― scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 05:10 (seventeen years ago) link
and yeah anything by Delany, anything at all, even the early corny stuff is so beautiful and rich and fucked-up
― Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 05:30 (seventeen years ago) link
Oh, and Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun series -- one of the rare things that blew me away in jr. high school (even though I didn't quite understand it) and then blew me away even more 12 years later. I don't know if it's more sci-fi or fantasy, it's a mixture of both, but it's fundamentally mysterious and strange.
― spittle (spittle), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 05:40 (seventeen years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 05:47 (seventeen years ago) link
Martian Chronicles or any good collection of vintage Ray Bradbury short storiesThe Cyberiad - Stanislaw LemOut of the Silent Planet - C.S. LewisDune - Frank HerbertSphere or Andromeda Strain - Michael CrichtonPlayer Piano - Kurt VonnegutStarship Troopers - Robert HeinleinBrave New World - Aldous Huxleya good collection of H.G. WellsDying Inside - Robert Silverberg
― o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 16:28 (seventeen years ago) link
― Ricardo (RickyT), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 17:23 (seventeen years ago) link
The Forever War--Joe HaldemanChildhood's End--Arthur C. ClarkeThe Stone God Awakens--Philip Jose FarmerValis--Philip K. DickRingworld--Larry NivenThe Sirens of Titan--Kurt VonnegutStranger in a Strange Land--Robert HeinleinGlory Road--Robert HeinleinCreatures of Light and Darkness--Roger ZelaznyThe Dragonriders of Pern--Anne McCafferyThe Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath--HP LovecraftThe High Crusade--Poul AndersonCities of the Red Night--William BurroughsGrass--Sheri TepperNeuromancer--William GibsonPerdido Street Station--China MievilleThe Physiognomy--Jeffrey FordLove and Death in the Magic Kingdom--Cory Doctorow
A solid and cranky guide is The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of by Thomas Disch.
Are you looking for fantasy, too, or strictly science-based spec-fic (ugh--there needs to be a new term)?
― otto, Tuesday, 24 February 2004 17:55 (seventeen years ago) link
Hard Sci-Fi is the term I'm thinking of..
Love and Death in the Magic Kingdom--Cory Doctorow
??? My copy is called Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom... Anyways, great book from a fresh science fiction writer... and completely FREE to download (Creative Common License).
I've enjoyed pretty much anything by William Gibson. I haven't read Pattern Recognition, but it's apparently top-notch (though it's his first book about the present/now past).
Bruce Sterling is a completely underrated author in this same vain. Holy Fire was pretty damned good and his short story collections (Crystal Express?) I enjoyed.
I've recently been trying to read some of the classics. Heinlein's "Stranger.. " for one. It was OK, but not the hyped-up groundbreaker I was expecting. It felt too hokey to be contemporary, but I can appreciate it's timely influence to the genre. The soft-core porn was a nice touch too.
Walter Mosley's "Futureland" is a good collection of short stories from an African American Sci-Fi perspective as well.
When I think of more, I'll update.
― Dale the Titled (cprek), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 21:51 (seventeen years ago) link
― o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 21:59 (seventeen years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 22:06 (seventeen years ago) link
I'm not sure how much these will appeal, Scott; I guess this is more in the spirit of putting together a general sci-fi thread. They're harcore as they come, though. Or so I'm told, having not yet read them. Instead I have them on a to-read list.
Revelation Space--Alastair ReynoldsStar Dragon--Mike Brotherton (he's got a PhD in astronomy)The Golden Age--Walter Jon WilliamsAltered Carbon--Richard MorganThe Phoenix in Flight--Sherwood Smith & Dave Troqbridge
― otto, Tuesday, 24 February 2004 22:38 (seventeen years ago) link
― o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 24 February 2004 22:39 (seventeen years ago) link
I'm surprised that Samuel Delany is constantly mentioned. I read Dahlgren twice thinking I has missed something the first time around. Problem is, missed it the second time around too.
Give Lem a chance, you'll love him.
― Mark Rose, Wednesday, 25 February 2004 00:09 (seventeen years ago) link
― pepektheassassin (pepektheassassin), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 01:01 (seventeen years ago) link
― Dale the Titled (cprek), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 01:06 (seventeen years ago) link
― August (August), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 02:41 (seventeen years ago) link
― o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 02:48 (seventeen years ago) link
― August (August), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 03:12 (seventeen years ago) link
― Ann Sterzinger (Ann Sterzinger), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 03:23 (seventeen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 19:21 (seventeen years ago) link
― LondonLee (LondonLee), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 19:59 (seventeen years ago) link
― Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 25 February 2004 20:05 (seventeen years ago) link
― Sara Leonard (Tara Too), Thursday, 26 February 2004 04:40 (seventeen years ago) link
― Jaq, Saturday, 28 February 2004 17:16 (seventeen years ago) link
― Chris F. (servoret), Sunday, 29 February 2004 16:58 (seventeen years ago) link
― dave q, Sunday, 29 February 2004 17:22 (seventeen years ago) link
I also recommend pretty much anything by P.K. Dick, with a caveat: You don't read Dick's novels because they're well-written, you read them because they're trippy in a way nothing else is. Of course, something like that disclaimer applies to a lot of sci-fi...
Another note: I, like many, enjoyed Arthur Clarke and Isaac Asimov's novels when I was a kid. As an adult, however, I have found, to my disappointment, that they don't hold up. FWIW.
― Glenn Davis, Tuesday, 2 March 2004 05:34 (seventeen years ago) link
And of course, anything by Philip Dick - not only for the entertainment value but also because of his overwhelming sense of compassion and empathy. I especially like Time Out of Joint and A Scanner Darkly.
― Jeremy Boushelle (jbus), Wednesday, 3 March 2004 02:08 (seventeen years ago) link
Heinlein, though very retro, is a good read. I recently reread Stranger and found it sexist and racist, and didn't enjoy it as much as the first time I read it, but he's one of the original masters, and so a must.
I love dystopian lit, so I must recommend Brave New World and 1984 if you haven't read them. Also Player Piano, The Handmaids Tale, Slaughterhouse-Five...all these are more likely found in the literature section of your bookstore rather than the scifi fantasy section. Quality writing.
― Caenis, Thursday, 4 March 2004 21:42 (seventeen years ago) link
― Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Thursday, 4 March 2004 22:26 (seventeen years ago) link
― o. nate (onate), Thursday, 4 March 2004 23:41 (seventeen years ago) link
Check out the Hyperion series by Dan Simmonsand the Collected Short Stories of Arthur C. Clarke.
Also anything with an Apocalyptic theme, End of the world, universeetc is always alot of fun!!
― Steve Walker (Quietman), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 04:07 (seventeen years ago) link
― Begs2Differ (Begs2Differ), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 06:33 (seventeen years ago) link
Heinlein's Prophetic First Novel, Lost and Found
― o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 19:12 (seventeen years ago) link
Harlan Ellison is a great short story writer. I think "Angry Candy" is the most consistent collection and my favorite. Ellison really knows how to pace a short story.
Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend" is a classic that many people haven't read. If you like dystopian tales, this novel was the basis of both "Omegaman" starring Charlton Heston and "The Last Man on Earth" starring Vincent Price. I would bet a soda that this novel will be made into a movie once again, probably this time as I am Legend.
JG Ballard's short stories are also fantastic and are more science fiction than his later novels.
Mick Farren and Robert Anton Wilson also can get as bizarre as PK Dick. I've enjoyed what I have read from both.
Arthur Clarke's "Songs of Distant Earth" and "Childhood's End" are classics that still hold up.
Some of Frank Herbert's non Dune novels and short stories are also pretty good like the two Jorg X McKie novels "Whipping Star" and "Dosadi Experiment". Herbert's novel "The White Plague" which is about a scientist who gets revenge on a terrorist who kills his family by unleashing a plague upon the world is very prescient and definitely plays into current fears.
― earlnash, Thursday, 11 March 2004 04:00 (seventeen years ago) link
Red Planet and other "young adult" works by Heinlein (my introduction to sci-fi).Gun, With Occasional Music by Lethem.The Callahan series, by Spider Robinson (short stories, pun-filled, set in a really odd bar) and the companion series about Callahan's s/o who runs an interesting brothel (Lady Slings the Booze, etc.). Of course, Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
On the more serious/deeper end of things:Stephenson's Snow Crash, Mieville's Perdido Street Station, Clarke's Rama and Songs of Distant Earth, Asimov's I, Robot ... actually, I'm just seconding and thirding on above recommendations - they all look excellent to me.
― I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Tuesday, 16 March 2004 09:54 (seventeen years ago) link
Start at the beginning with Consider Phlebas and work your way through.
― holojames (holojames), Tuesday, 16 March 2004 23:09 (seventeen years ago) link
― I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 03:31 (seventeen years ago) link
My friend who reads, writes and knows most about science fiction esteems Banks above all others. I need to read some.
Following up on my earlier mention of Octavia E. Butler, I've just this week read the first two books of her Xenogenesis trilogy (Dawn and Adulthood Rites) and let me reiterate the recommendation. She really isn't like anyone else I've read. Her stories grapple with "big issues" (race, human nature, biological determinism), but in a completely character-driven way. I guess it's a cliche to say that she writes like a woman (and a black woman at that), but if you read the books without knowing the author was a woman you'd probably guess it. Pretty fascinating stuff. And fairly uncomfortable, too -- her books are full of ambiguous morality.
― spittle (spittle), Thursday, 18 March 2004 05:52 (seventeen years ago) link
I was kind of stunned that I hadn't heard of him before, after checking at Amazon, it looks like most of his SF writing isn't in print in the US.
― earlnash, Thursday, 18 March 2004 11:52 (seventeen years ago) link
A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)By WALTER M. MILLER JR.
All you need to know about my youth is that I was taught this subversive exegesis of man's religious impulse, wrapped within a story about a post-nuclear future, in the 7th grade, the same year I was studying for my bar mitzvah.
Cat's Cradle (1963)By KURT VONNEGUT
The perfect, Platonic balance of science and fiction, one that still finds room for merciless satire and a moral that resonates to the present day: that self-destruction is mankind's one true calling.
A Clockwork Orange (1962)By ANTHONY BURGESS
A lovely little tale of behavioral modification therapy and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, so punk-rock that Burgess spent the rest of his life denying that the book had inspired the punk-rock movment.
The Crying of Lot 49 (1965)By THOMAS PYNCHON
Due to space limitations, I can't offer my complete explanation of why this is a science-fiction book, so for the sake of efficiency let me simply say to anyone who disagrees with my classification of it as such: You're wrong.
Gun, With Occasional Music: A Novel (1994)By JONATHAN LETHEM
I think this Lethem kid could be a big deal if he'd just give up his highfalutin literary ambitions and embrace his inner sci-fi geek. Hope it all works out for him.
Looking for Jake (2005)By CHINA MIÉVILLE
I don't pretend to be completely versed in Miéville's work, but what I've read of it so far I find utterly fascinating. At age 33, he is already a master of gothic storytelling.
The Man in the High Castle (1962)By PHILIP K. DICK
My personal favorite from Dick's paranoid catalog, an unnerving alternate history of victorious Nazis and the I Ching that seems to be reading you at the same time you're reading it.
R is for Rocket (1962)By RAY BRADBURY
Most readers' introduction to Bradbury usually comes via "The Illustrated Man," but this was the book that taught me all I needed to know about sci-fi. Such as: don't go back in time and step on a butterfly.
The Twilight Zone Companion (1982)By MARC SCOTT ZICREE
The book that showed me it's possible to take a critical stance on a work of science fiction and love it at the same time. Also, I memorized all of its plot synopses so I could pretend that I've seen every episode of the show.
Watchmen (1987)By ALAN MOORE and DAVE GIBBONS
Want to start a fistfight in a hurry? Walk up to any salesperson at Forbidden Planet and tell them this extraordinary graphic novel about psychologically wounded superheroes in a hopelessly modern world was just another comic book.
As I said on that thread
The Crying of Lot 49 is a better novel than Dune, but no top ten all time SCI FI list should feature the former at the expense of the latter. Just screwy. And where the hell is The Left Hand of Darkness, Foundation, Ring World, The Forever War, The Stainless Steel Rat, Hyperion, The High Crusade, Illuminatus!, etc. . . . . . . . . . .
― sigh, phooey, Monday, 20 March 2006 05:21 (fifteen years ago) link
― vahid (vahid), Monday, 20 March 2006 07:21 (fifteen years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 20 March 2006 11:55 (fifteen years ago) link
― pixel farmer (Rock Hardy), Monday, 20 March 2006 14:12 (fifteen years ago) link
― sigh, phooey, Monday, 20 March 2006 15:32 (fifteen years ago) link
― adam (adam), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 03:44 (fifteen years ago) link
― vahid (vahid), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 05:29 (fifteen years ago) link
this is a great summertime thread - i need some sci-fi too right now
― rrrobyn, Saturday, 30 June 2007 13:40 (fourteen years ago) link
got some more stuff at the dump today. paperbacks.
In The Enclosure by Barry Malzberg
world's best science fiction 1969 (with vonnegut's welcome to the monkeyhouse included! and "the first u.s. publication of a new novella by samuel r. delaney". should prove to be a properly psychedelic volume.)
the hugo winners vol. 1 (all the winning stories and/or novellas from 1955 to 1961)
Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm (never heard of her. looks good though. doomsday. sterility. clones.)
― scott seward, Saturday, 30 June 2007 16:09 (fourteen years ago) link
Short story anthologies - yes! Goddamnit I need some new ones (new old ones I mean). That Hugo winners vol sounds great. Mirrorshades = classic; In Dreams - a celebration of the 7-inch single in all original sf and horror fiction = total classic. Got three volumes of penguin scifi from the 60s edited by Brian Aldiss which are all good. Time for a trip to the 2nd hand bookshops.
― ledge, Saturday, 30 June 2007 16:34 (fourteen years ago) link
Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm - yes, this is pretty good, although the apocalypse which happens early on is a little too much whimper, a little too little bang.
I just saw that Penguin is reprinting one of those Aldiss anthologies as a Modern Classic later this year. Nice to see SF getting some recognition as literature.
― James Morrison, Monday, 2 July 2007 02:34 (fourteen years ago) link
finished the cordwainer smith novel. craziness. ever read about his life?? even more craziness:
started the wilhelm book. yeah, she rushes through the end of the world stuff pretty fast, but the clones are holding my attention.
― scott seward, Monday, 2 July 2007 03:49 (fourteen years ago) link
how about the Harlan Ellison-edited anthology Dangerous Visions? I read it at the peak of my JG Ballard phase and thoroughly dug most of it.
― m coleman, Monday, 2 July 2007 11:28 (fourteen years ago) link
Try John Crowley - his early stuff, eg Beasts, Engine Summer is more SFnal, tho' the novel most people like best, Little, Big is closer to Fantasy. There's a great time travel novella, The Great Work of Time, too. It's in Novelties and Souvenirs, a collection of his shorter fiction (Londoners: currently available as a remainder in Judd Two books on Marchmont St.)
Nowadays he has a Historical-Fantastic-Literary thing of his own going on. Also, a livejournal.
― woofwoofwoof, Monday, 2 July 2007 12:36 (fourteen years ago) link
a big otm on the forward books. he also had another involving mainly nonhuman lifeforms too, sea dwellers on a twin planet as i recall.
asimov's the gods themselves had lots of stuff with humans but also, i recall, was considered fairly groundbreaking for the huge sections that were purely alien. i don't think i'd dig it much now though.
dunno if calvino's cosmicomics would count, but why not, i guess?
as far as general sci fi, i read blish's cities in flight again a bit back and yowza, as far as old-school hard sci-fi worldbuilding and a whole spencerian meets individualist whatever outlook, the things are great.
fond memories, tho antiquated by now, of pohl's The World at The End Of Time along the big-payoff hardscifi books too, tho haven't read it in a very very long time.
pleasantly surprised by harrison's formulaic but decent homeworld trilogy that was a 1$ find the other week.
has anyone mentioned decamp in this thread? his funny stuff is very funny.
oh, and the practice effect which is brin back when he was tolerable.
― s.clover, Tuesday, 3 July 2007 03:22 (fourteen years ago) link
still reading that old Hugo Winners collection (amongst other non-sci-fi stuff) and the big winners for me would be:
Exploration Team by Murray Leinster
The Big Front Yard by Clifford D. Simak (loved this story!)
― scott seward, Friday, 3 August 2007 14:33 (fourteen years ago) link
I didn't much care for the Walter M. Miller, Jr story in the Hugo Winners book, but that won't stop me from reading A Canticle for Leibovitz when i finally find a copy, cuz i know how many people here love it.
― scott seward, Friday, 3 August 2007 14:37 (fourteen years ago) link
Scott, I just read most of China Mieville's Perdido Street Station (had to give it back to the library w/ 100 pages to go), and it was pretty amazing. Women w/ heads that are beautiful beetles, bizarre drugs, killer moths, and more besides.
― Jaq, Friday, 3 August 2007 16:18 (fourteen years ago) link
so many people have great things to say about mieville. i will definitely read one someday.
― scott seward, Friday, 3 August 2007 16:23 (fourteen years ago) link
It was a big book, so I put off starting it the first (and second) time I checked it out. But it only took a few paragraphs to hook me, and I didn't want to put it down. The man's a great storyteller. I also just finished his kids' book Un Lun Dun, which was okay and had a few "whoa!" moments, but not as griping as his grownup book.
― Jaq, Friday, 3 August 2007 16:26 (fourteen years ago) link
vahid, yr crazy about Endymion and The Rise of Endymion, those two take the series to the next level, it's the best futuristic ecstasy dream ever!
― BATTAGS, Friday, 3 August 2007 19:16 (fourteen years ago) link
there is a great short story i read about a world of bees. very hivemind! i can't remember the title off hand...
― artdamages, Saturday, 4 August 2007 17:09 (fourteen years ago) link
"Mission Of Gravity" was discussed in various places on this thread: science fiction..
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Monday, 6 August 2007 02:02 (fourteen years ago) link
Hello, some great recommendations here but I shall add a few more.
Robert Charles Wilson: Canadian author of a very imaginative sort, my favourites being "Darwinia" involving some fantastic alternate history and "The Chronoliths."
"We" by Yevgeny Zamyatin - the original Russian dystopia.
Avram Davidson: visions of history and fantasy and awesomeness.
― mayhaps, Tuesday, 7 August 2007 04:45 (fourteen years ago) link
Yeah, Robert Charles Wilson is one of the best and more overlooked SF writers going at the moment. Read his 'The Divide' the other day, and it was really good. 'Darwinia', 'Spin', 'The Chronoliths', 'Bios', 'Blind Lake' or 'Mysterium' are all excellent intros to his work. There's also a free novella online here.
― James Morrison, Wednesday, 8 August 2007 02:53 (fourteen years ago) link
I snatch up collections of short stories by Theodore Sturgeon and Damon Knight that I haven't read whenever I find them. The two page long stories are often my favorites.
Has anyone read Roadside Picnic? I got about 50 pages into it a few months ago and I don't know why I stopped because it was really good!
― Dan I., Thursday, 9 August 2007 08:11 (fourteen years ago) link
Yes, I loved 'Roadside Picnic'. I'd like to read more by those brothers, but I don't think there's anything else in English (although I do have an old anthology of Soviet SF somewhere that was edited by Sturgeon, and I suspect they're in that). Also, if you liked 'Picnic', try Algis Budrys' 'Rogue Moon', which has something of the same atmosphere and thematic concerns.
― James Morrison, Thursday, 9 August 2007 23:11 (fourteen years ago) link
haha i want a theodore sturgeon-edited SF anthology
― thomp, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 06:36 (thirteen years ago) link
It's good! Only the 10% are in it!
― James Morrison, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 22:53 (thirteen years ago) link
got a title for that one? i might go amazon market / abebooks hunting
― thomp, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 10:30 (thirteen years ago) link
It's called 'New Soviet Science Fiction', and the ISBN of the copy I have is 0025782207. ABE has copies from $3.50.
It looks like this:
― James Morrison, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 23:05 (thirteen years ago) link
Fancy gettin' me some of that but no uk sellers on abebooks... have to see what other Sturgeon they have. Might stock up on Dangerous Visions while I'm at it.
― ledge, Friday, 11 July 2008 10:39 (thirteen years ago) link
Come to think of it, back in the late 80s/early 90s, at the big library across the river, I found an old paperback of the Stugartsky/-ski bros' Hard To Be A God, think that's the right title, pretty close at least. Snowballing absurdist epic, awesome and "not" political, noooo--no telling when it came out; prob on Amazon for five cents or $50.00 or both. Anybody who's disappointed by Dhalgren, should check out his earlier stuff, esp. The Einstein Intersection, Nova, Triton, Spindrift (short stories), Heavenly Breakfast (his first memoir, I guess, re the 60s--*his* 1960s)
― dow, Sunday, 13 July 2008 18:26 (thirteen years ago) link
! i had never heard of 'heavenly breakfast' — in what ways is it i) similar ii) dissimilar to 'the motion of light in water'?
― thomp, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 12:27 (thirteen years ago) link
I learned yesterday that Osama Bin Laden may have named Al-Qa'ida after the Arabic title of "Foundation", a novel that features the collapse of a mighty empire.
― The Real Dirty Vicar, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 16:09 (thirteen years ago) link
I read "Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky Brothers (after seeing Tarkovsky's "Stalker") and I loved it. Is any of there other stuff worth seeking out? "Dead Mountaineer's Hotel" sounds cool, but it doesn't look like anything is in print (judging from a quick glance at Amazon).
― Ømår Littel (Jordan), Tuesday, 15 September 2009 21:13 (twelve years ago) link
Yeah, I'd love to read more of them too.
Also, a recent SF book that I thought was fantastic: 'Blindsight' by Peter Watts: exciting exploration/nature of consciousness and sentience/biology's limits/cognition flaws/mind-boggling stuff in general.
― When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Tuesday, 15 September 2009 23:10 (twelve years ago) link
Finished all 8 vols of Best SF of New Worlds. Pretty disappointing. Michael Moorcock keeps on going on in the introduction about how sci-fi is an inadequate term, New Worlds is also, or more, about experimental fiction. And he's right - unfortunately I just don't find experimental fiction, or NW's brand of it, very interesting. Ballard's probably the best of the bunch but his themes are opaque and his prose doesn't particularly grab me. It's interesting that virtually none of his stories printed here appear in his Collected Short Stories.
Of course this is judging from a distance. I daresay there were all sorts of cultural boundaries being broken and political issues flying around - indeed, as Moorcock says in the intro to one of the vols, one of the magazine issues was banned by WH Smiths and questions were asked in Parliament (*) - but tbh I'm not really interested in that, I just wanted some decent more-or-less traditional SF short stories, and across all 8 vols there are only about a dozen of those. The last vol is pretty much the best; it feels like Moorcock had given up in some way as there is no introduction and a full four of the stories are by Barrington Bayley, but those are all good or great stories, there are a couple of other decent ones, and the experimentation is toned right down.
― this must be what FAIL is really like (ledge), Tuesday, 29 September 2009 14:06 (eleven years ago) link
well, i applaud your tenacity i guess
― thomp, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 16:16 (eleven years ago) link
Ehh 1-2 hours per book, not a great chore. And gems were unearthed.
― this must be what FAIL is really like (ledge), Tuesday, 29 September 2009 19:54 (eleven years ago) link
i had a sci fi question i wanted to ask! on this thread! and i have no idea what it was now
― thomp, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 21:11 (eleven years ago) link
did you also have to read 'descending' by tom disch btw? fukkin hate that story
u MAD, that story is great.
― Hugh Manatee (WmC), Tuesday, 29 September 2009 23:49 (eleven years ago) link
i just read 'whole wide world' by paul mcauley, which was interesting. kind of a cyber-noir thriller set in a future which is just a couple of tweaks more advanced than ours. he loves to have his character talk about music while narrating the thing (very "rockist" taste it seems), and the mystery isn't much of one, but he's a very good writer and i read it quite swiftly.
― omar little, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 23:53 (eleven years ago) link
(xp) I didn't read Descending, but I have before, and remember it fondly. I did read The Squirrel Cage which I thought was brill, also an extended metaphor on the human condition, this time about loneliness and solipsism - similar in a way to Wittgenstein's Mistress. Two other of his stories, though, were a let down.
Haven't read any McAuley, would be interested in trying some of his harder and further-future stuff.
― this must be what FAIL is really like (ledge), Wednesday, 30 September 2009 08:48 (eleven years ago) link
this thread got me into thomas disch!!
― BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 08:51 (eleven years ago) link
The unwitting intrusion of the author’s physical surroundings, or the author’s own mental state, into the text of the story. Authors who smoke or drink while writing often drown or choke their characters with an endless supply of booze and cigs. In subtler forms of the Dischism, the characters complain of their confusion and indecision — when this is actually the author’s condition at the moment of writing, not theirs within the story. “Dischism” is named after the critic who diagnosed this syndrome. (Attr. Thomas M. Disch)
― this must be what FAIL is really like (ledge), Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:03 (eleven years ago) link
Ooh, ooh, Paul McAuley's 'Cowboy Angels' is very good: 1960s US discovers travel to parallel histories, starts "liberating" them from Communism, complications ensue. More complex and politically subtle than I made it sound.
― When two tribes go to war, he always gets picked last (James Morrison), Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:10 (eleven years ago) link
hoos, how? he doesn't seem to have been, um, mentioned much.
camp concentration was one of my favourite books for a while, others maybe less so. i did read echo round his bones lately and enjoy that: it's less ambitious, more a standard SF potboiler just done smart, and a very enjoyable one. one i did not like: the genocides.
ledge are these the ones?
they do give kind of a jaundiced view of 60s SF, i guess. to some degree that's what it was for, i guess.
― thomp, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:16 (eleven years ago) link
Aye them's the ones. Any other collections you'd recommend?
― this must be what FAIL is really like (ledge), Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:27 (eleven years ago) link
(Apart from the Aldiss/Penguin ones, and Hall of Fame vol 1, which I have, and The Hugo Winners, which I ordered and hasn't arrived, and Dangerous Visions, which I might order right now, and and...)
― this must be what FAIL is really like (ledge), Wednesday, 30 September 2009 09:36 (eleven years ago) link
334 is incredible.
Disch was God.
― alimosina, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 13:38 (eleven years ago) link
what are ppl's thoughts on this list? http://thisrecording.com/today/2010/1/18/in-which-we-count-down-the-100-greatest-science-fiction-or-f.html
― just sayin, Monday, 18 January 2010 22:04 (eleven years ago) link
Nearly gave up in disgust circa Ayn Rand (I know a few people will see Ender's Game and Stranger In A Strange Land as libertarian nutjobbery too but I'm fairly happy with their inclusion in an SF list) but there are a few things I hadn't heard of there and would like to check out.
Not much modern stuff, which I can't really complain about as there isn't much on my shelves either. Not sure I'd pick several Dan Simmons books as pretty much my only representative of the 00s, though, but I've only read one of them.
― canna kirk (a passing spacecadet), Monday, 18 January 2010 22:36 (eleven years ago) link
Don't read the stuff anymore.
I'm as extreme a Gene Wolfe fan as there is, but An Evil Guest doesn't belong there. New Sun > Long Sun.
That appalling crap Flatland made it to 43?
No Sheckley, but his pla weak imitator Douglas Adams makes the list? With both of them gone, can't we sort this out finally?
Pale Fire is fantasy?
― alimosina, Monday, 18 January 2010 22:59 (eleven years ago) link
Just posted this on the comments for that list...
Interesting list and one that I mostly agree with (well except for Ayn Rand), but I'm actually shocked that neither Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar or The Shockwave Rider didn't make the cut. Both have aged remarkably well - if not better than some of the books that are on the list.Since there isn't a single J.G. Ballard book on the list, I'll simply assume that the compiler is insane. The fact that I'm the first commenter to bring up both Brunner and Ballard makes me fear for the future.January 18, 2010 | Chris Barrus
Since there isn't a single J.G. Ballard book on the list, I'll simply assume that the compiler is insane. The fact that I'm the first commenter to bring up both Brunner and Ballard makes me fear for the future.January 18, 2010 | Chris Barrus
― Elvis Telecom, Monday, 18 January 2010 23:39 (eleven years ago) link
In SF Book Club, we have just been assigned Iain M Banks' "Use of Weapons"
For me the recent hits of SF Book Club have been Jules Verne's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and China Mieville's "The Scar". Verne's ability to get drama and excitement without having enemies to fight against is very impressive. "The Scar", while not really SF, is an impressive imaginative work.
― The New Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 21 January 2010 15:48 (eleven years ago) link