped to override the problems of the second part.

  17. #42
    The Pan Qrazy's Avatar
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    Anyone read Greg Bear's Eon? I quite like it, not a masterpiece or anything but some very interesting ideas. The sequel wasn't as good.

  18. #43
    The Pan Qrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Melville (view post)
    I've said it before and I'll say it again: you, sir, are a superstar. Seriously, how do you manage to do this stuff while completing a degree? Are you older than I think?
    Seriously, in comparison to lovejuice I'm just wasting my life away.

  19. #44
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Qrazy (view post)
    Anyone read Greg Bear's Eon? I quite like it, not a masterpiece or anything but some very interesting ideas. The sequel wasn't as good.

    I started it a few years ago but couldn't get into it. I do want to read it someday though.

  20. #45
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    I recently picked up a book by Moorcock called Wizardry and Wild Romance: A Study of Epic Fantasy. It is a 200 page essay parsing through the conventions and tropes of high and low fantasy. I don't know when I'll get around to reading it, but it sounds fascinating.

  21. #46
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Two nights ago, I started The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman. It was written in response to the author's experiences in the Vietnam war, and it is often compared to Starship Troopers, although thematically it is already quite different. I am not a huge fan of military sci-fi, but from what I have heard this book goes beyond the warfare and ends up dealing with the societal changes associated with intergalactic war and the effects of light speed travel.

    I am over half way through, and it is really good. The ideas it explores concerning the effects of relativity, hyperspace, and light speed travel on the theatre of battle is interesting. For instance, the humans and the alien enemy are constantly warping around through stargates and are having to deal with the effects of being ahead and behind each other in terms of technology and the strategies they employ. For instance, sometimes, due to the way a warp works, the humans may be from the future, and so they have the upper hand in battle, but the opposite is also true of the aliens. Depending on where the battle takes place, and how many warpgates the humans or the aliens have to travel through to get their totally impacts the technology and the strategies being used. I've never read or seen this side of warp-travel explored before, and it is very fascinating.

  22. #47
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Just got back from Half Price Books, with:

    Foundation and Empire
    Second Foundation
    Ender's Game - yes, I will finally be a part of the cult of Ender's. It seems like a week doesn't go by in which I don't see someone reading this book. It's like Dianetics in the 1950s. Judging on the uber-popularity of this book, it better be one of the best things I've ever read in my life.
    Sturgeon is Still Alive... - Short stories by Theodore Sturgeon
    The New Hugo Winners V.2 - Edited by Asimov

    All for $20! Not bad, not bad at all.

  23. #48
    dissolved into molecules lovejuice's Avatar
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    so i think i'll read i, robot. since i really love the movie, and wanna see how it stands compared to the source material
    "Over analysis is like the oil of the Match-Cut machine." KK2.0

  24. #49
    The Pan Qrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting lovejuice (view post)
    so i think i'll read i, robot. since i really love the movie, and wanna see how it stands compared to the source material
    They have similar names... that's about it.

  25. #50
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting lovejuice (view post)
    so i think i'll read i, robot. since i really love the movie, and wanna see how it stands compared to the source material
    You might also want to read Harlen Ellison's script, it is available in a nice book form. It is really good.

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