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  1. #1
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    Classic Science Fiction Discussion and Recommendations

    (MOD EDIT: This thread was split from another that started out as a paranoid political rant about Huxley and Orwell, but was taken over by folks who just wanted to talk good sci-fi.)
    i always though the world in a brave new world didnt seem that bad, you didnt have Darfour or hurricane katrina or the holocaust. it was a tidy kind of tyranny.

    Last edited by Elwell; November 17th, 2011 at 10:12 PM.
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    Alien-ruled dystopias are the best. You know who the enemy is, all the humans are united under one cause, and you get to use really neat guns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    i always though the world in a brave new world didnt seem that bad, you didnt have Darfour or hurricane katrina or the holocaust. it was a tidy kind of tyranny.
    And they had 'Soma'...

    Best place to live though is Iain M Banks' Culture. I could live there alright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    Best place to live though is Iain M Banks' Culture. I could live there alright.
    yep. id love to see an O

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    yep. id love to see an O
    That would be something wouldn't it? Along with those floaty robots to serve you using force field malleables and space ships with names like 'Velocity Kendall is a Cool Lookin' Guy'...

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    "That would be something wouldn't it? Along with those floaty robots to serve you using force field malleables and space ships with names like 'Velocity Kendall is a Cool Lookin' Guy'... "

    Thats what my yacht would be called.
    If people are wondering what we;re talking about, have a look at this

    http://www.vavatch.co.uk/books/banks/cultnote.htm

    Its a much smarter more fun utopia than you might be used to.
    I once asked Banks the following and heres what he said

    Me: Can you see a technological singularity happening this century? What might it be like?

    IMB: No. Frankly I'm sceptical about the whole idea; sounds too much like an excuse to stop thinking. I could be wrong, of course, in which case feel free to sue me from somewhere beyond the Singularity using a time machine."

    I told him id see him in hypercourt.

    http://www.iain-banks.net/2008/10/14...-october-2008/

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; November 9th, 2011 at 03:19 AM.
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    Banks is interesting in that he seems to reserve his 'up' feeling books for the SF and the 'down' books for the 'literary' fiction. His 'Song of Stone' was pretty depressing (though not as bad as Gissing's 'New Grub Street' - boy that was a mother****er!)

    I have the impression he sees 'up' as a sort of fantasy and 'down' as what reality is. (But I'm guessing of course)

    This is a bit of a weakness in his writing in my view. 'Up' and 'down' are things that are mutually dependent on each other's context to exist, not distinct qualities and his approach seems to suggest he subscribes to the latter view.

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    Yeah the sci fis are definitely romps. Although Use of Weapons was pretty dark.. The Chairmaker and what not.
    I guess some books you read for the writing; I really enjoy VS Naipaul or Conrad if im in that mood, and some for the big visual ideas, in which case Charlie Stross or Ian Banks. Phillip K Dick is a shitty writer but he crams more original ideas onto a page than 20 normal people..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    Yeah the sci fis are definitely romps. Although Use of Weapons was pretty dark.. The Chairmaker and what not.
    I guess some books you read for the writing; I really enjoy VS Naipaul or Conrad if im in that mood, and some for the big visual ideas, in which case Charlie Stross or Ian Banks. Phillip K Dick is a shitty writer but he crams more original ideas onto a page than 20 normal people..
    I was forgetting 'Use of Weapons'.
    I haven't read any Charlie Stross - one to recommend?

    Philip K Dick does seem to be the kind of writer who believes that if you cram enough ideas into a book it will collapse under it's own critical mass and give off a read-e-ation burst that will do the same job as the sensuous effect of a story... Maybe he succeeds? Not for me though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    I haven't read any Charlie Stross - one to recommend?
    I've tried Stross' sci-fi but it's just not resonating with me at this point. No indictment on him, more on my mindset at the moment. But I love the shit out of his Laundry/Bob Howard series. That stuff I can't get enough of.

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    Yeah theyre ok, I just finished the 2nd Laundry book on audio. Lots of geek humour and james bond pastiche mixed with lovecraftian horrors from outside space time. I love Angleton!

    I really, really liked parts 2 and 3 of Accelerando and the sort-of sequel Glasshouse though. A lot.
    http://www.manybooks.net/titles/stro...rando-txt.html

    And Im a massive fan of his short stories. Where the Laundry books mix George Smily and James Bond with HP Lovecraft for comic effect, the following is anything but funny, and cos I hate laughing and smiles i prefer it... The stars are right, Situation Nightmare Green is coming to pass and the thing the Nazis scraped out of the drowned temple in the Baltic and the Russians now store in a rune-covered sarcophagus in the Urals is stirring... utterly chilling
    http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/colderwar.htm

    "Philip K Dick does seem to be the kind of writer who believes that if you cram enough ideas into a book it will collapse under it's own critical mass and give off a read-e-ation burst that will do the same job as the sensuous effect of a story... "

    i think thats exactly right. tremendously hit and miss. I felt The 3 Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and The Zap Gun were definite hits, A Scanner Darkly and Bladerunner, not so much.
    But again where i think he really excelled were the short stories:
    Upon the Dull Earth and Psiman Heal My Child are something else.

    Another SF writer Im loving at the moment is Ted Chiang.
    http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/under.htm

    And my all time SF top tip? Cordwainer Smith. Changed my life.
    http://www.webscription.net/chapters...520953___3.htm

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  21. #12
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    A Colder War is indeed brilliant.

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    "Chris, Velocity & others, could you get a little more on topic?...burned at the stake, thrown into the fiery pit, burnt offering... holocaust means burnt offering. "

    Shut your noise, your posts are the doubleplus-ungood duckspeak of the epsilon minus semi-moron.. YACK YACK YACK YACK but almost zero meaning. We were talking about Brave New World and other futuristic fiction we liked. You were just yammering on about the new world order as usual. I bet dollars to donuts you never even finished the book.

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; November 10th, 2011 at 02:10 PM.
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