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knox
Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1194 Location: St. Louis
BTW, show of hands, how many here, on first hearing the title of Adams famous , lagomorphic novel, thought it might be a thriller set on a submarine?
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Syd
Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:50 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12541 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
knox wrote:
BTW, show of hands, how many here, on first hearing the title of Adams famous , lagomorphic novel, thought it might be a thriller set on a submarine?


I've heard of it as an alternate title for Startide Rising.

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bartist
Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6453
I thought it might be maritime, too. I can see the David Brin one, too. Heh.

Reread "Sphere" recently, which is massively spectacularly better than the crappy movie adaptation. The book is an absorbing psychological thriller, with some, many, sharp insights into the scientific ego. I have to think Crichton was disappointed by the adaptation. And, as a tale of encountering scientific mystery, the book is as fascinating as Arthur Clarke at his best.

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pedersencr
Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:38 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 921 Location: New Orleans
Hi, Bartist!

/just passing by and noticed your post/

I agree with you completely. Sphere is definitely a book worth reading. It stands out in my experience, and your comparison to Arthur Clarke at his best is well deserved. Excellent capsule review!

Regards to all
Smile

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bartist
Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:15 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6453
Hi, CP! Glad you stopped by. Haven't read much sci-fi since that last post, except for the Clarke/McDowell collaboration, "The Trigger." Interesting look at the collision between scientists and politicians, and how good intentions can get you into trouble. I found it a little bit too expository and long, it's 400-plus pages struck me as having about 250 pages of novel, but fascinating nonetheless.

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pedersencr
Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:11 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 921 Location: New Orleans
Bartist,
My reading has been tailing off lately, becoming replaced by more than full attention being devoted to the real-life Washington drama. Astonishments galore, including scientists vs politician.
But I am into a historical novel called Cassandra, in the form of a memoir from the widely disregarded priestess who predicted the conquest of Troy by the Greeks.
DC, though, is more thrilling.

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Syd
Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:38 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12541 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
I find it appalling that Charles Stross pits the fate of the universe as a choice between the Sleeper in the Pyramid and the Dark Pharaoh without considering that (1) they're the same thing and (2) I voted for Nyarlathotep anyway.

But never the Goat with a Thousand Young. Damn, he's the President, isn't he?

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mitty
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Aug 2004 Posts: 1354 Location: Way Down Yonder.......
Right now I'm reading "Lyndon Johnson and The American Dream" by Doris Kearns. I was a teenager when he was in office, and didn't pay that much attention, so it's proving a great insight to how his personality played into both the times and affected events. Kearns is both sympathetic to him and ruthless in exposing his flaws.

But he was a great proponent of the Dems and Repubs working together as Americans. Unlike nowadays.
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Syd
Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:12 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12541 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
N. K. Jemisin won her second consecutive Hugo for Best SF Novel of the year , something I think only Orson Scott Card did previously. Whatever you think of Card, he deserved it, as does Jemisin, with the minor qualm that these were really the first two-thirds of a three-volume novel. The third third of the novel just arrived in the mail, so I'm re-reading "The Fifth Season," with the pleasant surprise that a novel which I liked on the first reading improves on the second and third readings. I fully expect that our two protagonists will actually turn out to be the villains of the series.

The Hugos use an Australian ballot system, and Jemisin was behind until the last runoff. I'll have to check out her competition. It had to be pretty stiff, because Cixin Liu wound up in last with one of the most ferociously imaginative SF novels I've ever read (though Jemisin's was better as a novel.)

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bartist
Posted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6453
Haven't been reading much SF lately, partly due to now patronizing a smaller library. They do get the Nebula and Mr. Gernsback's award stuff, so I'll look for T5thS, though I tend to be wary of books that are presented with a trilogy or n-logy in mind. I appreciate that authors like regular income, so I don't fault them for finding ways to assure that. It's just that I like to close the book and feel done. (not that I minded, in my youth, following Asimov through his Foundation novels or Lewis through his Silent Planet series....or more recently, Clarke and Baxter's "time zone" novels....)

If anyone asks why I don't just buy titles online, the answer lies in the 2000 volumes already in our house. It's an old house. I don't want the floor to collapse.

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bartist
Posted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:16 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6453
mitty wrote:
Right now I'm reading "Lyndon Johnson and The American Dream" by Doris Kearns. I was a teenager when he was in office, and didn't pay that much attention, so it's proving a great insight to how his personality played into both the times and affected events. Kearns is both sympathetic to him and ruthless in exposing his flaws.

But he was a great proponent of the Dems and Repubs working together as Americans. Unlike nowadays.


Johnson belonged to a time when "bipartisan" was clearly understood as how things got done. We need to get back to that.

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Syd
Posted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:23 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12541 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
bartist wrote:
Haven't been reading much SF lately, partly due to now patronizing a smaller library. They do get the Nebula and Mr. Gernsback's award stuff, so I'll look for T5thS, though I tend to be wary of books that are presented with a trilogy or n-logy in mind. I appreciate that authors like regular income, so I don't fault them for finding ways to assure that. It's just that I like to close the book and feel done. (not that I minded, in my youth, following Asimov through his Foundation novels or Lewis through his Silent Planet series....or more recently, Clarke and Baxter's "time zone" novels....)

If anyone asks why I don't just buy titles online, the answer lies in the 2000 volumes already in our house. It's an old house. I don't want the floor to collapse.


I recommend pretty much anything by N. K. Jemisin, with the warning that some of her protagonists are dubious to say the least. Also, anything by Ann Leckie. I find it interesting that the Sad Puppies controversy at the Hugo Awards coincided with four of the finest Hugo winning novels in recent memory. (Ancillary Justice by Leckie, The Three Body Problem by Cixan Liu,. The Fifth Season by Jemisin, and the Obelisk Gate by Jemisin.)

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bartist
Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:37 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6453
Been reading about the Sad Puppies, and the offshoot Rabid Puppies. Hadn't realized how deeply the current culture wars had penetrated the SF genre. The Guardian story I just read certainly doesn't think much of their claim to be promoting quality....

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/aug/20/hugo-awards-reading-the-sad-puppies-pets

If sci-fi were politics, I gather that Sad Puppies would be the Right wing, railing against Affirmative Action and multiculturalism.

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Syd
Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:46 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12541 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
The Sad Puppies did a job on Jim Butcher, giving him an undeserved nomination for "Skin Game," which was fun but not really deserving of a Hugo nomination. But his next novel, "The Aeronaut's Windlass," was brilliant, got a Hugo nomination, and maybe should have won. It's certainly one of the better recent sf novels I've read, and easily the best steampunk novel I've read.

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Syd
Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:16 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12541 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
"The Stone Sky" is also excellent; in fact, I was astonished that in many ways it's the best of the series, since I thought the first two were the best sf I'd read in years.

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