SCARECROW

Decent sci-fi or fantasy novels

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14 minutes ago, Marinatrix447 said:

It's looking good Houston...

 

Mahdi  "The one who will lead us to paradise..."

That does look good - I wonder when the release will be.  Book was great and I liked the original David Lynch version. 

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On 1/23/2020 at 5:12 PM, SCARECROW said:

I read a lot and science fiction and fantasy make up a huge percentage of the fiction part of what I read.

Can anyone recommend some good authors outside of the obvious for me to look up.

Sci-fi wise I'm a fan of Peter F Hamilton, James S A Corey, Orson Scott-Cards (shadow series and formic wars, not his preachy stuff) with a bend towards space opera.

Fantasy, classics like Tolkein, David Eddings, Raymond E Feist.  But if i have to read another series that is basically a re-write of their plots with new characters I'll loose my mind.

I've downloaded preview after preview for the last few weeks and rarely get to the end of the preview before I close it and try again.

Don't get me started on waiting for Martin and Rothfuss to ever finish anything.

If you enjoy historical novels dressed up as fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay's books are quite lovely. Lyrical prose, rich historical context, political intrigue. The Lions of Al Rassan is a good place to start -- set in an alternate Spain during the Reconquista. Last Light of the Sun is a fine analogue of the Viking age. Kay was Christopher Tolkien's editor on The Silmarillion,  and a friend of Dorothy Dunnett. Dunnett is another very immersive alternate/witness to history author with spectacular prose and dialogue.  My darling once described her books as "like a fruitcake -- dense, nutty, and veddy veddy British." I'd advise starting with the House of Niccolo series, which is a bit longer and slower arc but also funnier and less emotionally grinding than the Lymond Chronicles. The characters in both series -- real historical figures and  invented ones -- are fully alive and unforgettable. 

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Not only Wool, but I've read everything Hugh Howey has written. All good. His short The Plagiarist is beyond good, and is a standout in it's particular sub-genre. 

I recently read all three in a series of three short story anthologies that starts with The End is Nigh, thought they were all dang good. Some real standouts in the stories.

Old Man's War series by Scalzi. Later stuff not as good (imho, ymmv, etc -- Well, I'd guess everybody will agree that the Collapsing Empire series was phoned in)

The Forever War - Joe Haldeman 

Definitely the Hyperion Cantos - Dan Simmons. I think Hyperion was the best, but all four were well worth reading. Simmons also writes some really good horror, ifn ya'll are into that. 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (+ the next 2/3 books) Chambers. I really liked this stuff - quiet, not really plot-driven, more character driven. Really like the way Chambers writes. 

First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - North. Really nice book, and a style of a time-travel book you haven't read before. Pacing is very British - so may be slow for some. 

 

And/or climb aboard the way-back machine:

Ringworld: Niven. (Actually the whole of the Known Space series is/was decent. Niven's stuff doesn't hold up all that well though - many things are too much a period of the time when he wrote them and are rather cringeworthy now)

A Boy and His Dog. Ellison. Heck, almost anything by Ellison, but it's all brutal "humans really suck" stuff. Good thing he only wrote short stuff... 

Anything at all by Asimov or Bradbury. Quite a bit of Heinlein, but lots of that didn't age well either. 

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"Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers.  There are two translations from the original Russian into English, and I think both of them are very good.

Sort of a companion to Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" is the "Baroque Cycle", a (big) three-novel prequel.  It was hard for me to work through the first time, but it has now become one of my favorite re-reads.  Stephenson's "Fall, or Dodge in Hell" is in a way a continuation of "Cryptonomicon".  These novels each stand alone, but have some common elements and characters flowing through them.

I have read everything that Philip K. Dick had written, and I sincerely recommend all his novels from "The Man in the High Castle" through "VALIS".  I like his earlier work too, but I think that in his these later novels he found a way to address some of the deeper metaphysical questions that haunted him.

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I just finished Robert Heinlein's 1959 "Starship Troopers.

Nothing like the movie. absolutely nothing like the movie. In fact the movie is a disservice to the novel although it is entertaining.

Chapter 8 really rings true to all the criminal activity going on in the US now. Hard to believe that in 1959 anyone could have looked that far into the breakdown of society..

 

back to Clive Cussler, starting Valhalla Rising.

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18 hours ago, Meat Wad said:

I just finished Robert Heinlein's 1959 "Starship Troopers.

Nothing like the movie. absolutely nothing like the movie. In fact the movie is a disservice to the novel although it is entertaining.

Chapter 8 really rings true to all the criminal activity going on in the US now. Hard to believe that in 1959 anyone could have looked that far into the breakdown of society..

 

back to Clive Cussler, starting Valhalla Rising.

If you liked that, you need to read Space Cadet by Heinlein, and Armour (John Steakley).  Both are quite good.  The Forever War has already been mentioned.

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23 hours ago, Meat Wad said:

I just finished Robert Heinlein's 1959 "Starship Troopers.

Nothing like the movie. absolutely nothing like the movie. In fact the movie is a disservice to the novel although it is entertaining.

Chapter 8 really rings true to all the criminal activity going on in the US now. Hard to believe that in 1959 anyone could have looked that far into the breakdown of society..

 

back to Clive Cussler, starting Valhalla Rising.

The whole book is an adolescent fantasy, played out in a way that uses common American ideals (or, what used to be such) that good guys win. It's a great book though. I did not bother with the movie, everything I heard/saw about it demonstrated to me that it would not interest me. As for the "breakdown of society" if you read writers from the Athenian Age, you find that 3,000 years ago "society was breaking down!"

It's said that Heinlein hasn't aged well, I think that's a relatively superficial judgement. For example, in Starship Troopers he writes about women being C.O.s of spacefaring warships. More than three generations ago, when this book was written, the idea of a woman fighter pilot would have been laughed at as absurd. Heinlein not only assumes womens equality but writes into the book in an everyday matter-of-fact way. This is in a book that is often (with reason) dismissed as an adolescent war fantasy.

I'd suggest 'Tunnel In The Sky' and 'Glory Road' if you liked this one. I just rereading Stranger In A Strange Land, getting back in touch with one of my all-time favorites.

If you just want to read some intelligently done future military sci-fi, check into any of the Pournelle books with John Christian Falkenberg.

- DSK

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Heinlein -- don't forget "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".  I also really like "Methuselah's Children" and the sequel "Time Enough for Love".  There's some creepy stuff in the last one, but Lazarus Long is still a great character.

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Children of Time. Especially if you don't like spiders.

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brin uplift war and

Brightness Reef
 
dies the fire  by S. M. Stirling  that is the first one
there are a lot of them in the Emberverse  even sailboats

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On 1/28/2020 at 11:15 PM, B.J. Porter said:

I'm still distraught over Lynch's Dune. I watched it again as an adult to see if it was just me being a callow teenager that hated it when it came out.

No, it was still an incoherent mess. A waste of a tremendous cast.

Missed this reply back in January. Only noticed it now that the thread was refreshed with the new movie preview. Have to say, a better epitaph for a movie may never have been written. "A waste of a tremendous cast."

The new preview looks very promising, and I like the casting body type at lest for Paul. Since he was supposed to be a little small for his age. But that original cast?

Jürgen Prochnow as Duke Leto Atreides
Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck
Francesca Annis as Jessica
Linda Hunt as the Shandout Mapes.
Virginia Madsen as Princess Irulan
Sting as Feyd Rautha


And so on...

Truly a waste.

     

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Even though I was one that mentions that Heinlein  hasn't always aged well, if you've got the time: read it all. (even The Roads Must Roll ) The Puppet Masters is very good, and speaks to the current times pretty well. (Not quite as well as the awesome film documentary Idiocracy. Mike Judge obviously had a time machine to see what the future was like) Waldo was amazingly prescient and a great read. 

But stylistically, like all way-back fiction, Heinlein's stuff may be less enjoyable reads to folks that weren't around to buy the hardcover the day it came out. I still wish I had my copy of The Number of the Beast which I indeed bought the day it came out.  (Really my only non-digital book that I've kept is a signed Fahrenheit 451 - I ran into Bradbury at a bookstore in Santa Monica once, chatted, grabbed a copy from the shelf and he gracefully signed it.) 

Since nota mentioned the uplift series by Brin (which I liked), I'll mention that I really enjoyed The Postman. Dunno how such a great book made such an awful movie. (Just like the Dune debacle mentioned above)

Red Mars series was mentioned upthread, but for the life of me I don't know why anybody likes it. It just dragged on for me. There's a spot where like 5 pages is dedicated to a list of tools in a toolbox. But peoples is peoples, and we all like different stuff. 

The Martian is a helluva book, that actually got made a helluva movie. Still a good read. Artemis  wasn't as good, but it wasn't bad. Ready Player One is fluff, but fun readable fluff if you're into that kinda thing.

The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin, is a fantastic book. Lots of her other stuff is well worth reading. 

I read a metric shitton of David Drake's stuff - but none recently at all so I don't know if it's still a good fast read or it ends up sucking. 

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7 hours ago, valis said:

Heinlein -- don't forget "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".  I also really like "Methuselah's Children" and the sequel "Time Enough for Love".  There's some creepy stuff in the last one, but Lazarus Long is still a great character.

I've had a dog named Jubal and a dog named Mike and a dog named Lazarus. Our last dog was named Hank, which was the perfect name for the character he was. Sometimes you just break the pattern, although in this case I didn't name him anyway.

Heinlein mentioned in one of his autobiographical shorts that "Mistress" was the most difficult book he wrote; he doodled with a series of ideas and then was pressured into doing a "literary job" to prove that he was an AUTHOR not just a sci-fi writer. And he worked on it, put it away for a while, then worked... etc etc... and when he sent it in, he almost drove to the agents to intercept the mail. But I think it's top-shelf, a great story of deep human themes. Dunno if it's "literature" but it's a great book.

Definitely a second on Ursula K. LeGuin, and on The Martian. And I hated the movie DUNE too.

- DSK

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On 1/26/2020 at 7:17 PM, SASSAFRASS said:

Don't think I saw Greg Bear in there, not for the light reading but liked all of his stuff.

Forge of God and Anvil of the Stars were very good, tho the latter has all adolescent characters, which can grate after awhile. Very good 'aliens destroy earth' premise, tho. Like, these LGMs aren't even particularly interested in us as slaves, or lab animals. They just fuck with us for the fun of it, then blow us up cuz they want our planet's heavy elements to make more killer alien probes. Kids are sent out in an ark of sorts -- not to colonize a new planet, but to find those bastard aliens and wipe.them.out. So a bit Ender's Game, a bit Lord of the Flies, a bit Brin's Existence.

Speaking of which, that last book can be infuriating but is certainly full of ideas and swerves. Brin is a better thinker than writer. Kiln People is a hoot.

Gene Wolfe was a good writer, tho grim as hell. Andre Norton as good, less grim.

I enjoyed Julian May's Galactic Milieu trilogy, as much for its graceful story arc as anything else. Advise starting with Jack the Bodiless, reading the prequel Intervention only if you liked the trilogy and want some gratuitous backstory.

Favorite Stephenson book is The Diamond Age, which has more focus than Snow Crash and more discipline than his later work. He's a writer who needs an editor to keep him in bounds, but he's sold too many books now to listen.

Have a soft spot for Michael Swanwick's novels and short fiction. Vacuum Flowers is a fun read, as is The Iron Dragon's Daughter, right up to the last chapter when it isn't.

They feel dated, but Harlin Ellison's edited story collections Dangerous Visions contain some big names and (for the time) dicey themes.

China Mieville is an excellent stylist & writer of grotesque urban fantasy. Not everyone's cup of tea, and his politics have made him a lightning rod for the (rat-fucking) Sad Puppy  mob. Likewise Nalo Hopkinson. 

CJ Cherryh is a mixed bag, but when she's good, she's very good.  Jonathan Carroll has had a big influence on Gaiman's magical mythopoesis thing, but I always feel this urge to hit his limp characters with a halfbrick. Sean Stewart is another in that mode: a wave of magic has swept over the earth, wreaking havoc and leaving survivors with random 'gifts' they don't want & can't manage. Galveston is a memorable book, tho I enjoyed Resurection Man more. Deeply flawed characters, not always likeable, major daddy issues.

 

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4 hours ago, gptyk said:

(Not quite as well as the awesome film documentary Idiocracy. Mike Judge obviously had a time machine to see what the future was like)

Actually, he just had to read (and probably did) "The Marching Morons" by C.M. Kornbluth.

Another writer I quite like is  Cordwainer Smith.  His short stories ("A Planet Named Shayol"), as well as his novels ("Norstrilia"), and many others.  His use of language was incredible.

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On 9/14/2020 at 10:49 PM, valis said:

"Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers.  There are two translations from the original Russian into English, and I think both of them are very good.

Sort of a companion to Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" is the "Baroque Cycle", a (big) three-novel prequel.  It was hard for me to work through the first time, but it has now become one of my favorite re-reads.  Stephenson's "Fall, or Dodge in Hell" is in a way a continuation of "Cryptonomicon".  These novels each stand alone, but have some common elements and characters flowing through them.

I have read everything that Philip K. Dick had written, and I sincerely recommend all his novels from "The Man in the High Castle" through "VALIS".  I like his earlier work too, but I think that in his these later novels he found a way to address some of the deeper metaphysical questions that haunted him.

WARNING:THE FOLLOWING POST IS WAAAAAY TOO LONG.  AND IT WANDERS.  

I don’t know why, but every time I pick up ‘Roadside picnic’ I get through about 15 pages and abandon the exercise for a few months.  Repeat.  Maybe it’s just too depressing given whatever it is the Russians are trying to do to us?  Dunno.  

I really dig any of the best Sci Fi short stories of the year or topic or theme or where they live anthologies, but have found that for most of the authors great short stories don’t translate to great books, although the ‘Great Ship‘ series (Robert Reed I think) is a great buzz.  I loved ‘Accelerando’ (Stross) - the first third of the book is a classic, but now that he’s successful, I’m losing interest in his new stuff, like Cory D- ‘Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom’, Makers, and (What was it?) ‘Someone Comes to Town, someone Leaves Town‘ -something like that- were brilliant, anyway, his earlier stuff.  Cory moved to England, and it ain’t the same.  Authors are finding it harder and harder to make any money writing, so like music we’ve entered another age of the Amateur, which is why maybe short stories are better, at least for me, since authors can write them, and hold down a job too.  Kind of like String Quartets- at least they’re more likely to get played.  For the guys who keep composing symphonies, no love.  Greg Short, anyone?  I digress.  Greg Egan is a sci fi phenom....   Maybe I should just take a pic of the sci fi book case?  There’s some crap in there I just can’t throw away, but most of it is stuff I’d read again.  Rich Horton always does great best sci fi short story of the year anthologies. Dozier’s I always buy, but some years are great, and some years suck- too much fantasy, but that’s what’s selling, although there’s been some really edgy cool fantasy here and there recently.  Nancy Kress is always a weird mind sticking nightmare.  Sung Hoon Lee (sp?) is a great Short story writer.  3 (5?) Body Problem/ Dark Forest/Death’s End was kind of cool.  The Expanse has turned into an endless expanse of books that have burned me out,  Anyway, short sci fi stories stoke it For me. If dystopian is your thing, read Timothy Snyder‘s stuff- it’s not even fiction, (but it seems like it) (Kind of like Vonnegut? :))  There was a thread over on Twitter where a bunch of leading lights in the Sci Fi World were posting about how Trump has ruined multiple Novels For all of them, because he has created multiple realities rendering novels pointless.  Woodward may be right- Trump is utterly destroying what is now an old order- I’d describe it as what used to be called cyberPunk is now a dystopian reality, courtesy of Our Beautiful President.  Gibson himself has written about it- there is no future now- only what Snyder calls the eternal- a brutal struggle of life, power, aggrievement, and death.  History has become SciFi- reality has become fiction, fiction reality, and the moment is beyond even brutal misunderstanding.  Multiple universes are laid bare before us, and we are thrown into them seemingly at random, barely comprehending what we have lost or where we’re going.  Although I have noticed that the conversation here, for example, retreats mostly towards the comfort of old sci fi, when there was a future to look forward to, not just the discomfort of unleashed chaos.

 


 

 

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Politics aside (please!), about Roadside Picnic:

If you've seen the Amazon mini-series "Tales From the Loop", that has to have been at least partly inspired by "Roadside Picnic".  Not so much the plot, but the premise.  I see the "Russ" character (Jonathan Pryce) as being Dr. Pilman from Picnic.  "Loop" is slow-moving and beautifully done, visually and with a great score by Philip Glass.  It can be quite moving at times.  Not a lot of fighting, explosions or chase sequences (as in none), it's just about people trying to live in a strange world.

My wife recently read the new translation of Roadside Picnic and liked it.  But she's been reading a lot of Chekhov lately...

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Even more on Roadside Picnic:

The most recent edition includes a substantial afterward by Boris (at the time, the surviving Strugatsky brother), in which he writes about how difficult it was to publish in the 1970's Soviet Union.  If anyone wants to talk about dystopias, that might be a good place to start (not that this was the first, or last).

The film "Stalker", directed by Tarkovsky, is loosely based on "Picnic".  I understand that there is a video game inspired by the book (or film?) as well.

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Ooops -- forgot Sean Stewart's Mockingbird. That's another in the same universe. Need to dig it out & re-read. Again, a warning: the prose is gorgeous, you will empathize with the characters, but you probably won't like them very much.

That may be why I enjoy Stewart but go a long time between reads. It's a nice change from the  exhausted SFF tropes of "hard-jawed fighter jockey/wandering swordsman/object of womanly lust who is also ace engineer/wizard that you really wish you could be", or the other adolescent wish-fulfillment template I call Naif-in-the-Realm: "unremarkable teenager with bland life passes thru magic gateway to a place where he is the chosen one with a quest and special powers and is the most important person in the world. Still a dope, but now a very special dope. A girl likes him & they have some sex."

The Quest in most Sean Stewart books is just to manage this thing that happened to you, and to find a balance between self-care & meshing into your community. That's a journey most people find difficult, even if they don't have six gods living in their heads. ;) And less escapist than "Let us grab a magic sword and go recover the Emerald of  Destiny from Maglor the Foul!!" Which stories can be fun, or they can be Terry Goodkind.

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On 9/11/2020 at 9:30 PM, Diarmuid said:

If you enjoy historical novels dressed up as fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay's books are quite lovely. Lyrical prose, rich historical context, political intrigue. The Lions of Al Rassan is a good place to start -- set in an alternate Spain during the Reconquista. Last Light of the Sun is a fine analogue of the Viking age. Kay was Christopher Tolkien's editor on The Silmarillion,  and a friend of Dorothy Dunnett. Dunnett is another very immersive alternate/witness to history author with spectacular prose and dialogue.  My darling once described her books as "like a fruitcake -- dense, nutty, and veddy veddy British." I'd advise starting with the House of Niccolo series, which is a bit longer and slower arc but also funnier and less emotionally grinding than the Lymond Chronicles. The characters in both series -- real historical figures and  invented ones -- are fully alive and unforgettable. 

I’ve just finished re-Reading both of DD’s series. First introduced to them by my mum when I was about 18 and loved them ever since. Fantastically well written.

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10 minutes ago, DRIFTW00D said:

Speaking of apocalypse novels, I recently went on a binge, reading (or re-reading) a bunch of them.  I won't review them -- these are all over the map and there are plenty of reviews out there -- but I enjoyed them all.  Looking at what's on my Kindle, I find:

  • Earth Abides
  • The MadAddam trilogy (includes "Oryx and Crake")
  • A Cantilcle for Leibowitz
  • The Stand
  • Station Eleven
  • The Dog Stars
  • Lucifer's Hammer

As I search the internet, I see there are lots more, some of which I read many decades ago (J.G. Ballard's "The Drowned World" and "The Wind From Nowhere").  I think I've got some more reading to do.

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2 hours ago, The Main Man said:

I’ve just finished re-Reading both of DD’s series. 

How long have you been in lockdown, mate?:lol: It can take me a month to get thru a Dunnett novel. I used to be a page-a-minute reader, but with DD I was lucky to average a page every five minutes. (In part because I keep flipping to the Dramatis Personae section to remember who the hell Nick Applegarth's second cousin is, in part because I'm always going back to read that amazing paragraph over again.)

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Alistair Reynolds Pushing Ice is really cool

Timothy Zahn (his non star wars books are really good.) Star Wars are good but it turns of some

Jack Mcdevitt  Two distinct series. One about space exploration the other about a SCIFI detective. 

Greg Bear Darwins Radio series will blow your mind Especially now with the covid thing going on

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For those who like 'Ringworld"

The Integral Trees

The Smoke Ring

Same hard sci-fi concept, man figures out how to spread thru the galxay and finds weird shit- in this case, the Ringworld only without the ring. It's a gravity toroid which has trapped an atmosphere and a jumble of matter including enough water to sustain plentiful life. Man can finally fly, truly FLY

Already mentioned, early in the thread: Pournelle & NIven did "Lucifer's Hammer" one better, this time the asteroid was dropped on purpose by an alien species intent on invading and conquering Earth. Title FOOTFALL. Someday I am going to nam a racing boat after the aliens' ship: Message Bearer

Another cute one is 'The Flying Sorcerors' by Gerrold & Niven. A human space explorer lands on a planet inhabited by hobbit-like people, and falls afoul of a village sorceror who wants to learn to fly.

Donald Westlake, the crime-comedy author, wrote a contemporary sci-fi about an invisible man that is great. For that matter, HG Wells (DO NOT read "The Island Of Dr Moreau" just before bed time)... Jules Verne... if you're gonna read the classics, start with the pioneers

- DSK

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13 hours ago, Diarmuid said:

How long have you been in lockdown, mate?:lol: It can take me a month to get thru a Dunnett novel. I used to be a page-a-minute reader, but with DD I was lucky to average a page every five minutes. (In part because I keep flipping to the Dramatis Personae section to remember who the hell Nick Applegarth's second cousin is, in part because I'm always going back to read that amazing paragraph over again.)

Hahaha! You are not wrong. Not the easiest to read but well worth it. Started before the UK lockdown and charged through all of them ;)

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Does anyone still read Stanisław Lem today? I recall liking his stuff when a kid, but it has been ages since I've heard the name. Strange little  vignettes, similar to some of Vonnegut's quieter stories.

Many of Italo Calvino's stories probably rate as fantasy or time-warping scifi, in the way of Borges. Intentionally disorienting worlds, with characters who won't stay put but keep swapping names & faces. 

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1 hour ago, Diarmuid said:

Does anyone still read Stanisław Lem today? I recall liking his stuff when a kid, but it has been ages since I've heard the name. Strange little  vignettes, similar to some of Vonnegut's quieter stories.

I recently read Lem's "Pirx the Pilot".  Amusing, but not much more than that (for me, anyway).  I've got a pile of old Lem books that need attention -- will probably re-read "Solaris" next.

Last night we watched Tarkovsky's "Stalker" film (loosely based on "Roadside Picnic").  Definitely a 1970's arthouse film: bleak, very slow, not much happens, lots of talking and unhappy philosophy. Beautifully shot, though.  In Russian, with subtitles.  I liked it. 

Tarkovsky also filmed Lem's "Solaris", but every time I've tried to watch it I've fallen asleep.  Next time, more coffee.

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18 minutes ago, valis said:

Tarkovsky also filmed Lem's "Solaris", but every time I've tried to watch it I've fallen asleep.  Next time, more coffee.

It won't help.

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8 hours ago, valis said:

I recently read Lem's "Pirx the Pilot".  Amusing, but not much more than that (for me, anyway).  I've got a pile of old Lem books that need attention -- will probably re-read "Solaris" next.

Last night we watched Tarkovsky's "Stalker" film (loosely based on "Roadside Picnic").  Definitely a 1970's arthouse film: bleak, very slow, not much happens, lots of talking and unhappy philosophy. Beautifully shot, though.  In Russian, with subtitles.  I liked it. 

Tarkovsky also filmed Lem's "Solaris", but every time I've tried to watch it I've fallen asleep.  Next time, more coffee.

I've tried to read "Solaris" and couldn't hack it. Made no sense. Pirx the Pilot was fun, as was his Tales Of The Cyberiad.

- DSK

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

I've tried to read "Solaris" and couldn't hack it. Made no sense. Pirx the Pilot was fun, as was his Tales Of The Cyberiad.

- DSK

Apparently, Lem hated the original Solaris English translation, and felt it didn't suit the concepts he was trying to present.  No doubt this is the translation you and I read years ago.  There is a newer translation, done after Lem passed away, and his family thinks it is much better.  I'm going to look for this one.

Speaking of English and Polish, language and meaning, I hope everyone here appreciates the beauty and power of Joseph Conrad's work.  He was Polish, and didn't speak English until his early 20's, but chose for various reasons to write in English. I'm glad he did.

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11 hours ago, IStream said:

It won't help.

I always tear up at the end.  Good stuff. Egan has kind of taken the torch up from Lem.

Pirx has that one story where he keeps meeting himself in a time loop and theY wind up beating each other up?  Hilarious stuff.  Made me wonder about myself.....:lol:

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On 9/17/2020 at 6:39 PM, Steam Flyer said:

For those who like 'Ringworld"

The Integral Trees

The Smoke Ring

Same hard sci-fi concept, man figures out how to spread thru the galxay and finds weird shit- in this case, the Ringworld only without the ring. It's a gravity toroid which has trapped an atmosphere and a jumble of matter including enough water to sustain plentiful life. Man can finally fly, truly FLY

Already mentioned, early in the thread: Pournelle & NIven did "Lucifer's Hammer" one better, this time the asteroid was dropped on purpose by an alien species intent on invading and conquering Earth. Title FOOTFALL. Someday I am going to nam a racing boat after the aliens' ship: Message Bearer

Another cute one is 'The Flying Sorcerors' by Gerrold & Niven. A human space explorer lands on a planet inhabited by hobbit-like people, and falls afoul of a village sorceror who wants to learn to fly.

Donald Westlake, the crime-comedy author, wrote a contemporary sci-fi about an invisible man that is great. For that matter, HG Wells (DO NOT read "The Island Of Dr Moreau" just before bed time)... Jules Verne... if you're gonna read the classics, start with the pioneers

- DSK

Flying on the moon if it had atmosphere is also physically possible........

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Anything Ted Chiang has written is worth re reading two or three times, like ‘Alchemists Gate’- talk about following a premise to the bitter end.... like Egan’s ‘clockwork rocket’.....Pangborn Is worth re reading too....

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