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  1. #31
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    If you've read Startide (and liked it!) then the obvious choice for/from me would be The Uplift War, which takes the events of Startide and then ramps it up to a bigger scale.

    Depending on how long ago you read Startide, that is: but to be honest, if I remember right, you wouldn't have to remember too much: Kithrup is mentioned there but its not essential to have read it.

    If it's not easy to get, Rob's really enjoying Existence at the moment....

    Mark
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  2. #32
    Shadowcharge Shadowcharge's Avatar
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    I might look for "The Uplift War." I'm tossing up between that and a good sci-fi romance if I can find one. Ta!

  3. #33
    Okay, for this week's update I have to say that I am finally done with the Professor Challenger stories and I'm back to the late XX (and I'm hoping to reach the early XXI century later today). To say that the Professor Challenger series was a disappointment would be putting it mildly. I also read Jurassic Park this week and I am almost done with The Lost World... in Jurassic Park I must confess that I kept hoping someone to feed Lex to the T-rex.

    Finally I also rediscovered a little gem called Narapoia. It is a very short story dating back to 1948, and if anyone is interested I found it posted here:

    http://katie.rivard.org/woodv/narapoia.shtml
    (if you have trouble with the encoding try setting it to Western MacRoman)
    Last edited by cleasaal; July 12th, 2012 at 08:48 AM.

  4. #34
    Registered User livens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie View Post
    I have to say this kind of gratuitous violence was the reason I put Surface Detail down halfway through. I know Banks has a reputation for putting streaks of gore in his books but this book was just full of it and used it as a constant source of entertainment - not something I expected. I think he was trying to capture some of the claustrophobic suffering of Hyperion. Not for me.


    Now that's a book - good, old fashioned, blowing-your-mind type of SF
    Sorry to hear you didn't like Surface Detail. Honestly I didn't notice any excess of violence that wasn't supported by a main character. By that I mean the violence came naturally with a character like Veppers and was expected of him; and that ship that did that thing with the human who volunteered for it . If it were just random violence just to have it in the book I would agree with you.

    Good to hear about The Unreasoning Mask, I cant wait to get started on it.

  5. #35
    Member of the Month™ Ropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livens View Post
    If it were just random violence just to have it in the book I would agree with you.
    I can't see why it wouldn't be included if it wasn't just to have it in the book. Banks wanted to shock with the scenes of apparently never ending torture in hell, and it seeped out into the rest of the book as you mention, with other characters being inherently violent or sadistic. He took it even further by strapping a sort of forlorn love story between the two characters in hell onto the back of all the torture scenes. I couldn't get any pleasure from all that sort of thing; however, I'm not disowning Banks - he can be entertaining without all that

  6. #36
    Registered User livens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ropie View Post
    I can't see why it wouldn't be included if it wasn't just to have it in the book. Banks wanted to shock with the scenes of apparently never ending torture in hell, and it seeped out into the rest of the book as you mention, with other characters being inherently violent or sadistic. He took it even further by strapping a sort of forlorn love story between the two characters in hell onto the back of all the torture scenes. I couldn't get any pleasure from all that sort of thing; however, I'm not disowning Banks - he can be entertaining without all that
    The hells were the best part! I think he took that level of tech and really showed what religious fanaticism might do with it. Other authors have had that level of virtual technology in their stories but never took it to that level. Humans, and aliens apparently, can be really cruel to one another and I think that the hells really illustrated the worst case scenario. But I was more fascinated with those parts of the book rather than just enjoying the shock value. If you noticed he seems to have cut the hells out of his universe at the end, and I doubt they will be a major feature in any future culture novels.

    I do agree with you about the lovers who went in together, that may have been a bit much. And what happened to her when she got trapped took some really weird turns.

  7. #37
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I finished up David Brins' Existence today and really enjoyed it. Bursting with ideas and SFnal wonder, it wasn't perfect but it is probably my favorite SF novel of the year so far.

  8. #38
    I'm reading Tau Zero over the weekend.

    Sweden being the world's policeman = LOL!

  9. #39
    Shadowcharge Shadowcharge's Avatar
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    I've recently discovered Cat Rambo; she writes science fiction short stories. My favourite so far is "Bots d'Amor" -- it's cute, lol.

    Has anyone else here read any of her stories? (Sorry if this thread was meant for novels only. I am not sure she has written any novels; I could be wrong but)

  10. #40
    Mystic and Misfit Gkarlives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcharge View Post
    I've recently discovered Cat Rambo; she writes science fiction short stories. My favourite so far is "Bots d'Amor" -- it's cute, lol.

    Has anyone else here read any of her stories? (Sorry if this thread was meant for novels only. I am not sure she has written any novels; I could be wrong but)
    I think Podcastle or Escapepod have run some of here stories.

  11. #41
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    started Caliban's War by James S A Corey - the second Expanse book. So far, it seems less focused with the addition of several new points of view, but still a page turner.

  12. #42
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    So far, it seems less focused with the addition of several new points of view, but still a page turner.
    Yeah: where some will see 'less focused' others will see 'broader widerscreen canvas' and 'more varied viewpoints'.

    Liked it a lot, because of that myself.

    Be interested to hear what you think as you go further.

    Mark
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  13. #43
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I'm reading Tau Zero over the weekend. Sweden being the world's policeman = LOL!
    As I was reminded by John Jarrold at the weekend, SF is the playground for the possibilities of the 'what-if', not a predictor of THE future, though sometimes the two luckily overlap.

    This is a 'what if?' idea, isn't it?

    But if Norway can regularly win first place in the 'best places in the world to live', then Sweden might not be too far a stretch. More than, say, Iran.

    There was a lot of 'world government' ideas kicked around in SF at about the time Tau was published. Post WW2, it was an option. United Nations perhaps?

    Mark
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  14. #44
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Wanting to read a complete SF series, I dipped into a pile of used books I picked up last year and started The Prodigal Son, the first book of The Evergence Trilogy by Sean Williams and Shane Dix.
    Last edited by Rob B; July 16th, 2012 at 11:20 AM.

  15. #45
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    After a few fantasy books, I've decided to move on to a classic sci-fi novel to spice things up.

    Could I finally be reading Foundation?
    Or maybe it's Dune?
    Or, just maybe, I'm finally gonna tackle Brave New World?

    Nope.

    The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

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