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Old 03-25-2009, 09:20 PM   #46
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:18 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumberjim View Post
Because I think you're smart, and I usually agree with what you say, I am downloading these two ..
Great! I hope you like them. Forever War is more of a hard science fiction, action type novel, and a lot of fun. Sweet Birds is more of a painting characters and moods kind of a book with some neat ideas thrown in.

Another fairly obscure one that I would very strongly recommend is Earth Abides by Stewart. It's better than any of the ones I read in that college course. It's probably tied with Ender's Game and possibly Dune for my favorite book of all time.

I'll have to check out the Time Traveller's Wife.

Last edited by glatt; 03-26-2009 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:27 AM   #48
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Just to throw it out there: anyone who hasn't yet read Vernon Godlittle, probably oughtta.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:35 AM   #49
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Okay, Brianna, ya wanna rumble?

Lit geeks (if that is what you prefer) don't have the imagination or creativity to read good SF. (sneer). They prefer the mundane, the day-to-day, the comfort of real life!

It takes a special person to create and write whole worlds, history, culture as well as new scientific concepts, to weave those concepts into present place and character; and a special person to be able to read and visualize them. I also submit that science fiction and fantasy (whether or not you care to lump them together) are the classics of our time--or at least some of them. Written and filmed SF is woven into twentieth and twenty first century culture, irrevocably. Much of written science fiction is fine and though provoking, as much as mainstream literature. I think that movies, especially, have joined with this genre so marvelously, and I only anticipate more creativity in this area.

Okay, I'm kidding about the rumbling and sneering part, and would never make fun of literature geeks. Seriously--everyone is entitled to their own taste. Just read!
The other side to this coin is that some people need all the bells and whistles to stimulate their mind: movies have to have loud booms and flashing lights, books have to have very clear motives, a beginning, middle, and end. Everything has to be flashy and decorated. To me, this ignores the mystery of the human mind that man has been trying to understand for centuries; it is this study of human nature that my weird brain thrives on.

Just playing devil's ad. I AM going to try to read one of the suggestions, and I certainly know how intelligent you folks are! Maybe I'll find a whole new world that I like.

Oh, and I AM weird.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:54 AM   #50
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Shawnee, if you really do want to play with SF or fantasy and you want something interesting, engaging and also intellectually stimulating, read pretty much any Sheri S Tepper: Either the True Game series (particulaly the adventures of Mavin Manyshaped, though True Game stuff was very early Tepper) or Grass, Sideshow, or Raising the Stones. there are some very good ones. She writes intelligent, challenging stories, which usually have compelling themes (feminism, love and betrayal, human sacrifice and selfishness, imperialism and the dangers of religious zeal etc).

As an adolescent I went to Marion Zimmer Bradley for my feminist fiction, as a grownup I go for Tepper.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:20 PM   #51
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Thanks DanaC. I have to work Saturday morning, cutting into my Day of Sloth, so I think I'll hit the library on the way home. There's another book I have to read soon, so I'll also look for Tepper while I'm there.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:33 PM   #52
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Some books are very difficult to categorise. Vurt and Pollen (by Jeff Noon) are a case in point. I'm not sure whether they're sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism or just contemporary fiction. I know they are lyrical and beautiful with an edge liike a samurai blade. That's all I need to know.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:54 PM   #53
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If you haven't read E.M. Cioran "temptation to exist"......Better have a look. It's a french philosopher/poet that rips everything to shreds. The best part? His word usage. I really only care for what he says some days. Mostly, I like the words. He's more prose than philosophy.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:18 PM   #54
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I think you should read C.J. Cherryh's "Foreigner" series. The premise is that human refugees from a mutinied lost starship fall on a foreign planet. The aliens, who are tall humanoids, have a feudal system (similar to ancient Japan) and, while having human appearance, are 'wired' differently towards association groups requiring 'man-chi', which goes beyond 'love' or 'loyalty'.

After the humans anthropomorphise themselves into a war with the natives, a treaty is reached where the humans resettle to a big island/continent and only one human paidhi (ambassador) is allowed on the mainland in the emperors court. Bren is only the latest in a series of paidhi, but he is the one who will make history.

While there are similarities to James Clavell's 'Shogun', Cherryh really works in the concept of aliens whose mentality is not just shaped by societal differences, like those between fuedal Japan and England, but actually hard-wired.

Personally, I think anyone going into the diplomatic service should read these books.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:38 PM   #55
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I'd forgotten about Cherryh. Brilliant writer.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:40 PM   #56
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I'm making a list...
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:30 PM   #57
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blecch. Can't stand anything that Cherryh wrote.

For my pic of grand, witty, and fun SF, try any of the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:36 PM   #58
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Anyone ever read The Gap series by Stephen Donaldson?
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:12 PM   #59
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http://xkcd.com/483/
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