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Reading Room

Your quiet and comfy lounge to pick up a great book and discuss sci-fi literature.

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Old Apr 19, 2006, 09:58 AM   #1
HighWiredSith
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New Reading Suggestions

I try to read at least one new novel a month, usually fantasy but occassionally science fiction (though I do feel my tastes migrating back to SciFi after a couple of years in some very good fantasy like Rober Jordon and RA Salvatore). Picked up War Surf and can't recommend it enough. Best SF novel I've read since Allistair Reynold's Revelation Space. Think Heinlein meets Orson Scott Card with a smattering of Bradbury's reflective qualities thrown in. Outstanding read. It's out in paperback too.

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Old Apr 19, 2006, 10:17 AM   #2
Nexus
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

Did you ever get round to Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy?
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 10:23 AM   #3
HighWiredSith
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

I saw the film and was unimpressed enough to not. Was watching the film first a mistake?
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 01:35 PM   #4
Darth Bob
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

Quote:
Originally posted by HighWiredSith
I saw the film and was unimpressed enough to not. Was watching the film first a mistake?

Yes, and each version, radio, tv series, movie, book, varies from each other greatly, the same central story, but differnt bits and so forth.

the rakes hitting face thing didn't happen in the book, nor did the arthur -trillion actually getting together bit.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 06:38 PM   #5
Iwata
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

As an SF reading suggestion, I'd heartily recommend one of my favourite novels, Vernor Vinge's " A Fire Upon the Deep".



Although the novel won several prizes, and I found it to be immensely enjoyable, it seems to have slipped under the radar of a lot of SF fans.

It's filled with a lot of original concepts, such as the division of the Universe into "Thought Zones", the race of the Tines, who are as clever as the number of individuals in a hive-linked pack, or the chief "villain", the super-powerfull AI called The Blight.

Pick it up if you have the chance.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 08:43 PM   #6
toomuchcoffee
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

Maybe I should wait until I finish these so I can describe them, but I just bought these two and I think they might be good. I read Forever Peace by Joe Haldeman and thought it was really good, so I bought the first book in the series. The other, Armor, I just thought looked good. (War Surf looks pretty interesting, I'll probably try to pick that one up).




The Forever War

Last edited by toomuchcoffee : Apr 19, 2006 at 08:50 PM.
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Old Apr 19, 2006, 10:16 PM   #7
Iwata
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

Ya know, from the review I read of Armor, it's hard not to think it's simply a copy of Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

I mean:

Quote:
A viscious race of insect-like aliens, referred to as ants, attacked earth, and thus the start of the book is a headlong pitch into the first assault onto the alien home world, A-9.


Quote:
The giant, three-meter tall, ant-like monstrosities that dwelled on the planet attacked the soldiers en masse, a never-ending swarm of bugs.


Quote:
The only hope of these lost soldies on the unknown world was the amazing power suits that they fought in.


Quote:
Able to leap thirty meters straight up
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Old Apr 20, 2006, 03:42 AM   #8
toomuchcoffee
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

I'll have to see, I guess. I passed on Starship Troopers because I heard that it was pretty badly written, or, at least, in terms of plot only "okay," though with interesting ideas. Everyone at amazon liked it, though, so maybe I'll read it, anyway. But Orson Scott Card praised Armor in an introduction to another book, so I thought it would be good.

[EDIT]: I found this at Wikipedia:

Quote:
Armor is a military science fiction novel by John Steakley. It has some superficial similarities with Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers (such as the military use of exoskeletons and insect-like alien enemies) but concentrates more on the psychological effects of violence on human beings rather than on the political aspects of the military, which were the focus of Heinlein's novel. . . .

A large part of the narrative involves the military tactics that the author felt went unexplored in Starship Troopers. Armored infantry are positioned above the planet surface in starships, and dropped individually to the planet surface as a swarm of independent fighting units. The war is fought by inexperienced and uninformed troops on the ground, while the higher ranks sit in orbit and make decisions. A macabre dialogue occurs on the mortality rates of soldiers depending upon how many drops they've had, with the protagonist being told that first-droppers have the highest rate, which decreases as each soldier survives successful attacks; however, he's informed, the mortality rate increases around the fifth drop as the soldier becomes over-confident. No one has survived more than ten drops.
Actually, maybe I ought to read Starship Troopers first.


This, also, is a quote of Steakley's posted at Wikipedia: "Mythology is about Good VS Evil, is it not? We can pretend runes and astrology and reading tea leaves...But to whom do we pray when we are terrified? Carl Sagan's essays?" - Steakley, online

(The part about runes and tea leaves seems unfinished, like it was supposed to say, "we can pretend that religion is nothing more than a superstitious belief in runes, astrology, and tea leaves, etc." .) I'm not sure what he means there.

Last edited by toomuchcoffee : Apr 20, 2006 at 04:44 AM.
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Old Apr 20, 2006, 11:35 AM   #9
HighWiredSith
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

The Forever War was spectacular. I loved it and it was one of those books where I dreaded coming up on the ending.
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Old Apr 22, 2006, 12:45 PM   #10
Sharky
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

I've mentioned these books before somewhere on here, but thought I might reiterate here how brilliant they are. The are The Bachman Books - Four Early Stories by Stephen King. The stories are Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork and The Running Man.

Rage: I remember a friend telling my to read Catcher in the Rye because, she said, it's the ultimate book about teenage rebellion. I read it, found it utterly boring, and told her to read Rage, which REALLY is the ultimate book about teenage rebellion. We get to explore the mind of a kid who loses it and goes Columbine in his school and then proceeds to tell his classmates (at gunpoint) about his life. Unique in every way. (Although not SciFi - see below)

The Long Walk: Quite possibly my favourite book of all time. Set in the future where America is ruled by a strict military regime (so this can possibly be classed as SciFi). The ultimate sports event is a giant annual marathon where 100 male teenagers enter and they must walk at a minimum of 4mph (try setting it on a treadmill). If they drop below 4mph, they get a warning. Each competitor has three warnings. If they drop below 4mph again after their third warning they are shot. Last guy left alive wins. The prize is anything you want for the rest of your life. The book focuses on a group of guys who make friends on the walk and what their minds (and bodies) go through. They get about 450 miles until a winner is declared. Simply staggering to read.

Roadwork: Haven't read it. Sounds rubbish

The Running Man: Another masterpiece which makes you forget about the Arnie film based loosely on it. Same basic premise - guys hunted to the death for a TV show in the future, but in the book, the competitors can go anywhere and do anything to survive and the hunters aren't camp or spandexed up. An interesting insight to the future and well worth reading. It would be great to see a faithful movie adaptation but I don't think the ending (which personally I think is perfectly justifyable in the context of the story) could be filmed post-9/11
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 04:17 PM   #11
HighWiredSith
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

You know, I have an on and off again thing with Stephen King. I was really into the Dark Tower series before it go so bogged down in the twisting pop-culture, nexus for all of his stories thing and became a real mess. I have yet to finish Wolves of Callah or anything after. I thought Wizard and Glass was his best since The Gunslinger. I need to finish the series. He was going nearly five years between books, odd that he wrapped the whole thing up in just 2 or 3.

I also have fond memories of The Eyes of the Dragon and wonder why it has never been considered for a film.

The rest of his stuff, with maybe the exception of The Stand and It bored me. He such an over-writer.
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 05:03 PM   #12
Sharky
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

You can blow through these short stories in a day or two, and they don't read like a standard Stephen King novel. The reviews on Amazon (apart from the one who hates Rage because of it's similarities to Columbine) sum the books up very well.

Last edited by Sharky : Apr 26, 2006 at 05:11 PM.
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Old Apr 26, 2006, 07:10 PM   #13
Nexus
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

I like Stephen King because even when it's a crap book, he can still keep you interested. While a lot of his stuff is over-written and filled with useless information, it's oddly addictive.
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 03:55 AM   #14
Jove
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

Quote:
Originally posted by Sharkyj83
The Running Man: Another masterpiece which makes you forget about the Arnie film based loosely on it. Same basic premise - guys hunted to the death for a TV show in the future, but in the book, the competitors can go anywhere and do anything to survive and the hunters aren't camp or spandexed up. An interesting insight to the future and well worth reading. It would be great to see a faithful movie adaptation but I don't think the ending (which personally I think is perfectly justifyable in the context of the story) could be filmed post-9/11 [/b]
Check out "Le Prix du Danger"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084540/

Almost zero spandex, if memory serves.
And no "playground" - just the streets of Paris / France etc.
And I think there's a prize for anyone who captures / kills the player.
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Old May 1, 2006, 09:49 AM   #15
HighWiredSith
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Re: New Reading Suggestions

Call this a pre-reading suggestion as I am only on page 74. But based solely on what I have read so far and my thorough enjoyment of his first novel Revelation Space I think my reccomendation of Alastair Reynold's third novel and second in the Revelation Space trilogy is a safe bet. Have yet to fully figure out how Redemption Ark fits into this trilogy other than geographical locale, but then again, I am only on page 74.

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