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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:58 am 
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Dick was quite arguably possessed.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:36 am 
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Pepsuber wrote:
Star Trek's handwaving is probably the most egregious example. But Star Wars isn't far behind, with its conflation of "light speed" and "hyperspace" and Han Solo's contention that the Millenium Falcon made the Kessel Run in 12 "parsecs" (yes, I know this was later retconned, but let's be serious, Lucas made a mistake).


No, it wasn't a mistake, at least not an unintentional one, ...the point is that Han is a braggart who doesn't know what he is talking about....which is why Obi Wan responds to Han's boast with an expression of exasperation and disbelief.....and if you read the screenplay you will see that it actually says right there after Han's boast 'Obi Wan has an expression of disbelief'

I could believe it was an unintentional error by George Lucas if not for Obi Wan's expression immediately after Han makes the boast....the way Obi Wan reacts suggests awareness of the error...

It's like....if I have a character who brags about how he is an expert who knows everything about cars, and then he immediately makes some elementary mistake about cars that everyone knows is wrong...like not knowing the difference between an air filter and a spark plug....what does the viewer conclude about the character?

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:57 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Dick was quite arguably possessed.


Or unhinged in some aspect, at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I could believe it was an unintentional error by George Lucas if not for Obi Wan's expression immediately after Han makes the boast....the way Obi Wan reacts suggests awareness of the error...

What you describe could be a reaction to bragging ... it is difficult to believe that a pilot would be ignorant of the distinction between a measure of time and a measure of distance -- and if he were so ignorant, it's unlikely that Obi-wan would want to travel with him!

Also, that is not what Lucas says in his DVD commentary. He gives the retcon explanation that the Falcon won the race because it took the shortest route.

But frankly it is obvious that it is an embarrassing mistake. That's OK, since Star Wars is obviously not hard science fiction.

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It's like....if I have a character who brags about how he is an expert who knows everything about cars, and then he immediately makes some elementary mistake about cars that everyone knows is wrong...like not knowing the difference between an air filter and a spark plug....what does the viewer conclude about the character?

The viewer would conclude that anyone who allowed the character to work on his car would be a fool.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:44 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Otherwise, I'd agree on this list, though I found DUNE a massive bore. Tastes vary.

It is hard to get into Herbert's writing style. But the story, the relationships between the characters and the various factions, the way the world that he describes hangs together -- these things are ultimately what makes Dune so satisfying. And perhaps why the sequels were so unsatisfying. I think the first couple of sequels might have been entertaining if the writing itself were more engaging. They are decent stories.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:46 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:59 pm 
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Pepsuber wrote:
GKC wrote:
Otherwise, I'd agree on this list, though I found DUNE a massive bore. Tastes vary.

It is hard to get into Herbert's writing style. But the story, the relationships between the characters and the various factions, the way the world that he describes hangs together -- these things are ultimately what makes Dune so satisfying. And perhaps why the sequels were so unsatisfying. I think the first couple of sequels might have been entertaining if the writing itself were more engaging. They are decent stories.


I made it through the first 2 1/2 books, and quit. Among the things that I found of no interest were the culture, the characters, the Houses, Spice, the ecology, the plot, and the general ambience.

Liked the sand worms, which were not enough to keep me coming back.

Liked DRAGON IN THE SEA, maybe 1-2 other Herbert books.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:48 pm 
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"never let me go" by Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my top 10 best Science Fiction novels of all time.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:35 pm 
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GKC wrote:
David Weber doesn't wave hands, the "theories" behind his FTL capabilities and restrictions are integral to almost every aspect of the Harrington universe, and his appendices are marvelous. But I doubt one could construct a functioning ship's wedge from them. Likewise , he's thought through extensively other scientific aspects, as in life extension, genetics and exobiology, utilizing, as many SF writers do, scientific advisors, as he once discussed with me.

I just downloaded the first book in that series (it was free on webscription.net), so I will check it out.

Personally I thought Pournelle struck just about the right balance with the Alderson Drive in the CoDominium universe.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Pepsuber wrote:
GKC wrote:
David Weber doesn't wave hands, the "theories" behind his FTL capabilities and restrictions are integral to almost every aspect of the Harrington universe, and his appendices are marvelous. But I doubt one could construct a functioning ship's wedge from them. Likewise , he's thought through extensively other scientific aspects, as in life extension, genetics and exobiology, utilizing, as many SF writers do, scientific advisors, as he once discussed with me.


I just downloaded the first book in that series (it was free on webscription.net), so I will check it out.

Personally I thought Pournelle struck just about the right balance with the Alderson Drive in the CoDominium universe.



I like Pournelle and the CoDominium.

Did you download ON BASILISK STATION?

The Harrington Universe is revealed slowly, and it matured in David's mind as it did. He once offered to tell me (around 8 years ago) how it all ended, but I ran away screaming. Recently, his comments are showing that he has slightly changed the point at which his story line will climax, and slightly how it will. It will be soon, I fear.

All the titles in the Harringtonverse will take a little while to get through, if you wanted to do the tour. You get to see her age, mature, rise in rank, and basically, kick ass. I've only got one published title yet to read. My wife (who can do the family trees involved far better than I) used to have me read the newest Honor aloud, when it came out.

David is a superb plotter and I like his way with words. I hope Honor hooks you.

If not, well, I tried.

GKC

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:09 pm 
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GKC wrote:
Did you download ON BASILISK STATION?

That's the one.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:17 am 
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GKC wrote:
I like Pournelle and the CoDominium.

I've read just about everything in that particular universe, with the exception of the "War World" stories which I am reading now, and Outies (written by Pournell's daughter) which I don't plan to read at all.

Anyway, what I like particularly is that the effects that technology (in particular, the Alderson Drive) have on the universe are logical (I know in actuality it is the other way around, the Alderson Drive was "created" with certain constraints in mind, rather than those constraints being imposed on the books because of it). Technology also doesn't seem stale, and where it does seem to have lagged it can be chalked up to knowledge lost during the wars.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:29 pm 
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Pepsuber wrote:
GKC wrote:
I like Pournelle and the CoDominium.

I've read just about everything in that particular universe, with the exception of the "War World" stories which I am reading now, and Outies (written by Pournell's daughter) which I don't plan to read at all.

Anyway, what I like particularly is that the effects that technology (in particular, the Alderson Drive) have on the universe are logical (I know in actuality it is the other way around, the Alderson Drive was "created" with certain constraints in mind, rather than those constraints being imposed on the books because of it). Technology also doesn't seem stale, and where it does seem to have lagged it can be chalked up to knowledge lost during the wars.



Eventually, I'll get around to all the CoDominium stories, as I chance upon them, including OUTIES. I started with A SPACE SHIP FOR THE KING in Analog, 40 years ago, then the DAW paperback, with the Kelly Freas cover, then KING DAVID'S SPACE SHIP (both book tiles I got Pournelle to sign).

You may like the Honorverse, esp. if you read long enough in it to see the unfolding of the implications of the technology. Which, esp. with respect to weapons, evolves constantly. And, unlike the CoDominium, is not restricted, with respect weapons application. Honor carries a BIG stick and the battles are not on the planets. This is fleet action.

Be that as it may, while technology and physics (Honorverse physics) are front row in the plots, more so than in the CoDominium, the books are more driven by politics, sociology and character.

David is a good writer.

GKC

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Netcurtains3 wrote:
"never let me go" by Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my top 10 best Science Fiction novels of all time.


I'm reading this next.....
I enjoyed Ishiguro's Remains....

This and Altered Carbon......

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:56 pm 
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My family were amazed that I enjoyed "never let me go" as it is an "emotional" book. I think what absord my interest was the pure horror of the heros acceptance of it all as if there was nothing they could do. Also the background of the novel reminded my of the England of my youth. I will be going to Norfolk this summer simply because I like the way he explained the sea side resort in his story. I had bad dreams after I read the book for quite a few weeks - it really is more horror then sci fi.

"remains of the day" - is also pretty horrific if you think about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:58 am 
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GKC wrote:
Eventually, I'll get around to all the CoDominium stories, as I chance upon them, including OUTIES. I started with A SPACE SHIP FOR THE KING in Analog, 40 years ago, then the DAW paperback, with the Kelly Freas cover, then KING DAVID'S SPACE SHIP (both book tiles I got Pournelle to sign).

What I've read of Outies was interesting, although what I've read about it sort of turned me off. For example, there is apparently a genderless character in the book (one who is never referred to by masculine or feminine pronouns) -- of course, tastes may vary, but the Empire of Man tends to be patriarchal and I think the stories should be written in that spirit. YMMV.

I assume you've read Falkenberg's Legion (the omnibus of West of Honor and The Mercenary)? How about Prince of Mercenaries? Those and the other Falkenberg/Lysander Collins stories (Go Tell the Spartans and A Prince of Sparta, co-written with S.M. Sterling) were gathered together in a single volume, called The Prince.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:16 pm 
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Pepsuber wrote:
GKC wrote:
Eventually, I'll get around to all the CoDominium stories, as I chance upon them, including OUTIES. I started with A SPACE SHIP FOR THE KING in Analog, 40 years ago, then the DAW paperback, with the Kelly Freas cover, then KING DAVID'S SPACE SHIP (both book tiles I got Pournelle to sign).


What I've read of Outies was interesting, although what I've read about it sort of turned me off. For example, there is apparently a genderless character in the book (one who is never referred to by masculine or feminine pronouns) -- of course, tastes may vary, but the Empire of Man tends to be patriarchal and I think the stories should be written in that spirit. YMMV.

I assume you've read Falkenberg's Legion (the omnibus of West of Honor and The Mercenary)? How about Prince of Mercenaries? Those and the other Falkenberg/Lysander Collins stories (Go Tell the Spartans and A Prince of Sparta, co-written with S.M. Sterling) were gathered together in a single volume, called The Prince.



I felt the same, about the description of OUTIES, but I'll give it a try.

As to the Falkenberg books, I own and have read all of them. Have a shot at meeting Stirling in Sep, need to dig those titles out.

GKC

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:22 am 
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Netcurtains3 wrote:
"never let me go" by Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my top 10 best Science Fiction novels of all time.

Sounds more dystopian than science fiction, not that that's a bad thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:35 am 
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GKC wrote:
As to Clark, I assume that whether it's mentioned or not, in such stories as CHILDHOOD'S END, there would have to be FTL travel. And somebody had to get here to deliver that monolith on the moon.

I agree that there is definitely FTL travel in 2001 and its sequels, though probably not of the kind common in space operas and the like.

Regarding Childhood's End, I'm not sure. It has been a long time since I've read it, but IIRC the aliens in the story came to Earth to stay. There would not have been much reason for that if they could have gone back to their homeworld from time to time. OTOH, they had clearly visited many planetary systems, or at least had research on those systems available to them, something that would have been unlikely if they were limited to STL travel. But then that was Clarke's first published SF novel.

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 Post subject: Re: Sci-fi
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:08 pm 
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GKC wrote:
I started with A SPACE SHIP FOR THE KING in Analog, 40 years ago, then the DAW paperback, with the Kelly Freas cover, then KING DAVID'S SPACE SHIP (both book tiles I got Pournelle to sign).

I've not looked for A Spaceship for the King figuring there was little or nothing in it that wasn't in King David's Spaceship. But I could be wrong. I'm not really a completist, though, especially where mass-market paperbacks are involved.

I assume you've read "He Fell into a Dark Hole," "Reflex," and "Motelight"? (The latter two were among the material cut from The Mote in God's Eye.)

If not, "Reflex" can be found here:
http://www.webscription.net/chapters/06 ... 741926.htm

"Motelight" can be found in N-Space by Niven or A Step Farther Out by Pournelle.

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