Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby Star Traks » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:11 pm

Meneks wrote:...*At least one other that I just cannot remember the title to, just that one of the antagonists went by the name "Flenser" (as in to flense [flay] his enemies).

So, can anyone help me out? Suggestions?


I vaguely recalled several character names 'Flenser' - from reading many years ago - titles/authors are located somewhere on a 8" inch Radio Shack disk - good luck trying to read one - believe it or not those things were coveted back then

try the titles @ http://www.librarything.com/character/Flenser

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
Across Realtime by Vernor Vinge
Same series: The Peace War, The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge (Across Realtime)
Startide Rising by David Brin
Same series: Sundiver, The Uplift War (First Uplift Trilogy)
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Same series: Forever Peace (Forever War)
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
Same series: Iron Sunrise (The Eschaton)
Accelerando by Charles Stross
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Same series: Endymion, The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos)
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
The Cassini Division by Ken MacLeod

Best of Luck - we are under a heavy dose of real life in multitasking zone - GTG - :-)
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby cmdrajd » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:07 pm

I finished the first Foundation book yesterday, which I enjoyed. The book seemed to just stop rather than end, though, so I'll be continuing on with the trilogy. Foundation and Empire is up next.

I'm not really sure how to review it, though. Foundation was written in the early 1950s, and, as I understand it, it was a series of short stories that Asimov put together to form a novel. I don't know that I'd call the storytelling simplistic, but it definitely settled into a formula. The Foundation or its interest are threatened, and then the protagonist of the particular section (there are five separate stories in the book all set several years apart) solves the crisis by out-thinking the antagonists. That was fun and a bit like watching a detective reveal how he solved a crime. There is almost no action in the book, but a great deal of people being clever.

But by people, I mean men. There are almost no female characters in the story, and the one that gets any real page time is very unpleasant and defined solely by her relationships to her husband and her father. It's a very 1950s view of a woman. Their only role in this future society is homemaking, and all they care about is fashion and household gadgets. Asimov may have been able to visualize a galactic empire and atomic generators that can fit into a locket, but the concept of women having positions in society outside the home was completely beyond his grasp.
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby Star Traks » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:34 pm

Female characters appear in later books.

Note - Asmov actually wrote Foundation in '42 while Foundation and Empire were written in '45

http://asimov.wikia.com/wiki/Foundation

Asimov's Foundation

Foundation is a novel in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. It is the first volume of the Foundation trilogy.

The novel is a collection of five short stories which were first published together as a book by Gnome Press in 1951. The first story was written by Asimov in 1950 to serve as an introduction to the series. The other four stories were originally published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine under the titles "Foundation" (May 1942), "Bridle and Saddle" (June 1942), "The Wedge" (October 1944) and "The Big and the Little" (August 1944).

http://asimov.wikia.com/wiki/Foundation_and_Empire

Asimov's Foundation and Empire
Added by Levenbreech Vor Foundation and Empire is a novel written by Isaac Asimov.

It is the second volume in the classic Foundation Trilogy in the Foundation Series. The book was originally published as two stories in Astounding Science Fiction magazine. Part 1 appeared in the April 1945 issue of Astounding as "Dead Hand", while Part 2 appeared in the November 1945 and December 1945 issues as "The Mule"....'

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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby cmdrajd » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:16 pm

Thanks, Star Traks. I've been avoiding the wiki entry due to the potential for spoilers, but it's nice to know that some women start showing up later on.
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby cmdrajd » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:43 pm

I finished "Foundation and Empire," but then I had to return the Asimov collection to the library, since someone else had it on hold. There's only one copy in the entire county library system. Because of that, "Second Foundation" is going to have to wait a while. In the meantime, I'm going to move on to something else. Since Dune is sitting on my shelf, that may be next. I also have a Ben Bova novel called "Venus" that my uncle sent me a few years ago. I don't know a thing about it, though.
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby Ruler J » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:15 pm

Anything by Iain M. Banks, I enjoyed Consider Phlebas, Look to Winward and The Player of Games in particular.
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby cmdrajd » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:55 pm

Thanks, Ruler J. I'll add those to the list. I actually ended up grabbing a Harlan Ellison short story collection I found on my bookshelf (I have no idea when I got it. Yard sale? Professor cleaning out his office? Who knows?), but I only got two stories into it before the library alerted me that the new Brian Greene book I had requested was in. So I've jumped back to non-fiction for a bit (if you consider string theory and potential multiverses to be non-fiction). Once I finish that, it's back to Ellison.
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby Meneks » Thu May 05, 2011 3:22 am

cmdrajd wrote:I also have a Ben Bova novel called "Venus" that my uncle sent me a few years ago. I don't know a thing about it, though.


I like Bova. I've several books of his on my shelf, as well as read others. I've never read Venus, however. Then again, Bova is one of those insanely prolific authors.
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby cmdrajd » Thu May 05, 2011 10:36 am

It's been a little while since I updated this. Since I last posted, I finished the Ellison collection, "Paingod and Other Delusions," which was okay. Nothing in it really grabbed me. I got more of a kick out of the overwrought hyperbole on the book cover. My copy is from one of the first printings back in the early 60s, and it says something to the effect of "Seven soul-shuddering treks through a universe of thoughts never thought before!" The stories, while decent, did not cause any soul shuddering on my part. I have to keep in mind, though, that I am looking at these stories about a half-century after they were written. Since then there have been decades of filmed science fiction that has mined the ideas that may have been completely new and original when Ellison first wrote the stories. Now I read them and think, "I saw something like in... (INSERT SHOW OR MOVIE HERE)."

After "Paingod," I discovered that I am an idiot. I had a copy of Asimov's Foundation trilogy on my bookshelf the whole time, so the library mess was completely unnecessary. I gave myself a few whacks to the head and then read "Second Foundation." Now having completed the triology, I have to go back somewhat on my comments concerning Asimov's writing of female characters. In the latter two books of the trilogy, he does give female characters more substantial roles (I'll ignore the fact that they are manipulated into most of their actions, since most of the characters are being manipulated in some way, shape, or form); however, he still cannot seem to picture a society where they hold important positions. All of the politicians, soldiers, scientists, and so on remain male. There are hints that perhaps women are treated more equally by the Second Foundation, but it is not definite.

With that finished, I think I'm going to try Dune. I know there are more Foundation books out there, but I'm ready for a change.
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Re: Sci-Fi Reading Recommendations?

Postby cmdrajd » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:59 am

I have a book to recommend, but first an update.

When I last posted, I was starting Dune, which I did. I got a whopping 36 pages into it and then just kind of stopped. Summer hit, and I just didn't have nearly as much free time for reading. Actually, the real cause was the end of my daughter's Saturday morning dance classes. Waiting for her gave me an hour to myself every week for reading. Anyway, I haven't gotten very far.

I did, however, just read a FANTASTIC book called "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. It just came out a couple of months ago, and anyone who grew up in the 1980s really needs to read it. It's the pop culture of our childhoods used to tell a story of the near future, and it is the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time. Trust me. Get it. Oh, for those of you who prefer audiobooks, Wil Wheaton did the audiobook for Ready Player One. I don't normally like audiobooks, but I''m planning to get it just to hear him do the reading.
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