Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by Patrick Pelikan, Apr 15, 2015.
His short stories are worth reading, and are far more diverse than his novels.
That is true, I'll grant you.
Another vote here for CJ Cherryh. Complex stories of human (and alien) interaction in a real sci fi environment. Usually packed with detail, I find I can re-read her books several times and still pick up nuances I have previously missed.
In case anyone may still be curious about it, I would recommend Wool. To me it was a bit of a U shaped experience, the first section was
good, the second and part of the third section were meh, but from there to the end (basically the last half of the book) it was awesome. A
most interesting dystopia.
Especially if you've ever worked somewhere with a large IT department
I read the first several parts when it came out a few years ago. I liked it, but haven't kept up.
There's another novel coming out next year!
It won't be a sequel to Cyteen/Regenesis, though.
She's writing about 1 a year, the last few years have been in the Atevi series.
I haven't read any of those. Since she's another author who's not getting any younger and since those Cyteen novels likely take a lot longer to write than a year (due to the necessary research; I'd classify those as "hard science fiction" due to the massive amounts of research she must have to do regarding genetics, psychology, and computers), I hope she's got a Cyteen/Regenesis sequel in the works. There's so much left undone with that story.
Just finished Seveneves by Neil Stephenson. As with all his books, great read and a lot of depth. Some of the technical detail is pretty cool, especially around orbital mechanics.
That book was trash to be honest. It was such a hot mess and it stretched credibility by the end. I was OK with it until:
Everyone in orbit started trying to kill each other off and go their own way. It was so freaking stupid and made no sense. Would there be tension in that situation and major disputes? Of course. Would everyone start breaking off into their own little fiefdom on orbit? No. It was unbelievable. The only believable thing about how that played out was that everyone died.
Also the new society they built based on the different Eves going their own way became a really lame take on racism in our society. It was racism in space but it wasn't enjoyable, plausible or good.
This one was right up there with Ready Player One in that I was hate-reading it to get to the end.
Also the author at one point worked at Blue Origin so he talks about that company a little bit but ignored pretty much every other company that would be called on to launch humanity into space on an emergency basis. This particular critique isn't really a big deal but it kind of annoyed me.
I hated it to its very core.
But I rank his Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle among my all-time favourites.
Not much love for Seveneves then
Agree that Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle were better (Snow Crash also great) but I did still enjoy.
Asimov = great witn non-fiction, but fiction, meh.
Niven = great world building, blah plots. His sometimes writing-partner Pournelle is wretched in world-building, but great with plots. Together they are great.
It is beyond me ken how anybody could like Dune.
I suggest you avoid SF classics, and checkout recent Hugo & Nebula Award winners.
No offense, but that phrasing makes it sound like you don't seem to think people can/should have differing opinions from you (Hint - they do).
Having read other books in the series, and some of his non Dune books, my opinion is that Herbert caught lightning in a bottle with Dune,
'cuz his other books IMO don't really come close to it.
If you had said "I suggest you do not confine yourself to SF classics, and checkout recent Hugo & Nebula Award winners", I would agree.
As phrased, it strikes me as rather narrow minded - If you don't like those books that's your privilege but I don't think that
kind of generalization is fair especially as there is no explanation whatever for that view.
Helstrom's Hive, IMO the best of his books. I do agree about the neverending stretch beyond Dune. Could have stopped at one there.
I merely said it is beyond my ability to grasp why people would like Dune.
The characters are cardboard cutouts & what's with Duncan Idaho? "Idaho" is a name made up by a promoter of Idaho's statehood. It means nothing but it connotes the wild west. It has no place in a futuristic society. Then there are Paul Atreides I, Paul Atreides Ii, & Paul Atreides Il. That's not how naming conventions work. Giving two people the same number defeats the purpose of numbering them. And until there is a "III,' the naming conventions are "Sr.," and "Jr."
Dune came out in the 60's, a time when feudalism was discredited as an inefficient socioeconomic system. Yet there it is. This is a socioeconomic system which looks to the past, not to the future.
Stick your finger vertically into sand. Try and move it. You can't. Moving through sand is hard. Yet 80-meter wide worms swim effortless underneath the sand, with no claws, fins or other means of locomotion. What do sandworms eat?
I read Dune a half century ago, but if I remember correctly, the prose is bland and lifeless.
I did enjoy the Bene Gesserit and the bending of space, but that's the only good I can say.
They eat the sand...that's what makes the passage for them to proceed.
I've run across such odd people on TrekBBS, including the admin who <censored>ed at me for having too-long posts explaining things that other posters had asked me to explain, since I happen to have a copy of The Dune Encyclopedia, several other non-FH Dune books that were not written by KJA/BH, and was once part of the feud between competing Dune forums where I had to permaban a couple of junior admins for flaming KJA/BH fans and being inexcusably rude to Byron Merritt (Frank Herbert's grandson, who was a member of the forum I ran). It's not that I liked their views of nuDune, but on any forum I run I am so not into allowing staff to bully or harass members.
It takes all interests to make fandom, and I don't go around saying "It's beyond me why anybody could like Harry Potter/whatever it is I'm not into and can't fathom why others like it".
@Zkribbler, if you're going to criticize a literary work, please get your facts correct. There is only one Paul Atreides in Dune (FH's novels, not the ghola-Paul in the nuDune crap).
Paul and Chani had a son, whom they named Leto (after Paul's father, Duke Leto Atreides). This child was killed by the Sardaukar in a raid on the sietch. Later - many years later - Chani gave birth to twins, named Leto and Ghanima. At the end of Children of Dune, Paul is killed and Leto assumes the title of Emperor - and presumably also the title of Duke Leto II (since the planet Caladan still belongs to the Atreides family, it would naturally be passed from Leto to Paul to Leto).
There is no Leto III. I wish I had a dollar every time I had to explain this to some uninformed person on the dunenovels.com forum that the Leto who became the God-Emperor was indeed Leto II, and not Leto III (since titles are passed from (grand)parent to child, not dead sibling to live sibling).
And who gives a crap if Duncan Idaho's last name connotes the Wild West? This is 20,000 years in the future (give or take a century), and nobody but the Bene Gesserit and very specialized historians would ever have heard of the American Wild West. There are people now who still use names that were popular millennia ago, so why couldn't there be a family with the surname of "Idaho"? You might as well complain about his first name being "Duncan" since that's an even older name.
History repeats itself. We know this. After all, your own country likes to think of itself as an "empire" while insisting that it's really a republic and there will be no kings or emperors, thankyouverymuch.
Ever watched the Star Trek episode "Devil in the Dark" about the Horta? Hortas tunnel through solid rock. Sandworms move through sand. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. What matters is how well the author extrapolated real science, or at least was consistent in-universe.
Funny, that's how I remember reacting to trying to read Tolkien.
It was the Spacing Guild who folded space, not the Bene Gesserit.
Wikipedia identifies both the son and grandson as Leto Atreides II. With the info you've supplied, it appears I should be criticizing Wikipedia, not Herbert.
I do. It was like having a finger stuck in my eye every time I read it. As far as I can find, no human being has ever been named Idaho [except for nicknames,] It was as out of placw as having the Sardaukar storm in wearing sneakers.
No it doesn't.
A Horta has feet. Sandworms have no means of locomotion. Who knows how long it took the Horta to dig the tunnels it moves through? Sandworms don't move through tunnels; they "swim" through the sand as it it were water. The physics just don't work. They also have no source of food.
(Psst. I didn't list Lord of the Rings on my "classics that don't suck" list.)
I liked both concepts. I didn't mean to imply a causal connection.
So you are equally aghast at a fictional character named Indiana Jones? (really, how many people name their sons "Indiana"?)
Never heard or read the phrase "the American empire/Empire"?
Please re-watch "Devil in the Dark." Spock states, "The Horta moves through rock as easily as we move through air." In other words, the Horta do not pre-dig the tunnels they move through. The tunnels are created as they move through rock. You could say that they "swim" through rock. As for what they eat... Horta eat rocks and minerals. Not all lifeforms get nutrients/energy from eating. Plants, for example, don't eat as we think of eating.
Doesn't matter. Tolkien is one of the authors whose work I consider bland and lifeless.
Separate names with a comma.