SF/F Reading in June, 2018

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Safari Bob, May 30, 2018.

  1. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    yes, and no.

    on my phone, three computers and a tablet. no edit, or delete buttons on any of them.

    but I do not have this problem for BFB , also on any device.
     
  2. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have almost completed Legend and as anticipated it has been a very enjoyable book. It is one of those stories that, although you feel you have read it before, still manages to capture your imagination and your attention.
    I have also started The Star (The Collected Stories) by Arthur C. Clarke. I enjoy Clarke's scope as well as his dry humour; I have just read this passage: "Dr Paynter, who was generally believed to have gone to the moon to get away from his wife..." It made me giggle.
    I will definitely read more of his work.
     
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  3. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I decided I need to get on with the Expanse series so I ordered Nemesis Games.
     
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  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I'm taking with me Leviathan Wakes for my holiday.
     
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  5. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    That series is so much fun (well, up to what I've read, anyway).
     
  6. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    as requested

    posted from what I did on BFB, this is the first two Galactic Empire books. I am currently reading the third (but irst published, weird) these are pretty garbage, bu I am liking the third.

    Finished The Stars like Dust ~Isaac Asimov
    CUrrents of space~ Isaac Asimov


    So the Stars is part of asimovs first series (the first in publication is pebble in the sky, but it is supposed to be the last of the trilogy) and it shows. This is more similar to the 20s-50s sci fi serials than later Asimov works. It's almost cheesy. Theres a trend inj sci fi to use rome or mongols as a basis for any space civilization, like old serials such as flash Gordon or as late as star trek with the romulans and Klingons representative of each (and smaller one episode cultures.), Asimov does not skip over this cliché and trend.

    written like a bad spy novel this is most unlike his later works, it is also only part of foundation universe by happenstance. Asimov started writing this, and foundation, but later decided to merge the two with the robot detective series. The result is lots of continuity errors. some are as simple as the basic chronology in timeline, other are like the photocube, introduced in this book as a new invention maybe we can use it to put an image on each of the six sides. then in caves of steel the photocube is commonplace and using six sides is well known , A MILLENIA EARLIER. lots of typical 40s and 50s atomics used for everything.

    " I cannot remember, for I have Amnesia... " cue dramatic organ music
    "I don't remember who you are, for I too have..... Amnesia" cue music again
    "does anyone here not have amnesia?" "time for a dramatic.........

    despite being typical of the old serials I have the theme song from a 70s remake of those serials as I read this.

    "FLASH!! aaaa hhhhaaa savoir of the universe. ......... FLASH!!! Aaaaahhhhaaaaa ...."

    Currents of Space

    much better, but still a bad spy novel. we lose the ancient civilization in space clichés and now we are REALLY in the foundation series. we are dealing with earth and trantor and the political background is that of Trantor colsoldating its power over various free kingdoms which will result in Galactic Empire.



    Stars like dust 5.5/10
    Currents of space 6/10


    ...Pause!"
     
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  7. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I started reading this:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

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  9. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Out of the blue, I have started reading The Tiger and the Wolf (Echoes of the Fall #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The plot revolves around iron age tribes controlled by humans who can shapeshift. I have almost read half the book and what I like is the world Tchaikovsky is presenting. The development of the story is slow; there is much information regarding common aspects such a customs, folklore, everyday living habits as well as interaction and warlike conflicts amongst these different shapeshifting tribes. I have no problem with slow tempo stories, so long they are well written and with a promising denouement, and I believe this will be the case.
    Ergo, if you like your food slowly cooked with lots of spices, you will likely enjoy TTatW.
     
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  10. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    It's a dystopian near future sort of book where people lose their shadows, get fantastical powers, and forget about everything. Frankly, it reminded me of Peter Pan but instead of retreating to a hidden magical world, you have competing people recreating the "real" world in magical ways. The jury is still out for me but it is well-written at least.
     
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  11. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

  12. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    mine too, although for me Metropolis and ministry of fear (and Nibelungen) would be my two and three
     
  13. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    I managed to read Starship Troopers this weekend. MY WARNING, this is a very political book having massive chapters depicting political discussions where Heinlein sets two believable arguments on eitherside. (most of the time they are both believable) not all demonstrate Heinlein's beliefs, some are just a fiction.


    as such, my review has to include some politics, as it is in the book, not how I believe. I do stand against, racism, sexism, antireligionism, fascism, and selective service, but I hope the rest of my views remain a mystery after this review, because I am doing a review, not starting a poltical debate.


    pretty good, It is still considered one of the best depictions of military life, and pride. and with Full Metal Jacket one of the most praised depictions of Boot camp. The author served, and is very well versed in the Marine Corps and it's history. This book drips with that knowledge. It also drips with very intensive poltical discussions. sometimes Heinlein argues for what he actually believes in, sometimes he argues against what he believes in, both are seemless and I bet most people cannot tell the difference (completely) by only reading this book.


    I will say my favorite scene was the description of the drop. (also the final scene was awesome)


    it i also intentionally depicts the best and worst aspects of a Utopian civilization. On the plus side, there is no such this as a cultural racism, sexism, or anti-religionism (is there a word for this, also no anti-aethism), In fact with in the Space Marines (a Heinlein created word) the fastest way to get kicked out, is to make fun of someone's unique culture. Heinlein spends a few pages demonstrating how nationalism and petty cultural differences have disappeared by introducing several characters we never see again to prove we put our differences aside for the benefit of all humanity. (oh look a German, Japanese, Russian, Middle Eastern Muslim, Christian, Morman, Atheist, South American, et cetera. and we are all in one big happy family.) Woman also get a big bonus on this one, published in 1959, Heinlein kind of ahead of it's time having many of the most badass hard edged, and career forward woman in ALL his books, but this one too. This Utopia also has an extremely low crime rate, low poverty rate, high standard of living, universal education (go as high as your grades will let you) universal Healthcare, and a very open set of freedoms (like a broader freedom of speech than we can experience in our universe)


    I will add for utopia. Heinlein believes in abolishment of selective services (conscription, draft, whatever you want to call it) He includes that in this book.

    (fyi the argument against is predicated on having a standing army of highly trained professionals to do their jobs well, This prevents the need for a draft which takes potential doctors, lawyers, artists, workers, and puts that rare skilled talent and risks the entire life of his/her accomplishments versus that persons slightly incompetent soldiering ability. aka an unskilled soldier dies fast, and society then loses the benefit of 40 years of a more important skill)


    on the other hand, this Dystopia depicts what we would have to give up to achieve such lofty goals as universal peace across the planet, and such braod and inclusive freedoms that dwarf our primitive notions of how free we can be. corporal punishment is much so excepted and used, there is still an extensive legal system to prevent errors, and the deterrent of corporal punishment means that you rarely see it, even though its public. This is something that Heinlein clearly believes in. high deterrent with corporal punishment equals low crime rate. One thing Heinlein doesn't believe in, selective citizenship, He pulled a lot of the Roman culture into the story including the fact that there isn't universal citizenship. you have to earn that. (in this case, by serving) also depicted, as supremely free as we are in this alternate reality, we have lost freedoms. He doesn't explicitly say what we have lost, but he hints on that loss and mourns it a little. death also seems, less important, sure for the average civilian its a rare thing that no one has to see, but for a space marine, they deal with death constantly, heck 20 people die during boot camp, the first one is jarring (so was the corporal punishment scene) for the recruits, but as it happens more and more, they stop noticing it. also no universal sufferage


    all together, I don't think it's worth it. the negatives are too high.


    THE MOVIE

    The movie, mostly a piece of crap. Hey I enjoyed it, but it was also a poor adaptation. The director is a bit of a piece of excrement, if you watch his movies you'll notice a few choice movies that you might really like (he also did robocop) but I feel he is a lot like Richard Kelly, He has no idea why his movie is considered so good, and actually misses the point of what people are seeing, because he sees something totally different.


    about director

    so the director does have a sad background, he was 6 in netherlands and right next to his house was the V2 rocket testing site, so obviously the allies would bomb him regularly including stories he tells of bombs landing on his front lawn. He has my sympathy and I like many of his movies, but a also hate a lot. and the older he got the more I hated them. He blames the British for being n*zis.....not kidding, he outright says that in more than one interview. so He has this idea that anyone who engages in war, even a defensive war after being invaded, is a n*zi. That seeps into every single movie he made for America. He has controversial opinions about so many victims of war being closeted evil doers. quotes "war makes n*zis of us all", "anyone who engages in war, for any reason, is a fascist" But thats not what I hate about him. I think he is entitled for a bit of that considering his background. what I hate about him is He has become what he hates most in his middle/old age. He has really become the embodiment of a racist, sexist, fascist these days.


    for this movie. He admits he did not even read the book...why would they be okay letting him direct a movie adaptation, when the director wants nothing to do with the original content? What he did get from the book he colored with various facist paints. he dressed everyone in SS uniforms and made sure to depict as much from the Reich as he can in the movie making sure that any poltical argument that he did grab from the book is said in the context that it is automatically evil because it is said right before and after a scene that was a reshoot of a scene from "triumph of the will" or a scene where soldiers are handing out live ammo to children, or cold war style propaganda. The movie just drips with him trying to beat you over the head with how evil this world is, especially the military. (he also includes summary justice with immediate execution (not in book) which ignores the error free due process in the book)


    He does everything he can to try and drum up sympathy for the arachnids. (which came out weird) by saying that we were the evil invaders, because despite dangerous (ICBMs) asteroids hitting a few outposts and coming dangerously close to inhabited areas, It was a peaceful group of colonists living on a planet too close to them that started it (by being massacred).


    He does include some of Heinleins hate free Utopia (that Heinlein includes in almost every book) by making the society coed and racism free. BUUUUT... the director included two depictions of his hatred for religion. (he was surprised the Morman hate he put in there was well recieved by mormans) and managed to include quite a few sexist scenes depicting the females in the movie as weak, sex starved, parodies of how a woman was to act in the 1950s (if they also had jobs without glass ceilings) and in the commentary, he has no remorse for his anti religionism, and no idea (why it is bad) or remorse for how bad he treated the female characters. (edit: the way he deals with the relationships, not the rather amazing Heinlein esque treatment of careers)


    The knife scene is better in the movie.


    book 9/10

    movie 6/10 (if you can ignore the overtones of misogony, predjudice, and fascism)
     
  14. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    it just boggles my mind why people thought this was okay to put someone in the director seat with completely opposite opinions from the content!!!

    imagine how bad waterworld would be if a global warming denier was the director!

    or how bad invictus would be directed by someone who believed in apartheid.

    ADDENDUM: I was a bit too harsh on the movie. I had spent the day prior watching many clips and interviews of the director. This was added after as a leveling of my fervor, of my venomous rant.

    so one great thing that's in both book and movie has, is the lack of glass ceilings for women. they fill a lot of higher up positions. and heinlein isn't perfect, he goes into describing the genetic superiority of females in a piloting role, it comes off as similar to someone making a asians and math argument....

    what got me (and lots of complaints from the audience) was that dina meyer defined herself by her existence in Ricos world. coupled with denise Richard's playing a triangle game with Rico and flyboy, although verhoeven meant it as empowering it came off as 1950s golddigging/manipulative. then she dear Ricos him (ha, pun) which puts the audience off her for good as she left the first chance she could once flyboy got the promotion aka, more desirable. she then only returns when flyboy dies, and Rico also becomes desirable with commandship.

    the career aspect of the females read more of an equal way than it is now , but relationships, stuck in the past. I could easily see this relationship in any of hundreds of books written 50 years prior. (Right after that commercial about finding a good man and rid of the guy who didn't get the promotion)

    I can't hate it too much if I own a copy
     
  15. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    Read The Sands of Mars~ Arthur C Clarke

    that was the most interesting thing that ever put me to sleep.

    so the story itself is made up of all these really cool, interesting future concepts dealing with the colonization of mars, the fightback from Earth, and the Martians trying to prevent the mars colony project being shut down, resulting in them having to abandon Mars. This is also coupled with some really interesting terraforming ideas (new for 1950s, old hat now).

    All that amazing interesting stuff, is delivered in a beautiful elegant, and utterly boring prose. I cannot give Clarke enough praise for having such interesting storyline that the fact that it read like a sales manual for 500 different shades of matte white paint did not stop me from fnishing it.

    6/10
     
  16. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    finished childhood s end ~Arthur c Clarke

    earlier this week.


    another classic.

    I can definitely see the influence of this with hundreds of fantasy and scifi sources using this particular alien physical description (including naming and costume)

    I won't tell you what because that is major spoiler, the book starts off with earth invaded (peacefully) and zero face to face interaction with the invasers/colonizers.


    the weird bit is how much we get the idea that much of the events are
    a good thing. it seems that the spin is... oh but the benefits are better than the loss. this is a constant concept that is brought into the text. the final straw was that the extinction of humanity, is a good thing...


    wow, so quiet, subtle and beautiful.just like the choice to give the aliens a visage to make you squirm, but tries to suggest it doesn't matter later they are benevolent..maybe.


    the ending was so hollow. so sombre. so defeating.


    so one argument I can come up with, why are they too depressed to mate and restart the human race?


    but maybe we don't know if future children are also all part of overmind, or that humanity knows that the earth will be destroyed by their children so its pointless. either situation can tighten up this plothole.


    9/10
     
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