Thread of Wonder, the next 5000 posts: science fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction 2021 and beyond

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All aboard the Strato-Cruiser!

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 12 April 2021 09:14 (one year ago) link

DO U SEE, I’m a stranger here myself.

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 12 April 2021 10:43 (one year ago) link

Singing thread title to the tune of the Theme from Underdog

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 12 April 2021 12:30 (one year ago) link

Thread of Wonder
5000 posts

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 12 April 2021 12:31 (one year ago) link

Wonder Thread
Wonder Thread!

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 12 April 2021 12:32 (one year ago) link

Thread of royal beauty bright!

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 12 April 2021 14:40 (one year ago) link

Cool, except PLEASE change "Sci-Fi" to "Science Fiction"; true headz will respect it more.

dow, Monday, 12 April 2021 15:47 (one year ago) link

Seriously, change that shit.

dow, Monday, 12 April 2021 15:47 (one year ago) link

If a mod wants to a mod can, now to read some skiffy some I can make a real contribution to the thread.

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Monday, 12 April 2021 15:49 (one year ago) link

some

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Monday, 12 April 2021 15:49 (one year ago) link

In thee beginning (not really, butt a big ol goodun, where I came in)
rolling fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction &c. thread

dow, Monday, 12 April 2021 15:52 (one year ago) link

That rolled from 2011 to 2014, I believe.

dow, Monday, 12 April 2021 15:53 (one year ago) link

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/P/B08F9XYGVQ.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SX500_.jpg

Kindle daily deal today. seems odd that it doesn't mention Gagarin by name.

also listed, a Tchaikovsky book, Doors of Eden. anyone? i liked the one about the spiders, i didn't like ironclads.

koogs, Monday, 12 April 2021 18:47 (one year ago) link

just finished The Ministry For the Future. almost comically unsubtle and didactic in its politcs. the last hundred pages or so were "scouring of the shire" bad. first half is excellent.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 12 April 2021 19:51 (one year ago) link

started that -- the first scene is harrowing, but i instantly lost all interest when things shifted to the ministry itself. i suppose no one dramatizes vast bureaucratic processes better than KSR but it's a low bar, and i'm not really up for doom right now

read 'hench', which has a jokey premise -- underemployed young woman seeks placement as a villain's henchman through a temp service -- but turned out to be fierce as well as funny

started jo walton's 'the just city'; it's a little precious but i'm liking it a lot so far

mookieproof, Monday, 12 April 2021 22:25 (one year ago) link

as everyone says about recent KSR, it's actually very optimistic. the first scene though good grief.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 12 April 2021 22:50 (one year ago) link

Yeah, if the future is remotely like that KSR projects I'd be a hell of a lot more hopeful than I am now.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 00:44 (one year ago) link

the last hundred pages or so were "scouring of the shire" bad.

I am struggling with this sentence.

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 07:36 (one year ago) link

Yeah.

dow, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 17:05 (one year ago) link

ha! do you mean you're struggling with it syntactically or morally?

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 17:10 (one year ago) link

Uh, aesthetically? The scouring of the shire is a highlight!

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 17:12 (one year ago) link

I'm more bothered by the lack of a comma in 5,000 than I am abt sci-fi tbh

Ward Fowler, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 17:31 (one year ago) link

Commas are only for numbers of five figures and up as far as I'm concerned

a murmuration of pigeons at manor house (Matt #2), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 18:53 (one year ago) link

Almost posted that embed 10x ina old-school JW Noizeborad style.

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 19:34 (one year ago) link

I'm sure I talked about some of this in the previous thread about hanging out with horror people mostly then SFF people and then when you go back to horrorland, most people in SFF land start seeming really uptight and conversations have so many restricted areas and I have to respect what people aren't willing to discuss but I find it occasionally frustrating. And then there's this area of horror which is like the children of Dennis Cooper and it's lovely how relaxed they are and talking about what drugs they're taking all the time.

https://amphetaminesulphate.bigcartel.com/
https://www.clashbooks.com/
https://expatpress.com/shop/
https://www.apocalypse-party.com/books.html
https://www.infinitylandpress.com/books

I generally like SFF fans but I do feel like a lot of them (even a lot of the progressive ones) still want stories that are easy to swallow and are probably afraid to look at their dog's anus.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 21:25 (one year ago) link

Only thing is, the blurbs for some of these authors can be completely ridiculous and leave you hanging, not knowing what it's like or about. "Britney Spears singing love songs to you while Baudelaire gives you an enema" or some nonsense like that.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:18 (one year ago) link

Ha, exactly.

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:25 (one year ago) link

Think I started a thread about that once.

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:25 (one year ago) link

nothing more riveting than people talking about their drug regimens, very transgressive

mookieproof, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:32 (one year ago) link

I'm a complete teetolaler and I'm not even into drug talk but my point is it's nice to hear writers talking in a more carefree way. It's probably significant that the horror genre largely escaped the culture war and there's less people out to get each other.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 22:58 (one year ago) link

Like this crap is still going on in SFF land
https://dorisvsutherland.com/2021/04/06/baens-bar-the-utterly-incompetent-case-for-the-defence/

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 23:02 (one year ago) link

i haven't the patience to delve into what you consider 'culture war' 'crap' that's 'easy to swallow'

tbh i've seen way too much of my cat's anus, but nor have i considered cramming something up there and calling it art

honestly you are fucking creepy as hell; maybe you should stick to to 'open-minded' horror boards where you can discuss what you want to do to your waifus with no judgment

mookieproof, Thursday, 15 April 2021 04:46 (one year ago) link

but nor have i considered cramming something up there and calling it art

Does anyone do this?

Old Lunch was asking maybe two years ago about problems with reactionary horror people but as far as the fiction/poetry side goes it's really minimal compared to SFF, it's been said they're more easy going and get on better together.
The drawback is maybe the low brow attitude, too much easy amusement with juxtaposing high and low culture and the shit eating grins (see lots of horror author photos) and it does annoy me when people feel they have to present dark or gross subject matter in a jokey way, I'm regularly guilty of it too and it's often my first instinct to joke about some of these things. I think people do this because if they keep a straight face about it, they're worried people will think they're crazy.
But I think sometimes humor and punky attitude doesn't let people process things as well, I'd rather the subject matters weren't considered so transgressive or frightening, it makes peoples lives more difficult. So it's nice when people are just more at ease with it all, but the transgression is undeniably part of the appeal of some of these writers.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 15 April 2021 17:30 (one year ago) link

There's been a lot of good buzz about this one
https://www.apocalypse-party.com/negativespace.html

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 15 April 2021 17:33 (one year ago) link

Going to be weird hearing “George R.R. Martin Can Fuck Off Into the Sun, Or: The 2020 Hugo Awards Ceremony (Rageblog Edition)” read out at a ceremony.
https://www.tor.com/2021/04/13/announcing-the-2021-hugo-award-finalists/

https://www.tor.com/2021/04/13/a-brief-guide-to-the-extraordinary-fiction-of-vonda-n-mcintyre/

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 15 April 2021 18:48 (one year ago) link

A little bit heartbreaking how many SFF authors despise each other and the awards nominations intensifying it all.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 15 April 2021 21:43 (one year ago) link

How many people nominated for a Hugo alongside Isabel Fall this year celebrated the removal of her story or contributed to the harassment campaign against her?

I think I count 3 so far. I really hope she wins.

— Experiencing A Significant Poggers Shortfall (@mechanicalkurt) April 13, 2021

The entire SF/F community came out and said "if you don't write about being trans in the way we think you should, we will attempt to harm you."

This is especially angering because it was an open secret that literally all of Chuck Wendig's writer friends were sex pests.

— Qualia Redux (@QualiaRedux) April 15, 2021

and some nice animals. What's weirder than the giant bunny in the first picture, is the way that guy is holding the pilot's head

One great sub-genre of retro sci-fi art: Confusingly Placed Animals pic.twitter.com/P0rmh9WG7I

— 70s Sci-Fi Art (@70sscifi) April 15, 2021

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 15 April 2021 23:24 (one year ago) link

Jess Nevins - Horror Needs No Passport

This starts with Nevins explaining his frustration that there has been very little survey or study of international horror fiction and that he did this book because nobody else had. It sticks to the 20th century (with occasional background and influential writers from further back), skips USA, UK and a few other english speaking countries but there is still a bunch of english fiction included from other countries. Nevins doesn't say which writers he has actually read himself, he quotes other scholars evaluations quite a lot but I did get the impression he was voicing his own opinions about most of the japanese writers (who are surprisingly well represented in english translation) and these were some of the most enjoyable parts.

It might have been inevitable that many of the writers end up sounding very similar and my eyes often glazed over the descriptions of their approaches (what subgenres, where the horror effects are coming from). But every once in a while there's really tantalizing or unusual sounding stories about Africa, Indonesian martial arts horror, a story about a shepherd, Tarzan starring in Israeli horror adventures, italian extreme horror and amazing sounding gothics from all around the world.

It notes a handful of comic artists, Suehiro Maruo is oddly absent but I was pleased to discover Daijiro Morohoshi who I might have seen a little of but most of what I found on search was new to me.

The political/cultural background for every country is detailed, if horror was frowned upon or even outlawed (often in soviet countries, Germany and Japan censored under post-war occupation, some people writing horror only in exile), whether what each writer was doing was considered high art or trash from the gutter. It seemed like quite a lot of the South American writers were politicians.
A few times Nevins writes about authors not pursuing just "mere fear" and it seemed as if it was his own opinion (?), I don't understand why someone so devoted to horror would feel that being scary for it's own sake wasn't enough, given how that approach can be as intense and memorable as anything else when it's done well.

It is mentioned that Ewers was a Nazi but not Strobl, somehow.

No cover credit for Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

I do wish there was some sort of guide about the availability in english of these books. Perhaps Nevins was concerned it would date the book too much and that people might not bother searching for newer books if they weren't already in an english list? I spent a while checking isfdb and amazon for many of the writers but I didn't have the patience to research every writer that sounded promising. A few were indeed published after this book.
Sad that I probably won't hear about most of these authors again. If a particular writer has sufficiently high status, there's a good chance Penguin or some other classics publisher has them in english, a good deal of this stuff goes unnoticed by most horror fans and I can't blame them too much for not catching them all.

This could and should be an important building block for the future of horror. It's pretty great and I bought Nevins' Horror Fiction In The 20th Century, which can be considered a companion to this.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 17 April 2021 00:20 (one year ago) link

I can't remember who the writer was but one of the unique ideas I came across in the above book was from a writer in exile from a dictatorship who wrote a novel in which even gods are powerless against the goverment, which just seems like a horribly depressing idea. Quite a few south american stories were mentioned in which all the characters are completely fucked and have nothing but terrifyingly bad choices available.

I didn't know that books aimed at railway travelers was such a big thing in India. Which makes me wonder about "airport novels", do publishers and even writers really spend a lot of time thinking about what people want to read at an airport?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 17 April 2021 21:06 (one year ago) link

I like the idea of Brunner but haven’t really been able to read.

It Is Dangerous to Meme Inside (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 18 April 2021 22:14 (one year ago) link

Brunner’s supporting cast, including the Jesuit time-travel expert, Father Ramon

Another one for my 'Catholics in spaaaaaace!' list.

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Monday, 19 April 2021 08:11 (one year ago) link

Never read any Brunner meself, sounds intriguing but this (re: Stand on Zanzibar) puts me off: Some examples of slang include "codder" (man), "shiggy" (woman), "whereinole" (where in hell?), "prowlie" (an armoured police car), "offyourass" (possessing an attitude), "bivving" (bisexuality, from "ambivalent") and "mucker" (a person running amok).

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Monday, 19 April 2021 08:16 (one year ago) link

Elizabeth Moon's Remnant population: emo sf in the Le Guin mould. Good aliens and bad humans, though the humans aren't all that bad, and the dice are stacked rather heavily in favour of the aliens - not that Le Guin didn't indulge in a bit of dice stacking herself. Enjoyable but somewhat cosy and convenient.

Scheming politicians are captivating, and it hurts (ledge), Monday, 19 April 2021 09:28 (one year ago) link

Also for fans of (at least) 5000 posts, this Rollin Speculative looks like the first, b. 2011, and is where I came in: (hey thomp, get back here):
rolling fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction &c. thread

dow, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 01:42 (one year ago) link

Didn't mean to drop the g, sorry.

dow, Tuesday, 20 April 2021 01:43 (one year ago) link

Believe you said it was a keeper though, so hopefully you will enjoy the reread.

Anita Quatloos (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 13 April 2022 12:05 (one month ago) link

More time-tourizm on the Rolling Speculative threads!

More relevant to this thread than expected: most of the best of Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories For Late At Night. Mind you, the best is not the most of these stories, though most of the failures are gratifyingly ambitious, pushing through or against early-to-middle-ish respectable magazine slickness, to something thumping you and darting away--but ultimately suffering from unity of effect, for lack of a better phrase ( dun yeah, I didn't get some of 'em). Margaret Ronan's "Finger, Finger!" did very discreetly point me toward an off-page resolution/justification of the ending, via an unobtrusive and early clue, riskily recalled (hard to do this right; even Gene Wolfe
Nevertheless, I did get Jerome Bixby's "It's A Good Life", a little different than the Twilight Zone version, but just as great. Funky country fun can also be had in William Hope Hodgson's "The Whistling Room" and M.R. James's "The Ash Tree."
George Langelaan's "The Fly" is sweet, sober, tragic and low-key audacious, minus the camp of the first screen version or the awesome thump and dart and thump some more of Cronenberg's re-make.
The one that really grabbed me: "Vintage Season," a novelette by C.L. Moore, better known by me for collaborations with Henry Kuttner. This is a tale of an innocent 20th Century lad encountering kinky time travelers, eventually including or followed by a composer of metamorphic works...first published in a 1946 issue of Astounding, the last place I would have guessed (can be taken as a female writer's critique of Astounding's axiomatic white male earthlings uber alles, though can also imagine Campbell and crew getting turned on by i)(I kinda was).
Also, though not really thread-revelant, the volume ends with more unsettling gender scrutiny via "The Iron Gates", a WWII-era novel by Margaret Millar, wife of Ken Millar/Ross Macdonald, where women (oh yeah, some men too) are keeping the homefires burning and the merry-go-round turning, with madness and murder finding their seats, of course. A little too b-movie talky at times, or creatively overwritten at others, but the zingers can go deep (enough to distract me from obvious clues).

― dow, Thursday, July 18, 2013 12:58 PM (eight years ago) bookmarkflaglink

One more from the Hitchthology: "Evening Primrose", by John Collier: a poet forsakes this cruel world and stumbles into a subculture of people living among posh Manhattan department store mannikins. Light touch flicks momentum, through eerie elegance, tawdriness and plain dust: the poet's a fule, but his streaky point of view is increasingly hard to dismiss, as he veers into a romance a bit more tragic than comic. This is prob the most Hitchcockian story in the whole thing.

― dow, Sunday, July 21, 2013 7:59 PM (eight years ago) bookmarkflaglink

There's a great John Collier collection put out by NYRB

― ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Sunday, July 21, 2013

dow, Wednesday, 13 April 2022 22:41 (one month ago) link

read GALAXIES by barry n. malzberg, which, as he points out again and again, is *not* a sci-fi novel but merely notes for a *possible* sci-fi novel

it's interesting enough because he's a legitimately good writer, but overwhelmed by his incredible bitterness. at various points he challenges the Big Writers of the century -- hemingway, dos passos, lewis, oates -- but notably does *not* call out philip roth lol

apparently he entirely quit writing sci-fi soon after writing this (in 1975), which was just as well

mookieproof, Friday, 15 April 2022 02:09 (one month ago) link

Right. Think we have discussed before the Malzberg/Silverberg - Malz/Silver? - dichotomy where after his own crack-up Silverberg eventually came back into the fold and started doing fan service like Lord Valentine’s Castle.

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 15 April 2022 02:28 (one month ago) link

The Malz Age of Science Fiction is 75.

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 15 April 2022 02:28 (one month ago) link

in GALAXIES he literally points out the spots where an author could pad this novel out or even create a series

but that was too much for him, even if writing crime novels or porn was the alternative. is that better than fan service?

mookieproof, Friday, 15 April 2022 03:16 (one month ago) link

Even or especially PKD, sometimes living on speed and visions of the Dark Haired Girl, pizza deliverer with the Christian fish symbol earring, told Malz to suck it up or go home, so maybe that's why he went.

dow, Friday, 15 April 2022 05:02 (one month ago) link

(also bravely living on cat food when couldn't afford Earthly pizza deliverance)

dow, Friday, 15 April 2022 05:03 (one month ago) link

Never heard that before about PKD’s advice to BNM. Where did you come across it?

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 15 April 2022 12:03 (one month ago) link

Did just learn some stuff from his Wikipedia page.

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 15 April 2022 12:06 (one month ago) link

Like this.

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 15 April 2022 12:52 (one month ago) link

Or this, two weeks and a day late.

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 15 April 2022 13:13 (one month ago) link

Looks like there's quite a lot of SF on Malzberg's CV after the 70s, a good chunk of it is collaborations and he's still doing it.

I'm quite pleased about the variety of new things Somtow is doing, serials including weird high school romance, regency romance with SF, a religious series and a historical novel about Sporus; maybe restarting Vampire Junction. Really hope he finishes his new Inquestor series because I adore that (haven't got to the new parts though). Don't know what's happening to Dragonstones, I should ask him.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 15 April 2022 18:58 (one month ago) link

Wow, Screen even got a fancy audiobook treatment.

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 17 April 2022 01:01 (one month ago) link

Maybe I will finally read Herovit’s World if not The Falling Astronauts.

Ramones Leave the Capitol (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 17 April 2022 01:03 (one month ago) link

Have you read any other Malzberg, mookie, or do you plan to?

Wile E. Kinbote (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 18 April 2022 22:58 (one month ago) link

Malzberg has a habit of trudging grimly through almost the entire length of the work, and then powering up on the last page. He does that in Galaxies, Herovit's World, and a number of other things I've read.

alimosina, Tuesday, 19 April 2022 04:44 (one month ago) link

Herovit’s World starts out pretty strong, I think, but I have only read the first few chapters.

Wile E. Kinbote (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 19 April 2022 05:04 (one month ago) link

Didn't know Ben Burgis is the brother of Stephanie Burgis. Admittedly not something a lot of people talk about

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 24 April 2022 11:57 (three weeks ago) link

Mark Valentine on Wormwoodiana:

Ghosts in the Machine is an exhibition of black & white images hosted by Bower Ashton Library, Bristol, for World Book Night 2022. Contributors were invited to create an image responding to the theme and also to name a favourite ghost story.

These included stories by M. R. James, Shirley Jackson, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Pierre de Ronsard, Fritz Lieber, Toni Morrison, Jan Pienkowski, Pu Songling, Astrid Lindgren, Aoko Matsuda, Stanisław Herman Lem and Daphne du Maurier.

There were 93 spectral contributions from participants in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, UK, and the USA.

My own contribution, ‘Phantoms’, is one of a series of manipulated pages from The English Catalogue of Books for 1937, edited by James D. Stewart (London: The Publishers’ Circular, Limited, 1938). I nominated Flower Phantoms by Ronald Fraser.

The exhibition runs from Weds 13th April – Weds 29th June 2022 and the complete set of images is available as a free PDF (scroll down the Ghosts in the Machine page for the link.

https://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/wbn2022/

dow, Sunday, 24 April 2022 16:56 (three weeks ago) link

I just finished Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth. I knew going in that it was lesbian astronaut necromancers, but I didn't know it was also a closed circle murder mystery. Great stuff. It got mentioned on Jeopardy last week so I guess it's a popular book.

adam t. (abanana), Monday, 25 April 2022 19:20 (three weeks ago) link

i also liked that a lot

mookieproof, Monday, 25 April 2022 19:29 (three weeks ago) link

Daily Mail and Kiwifarms and some other news sites have been going after Gretchen Felker-Martin (apparently Manhunt kills JK Rowling in an amusing fashion) and I hope this all turns out well for her. As far as I can tell most of this notoriety has come from her being opinionated about pop culture on twitter and her tv reviews because there's lots of outrageous horror writers who never get any attention regardless of how skilled they are.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 26 April 2022 21:49 (three weeks ago) link

Well, mostly it comes from her being a trans woman and the right wing press taking any chance they can get to attack a trans woman and cast JKR as the victim.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 09:35 (three weeks ago) link

read KSM's 2312. i don't think these comments are actually spoilers, but just in case

humanity has colonized nearly every vaguely habitable rock/ball of ice between mercury and saturn, mars is fully terraformed, venus is in the process, plans are bandied about for the larger moons of jupiter and saturn. humans in space are doing very well; theirs is even referred to as a 'post-scarcity society'.

earth, however, is a hot mess, with 11 billion people, nearly 500 sovereign states, and a fried environment. it is reliant on spacers for a significant quantity of its food (???) as well as minerals and such.

the titular year is presented as a crisis point that may decide the future of humanity. big questions are raised: if earth collapses into full-on chaos, can the colonies survive? can its biome be healed? are our artificial intelligences becoming sentient?

these are mostly hand-waved away. most of the book seems like an excuse for the main characters to flit about the solar system (mercury to saturn is a 16-day trip, and apparently does not require money?) doing neato things like surfing the rings of saturn or dancing just ahead of the approaching sunrise -- which will boil you in moments -- on mercury.

of course it's well-written. there are classic KSM set pieces and some interesting and detailed sciencey bits, but other sciencey bits either bear little scrutiny or are simply stated as facts no matter how unpersuasive. and the ~portentiousness~ of it all is ultimately unearned. so i liked it but also found it disappointing.

mookieproof, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 20:58 (three weeks ago) link

Sounds like what I had reservations about in Green Earth, which I posted about on one of the previous Rolling Speculatives: main idea was, climate disruption is really going to suck for a lot of people, but with some surprising perks, at least early on: flooding of DC results in Fed Parks squatters trading Thoreau passages on DIY localnet (so green neo-cyberpunk to that extent). But he's an outdoorsman enough to provide some wonderful New England coastal and California mountain visits, along with thriller-y elements and a maybe-mystical situation involving eco-refugee monks: seems too gimmicky sometimes,and maybe he should not have lost detail by mixing trilogy down into this one novel---but if you like him at all, and are ready for some disappointments, it's worth checking out; I learned some stuff without feeling lectured.

dow, Thursday, 28 April 2022 18:14 (three weeks ago) link

audio interview
http://www.scottedelman.com/2022/01/21/usman-t-malik/

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 28 April 2022 20:22 (three weeks ago) link

Yet another sequel anthology of women authors but oddly this one goes even further back in time
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?888549

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 30 April 2022 22:16 (two weeks ago) link

Stan at his best is the best. Stan phoning it in is, as you say, portentous.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Saturday, 30 April 2022 22:26 (two weeks ago) link

Which of his do people think are the best ones? He’s written so many.

Eric B. Mash Up the Resident (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 April 2022 22:49 (two weeks ago) link

I was introduced to him through his Three Californias Trilogy, and that's still my favorite.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Saturday, 30 April 2022 23:00 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks. What about The Green Earth Trilogy?

Eric B. Mash Up the Resident (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 30 April 2022 23:38 (two weeks ago) link

I haven't read that one, although it appears to be on his preachy side. The Mars Trilogy was solid.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Sunday, 1 May 2022 00:09 (two weeks ago) link

The Green Earth I mentioned---maybe first volume of a trilogy now? Can't keep up with this guy---is itself a mixdown of the Science in the Capital Trilogy: Forty Signs of Rain, Fifty Degrees Below, and Sixty Days and Counting: supposedly tighter (he said he was inspired by the way Peter Matthiessen turned his Watson Legend Everglades Trilogy into Shadow Country, but seemed too all over the place for me, too spacey and glib and impulsive---not that I didn't enjoy it in those terms, and sympathize with him and his characters pushing against the patience of eco-decline by working hard, also playing hard, which some of them def made time for---which is why I wondered if the original books may have had more grounding, though he seems well aware of his rep for going on and on in very great detail, like the hard science fiction overlords of yore----anyway my favorite was The Wild Shore, as far as I got in the Three Californias, alas

dow, Sunday, 1 May 2022 04:08 (two weeks ago) link

Also, I first knew of him as a writer of short stories, believe it or not, in Asimov's. Well, and novellas---if interested, try the 1992 collection Down and Out in The Year 2000 (gotta dig up my copy).

dow, Sunday, 1 May 2022 04:12 (two weeks ago) link

The central character of Green Earth started out as a dour, tightassed researcher, but soon seemed like he, man of the present century and not that old, had grown up smoking pages of his parents' or grandparents' Whole Earth Catalogs, which was odd, but pulled oldie me along, and reminds me there's a Stewart Brand bio just out.

dow, Sunday, 1 May 2022 04:18 (two weeks ago) link

I really liked Aurora, a sceptical take on the generation ship tale.

buffalo tomozzarella (ledge), Sunday, 1 May 2022 06:10 (two weeks ago) link

Back to SF with Isaac Asimov: FOUNDATION & EMPIRE (1952).

the pinefox, Sunday, 1 May 2022 11:20 (two weeks ago) link

Pinefox, you mentioned on WAYR? that his Foundation Trilogy has no robots, but they do show up in some much later Foundation books; I won't tell you which ones.

dow, Sunday, 1 May 2022 18:36 (two weeks ago) link

read LESSER KNOWN MONSTERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY by kim fu

short stories; riyl kelly link

mookieproof, Sunday, 1 May 2022 19:46 (two weeks ago) link

I didn't mean to say that this trilogy had no robots - my main point was that so far, it didn't contain aliens (but no spoilers if they appear later).

So far it rather oddly doesn't seem to contain robots; oddly because he had written key works about robots over the previous decade!

One thing that everyone says about Asimov is "he later wrote loads of books to connect his various sagas up", so yes, I think I knew that somehow he connected robot stories with the Foundation ones, which I believe resumed c.1982. I think I will finish the trilogy but then not read the later ones; it seems more worthwhile to go on with other SF.

the pinefox, Sunday, 1 May 2022 20:21 (two weeks ago) link

iirc the later ones are better-written but perhaps unnecessarily muddy the waters

mookieproof, Sunday, 1 May 2022 20:37 (two weeks ago) link

Some interesting stuff in here, the Malinda Lo book in particular (didn't catch the title) and the scarcity of old gay books
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgmJmdXldKU

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 19:09 (two weeks ago) link

FY50 challenge: fully incorporate women into the species

youn, Wednesday, 4 May 2022 19:18 (two weeks ago) link

One thing that everyone says about Asimov is "he later wrote loads of books to connect his various sagas up

Wile E. Is President (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 4 May 2022 19:56 (two weeks ago) link

rip patricia mckillip

https://www.tor.com/2022/05/11/patricia-a-mckillip-1948-2022

mookieproof, Thursday, 12 May 2022 13:35 (one week ago) link

That's sad. Once her friend Pat Cadigan said she stays away from the internet noise and I hope that wont leave her increasingly unknown but I guess she was successful enough she didn't have to self-promote much?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:55 (one week ago) link

It's interesting, she seems like an important figure, but hardly any news sites are picking this up.

jmm, Thursday, 12 May 2022 19:03 (one week ago) link

I looked around twitter and there are plenty of mourners, in spanish and japanese too

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 12 May 2022 20:40 (one week ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIjGgC9qBP4

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 16 May 2022 21:21 (three days ago) link


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