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mark211What Science or Fantasy based fiction are you reading right now? 2015-09-06 13:28:26
mark211We all like reading this stuff; you're probably reading something right now. So what are you reading, who is it by and how is it working out for you thus far?2015-09-06 13:28:52
mark211I'll set the ball rolling; this week I'm reading Jack Vance's 1957 novel, 'Big Planet'. As I may have mentioned more than once before now, I'm a big Vance devotee and am enthralled by everything I've read of his to date and 'Big Planet' is turning out to be no exception to this. He has a real gift for creating vivid landscapes on alien worlds and then populating them with cultures of a plausible absurdity in ways that give a knowing nod and wink to Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels' as well as the adventure fictions of late- and post-Victorian writers such as H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice-Boroughs.2015-09-06 13:29:44
mark211Here's an example: "They [...] set off once more across a land of peaceful farms and stone houses, undistinguished except for the fact that each house carried on its gable an intricate tangle of brambles and spiny leaves. / Glystra called to Clodleberg. 'What on Earth are those bristling thorn-patches?' / 'Those are the ghost-catchers,' said Clodleberg easily. 'This section of country abounds with ghosts; there's a ghost for every house, sometimes more; and since they always give a quick jump which takes them to the roof where they can walk back and forth, the traps discourage them sadly ... The very home of ghosts is this Mankelly Parish, and witches too ...'/ Glystra thought that no matter how ordinary and uneventful a Big Planet landscape might appear, it was still - Big Planet. / [They] passed big red farm-wains with six-foot wooden wheels, squeaking and groaning like scalded pigs. They were loaded with red melon-bulbs, bundles of orange vine, baskets of green okra. The lads who walked barefoot alongside goading the long necked [beasts] wore tall conical hats with veils of white cloth about their faces. / 'To fool the ghosts?' Glystra asked Clodleberg. / 'To fool the ghosts. [From Chapter 10 of 'Big Planet' by Jack Vance (Loc 1461 of 3110)]2015-09-06 13:31:34
Pippin91I just finished Kim Stanley Robinson's new novel Aurora. I've long loved generation ship stories and this is one of the best. KSR's Mars series was good but dragged for me at times. Here he returns to the theme of terraforming a world and he does it strikingly well. The book lulls you to sleep with its long descriptions of the generation ship and life on it, and then suddenly slaps you with shocking, believable moments. I loved the characters, one of which is the ship itself, and Aurora (the name of the planet which is the destination of the generation ship) is magnificently conceived. My only complaint is the ending - I would have stopped the story a little sooner - but I can't say more without revealing spoilers!2015-09-07 10:47:07
mark211"The book lulls you to sleep ..." Doesn't sound promising! Actually, apart from when you go on to say "then suddenly slaps you with shocking, believable moments" of course, I think I know what you mean, even without having ever read Kim Stanley Robinson. Just as in some movies I guess, you need the quieter moments to build the world and set the scene for the more obviously dramatic scenes. Have to confess, I'd never heard of this author but thanks for the tip as I might give this one a go.2015-09-07 12:38:37
Pippin91Yes, I meant that it has strong dynamics - quiet sections (which I found most enjoyable) punctuated by scenes of tremendous tension and action. As to KSR himself, here's a quote from his Wikipedia listing: Robinson's work has been labeled by the Atlantic as "the gold-standard of realistic, and highly literary, science-fiction writing". According to an article in the New Yorker, Robinson is "generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers." I would have to agree with both of those statements.2015-09-07 13:19:25
micheledutcherI'm busy writing right now, but I am looking forward to a sci-fi series on TV based on the book Minority Report. I love the idea of sci-fi murder mysteries solved before they are actually committed. 2015-09-08 10:26:36
IronspiderCurrently reading 'Blood of Elves' by Andrzej Sapkowski, the second of his Witcher books. Quite an engaging storyline, with a number of plots currently running parallel. I like the lead character Geralt; a realist in a fantasy world. Then I'll be revisiting Ian McDonald's 'Hearts, Hands and Voices', a slice of far-future science fantasy. Or there may be a side-trip to read 'The Cloudspotter's Guide' by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, a non-fiction work all about clouds...2015-09-10 04:22:00
r.tornelloWould you consider the bible, koran and similar mythological pieces, works of fantasy? If so I do look at them for historical inspiration2015-09-10 05:33:04
WessonI've got a few visual novels I'm working on. 2015-09-10 06:06:43

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