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OLD CODGERS READING BACK IN TIME


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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 6:37:59 AM PDT
Hi Y'all, I'm catching up after languishing in the hot, humid, unconnected, dark during Gustav and aftermath. It only grazed me (as opposed to Katrina) and the local utilities were MUCH better prepared this time.

I have a comment about Dr. Asimov. When I was at LSU we had a series of forums and programs in the student union about what the future would be like. Part of that was a teleconferenced panel with 3 SF authors. I can't remember who 2 of them were but the 3rd was Isaac Asimov. He was both cogent and funny though the thing I remember best was him correcting the student dork who was moderating because he kept mispronuncing his name with a long A i.e. A si mov instead of As i mov.

I see I need to reread my Norton. This many people can't be wrong.

Finally, Bill C., you made me laugh. My brother was born in 1947 and when he turned 40 he decided he would reverse the process. So every year he sings "Happy Birthday" backwards and gets a year younger. Funny though, he doesn't look younger. lol As for me, I was exactly 6 weeks older than my husband (which accounted for no end of teasing while I was the "older woman") so when I turned 30 before him and was teased once again, when his birthday came his gift was my birthday! Let's give 3 cheers for Codgers!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 8:17:27 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Dorian---Thanks for the titles to Blish's quadilogy---Didn't "Earthman, Come Home" start the novels? Like most science fiction it isn't the gee-whiz technology that explains the work but the application of technology. If I remember "Cities In Flight" it was the biggest city at the time, New York City, that dominated the 'spindizzy cities'. It was this city's economic might and experience that gave it an advantage over less fortunate ones. Still, I believe, they faced a breakup because of an economic change of the galactic means of currency. Have I got that right? I just purchased the book and am going to read it again. Again, thanks for the titles.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 10:08:51 AM PDT
Yes, 3 cheers for old codgers, but let's make it an SF cheer:
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
RAH RAH RAH

It's been a long time since I have seen that in print.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 11:57:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2008 11:57:20 AM PDT
mostserene1 says:
Vanya, about Heinlein, I just now re-read (for the millionth time) the short story Gulf from the book Assignment in Eternity. That story has everything: great spy story, superintelligence, good guys against bad guys, and a heart-rending but unsentimental ending. And the story Lost Legacy is great as well (more about psi than super-IQs).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 12:16:33 PM PDT
J. Rose says:
Catherine, I agree about Heinlein, always at least 3 nubile lovelies wailing, "I want to have your baaaaby" at old what's-his-name. Some of his stories are v. good of course but not that claptrap. "Farnham's Freehold", as I recall, was one of the good ones. Heinlein used to have a tendency to rap out "Shut up." at his womenfolk to prove what a take-charge guy he was. I'm playing with the idea of rereading Marion Zimmer Bradley (I have about a dozen). Can anyone tell me what comes after "Darkover Landfall"?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 1:29:37 PM PDT
sbissell3 says:
J. Rose,
"Darkover Landfall" (1972) was the 7th followed by "The Spell Sword" (1974). Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Darkover_books for the complete list. But these are mostly fantasy right? I kind of gave up on MZ Bradley when she quit SciFi for Fantasy.

Steven

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 1:42:28 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Way to go, Steven! I was just sitting here thinking of starting a new thread. It seems that I can't find any discussions on hard science on this network. I've tried but the old 'spaceship and sun' of the empire seems to have faded. Where is Terminus in all this? The mystical has replaced the practical in science fiction. Try that new collection "Galactic Empires" with six large stories a little harder than what's on site.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 2:25:43 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Steven---a good example: Sitting in the sky above us is a space station where men and women live and work everyday. This is what science fiction has given us, some of the dream of a better future for mankind. (It sounds so much better than humanity or genderthings.) But soon the US will not have the ability to transport people to and from there. We will have to work out a deal with the RUSSIANS to do so. Is anyone as concerned as I am? Only a year ago I would have trusted the Russians to share in the pioneering of space. Today?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2008 8:04:58 AM PDT
Yes, the current troubles with Russia have caused me to wonder about our dependency on their heavy lift vehicles for resupply. This was always a weak link ever since Boris Putin took power. The space program has always been at the mercy of politicians who neither care nor understand what it is all about. SF can only inspire wonder and curiosity when young people are exposed to it; but there are always enough of us out there at any one time to give me hope that a solution will be found in spite of heavy handed bureaucracies, insecure budgets, and short sighted politicians.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2008 8:17:43 AM PDT
sbissell3 says:
B.A. Dilger,
I'm not opposed to all fantasy mind you; I read "The Etched City" by Australian new-comer K.J. Bishop and really enjoyed it and I really like all of China Mieville's books. But I don't much care for novels of any sort that rely on supernatural beings and magic and unexplained stuff to get the plot along. For example I did not like Stephen King's "Dark Tower" (unending) series. But in the end it's all a matter of taste and anything that gets people reading is good IMHO.

I'm not stuck on 'old' SciFi, but at times I do get a bit wistful for 'hard' science writing. One of the best attempts at a combination of fantasy and 'hard' science, but with a fair bit of 'magic' is Pullman's 'Dark Materials' series. Pullman dislikes any labels on his work, he says that good fiction is good fiction regardless of genre, but he did a fair job of thinking about String Theory, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Alternate Universe Theory when writing this series.

In the end, keep on reading.

Steven

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2008 9:17:48 AM PDT
S. E. Larmer says:
Ah Joyce,
Yes I loved the Shy Stegasaurus of Cricket Creek, but was not as thrilled by the sequel, I can't remember the name. Wow, people are really bringing up old memories here....Steve

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2008 5:50:14 PM PDT
Tyro says:
Just turned 50 myself, and I find myself returning to a lot of my early sf reading, especially the early works of Piers Anthony, back when he was writing REAL science fiction like Chthon and Macroscope and the wonderful "Omnivore" trilogy.

Speaking of which, there'll be a new series on Fox called "Dollhouse" that's about agents whose memories and personalities are scrubbed at the end of each mission. Sounds a lot like the Agents in Anthony's Omnivore, Orn, and Ox; only their memories were wiped BEFORE undertaking a mission!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2008 6:58:57 AM PDT
I have a question for all you nostalgic old codgers. I pulled out some old pbs this week and read Ethan of Athos (which I hadn't read before). In the back were several pages of recommendations (this was a 1986 edition) including several by Keith Laumer. My question is Has anyone read Dinosaur Beach? It didn't sound familiar to me and is out of print but it sounds like something I would like.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2008 7:03:40 AM PDT
sbissell3 says:
Joyce,
'Dinosaur Beach' is sort of a 'time war/love story' novel. Very will written and has a very good message as well. It is readily available used from Amazon.com and ABE books at very cheap prices. Don't pay a lot for it and I'd also check your local used book stores as Laumer is one of those writers who gets circulated a lot.
Steven

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2008 7:28:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 10, 2008 7:09:20 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Steven---thanks for the info. I read some fantasy when it first showed up in the early '80's, but I only collect Robert E. Howard or Edgar Rice Burroughs. (Does H.P.Lovecraft count? Somehow I have him down for scifan--like the "John Carter of Mars" series. Likewise Jack Vance.)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2008 7:40:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2008 9:03:50 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Joyce---Yes, there has been a problem. I still have "faith" that the exploration of space will yield discoveries beneficial to mankind. I know this through the history of our species that bureaucratic muddle and apathy will not stop innovation. It may take private corporations to do this. Thanks for the pep talk....."Dinosaur Beach" in my poor memory was a tremendous story. Kind of bittersweet if I remember. Well worth reading....

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2008 6:29:10 PM PDT
I wonder how many 20 something year old readers open this thread and then go "Bah bunch of old farts!"? Heh, lots of good stuff in here. Now I have another pile of good books to read.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2008 11:49:46 PM PDT
It is the responsibility of us old farts to teach our children and grandchildren about the original old masters. Then they'll realize how much of today's stuff is derivitive, ephemeral trash that won't last because it'll be inundated by next year's avalanche of SF, vanity, and POD crap. I have already started this tradition with my daughter, nephew, and the children of friends.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 10:03:48 AM PDT
I guess I'm one of the younger "old farts" here, I'll be 51 next week. My first foray into Sci-Fi was Rocket Jockey by Lester Del Rey (originally published under the name Phillip St John) then I went through the whole Winston series which had been reprinted by Scholastic Books. For 8th grade graduation my mother gave me a membership to the Science Fiction Book Club which I still have to this day. I grew up on Heinlein, Asimov , Clarke, Blish, Lester Del Rey, John Wyndham, and a host of others. This thread has brought back a lot of memories. I just have one point I'd like to make in response to Steven J. For me Sci-Fi is just a sub-category of the larger category Fantasy, they both deal with things that are not possible in todays world. As Asimov put it "Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic". Lester Del Rey illustrated this point in a short story called "And the Darkness" about Lycanthropy which was published in both Sci-FI and Fantasy versions, the only difference in the two stories is a 1 or 2 paragraph explanation of werewolves: one the traditional version and the other giving a scientific rationale for the condition.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 10:35:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 8, 2008 10:48:19 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Mr. Murray---Science Fiction is not a sub-category of Fiction, but a parallel plane where the "science" part predominates. Science Fiction is the attempt, by logical, cognizant means, to explain, detail, or construct imaginary existences where it is possible to become reality. The Fiction part arises from the implementation of aformentioned existences being given background material. In essence: Fiction is a supposition that an event may/may not occur; Science Fiction is the speculation that an event could occur by current or future SCIENTIFIC MEANS. Welcome to scifi!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 10:52:15 AM PDT
Zack G.C. says:
Funny B.A. Dilger, I saw what Leonard said and thought, "I'll have to set him straight on that..." crazy enough, I scrolled down to find the words already taken right off my fingers!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 11:10:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 8, 2008 11:15:27 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Zack G.C.---Science Fiction was such a big field when I left it in the '80's, it had to split into science and fantasy genres. Though there are elements of each contained in the other (yin-yang?), they are two distinct bodies of literature. The 'science' says what it means-that there will be some kind of logic, however you define it, in the flow of events. Steven said it earlier about 'magic' and 'hard' science. Whatever the author's reasoning, I want it to be (in the scifi sense) theoretically possible.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 11:32:06 AM PDT
Tyro says:
Wow, Leonard, STILL a member of SFBC after all these years? I've been on-and-off myself since I first joined back in 1971 or '72. Back then the club seemed to make sharper distinctions between sf, fantasy, horror, and works derived from television like the Star Trek novelizations. Nowadays there are probably too many ramifications to count or to usefully distinguish with the genres, which I would consider a single Genre.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 11:46:53 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Hey Tyro!---Here's an easy one (borrowed from another thread): Is "Star Wars" science fiction or science fantasy? Or neither.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 12:10:54 PM PDT
Tyro says:
Dilger: Hm, offhand I'd say Star Wars was more like old-school Space Opera: galactic empires, warring starships, the rise and fall of civilizations. That would put it within the purview of classic SF. But the heavy infusion of mysticism tends to negate the science fiction elements. Probably safer to say those movies are just high-tech Westerns. There are almost no real science fiction movies anyway.
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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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