SF/F Reading in May, 2018

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Boreas, May 2, 2018.

  1. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    I just got a copy of Quozl.
     
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  2. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Foundation I.
    I have listened to the first three stories The Psychohistorians, The Encyclopedists and The Mayors but I have decided to read the final two: The Traders and The Merchant Princes.
    I don't think audiobooks are for me. The fact the narrators set up the tone and pace interfere with my own interaction with the story; it feels it doesn´t leave much to my imagination.

    At 65% of Blindsight: I'm loving it!
     
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    If you're listening to the original BBC dramatisation of which I've heard, then I think you're not getting the full text as Asimov wrote it. I hope you'll have a chance to read it properly sometime.

    Very glad you're liking Blindsight!
     
  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    I have checked this, and you are right; The Traders is missing from the audiobook. Well, no doubt now I will be reading the rest.
     
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  5. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Well I'm relieved to know at least one staff member still reads. I think all of them at Best Fantasy Books listen. Maybe Audible offers incentives?
     
  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Yep, we are one species in decline.;)
     
  7. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I can only do audiobooks for a 're-read', and only if I can stand the narrator. There are some I tried as 're-reads' and I still couldn't listen because the narrator was just so bad. You've not been stopping by much lately. Did you have a reading slump or something?
     
  8. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Blindsight has been my first book by Watts, and I believe he is a great author who manages inventive ideas with a very entertaining plot.
    Watts presents a first contact plot that pivots around the question of consciousness from an evolutive point of view: the hive-mind concept versus the singularity of the ego. He does not attempt to define what is consciousness, Watts is clever enough not to paint himself into a corner, but he ponders the future success of humankind should we not evolve into a collective and more effective consciousness. This premise brought me a smile as I have only recently read Friedman's The Madness Season with its Tyr, hive-minded aliens.
    The characters are hugely entertaining. Some might ask? Is the characterisation good? Yes, but the members of this crew are as unorthodox as they can be. Hence, do not expect traditional emotions nor empathetic interactions.
    Highly recommended if you feel like noodling about metaphysical questions.

    I have also finished reading Foundation I and enjoyed the final two stories a great deal more than the first three I listened to. I will sneak in Foundation II and III along the summer.
     
  9. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Less sci-fi lately, Boreas. I am finishing Elysium Fire today, at 98%.
     
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  10. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Still good to hear what you're reading even if not SF.

    I need a little break from the non-SF I'm reading, so I think I'll be starting Anne McCaffrey's first novel, Restoree. Let's hope it's interesting even if not very good.
     
  11. Dtyler99

    Dtyler99 Well-Known Member

    About a third of the way through M. John Harrison's new collection, You Should Come With Me, a collection of "ghost" stories which, in the Harrison-verse, can mean anything atmospheric and lingering. One page flash-fiction to full-length stories. I'm not huge on short fiction, but this is, um, er, unsettling stuff and runs the gamut from magical realism to horror.
     
  12. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    The Wolf's Hour (Michael Gallatin #1) by Robert R. McCammon, A very furry British spy during WWII.
     
  13. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    There was a review of this collection by Paul last year in case you want to compare your thoughts once you're done:
    http://bestsciencefictionbooks.com/blog/review-come-now-m-john-harrison/
     
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  14. Dtyler99

    Dtyler99 Well-Known Member

  15. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    I saw a conversation on the Fondation Series, and Asimov.
    I have just recently read almost all of it so I will copy and paste my opinions I posted on the sister site BFB.

    Foundation Universe Overview.
    The following are in the universe.
    Fantastic Voyage 2 (but not one, this isn't a sequel despite the name)
    The End of Eternity
    Nemesis
    The Robot Anthology series (honestly read I Robot, then skip the rest until Positonic Man)
    I Robot
    The Rest of the Robots
    The Complete Robot
    Robot Dreams
    Robot VIsions
    Positronic Man ( I have not read this, but it is a fll novel based on the Bicentennial Man Short Story)
    The Empire Series (skip the first two for sure)
    1. Stars Like Dust
    2. Currents in Space
    3. Pebble in the Sky (Have not read, but I just found a copy at the recycling center.)
    The Robot Detective Series



    Fantastic Voyage was written as a short story by guy A) then a screenplay by Guy B) then a tv mini series by Guy C), Asimov is quick with the pen though, so when the screen play was finished he was tasked with writing a novelization, he managed to get the book released BEFORE the mini series, leaving America thinking the book came first, and that Asimov did it all.

    I HATED the book, because it is written like a screenplay, and it has all the bad plot points that the movie had (because he wasn't allowed to change ANYTHING, except some science things they got wrong.)

    number 2, is his version. but it is not a sequel, its like a reimagining. This one is much better, the plot is easier to follow, doesn't have bad twists that make you groan. The characters are move likable and less twodimensional.
    This is why I gave one, a 4. and two a 7.5.It also serves as part of the Foundation Universe. This story shows the inspiration for the Positronic Brain (in universe).
     
  16. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member


    I saw a conversation on the Fondation Series, and Asimov.
    I have just recently read almost all of it so I will copy and paste my opinions I posted on the sister site BFB.

    Foundation Universe Overview.
    The following are in the universe
    the next three are skippable because they are only referenced in later books, BUT END OF ETERNITY is the best standalone Asimov wrote
    Fantastic Voyage 2 (but not one, this isn't a sequel despite the name)
    The End of Eternity
    Nemesis

    The Robot Anthology series (honestly read I Robot, then skip the rest until Positonic Man)
    I Robot
    The Rest of the Robots
    The Complete Robot
    Robot Dreams
    Robot VIsions
    Positronic Man ( I have not read this, but it is a fll novel based on the Bicentennial Man Short Story)

    The Robot Detective Series
    1. Casves of Steel
    2. Naked Sun
    3. Robots of dawn
    5. Robots and Empire

    The Empire Series (skip the first two for sure)
    1. Stars Like Dust
    2. Currents in Space
    3. Pebble in the Sky (Have not read, but I just found a copy at the recycling center.)

    Foundation Series
    1. Foundation
    2. Foundation and Empire
    3. Second Foundation
    4. Foundation's Edge
    5. Foundation and Earth

    Foundation Prequels
    1. Prelude to Foundation
    2. Forward to Foundation

    NOT in the foundation universe
    The Gods themselves (worth reading the first third of the book. the second, is at least one of the most ambitious and well written pieces in fiction, the down side it is so jarring against the rest of the book that it brings down the quality and appeal of the whole book.)
    the Norby Series (NOT ISAAC, its his wifes he just put his name on it to get it to sell. THESE SUCK)
    the Lucky Starr Space Opera seies (not read)


    if you only plan to read one book, in foundation universe (or Asimov in general). "end of eternity" it is a fantastic time travel novel with a lot of great spins of logic. the bonus being it stands alone , you need no prerequisites and can read it without being tempted to see what happens next. the downside is you are missing out on his best stuff.


    but, if you want to read anywhere between 3 books and the whole set. START WITH FOUNDATION the original trilogy.

    IMHO the best 5 books in the whole universe (foundation that is) not in order. book two in foundation, "foundation and Empire" book three in the robot detective series, "Robots of Dawn" , book one on the prequel series "Prelude to Foundation", book one of the anthology series "i, robot" (you can read conplete robot instead)and "end of eternity"

    don't discount the robot detective series, it's really well done, and sets up a lot of what happens next (onwards to all that is next) and if you read passed foundation, it is best to have already read them than to go back.

    skip galactic Empire, the first two are poor space operas written like dimestore spy novels. pebble... might be worth it I have not read it.

    Fantastic Voyage was written as a short story by guy A) then a screenplay by Guy B) then a tv mini series by Guy C), Asimov is quick with the pen though, so when the screen play was finished he was tasked with writing a novelization, he managed to get the book released BEFORE the mini series, leaving America thinking the book came first, and that Asimov did it all.

    I HATED the book, because it is written like a screenplay, and it has all the bad plot points that the movie had (because he wasn't allowed to change ANYTHING, except some science things they got wrong.)

    number 2, is his version. but it is not a sequel, its like a reimagining. This one is much better, the plot is easier to follow, doesn't have bad twists that make you groan. The characters are move likable and less twodimensional.
    This is why I gave one, a 4. and two a 7.5.It also serves as part of the Foundation Universe. This story shows the inspiration for the Positronic Brain (in universe).

    I gave full reviews of these in April Scifi thread on BFB I gave out a few 10/10s though.
     
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  17. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    anyway to delete the first post, did not realize I posted it, can't find the delete button.
     
  18. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    Nice posts beerman.
     
  19. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    @Bierschneeman, Nice post!
    I have only read I, Robot (Asimov's thread here) and Foundation I. I had planned to complete the Foundation Trilogy only, now after reading your post, I'm tempted to add a couple, The End of Eternity for starters...
     
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  20. Bierschneeman

    Bierschneeman Well-Known Member

    I'm doing the Heinlein and Clarke Catalogs now.
    then I will likely do some EE Doc Smith, Dick, and a few odds and ends I have missed (trying not to gag when I get to Burroughs)
     

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