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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: bluefoxicy on August 02, 2010, 07:46:27 PM

Title: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: bluefoxicy on August 02, 2010, 07:46:27 PM
I've been reading lately (o.o) and I pretty much just plowed through The Gap Cycle.

... WOW.

The whole series (if you can stomach it) really plays hard on the classic space opera theme, but just as hard on back-room politics.  In that manner, there's a lot more interesting stuff going on here than "we're shooting at evil aliens and space pirates."  In fact the concept of "good versus evil" is pretty vague here.

I'm also nearly done with Age of Misrule/The Dark Age/Kingdom of the Serpent, but these are fantasy and more linear action.  The deep ethical and political issues don't really show up too much, and when they do it's just a short spat with an annoying power structure run by idiots that don't understand how very soon they're going to die (yeah, when you climb to the top at the end of the world, you get a short stay of power unless somebody STOPS the end of the world).

Anything else in the vein of The Gap Cycle that I should read?  I've had short stories like Heinlein wrote recommended, and I've read bits of Ender's series (Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead), but these are all lacking.  I've heard Dune is all politics, maybe I'll read that; but what I've heard of Dune isn't much any good.

Maybe the problem is you can only do this once... ever.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: weazletoe on August 02, 2010, 08:29:14 PM
Scott Siegler Wrote a couple that are pretty good. Contagious, and Infected. I really liked them.


BTW, I thought you were dead.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: capozzoli on August 02, 2010, 08:50:00 PM
I loved dune.

I just got done Planet of the Apes. Great book and a short read.

Pick up the Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: jeffy on August 02, 2010, 09:14:03 PM


Pick up the Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide
Did you mean Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?  One of my favorites.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: babalu87 on August 02, 2010, 09:14:35 PM
Science: A systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about nature and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories

Fiction: Any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author.

Compute, it does not
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: capozzoli on August 02, 2010, 10:34:08 PM


Pick up the Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide
Did you mean Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?  One of my favorites.

Yes but the Utimate Hitchhikers guide has all six novels in one. Still not through them.

Planet of The Apes is a great story. Very different from the movie. The Apes have cars and planes. Cant understand why they didnt move closer to the book for that stupid remake.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: majorvices on August 02, 2010, 11:24:02 PM
Dune is the ultimate Sci Fi series - bar none.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: rabid_dingo on August 03, 2010, 12:37:50 AM


Pick up the Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide
Did you mean Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?  One of my favorites.

Yes but the Utimate Hitchhikers guide has all six novels in one. Still not through them.

Planet of The Apes is a great story. Very different from the movie. The Apes have cars and planes. Cant understand why they didnt move closer to the book for that stupid remake.

One of my repeat reads. I have read this set more than a handful of times.
 
I love Michael Crichton...the Sci in his scifi is very scientific...and bibliographied. I read Jurassic park in
one sitting...

Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: weazletoe on August 03, 2010, 01:02:37 AM
Speaking of Michael Crichton, Prey was excellent!
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: nicneufeld on August 03, 2010, 01:19:54 AM
Cap you are in error.  The "hitchhikers trilogy" is not aptly named but contains only five books in canon.  The "Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide" contains a little side short story (Young Zaphod Plays It Safe), which I believe you are taking as the sixth.  While definitely under the penumbra of the Hitchhikers series it is not one of the "trilogy", which includes HHGTTG, The Restaurant at the end of the universe, Life the Universe and Everything, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish, and finally, Mostly Harmless.

I do not consider posthumous non-Adams works (there is an alleged sixth novel called "And Another Thing" written by another author) to be in canon.

I do however heartily recommend the Dirk Gently pair of novels, which in a weird way I love more than the Hitchhikers series.  Both are excellent but the original (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) is so delightfully complicated that I still don't really understand all its inner workings after a dozen reads.

If you can find it, all of these books read by the author are magnificent.  Douglas Adams reading the characters comes across brilliantly and you get an idea of what voices he imagined.

Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: capozzoli on August 03, 2010, 01:36:54 AM
Sorry, I should have said six "Stories".
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: majorvices on August 03, 2010, 01:39:03 AM
. I read Jurassic park in
one sitting...



I don't like "one-upping" people but I watched the movie in one sitting.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: capozzoli on August 03, 2010, 01:42:02 AM
Speaking of stories, how bout Philip K Dick. I really loved Solar Lottery.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: nicneufeld on August 03, 2010, 01:51:44 AM
Sorry, I should have said six "Stories".

Hehe, you know I'm just being an a-hole because we Douglas Adams nerds (but, then, I repeat myself) are like that!

I once considered trying to divine a concoction for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster based on Adams' recipe, but on sober reflection decided it would taste like the Fallian marsh gas from whence it came.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: capozzoli on August 03, 2010, 01:59:38 AM
LMAO

I was thinking of having Dali type dinner party. Not to many people into surrealist cuisine these days though. Live eels boiled in transparent pots table side can be a little off putting.

Hey if you want to get really geeky, home brew some Romulan ale and cook up some Klingon food.  ;D

Anyways,..

Ubik is another great stoy by Dick. That one would make a great movie. Im sure they will get around to it.

I love Stanislav Lems Sci Fi too. Solaris is awesome. A little bit too Sciencey but it is a short book soit balances out.
Tales of Pirx the Pilot is great too.

Im thinking of reading The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Anyone read that?  
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: bartzbrau on August 03, 2010, 02:51:26 AM
Dune was indeed boring at spots.  All the politics.  I'm not sure why I read as much of it as I did.

If you like what they call "space opera" (as far as I can tell, it's hard sci fi with a big story arc), check out Peter Hamiltion, Stephen Baxter, and Alistair Reynolds.  You can see some of their stuff on Amazon.com
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: akr71 on August 03, 2010, 03:06:31 AM
Speaking of stories, how bout Philip K Dick. I really loved Solar Lottery.
I strongly agree with  reading Phillip K Dick - especially "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep"  (aka BladeRunner)

Robert J Sawyer is another great SF author - try the "Hominds" series, absolutely amazing.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: majorvices on August 03, 2010, 02:37:45 PM
Dune was indeed boring at spots.  All the politics.  I'm not sure why I read as much of it as I did.

If you like what they call "space opera" (as far as I can tell, it's hard sci fi with a big story arc), check out Peter Hamiltion, Stephen Baxter, and Alistair Reynolds.  You can see some of their stuff on Amazon.com

Did you only read the first one? If so you missed out. I admit the first few times I tried to read it I had a hard time getting into it - but when it "clicked" I couldn;t put it down. Fascinating Universe he created. Far from boring. If you think that's boring I would recommend sticking to Harry Potter, Eclipse and the like.  :P ;)
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: bartzbrau on August 03, 2010, 03:20:59 PM
Yeah, for some reason, I read all the way to I think the last Frank Herbert written one.  That last one was almost all politics to me.

I'll leave the HP/teenie vamp stuff for you, man.

Don't forget the king of sci fi, Arthur C Clarke.



Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: Slowbrew on August 03, 2010, 03:33:11 PM
The Hells Gate Series by David Weber is an interesting story.  He's only published the first 2 books so far but they are a different take on how divergent populations might develop along completely different lines and what happens when they meet.

The Destroyerman Series by Taylor Anderson is a good read too.  It's a parallel world story where humans end up on an "Earth" without any indigenous humans but some really nasty races.

The Dune books published by Herbert's son really aren't too bad.  They aren't Frank's caliber but they do give a lot of background on how the universe of Dune got so freakishly messed up.

Paul
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: denny on August 03, 2010, 03:34:16 PM
Speaking of stories, how bout Philip K Dick. I really loved Solar Lottery.

ANYTHING by Philip K. Dick will spin your head around!
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: bluefoxicy on August 03, 2010, 06:43:37 PM
BTW, I thought you were dead.

I got better.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: bluefoxicy on August 03, 2010, 06:48:59 PM
I've got to get the Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide one day.

Science: A systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about nature and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories

Fiction: Any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author.

Compute, it does not

Science Fiction is what happens when you take a variable degree of scientific process and propose new technology for fictitious works.

For example, Jules Verne proposed submarines.  Heinlein proposed Waldos, and the Waterbed.  Donaldson proposed Silicon-on-Diamond CMOS (which, by the way, should offer 10 times faster CMOS switching and thus allow 30GHz CPUs... someone came up with a working SOD-CMOS process 1 year after Donaldson published his books).

On the other hand, force fields, warp drives, and teleporters aren't normally based in fact.  One day we'll have enough physics to propose something.

The disconnect shows up when you have rather brilliant people (they write stories) that aren't scientists.  Lots of stuff makes perfect scientific sense; yet the science between here and there is wholly absent.  Sometimes, a non-scientist will arrange all the pieces we have in a way that looks almost like something cool; and sometimes, a scientist will connect the dots 20 years later and make something cool for real.

Speaking of stories, how bout Philip K Dick. I really loved Solar Lottery.

I've heard Dick is really good.

Dune was indeed boring at spots.  All the politics.  I'm not sure why I read as much of it as I did.

If you like what they call "space opera" (as far as I can tell, it's hard sci fi with a big story arc), check out Peter Hamiltion, Stephen Baxter, and Alistair Reynolds.  You can see some of their stuff on Amazon.com

Thanks I'll look them up.

I found everything beyond Ender's Game to be boring because of the huge amount of philosophy thinly shrouded as sequences of events.  Speaker for the Dead was an age and a half of debating on what to do about an alternate culture we don't understand, what we should be allowed to say about dead people, etc.  Politics I'm not entirely certain on; politics can be boring, or exciting.  I found the politics in The Gap Cycle to be very exciting, but Dune doesn't strike me so much as that.  I'll probably pick it up anyway, since I hear so much of it.

So so far my collection of Sci-Fi is...

And a few more.  I've had Isaac Asimov recommended but blah.  Also Heinlein is frequently recommended.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: bartzbrau on August 03, 2010, 07:18:54 PM
You might also check out Dan Simmons' Hyperion cycle.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: theoman on August 03, 2010, 07:27:20 PM
The Hitchhiker's Guide is a must.

William Gibson is awesome. Neuromancer is a classic.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: bluefoxicy on August 03, 2010, 07:28:43 PM
Since I also mentioned Fantasy, I might point out the other series I've found enjoyable:

Harry Potter (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120463548859&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT)

Complete box set shipped from the UK (not the US translation-- yes, they drastically rewrote the text for the US market), adult versions.  :D

Age of Misrule isn't bad either, and I'm a fan of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: nicneufeld on August 03, 2010, 07:29:53 PM
Honestly one can hardly even place Douglas Adams in scifi.  He's just a humorist, really, and makes little comic exchanges and observations all throughout a rather silly and outlandish sci-fi flavoured backdrop.  I know "just a humorist" sounds terribly derogatory but it is one of the titles of highest esteem for me!  But sci-fi is just the setting, in the same sense that the Pythons weren't really serious about making a medieval historical movie with "Holy Grail".  It just provided the setting for comedy.  The comedy is quite British, though, if one likes that sort of thing.  And one does, one does.  But it seems borderline unfair to the other authors to place Adams in scifi because he takes such a silly and irreverent attitude towards it all.  That said he's the closest I get to reading scifi and occasionally his tangential insights and twists (more like wrenchings!) of logic are quite interesting on a deeper level than just comedy.

Your best bet is the book, then followed by audiobook read by the author (NOT Stephen Fry or Martin Freeman, much as I like the former), then the original radio play, then the crappy but fun BBC TV adaptation, and last in line, the godawful movie to be avoided like the Arcturan Mega-Plague.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: denny on August 03, 2010, 07:39:33 PM
William Gibson is awesome. Neuromancer is a classic.

+ a billion!
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: redbeerman on August 03, 2010, 07:40:40 PM
Cryptozoic by Brian Aldiss, it's out of print, but if you can find it, it's pretty trippy and well written.  Kind of sucks you into the story.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: dbeechum on August 03, 2010, 08:31:16 PM
Good sort of dystopic sci-fi that I read earlier this year:

The Windup Girl (http://"http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1597801585?ie=UTF8&tag=stoutguycom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1597801585")

Odd cross between Do Androids..., Thai feudalism and ecological technology. Also introduced me to the concept of crop rust and gave me terrors. :)
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on August 03, 2010, 10:25:31 PM

........I've heard Dick is really good........


Context is everything   :o
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: capozzoli on August 03, 2010, 10:53:43 PM
I know mine is.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: ender on August 03, 2010, 11:03:31 PM
Dune books, gotta be #1.  You're right about when it clicks, it's just amazing.  Got the encyclopidea and all. 

If you guys like William Gibson, I'm reading All tomorrows parties right now, you gotta check out Neil Stephenson.  Snow Crash will blow your mind.  Awsome cybepunk.  The opening is classic.  Cryptonimicron is cool as well as the Baroque cycle.  His last one, Anathem was neat too.   A good break from his heavier works.

-I'm smelling a lotta IF comming offa this plan-

Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: weazletoe on August 04, 2010, 02:15:17 AM
"Bartender, give me five pints of your best bitter. And hurry. The world is about to end."
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: nicneufeld on August 04, 2010, 01:48:13 PM
"Bartender, give me five pints of your best bitter. And hurry. The world is about to end."

"Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did."
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: yugamrap on August 04, 2010, 08:15:31 PM
42.




Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: weazletoe on August 05, 2010, 02:15:58 AM
That frood really knows where his towel is.
Title: Re: Anyone got any good scifi?
Post by: glitterbug on August 06, 2010, 08:51:22 PM
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson