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OLD CODGERS READING BACK IN TIME


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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 12:19:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 8, 2008 12:21:43 PM PDT
Hi Y'all, I love this thread, even when we disagree we're so civil. As i mentioned earlier, I pulled out some old PBs this week. I'm in the midst of Operation Chaos by Poul Anderson. I had read it but wanted to reread it before reading Operation Luna the sequel which I had not read. Anyway, it's alternate reality/science fantasy. This world has werewolves and witches and dragons and djinn but they are the scientific norm in that world and follow natural laws of nature. The hero, a werewolf, makes particular mention of conservation of mass making him a pretty big wolf. And when he meets a really huge tiger the person is 7 feet tall and very fat which turns out to be the downside of having a big were-creature. The Americans are fighting a war against a Muslim invader. The American's air force is on brooms, the muslims are on carpets. Most of it was written in the mid-50s but other than a certain condescending attitude to women, it's pretty cool. It's fantasy couched in scientific terms.

Oh, Leonard "as Asimov put it "Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic" " is wrong...it was Clarke.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 12:30:35 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Tyro---Space Opera was my first guess too-because of the question of "the Force". Thinking it over however I remembered from "The Phantom Menace" where Qui-Gon Jinn, after discovering Anakin, discusses a physical basis for "the Force". These are organelles in living creatures' cell structure. This makes "Star Wars" internally consistant and a good candidate for science fiction......In "Lord of the Rings" do we have science fantasy or fantasy? Fantasy! So we go from pure science fiction to fantasy. Where is the science connection? Science fiction/science fantasy/fantasy. A good scifan I recommend is "The Last Castle" by Jack Vance.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 12:55:11 PM PDT
Dick Johnson says:
In reply to B. A. Dilger

I have certainly enjoyed going down memory lane. When it comes to "labels" or "genres" though, I wonder how helpful the hair-splitting is. I don't have a firm opinion either way. If we "over label" we are potentially turning off new readers to that "type" of book, because all labels have connotations. If, however, we try to group too much into too few categories, we make it very difficult to find a book "like this one". (Sorry for all the " "s but ....)

The books that have been under discussion here are more easily labeled than the newbies. There are many more elements in today's science fiction and fantasy than we ever dreamed of when we started reading. Trying to put them into our mindset as comparable to those we started with is pretty meaningless.

I don't have a solution without going to some ridiculously convoluted mix of sub-sub-etc genres. To me, Star Wars is more of a Western with some mighty fine shootin' irons and really fast horses.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 2:45:15 PM PDT
Zack G.C. says:
Agreed, Dilger. As far as SF goes, atleast. It truly does make it far more interesting if you can believe it. Which is One of the reasons I liked I Am Legend so much. Though, I haven't read the book yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 3:10:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 8, 2008 3:13:23 PM PDT
Leonard Murray said:
As Asimov put it "Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic".

Actually, it was Arthur C. Clarke. ;-)
Oh--Somebody already said that.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 7:18:22 PM PDT
Tyro says:
Yo Dilger et al.--It's a good thing we all have Tolkien to fall back on when we're looking for a simple rule of thumb for written fantasy as opposed to sf or anything else. Some good points are being made on this thread about the uselessness of making distinctions this far into the game. I remember getting into arguments with fellow fans ages ago about whether Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote science fiction, science fantasy, accelerated technological fables, or some weird post-Edwardian combination of all three. I haven't read Vance's "The Last Castle," though I always did like "Big Planet." Space opera? Fantasy adventure? Satire?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 8:38:54 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Tyro!---I either read "Big Planet" or a review, but if it's Jack Vance it has a lot to do with fantasy! I need not repeat my arguments, but there has been confusion on other threads as to what science fiction is. If a person pulls out a blaster and shoots at me, it is scifi because the principles that operate said blaster can be explained in a systematic way that sounds like some physical laws. Again, if a person pulls out a small leathern pouch and sprinkles a fine, brown powder in my direction, and a great beast from the pits of Hellas tears forth in ghastly rage, then rational descriptions would be hard to come by. Apparently, younger persons are having trouble getting proper help in their choice of scifi. Not only that, but I suspect they're being aided by person(s) wanting to sell their not-to-scientific fantasy. It takes some knowledge of physics to write real scifi. And that is why I differentiate between science fiction and fantasy. Now that you mention it, I believe the "John Carter of Mars" series by Edgar Rice Burroughs is science fantasy.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2008 9:48:40 PM PDT
I always liked the idea/definition "If this goes on..." as establishing the parameters of SF. I don't mean in some one-to-one correspondence with the current day, but the idea of extrapolation from some current seed to an internally self-consistent projection.

At any rate that leves me plenty of wiggle room for future reading pleasure.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 9:14:36 AM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Dorian---That sounds reasonable.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 9:33:43 AM PDT
I just started rereading Dune again for about the 6th time. It is amazing how well that book holds up now especially in a real world where jihads and ecological dangers are probably more in the public awareness than when Herbert wrote Dune. Dune influenced me as a young man as well as other series like Burrough's John Carter of Mars books (my wife says I got my chivalry and romantic proclivities from them). My hobby for the last few years has been collecting SF and Fantasy books and when possible add books from my youth that helped frame my world outlook as well as provide hours of escape and entertainment. Bravo to all of us who are doing that.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 5:15:17 PM PDT
Richard C. Weiss said
"books from my youth that helped frame my world outlook"

I grew up reading HP Lovecraft, C.A. Smith, R.E. Howard...That explains it...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 7:19:55 PM PDT
Tyro says:
Gilbert -- I grew up reading HPL, CAS, and Howard as well. They were the harder stuff I graduated to after ER Burroughs and Otis Adelbert Kline.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 7:25:53 PM PDT
Tyro says:
Dilger -- Of course, a lot of the stuff we liked is properly "sci-fi" rather than "sf." I think Sci-fi refers to the true pulp origins of science fiction, with extraterrestrial monsters, spacemen with blasters, and cool sci-fi pulp babes with steel brassieres. Which is why a lot of science fiction movies are sci-fi (or horror or fantasy) rather than real science fiction. After all, how many genuine science fiction movies are actually out there?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 8:31:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2008 10:21:29 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Hey Tyro!---Sorry about the delay but I was over on a WWII thread offering some advice. Actually, there are several dozens of scifi films out. I have a 1927 "Metropolis" and 1936 "Things To Come" which would qualify. followed by (in alphabetical order) "The 6th Day", "THX-1138", "1984", "Alien", "Aliens", "Alien 3", "Alien Resurrection",...., "A Clockwork Orange"...., "Forbidden Planet",...,"Outland",..., "Soylent Green",..,"War of the Worlds"(1952 version w/Gene Barry), "When World's Collide", "Xchange". All these would be excellent scifi and some pretty hard stuff. Oh! And what about the Flash Gorden serial? But I've gone over to cyberpunk and anime for some pretty strange science.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 9:48:01 PM PDT
I loved the Lucky Starr books!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 1:41:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 10, 2008 1:43:17 AM PDT
Tyro says:
Gilbert -- I grew up reading HPL, CAS, and Howard as well. They were the harder stuff I graduated to after ER Burroughs and Otis Adelbert Kline.

I started reading HPL, CAS, REH, and Sarte in 1958 when I was stuck in the back of a '49 Chevy in a rainstorm with a cardboard box of books. 9-year old boys should never read French erotica...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 6:47:52 AM PDT
So Gilbert, are you still sacrificing maidens to a hell spawned worm in your basement? Gotta love that Lovecraft.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 6:27:20 PM PDT
Tyro says:
Welcome back, Dilger -- (I'm in and out of this post myself a lot; get back whenever I can). When I talk of real science fiction movies, I mean movies concerned perhaps more with ideas than primitive emotions. The ALIEN franchise is a prime example of a horror film, complete with a monster and an all-pervading sense of FEAR. They're the space-gothic equivalent of slasher films. Buster Crabbe's Flash Gordon? Lo-tech space adventure for kiddies, a variant of super-hero comics. But you make good points with examples like THX-1138, Forbidden Planet, and especially Things to Come, which is probably the only serious attempt to screen a genuine Utopia in the history of science fiction cinema.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 6:30:50 PM PDT
Tyro says:
T. Scrivner -- What were the Lucky Starr books? Never heard of those.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 6:42:58 PM PDT
mostserene1 says:
Asimov's pen-named juvie books.. Good stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 8:08:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 10, 2008 8:10:51 PM PDT
Dale E. Staub says:
So Gilbert, are you still sacrificing maidens to a hell spawned worm in your basement? Gotta love that Lovecraft.

Ha! Try finding virginal maidens in California!! The last one--a PASTOR'S daughter!!--...well, let's just say that the"wurm" vomited so hard it turned itself inside out, spewed vile acids all over my basement--collapsing the foundation and the house into the vortex and dropping flaming debris into the maws of the raging intelligences of the hostile alien universe that have been viewing with infathomable hunger this young, fertile universe since its Creation.

Is that a run-on sentence?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 9:05:22 PM PDT
LOL, good one Gilbert! Yet another reason why one has such a difficult time finding virgins. If it's not a volcano, it's another dang wurm. Go look next door, heard there's a virgin there...hehehe.

I am really enjoying this thread and building my reading list. Now I have a question for all of you wise ones. What do you think about the Kindle that Amazon is marketing? Aside from the expense and limited book selection I'm tempted. It's just sooooo Sci-fi. Do any of you have any experience with it?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 9:12:13 PM PDT
Search Amazon Books for "Lucky Starr series", 6 short Juvenile novels, plus a collection of them. The 1st, "David Starr: Space Ranger" is listed as 1978, but that must be when it was republished under Asimov's name, but I am sure the original, under the pen name Paul French, was much earlier, probably in the '50's? Who knows?

I read each one with pleasure as soon as it hit the library shelf, but 15-20 years later when I was remembering and rereading childhood favorites I reread only two of these before finding better things on which to spend my reading time. They were just basic adventures set in space. Heinlein's Juveniles, and some of Andre Norton's, on the other hand, continue to entertain me today. Try "Outward Bound" and "To the Stars", both inexpensively available thru Amazon, to sample 7 Heinlein Juveniles which might still reanimate an Old Codger.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 9:17:31 PM PDT
Brenda,
I don't know about the wise-one part, but I bought my Kindle last June and I wouldn't willingly do without it now. The less than depthy selection is improving all the time, and I try to help by clicking that, "I'd like to read this book on a Kindle" button that Amazon has put up, and I send email to publishers.

I now travel about 20 to 30 book pounds lighter and I am never without something to read.

Like RAH had Oscar say in Glory Road, "I am addicted to words in a line." And I hate being reduced to the backs of cereal boxes.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 9:26:48 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
Hey all!---Does kindle have all the back works of Asimov and Heinlein? What about Charles Stross' recent novel "Halting State?"
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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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