2312 vs Existence.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Keyoke, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Keyoke

    Keyoke King of the Lurkers.

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    So, been looking at both these books. And I'm sure I will buy them both, but, I'm in the bad habit (as most of us are) of buying to many books, and never reading them in a timely fashion.

    Hence, which one is better? I like my scifi full of wonder, and not super hard sf. Loved the Hyperion Cantos, and most stuff by Peter Hamilton.

    Any thoughts??

    Keyoke
     
  2. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I've not had the best of experiences reading KSR, I tried Red Mars three times without getting even one third of the way through it. I then tried Galileo's Dream and didn't think much of it. Both were bland, dry and boring.

    Existence, on the other hand, was only the second Brin I read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I might notch it as my top SF novel of the year.

    Right, I know it isn't exactly fair for me to compare the two books, but I can compare the two writers based on my limited experience reading them.
     
  3. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Existence is the superior of the two books, by a bit. Brin successfully integrates his portrait of life in the future with a compelling plot. Robinson does not, and seems to be include the plot as an afterthought which does not really work. Robinson's prose skills are slightly better (though Brin's have improved a lot with this book, though he's always been decent), but Brin's novel simply works as a complete package a lot better.
     
  4. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    So why not just say, "forget it"!

    No one is under any obligation to like what anybody else likes.

    psik
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Not sure what you mean here, psik. Forget what?

    Granted, nobody is under any obligation to like what anybody else likes but that thinking sort of defeats the purpose of this whole discussion forum, no?
     
  6. Pennarin

    Pennarin Registered User

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    Then I suggest we all leave this forum, right this second. Who's with me? ;)
     
  7. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    I liked Red Mars. I had no problem with it at all. I could not stand Revelation Space. I didn't try it three times until I promised someone I would read it. BIG MISTAKE! It was excruciating. I just wish more people would better explain what they did and didn't like about works. Sometimes I have difficulty figuring out why I don't like a book. It goes into a self examination thing.

    For me the characters in Revelation Space were uninteresting and uninvolving. I could not care less what happened to them. I thought the spider room on the outside of the ship was a really dumb design so it was just done that way so the spider room could be stuck into the shuttle so they could escape.

    I just think there is too much "you're supposed to like this" attitude sometimes. I have no problem with people not liking scientific accuracy, simply acknowledge inaccuracy in works that don't have it. In a way the technology and the planet were more important than the characters in Red Mars. They are props for the backdrop rather than the other way around. But how else do you colonize a planet not in a state to be survived on by humans? If realism is boring so be it. Don't waste time on the book. But it would be nice to be able to tell that before spending a lot of time trying to read it. Probably describing it as hard SF is not enough. Some guidelines for specifying the "literary characteristics" needs to be created. Maybe Bujold could have done a better job than Robinson with the same story but maybe she could not come up with that story.

    psik