books?

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AArdvark
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Now reading Code of the Lifemaker by James P. Hogan. I forget that Hogan writes hard sci-fi sometimes. He just spent two paragraphs telling me how fusion-ion space drives are better than hydrogen-oxygen space drives in terms of feet/thrust. And they haven't even launched out of earth orbit yet.

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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Now reading Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley. Wikipedia said it's the book without a plot, or something close to that. I read Brave New World and The Doors of Perception a long time ago and they were just...Eh.
So now I figure I can do a re-write and make it funny and insert a plot. it has my favourite elements; an English setting during the Gilded Age. Miss Marble would be at home here, with all the stuffy British manners and other things to make fun of.

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Tdarcos
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Re: books?

Post by Tdarcos »

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:35 pmThe computer system itself is an absolute smarmy piece of shit and you'll want to strangle it.
Star Trek: Voyager has already told us what to do when some uppity sentient system won't do what you want. Whenever The Doctor got kidnapped, and the bad guys wanted him to do something and he balked, they threatened to decompile his program.
AArdvark wrote: Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:13 pm Just re-read Lord Of the Flies again... I think it would be a much less dark book 1f it was a planeload of girls that got stranded. Not that I want a Ghostbuster-esqe remake or anything, just think would be an interesting take if it was English girls instead of boys.
It's supposed to be dark; Golding was trying to show that, absent the civilizing aspects of society, even English educated, civilized, high-middle to upper class young men will slough off the veneer of polite society and descend into barbarism.

My guess is, given how vicious girls cliques can be, with no police or investigatory force, and little chance of being caught or punished, I suspect the girls would turn just as brutal as the boys were, just maybe a little slower.

My brother reported this from a TV show:
Father: Why can't you kids learn to get along together, like they did in Lord of the Flies?
Son: But in that book they all killed each other!
Father: (shrugs) Kids will be kids.

Remember, boys - especially if they're going through puberty - are raging bags of hormones (and if in or past puberty, testosterone), and love to express that through fighting. Which can be a good way to work off aggression. But without a moderator (teacher) to stop them, they'll (figuratively) eat each other. Or maybe not figuratively, if food supplies get low.

As Alex Jones said, "Yeah, if food supplies got low, I'd eat your ass. I'm not going to let my daughter starve."
"Perhaps she'll understand, if you tell it to her, plain."
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The Happiness Engine
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Re: books?

Post by The Happiness Engine »

How does Alex Jones tonguing butthole feed his daughter? Is he like, a prostitute?

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Billy Mays
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Re: books?

Post by Billy Mays »

The Happiness Engine wrote: Sat May 09, 2020 3:04 pm How does Alex Jones tonguing butthole feed his daughter? Is he like, a prostitute?
At least he's not a presstitute! I can't be stopped folks! This year Billy Mays is taking home the crown.

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AArdvark
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

After reading most of the book I can attest that there is no real plot. Most of the book consists of characters standing around and discussing philosophy and other boring crap. The biggest excitement was Ivor (the engine driver) skulking along the roof so he can bone a fat chick.

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AArdvark
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Now reading John Jacob Astor's A Journey in Other Worlds. A horrible gilded age sci-fi adventure that's a mix of Jules Verne and H.G. Welles. He mentions this stuff they invented ( I fergit the name) that acts just like Cavorite. Huh. If I cared I would google it and find out who was ripping off whom.
So these guys travel to Jupiter and proceed to shoot pretty much anything that moves. It's just like big game hunting in Africa, only on Jupiter. So they land on JUPITER, and walk around with their repeating rifles with explosive rounds and shoot at the local fauna, and eat some of it too. It's so Teddy Roosevelt.

JJ Astor died on the Titanic. I was kinda sad about that until I read about his astronauts landing on Jupiter and shooting the reptile-like animals that apparently abound there. He throws a lot of real science in, the science that they knew about at the time, anyway. Oh and there's a part about straightening out the Earth's axial tilt (23 degrees, don't ya know) so the seasons wont change. This can be accomplished by pumping sea water from one side of the Earth to the other, or something. He actually mentions that the polar bears will have to use artificial ice in the future. Oh, hahaha. How droll.

It's a real domination-of-the-environment attitude, so common to the 1880s


The book is Public Domain so check it out at Gutenberg

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Jizaboz
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Re: books?

Post by Jizaboz »

Landed on JUPITER

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AArdvark
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Now reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.

Ya know, when he wrote the Sprawl trilogy and the Bridge trilogy he was on his A game, this, not so much. It's set in the modern world, well 2002, anyway, no real sci-fi stuff. It's not a bad story.. but there's a whole lot of stuff that gets in the way. Imagine, instead of using footnotes, you had to plow through all the sidebar stuff that's providing texture but getting in the way of the action. Let me try an example....

AArdvark walks into a bar. The smell of stale beer and cigarette smoke reminds him of the time when he was nine and everyone was taller and there was a tame raccoon running around on a sawdust covered floor eating peanuts. He sits down on a red barstool. It looks like a red cracked toadstool made by aliens, not the good kind of aliens but the small green ones from Froon-land. He orders a beer from a bartender that reminds him of a time when all bartenders were not college kids dressed up in cheap baggy shirts and parachute pants like the kind the French resistance wore during the Falklands war. The beer was cold, but not cold enough to erase the memory of all the bad cold beers he had ever had.

The whole book is full of derailments like that. It's all very Gibson-esque. I had to skip a lot of the description in order to get on with the story.

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bryanb
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Re: books?

Post by bryanb »

AArkvark as William Gibson is extremely readable and I'm not even from Froon-land. Let me know when the book comes out.

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RealNC
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Re: books?

Post by RealNC »

I read Rendezvous with Rama a month ago. This was my first so-called "hard science fiction" read. Loved it! The minimalist style and lack of detailed character development gave the story a very unique feel. The feel of mystery and sense of adventure and discovery were off the scale. Very immersive.

A week ago I tried reading Rama II. Threw it in the (digital) garbage bin after reading through about a quarter of it. It was not written by A. C. Clarke, but by Gentry Lee. I was expecting sci-fi, but what I got was beverly hills 90210.

If you ever read Rendezvous with Rama, do yourself a favor and never even look at the horrible sequels. It was never intended to have a sequel anyway. I have no idea how Lee convinced Clarke to give him permission to write this garbage.

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AArdvark
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Funny, I re-wrote Rama Revealed as a comedy. I can send you the text file if you want to laugh at the characters. Like you, I could not stand Gentry lee's gruntings and so I improved the last book in the series.

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The Happiness Engine
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Re: books?

Post by The Happiness Engine »

"Voices from Chernobyl" It's... grim.

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AArdvark
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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Just started A Stir Of Echoes by Richard Matheson. I read some of his other stuff (I Am Legend) and since I vaguely remember the movie with Kevin Canadian Bacon I decided to give it a go.

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Re: books?

Post by Tdarcos »

Descriptions should be there when necessary, but not crowd out the story. Often they just get in the way. I've felt that if you mention something it should be important to the story and need to be there.

For example, in the first book I wrote, The Gate Contracts, George and Lynn are invited by Dr. Sign to visit his university and perform tests. He has them flown in and they drive out to the school, and show up in his office, and sit at the two chairs in front of his desk, and that there is an empty couch on the left, on page 156. I don't mention the couch again until page 324, when the Chancellor of the university sits down on it, although I mention the couch in the living room of the two bedroom suite George and Lynn are staying at several times in between.

I also do not say what color the paint is in the office or describe the chairs or the couch. However, to explain how nice it was, when they first arrive, I mention the car that Dr. Sign had arranged for them, was a white convertible with red upholstery. Scenery descriptions should be there to move the plot along, not roadblocks getting in the way. Everything that is in the story should be there for a reason. Occasionally things in the background can be brought forward and made visible, the story usually works better when only what is necessary is there and everything has a purpose.

Or descriptions of people. On page 155, George meets Dr. Sign's secretary Rheta, whom I describe like this:

In front of room 300 was a woman sitting at a typical office desk with typewriter, laser printer, computer terminal, multiline telephone set, and in front of her was a plate that said, “Ms. Rheta Pine”. She reminded me of that woman who was in some Sci Fi TV show of the 1960s that I never really watched much of. Star Trek, that was it.

On page 168, he meets Dr. Michaels, with whom he becomes friends. As with the other characters, he isn't described either until page 489, when as an off-hand remark George mentions that Dr. Michaels and Ms. Pine are both black.

In my other book, Instrument of God, other than I mention in one sentence that Supervisor 246 is 6'2" and white, and later, in one small line, Supervisor 246 mentions that a character named Leroy is 6'4" and black, nobody of the more than 150 characters who have speaking parts is ever described in the book even though it is over 750 pages.

Description should be used when necessary for the story, and should not "gum up the works" of the story.
"Perhaps she'll understand, if you tell it to her, plain."
- Don McLean, Castles in the Air

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Re: books?

Post by pinback »

Yeah. Try to leave out anything unnecessary.
until page 489
over 750 pages
In the yard, not too far from the car.

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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Suh-lamm!

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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Well, Richard Matheson is the Srephen King of the 1950s and 60s. Or rather, Stephen King is the Richard Matheson of rhe 1980s and on. Stir Of Echos reads a LOT like an SK novella. I didnt know Matheson wtote the Twilight Zone episode with Shatner and the airplane gremlin and the Star Trek episode where Kirk gets split into two people, a pussy and a dick. The Enemy Within, that one.

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Re: books?

Post by AArdvark »

Next up is Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. The guy writes like Douglas Adams on steroids. His Discworld books are pretty funny, but like cake, should be enjoyed in moderation. You can't really binge-read them, or at least I can't. I got started on him long ago with the Johnny Maxwell trilogy and it was all downhill from there.

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Re: books?

Post by Casual Observer »

I'm in the middle of "The Jungle" right now. Ewww.

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