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OLD CODGERS READING BACK IN TIME


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Posted on May 10, 2014 5:38:39 PM PDT
sbissell3 says:
When Worlds Collide (Bison Frontiers of Imagination) 1933 by Phillip Wylie and Edwin Balmer had a great influence on American SciFi. It took place in a contemporary setting and was not a space opera. The theme of an environmental disaster was used by Wylie for most of the rest of his career. He warned about climate change early on. This was later adapted for a George Pal movie (When Worlds Collide [HD]) which was fairly successful. If you have not read Wylie's Generation of Vipers I recommend it, albeit somewhat dated now. The book was a fair success at the time. I found the archaic language interesting, although I think it might have even been stilted at the time; who says 'thither'? The science is as expected somewhat naive, but mostly justifiable for the time. The only big mistake was the complete misunderstanding of gravity in a space ship; at this time both the special and general theory of relativity were well known so it is a bit puzzling that Wylie and Balmer were so off on this. Anyway I'm going to read the sequel sometime this year and hoping for the best. I can recommend this one if you've never read it; it is interesting.

Posted on Nov 21, 2013 9:24:53 AM PST
sbissell3 says:
Just finished Lucifer's Hammer in preparation for Comet Ison next month. A nice long read, very satisfying IMHO. I liked most of the book, the science is sound and the sub-plots mostly work. This book came out in 1977 so some of the, in my estimation, egregious misogynist parts are hard to understand (after comet fall one character says that 'women's lib' is a thing of the past). The females in the book are treated as furniture for the most part. Also the slang of African/Americans and depiction of African/American culture is, at best, embarrassing. But all that aside it was and still is a good read.

Posted on Oct 12, 2013 8:34:20 AM PDT
King David's Spaceship, originally published in Analog as A Spaceship For The King, is one of my favorites in Pournelle's CoDominium Future History series. It's also available from Baen eBooks as part of this 9-book bundle at a discount price: http://www.baenebooks.com/p-574-codominium-future-history-bundle.aspx

All are well worth reading. At $36, the price works out to only $4 per book.

Posted on Oct 11, 2013 8:07:40 AM PDT
sbissell3 says:
Let's see, two books to consider.

King David's Spaceship takes place in the 'Motie' Universe and is Pournelle's attempt to explain some of the issues that have been raised here. I don't really buy his explanation for a hereditary monarchy and a militaristic government, but it is what it is. Basically the book is a great medieval war story. I enjoyed that a lot; the SciFi part of it was, in my opinion, rather weak. The idiotic misogynist society is still a head scratcher; not sure if Pournelle was really this sexist or if it's a reflection of the times.

Ringworld is a classic of course and it has been probably close to 30 years since I first (and last) read it. I enjoyed it a lot and am thinking of reading the sequels. The physics is still pretty interesting and I think Niven was, for the most part, pretty clever here. One thing I don't even remember from my first reading was the inheritance of 'luckiness'. At first it was amusing but it became obvious that Niven intended this as a major part of the novel. I found that, in the end, kind of distracting from the idea of a Ringworld.

Both books are good and hold up really well. I think Pournelle is a great military writer and Niven is a master SciFi writer.

Posted on Sep 21, 2013 8:42:14 PM PDT
You slow down when you're dead, unless you're L.Ron Hubbard.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2013 4:51:41 PM PDT
Tyro says:
And more prolific than James Tiptree, Jr.

Posted on Sep 21, 2013 4:48:52 PM PDT
You were as prolific as Robert Silverberg.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2013 3:48:14 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
I wish I used to be Ivar Jorgensen, maybe I was, I don't remember much from the late 80s and early 90s.

Posted on Sep 21, 2013 3:33:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 21, 2013 3:34:15 PM PDT
Don't forget Eric G. Iverson and Calvin M. Knox.

Posted on Sep 21, 2013 1:33:35 PM PDT
2theD says:
..then there's the story of Ivar Jorgenson...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2013 12:37:38 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
I love it when a sock puppet tells the world the alias he's using to hide the authorship of his book.

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 4:55:08 PM PDT
One name is for his "literary" works, another name is for the stuff he writes for people like us.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2013 8:59:55 AM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
Why would anyone want to read something by an author who signs all his stuff "some other boy did it"?

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 6:57:47 AM PDT
Diesel says:
I continue to read and re-read some of the 'oldies' but 'goodies.' So intrigued with the combo of Sci-Fi and Westerns that I wrote one (The Equation...pen name Oliver Learnt) from a desire to read another :)

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 8:41:25 PM PDT
2theD says:
*bows in thanks*

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 6:01:52 PM PDT
Tyro says:
I found M-I-K-E 2theD's review of Rakehells: a good assessment, more insightful than a some of the scanty commentaries I've found on Boyd over the years. Glad he appreciates John Boyd's subversive sense of fun with alien sex. Pollinators of Eden is even more over the top in that regard with its interspecies romance (woman and sentient giant orchid!). I can't think of another sf writer who has such perverse fun with sex except maybe Philip Jose Farmer at his best..

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2013 6:16:45 AM PDT
Tyro says:
Boyd was pretty prolific back in the sixties and seventies, with a new novel coming out almost every year. But after The Girl With the Jade Green Eyes was published in 1978 he wrote no more science fiction at all, maybe nothing else either until he published his war memoirs. A long lacuna in a long life, without doubt.

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 10:55:08 PM PDT
2theD says:
Yup, been there done that, reviewed all three books: Starship, Pollinators, and Rakehells!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2013 7:25:22 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
I think Boyd's low productivity goes a long way towards explaining his relative lack of popularity--"The Last Starship From Earth" made quite a splash when it came out, among other things it got a lengthy review in that magazine that carried the Perry Rhodan stuffs and I've seen references to it pop up in some of the oddest places. As I recall, M-I-K-E 2theD has been known to recommend Boyd and I'll normally suggest "The Pollinators Of Eden" and "The Last Starship From Earth" when it seems appropriate.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2013 7:07:34 PM PDT
Tyro says:
Yes, definitely not character driven. A broad streak of satire runs through most of his works, and maybe that's the reason he was never really taken to heart by the more earnest fans of science fiction. But he was endlessly inventive and could always surprise one. All of his books are currently out of print, though, and have been for decades.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2013 6:47:41 PM PDT
David Rolfe says:
I read some Boyd back in the day, and most clearly recall The Last Starship from Earth and The Rakehells of Heaven. Yes, different stuff, challenging and somewhat intriguing, although I could never get completely on his wavelength. I'm thinking that what kept me from being more thoroughly hooked was that I never deeply believed in Boyd's characters. They had some depth to them, but his stories were more situation-driven than character driven, or at least that's what I take away. But interesting stuff, and anyone that's never sampled him might want to try one of the titles I mentioned.

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 6:24:33 PM PDT
Tyro says:
I recently learned that the elusive John Boyd, one of my all time favorite sf writers, passed away this June at the age of 93. I'd never even seen a photo of him until I read his obit. The author of The Last Starship from Earth, The Rakehells of Heaven, Doomsday Gene, The Gorgon Festival and several others. His tales were wonderful, witty, and subversive, filled with literary references and classical allusions, almost designed with the ideal English Major reader in mind. Maybe now they'll allow some of his works to actually come back into print. Ave atque vale to the master!

Posted on Sep 18, 2013 5:36:04 PM PDT
Yes! Let's get back to talking about old science fiction books and pulps!

Posted on Sep 17, 2013 7:53:49 PM PDT
sbissell3 says:
Am I the only one on this discussion that thinks it's gone off the rails. . .the Mussolini reference provoked that.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2013 6:01:56 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
(Nice. LOL)
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  146
Total posts:  948
Initial post:  Aug 2, 2008
Latest post:  May 10, 2014

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