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Tags isaac asimov , recommended reading , Robert Heinlein , science fiction books

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Old 27th May 2004, 08:48 AM   #41
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein

Quote:
Originally posted by Floyt


Sure it does
OK, in reviewing I notice that there is rather more of it than I remembered. Didn't think it particularly clumsy, though.

Oh, how to do a stylish orgy-type thing: "Blue Mars", by K.S. Robinson. Lively people, these martians!
I suppose I could never get past the unwelcome discovery that aliens had human-compatible sexual organs.
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Old 27th May 2004, 08:57 AM   #42
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Okay, I have just finished the book. I loved the ending. I felt as if some of the wrap-up didn't add up, but I haven't gone back to double check. I am sure Heinlein didn't mess up, but you never know.

I had read "Ringworld" by David Niven prior to this book. My husband has thrust Farmer In the Sky" at me as my next read, but I will sneak in some of the ones recommended here by you guys.
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Old 27th May 2004, 09:19 AM   #43
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(Umm, I think you mean Larry Niven. )

Glad you enjoyed him. What others have said is true: he was a genius who also put out a lot of dreck. But the good stuff is very good indeed. The older, the better.

One brilliant touch I just remembered from "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is Heinlein realizing just how the female body would react to lower gravity and predicting the "moon suit" fashion to take advantage of it. A nice touch. Maybe men are most equipped to appreciate the poetry of this description.
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Old 27th May 2004, 02:19 PM   #44
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein

Howzat? Can you give some pointers? Honestly, I have a hard time coming up with any Niven sex scenes off the top of my head (a wee bit o' rishatra here and there

I, too, was thinking of rishatra--essentially, ritual sex between humanoids of two different species as a way to seal a contract, popular in Niven's Ringworld novels--but I thought that sort of sex was supposed to be clumsy, hence the not-too-hot descriptions.
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Old 27th May 2004, 02:22 PM   #45
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It's his.. erm, enthusiasm for the... benefits of military service which often attracts the fascist tag,

Yes, but enthusiasm for military service, even if unrealistic, isn't necessarily fascism.

Heinlein was really a frsutrated would-be Admiral; he had to retire from the Navy after graduating from Annapolis due to illness.

I don't see the bearing of his friendship with Asimov on this.

Well, not to fascism er se, but certainly to the charge that he was an antisemite or Nazi.
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Old 27th May 2004, 02:23 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sundog
(Umm, I think you mean Larry Niven. )

Ooops. I do that every time.
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Old 28th May 2004, 01:17 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic

By the way, yes, I read "The Cat who Walks Through Walls". It starts out as an adventure story, and a decent one at that. Then disintigrates into a time-travel sex orgy, out of the friggin' blue, in the middle of the book--apparently just so Heinlein could have Lazarus Long particiapte in an orgy, yet again.

LL simply appears, deus ex machina, and takes the protagonist with him into a time-traveling alternative world where (among other things) orgies occur frequently. You read that and go, "huh????????????????".

That's what drives me crazy with Heinlein's later work. He still could write at least competently (as the first half of the novel attests) but just HAD to put sex and Lazarus Long into everything he wrote, if he had to do it with a two-by-four.
Thank you.
That book pi$$ed me off royally! After that I couldn't bring myself to read any more Heinlein.
And to make matters worse, any time I've seen it mentioned in SF publications, it's mentioned favorably!
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Old 29th May 2004, 02:19 AM   #48
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Time for the Stars by Robert A. Heinlein

Quote:
Originally posted by Sundog


I suppose I could never get past the unwelcome discovery that aliens had human-compatible sexual organs.
Not having batted an eye about Teela "Heritable Cliffhanger Solvent" Brown, I swallowed them minor anatomical shortcuts hook, line and sinker...

(Anyway, I have noticed that apart from Le Guin, SF writers don't seem to bother much anymore about explaining biological convergences in their universe with a Galactic Seeding Hypothesis etc. That's fine by me, I just think it's funny how the compulsion to rationalize this comes in surges, like a fashion!)
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Old 31st May 2004, 08:04 AM   #49
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May I recommend a couple of favourites of mine:

- The Crucible of Time, John Brunner. I haven't read any of Brunner's other books, but I know a bit about them. This is a wonderful heartwarming story of aliens learning about their unpromising place in the universe, and learning to do something about it, all the while fighting off lesser disasters on the way.

- Emprise, Empery and Enigma, a trilogy by Michael Kube-McDowell. Set in the near future of Earth after an industrial collapse, a despised scientist discovers signals coming from space. In the second book, the source of signals is discovered and the explanation gradually uncovered. In the third book, the consequences of that explanation are played out.

- Time Future and Time Past, by Maxine McArthur. The first is a prize winning novel, set on a human controlled space station under siege, in a universe where humans are one of the lesser races. The second takes the protagonist to the Earth of her past, and our near future, for first contact.
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Old 4th June 2004, 05:09 AM   #50
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Avoid - Anything by Jerry Pournelle. What a simplistic wacko. "Lucifers Hammer" ( I think), one idiotic strawman about living in an ice age because the greenies have taken over and won't let people burn fossil fuels to warm the earth up with a man made greenhouse effect. Favourite plot device - science fiction writers saving the world.

For something a bit different - Dorris Lessing. I found her 'science fiction' a little uneven, but her first book 'Shikasta' was rivetting, brilliant, original, different, and even well written.

Something else a little different, but low brow. Books, by Jack Vance. His saving attribute was his ability as a wordsmith, something seriously lacking in most sci fi writers, for whom words are something to be churned out as a means of telling a story.

A final odd ball, Kurt Vonnegut. He writes a lot more than just sci-fi, but doesn't mind the odd trip down that path. Slaughterhouse 5 being a good example. The Battle of the Bulge meets alien kidnappers.
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Old 4th June 2004, 05:46 AM   #51
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Lucifers Hammer is Niven and Pournelle and concerns a comet hitting earth. Footfall has SF writers acting as adviser on alien contact and is quite funny in its p-take of some writers, including themselves I believe. Can't think of the ice age one. Niven is quite anti-greeny, anti-PC - High Justice et al.
Pournelle's own stuff like Mercenary is quite militarist right-wing stuff. It's not so bad when mellowed by Niven. Oath of Fealty for instance has a rather Pournelle-ish theme. Legacy Of Heorot a rather P-ish character and is a very good book apart from the lead character. Not that characters are Niven's strong point.
For good writing some current writers like Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward, in particular). M John Harrison is back with Light, Neil Gaiman's American Gods etc.
For those more of a fantasy bent Robin Hobb's Assassin trilogy and its 2 follow-ons, the liveship and fool trilogies are extremely good - unusally well-drawn characters for the genre.
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Old 4th June 2004, 10:31 AM   #52
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I think the ice age novel is "Fallen Angels". And the ones who save the day there are SF/Fantasy fans.
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Old 4th June 2004, 12:07 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by a_unique_person
Avoid - Anything by Jerry Pournelle. What a simplistic wacko. "Lucifers Hammer" ( I think), one idiotic strawman about living in an ice age because the greenies...
Er... you DO realize "Lucifer's Hammer" is fiction, and isn't actually making an argument about the real world, don't you? What you're describing is known as a "plot device", not a "strawman argument".
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Old 4th June 2004, 12:50 PM   #54
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Fallen Angels is the ice age one, and it is crap. Yes, it's cool that sci-fi/fantasy geeks are heroes, and that some of the action takes place in Fargo (in my home state, which is under a glacier), but it's half-assed idea that global warming caused by pollution was the only thing staving off an ice age was idiotic. And the environmentalists were fascists. Funny for satire maybe, but not a serious novel.
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Old 4th June 2004, 01:03 PM   #55
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My favorite Heinlein is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", which I would recommend to anyone. I liked it so much that I read a bunch of other crap written by Heinlein before I finally gave up on him.
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Old 4th June 2004, 07:03 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic


Er... you DO realize "Lucifer's Hammer" is fiction, and isn't actually making an argument about the real world, don't you? What you're describing is known as a "plot device", not a "strawman argument".
I know it's fiction, you know it's fiction, Pournelle is just anti-GW. go to his website to see just how much of a screwed up individual he is. He has defended such frauds as Velikovsky, and attacked Sagan for humiliating the fraud in a public debate.
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Old 5th June 2004, 02:18 AM   #57
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Has any of you read anything of Roger Zelazny?
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Old 5th June 2004, 03:56 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cleopatra
Has any of you read anything of Roger Zelazny?
Oh yes indeedy - best close of an SF novel is Lord of Light, best opener Isle of the Dead. His novella A Rose for Ecclesiastes is a classic.
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Old 5th June 2004, 07:27 AM   #59
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I am currently reading " This Immortal" in which a great part of the plot takes place in Greece!! But still it's Heinlein that has the sparkle!

What about Ursula Le Guin?

Do I sound like an old-fashioned European now or what?
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Old 5th June 2004, 12:24 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cleopatra
What about Ursula Le Guin?
I really enjoyed the Earthsea Trilogy when I was a teenager.
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Old 5th June 2004, 12:40 PM   #61
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This is a really guilty pleasure: "The Void Captain's Tale" by Norman Spinrad.
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Old 5th June 2004, 03:26 PM   #62
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What about Ursula Le Guin?

"The Left Hand of Darkness" is one of the best SF novels ever.
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Old 6th June 2004, 06:58 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by rastamonte
My favorite Heinlein is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", which I would recommend to anyone. I liked it so much that I read a bunch of other crap written by Heinlein before I finally gave up on him.
I liked the computer in that one.
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Old 6th June 2004, 07:12 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mycroft


I liked the computer in that one.
Well, you should, considering.
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Old 6th June 2004, 10:02 PM   #65
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Quote:
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Well, you should, considering.
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Old 7th June 2004, 07:34 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by rastamonte


I really enjoyed the Earthsea Trilogy when I was a teenager.
Her latest additions to the series are quite good as well.

I highly recommend Heinlein's "Job: a Comedy of Justice." Not only is it highly entertaining, it is a great look at the absurdities and contradictions in religious mythology.
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Old 9th June 2004, 09:30 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic
What about Ursula Le Guin?

"The Left Hand of Darkness" is one of the best SF novels ever.
I have read very few sf novels but I am impressed Skeptic by the variety of the books you have read. It seems that you have covered everything!
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Old 9th June 2004, 09:40 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cleopatra
I am currently reading " This Immortal" in which a great part of the plot takes place in Greece!! But still it's Heinlein that has the sparkle!

What about Ursula Le Guin?

Do I sound like an old-fashioned European now or what?
I love Ursula Le Guin.

Left Hand of Darkness is wonderful, Lathe of Heaven isn't too bad either. Great short stories.
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Old 9th June 2004, 09:43 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by headscratcher4


I love Ursula Le Guin.

Left Hand of Darkness is wonderful, Lathe of Heaven isn't too bad either. Great short stories.
And for anyone who likes kids books about wizards learning magic at a magical school... Wizard of Earthsea, the original trilogy are fantastic for kids and her later editions to the story are superb if not quite for the kiddies.
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Old 9th June 2004, 03:33 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by headscratcher4


I love Ursula Le Guin.

Left Hand of Darkness is wonderful, Lathe of Heaven isn't too bad either. Great short stories.
In addition to "Left Hand of Darkness" I enjoyed "The Dispossessed"... though I am afraid I am not a fan of the EarthSea stories, nor of the latest one of that universe "The Telling".

My first boyfriend gave me "Stanger in a Strange Land" to read (he had nicknamed himself Cliff Long, a cousin to LL)... and then my hubby has read lots of Heinlein, including re-reading "Friday" just recently. That is the problem with majoring in engineering, you tend to date... and eventually marry another engineer (College of Engineering... for women, the odds are good, but the goods are odd).

I actually enjoyed some of the Niven/Pournelle collaborations... "Lucifer's Hammer" was interesting in kind of showing what happens with a major disaster, and "Footfall" deals with some of the same issues (and Pournelle gets to have a nuclear blast destroy his old hometown) -- and I liked "Inferno"... the rest is just not much to my liking. I read the first two when I was on "Earth is destroyed" kick... which included reading "The Postman" by David Brin (which I remember enjoying, though I can't remember why).

Though I find that I favor Frederick Pohl. I like his short stories... and I enjoyed "When the Martians Came".

I also enjoyed "Way Station" by Clifford Simak

Then there are exactly two book I enjoyed by Vonda McIntyre: "Dreamsnake" (another post-apocalypse saga) and "The Moon and the Sun" (the latter getting into historical romance/fantasy/sci-fi).

Sorry, I am sitting in front of a 11 ft. long bookcase wall of mostly science fiction... most of it dear hubby's (and some of it mine). We've been going through trying to find things that 13 and 15 year old sons would enjoy reading (and not warp their minds), so we have been bouncing off what we remember from each tome.
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Old 17th June 2004, 07:23 PM   #71
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Whenever I’m browsing the SF section of the library and I see a kid about 11 or 12 looking for a book, I grab “Ring world or The Final Encyclopedia” and hand it to them; shack my head yes; don’t say a word to em; walk away.


I get kicked out of more libraries that way
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Old 23rd June 2004, 01:53 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cleopatra
I am currently reading " This Immortal" in which a great part of the plot takes place in Greece!! But still it's Heinlein that has the sparkle!

What about Ursula Le Guin?

Do I sound like an old-fashioned European now or what?
Pardon the late reply, your majesty. 2 weeks near Cardamena on Kos. In "creatures of light and darkness" the main characters are Osiris, Horus, Anubis et al.
I really enjoyed some of the books I took on holiday. Please read "The light age" by Iain MacLeod, it's kind of the "anubis gate" meets Willis' "doomsday book".
Let me also recommend Paul Cornell's "British Summertime" - a psychic who can find chipshops meets a time-travelling Dan Dare and his bodyless head-only navigator? What's not to like?
Neal Asher's "Line of Polity" - harder SF. If you like Morgan's Shifted Carbon you'll like this.
Zindell's Lighstone. I loved Neverness and thought the Broken God was a book to be thrown with great force. Reads like a conscious expirement after he read the Wheen of Time et al.
Excuse back-up keyboards shift key problem.
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Old 25th June 2004, 11:09 AM   #73
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series suggestion

I enjoyed Gene Wolfe's "Urth of the New Sun" series. It's written in first person perspective by someone with perfect memory and the subject matter swings between fantasy and science fiction in an interesting way, at least it was to me. The first book in the series is _Shadow of the Torturer_ but this has been re-released with the second book in the series under one cover as _Shadow & Claw_ with some subtitles.
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