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johnbeetem
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:55 pm

Favorite Isaac Asimov:

"The Feeling of Power" (1958): Marvelous depiction of the difference between users and programmers.  Demonstrates why some people still want to program in assembly language, and why programmable ICs with secret architectures make these people sad.

"Profession" (1957): Marvelous exploration of the nature of learning.  Also explains why some people still want to program in assembly language.

I heard an amusing story about Asimov recently.  It seems his mother went back to school to get the degree she had put aside to raise her children.  One of her English professors was handing back assignments, saw the name Asimov, and asked her if she was any relation to Isaac.  She replied: "Yes, he's my son."  The teacher said: "No wonder you're such a good writer!"  Mrs. Asimov replied: "You mean, no wonder he's such a good writer."

cpslashm
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:23 pm

In a word,

Firefly.

On a boxed set bought by the last of my son's flatmates to succumb:

"From the creators of Serenity"

The lad has given up on humanity....

iDaemon
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:53 pm

I heartily recommend:

Accelerando - Charles Stross.

Perdido Street Station - China Mieville.

Marrow - Robert Reed.

Light - John M Harrison.

The Chrysalids - John Wyndham.

Helix - Eric Brown.

The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester.

Red Claw - Philip Palmer.

The Prefect - Alastair Reynolds.

Hyperion - Dan Simmons.

Xeelee Omnibus - Stephen Baxter

Diaspora - Greg Egan

Really - try one - they're all really good. Regards to you all,

Simon, Norfolk, UK

MDC
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:12 pm

I notice nobody has mentioned Red Dwarf.

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johnbeetem
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:42 pm

MDC said:


I notice nobody has mentioned Red Dwarf.


I really liked the early episodes.  Brilliant writing, terrific characters, really cheap effects which worked anyway because the writing and comedy were so good.  It's interesting to compare Red Dwarf to Space 1999, which had IMO terrific actors (N.B. actors, not acting), outstanding special effects, and terrible writing.  When I was an undergrad it was on at 10:30 PM Saturday night, and CS nerds who never had dates would go across the street to the student union and watch it on one of the shared TV sets.  We treated it as a comedy, and cracked up at the terrible lines.

My favorite SF TV show has got to be The Prisoner.  Some episodes more SF than others, YMMV.

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johnbeetem
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:50 pm

Another favorite SF author of mine is Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  The ones I've read (Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, and Player Piano) combine SF with social commentary and philosophy, making a very interesting read.  I've lost how track of how many times I've read Cat's Cradle -- each time it's different because I'm at a different place in my own path.

MDC
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:03 pm

What science fiction tv series am I thinking off that every one was killed in the end. It was a British tv series and was based in space. Britains star trek I think I remember some one saying in an interview.

Also the original day of the triffids was good

judderman
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:13 pm

MDC said:


What science fiction tv series am I thinking off that every one was killed in the end. It was a British tv series and was based in space. Britains star trek I think I remember some one saying in an interview.


Blake's Seven?

Regards, Stewart

MDC
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Re: Science Fiction

Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:54 pm

judderman said:


MDC said:


What science fiction tv series am I thinking off that every one was killed in the end. It was a British tv series and was based in space. Britains star trek I think I remember some one saying in an interview.


Blake's Seven?

Regards, Stewart


That's it, thank you. It would have driven me crazy all night.

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:10 am

MDC said:


I notice nobody has mentioned Red Dwarf.



Darn, I thought I did. Oh well...

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:17 am

My earliest memories of television are of The Prisoner and The Avengers.

Not terribly long ago, I suffered through a few episodes of a reboot of The Prisoner.

I remember Space 1999 coming on after The Muppet Show on Saturday evenings on our little local station in Lubbock, TX. Indeed, everything about the show was abysmally bad except the effects, sets and models... but it was Sci-Fi. If you liked Sci-Fi, the pickings were quite slim.

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:38 am

Remember seeing this in the foreword of a book of Asimov's favorite limericks:

It was, in truth, an eager youth
Who halted me one day.
He gazed in bliss at me, and this
Is what he had to say:

"Why, mazel tov, it's Asimov,
A blessing on your head!
For many a year, I've lived in fear
That you were long since dead.

Or if alive, one fifty-five
Cold years had passed you by,
And left you weak, with poor physique,
Thin hair and rheumy eye.

For sure enough, I've read your stuff
Since I was but a lad
And couldn't spell or hardly tell
The good yarns from the bad.

My father, too, was reading you
Before he met my Ma.
For you he earned, once he had learned
About you from _his_ Pa.

Since time began, you wondrous man,
My ansestors did love
That s.f. dean and writing machine
The aged Asimov."

I'd had my fill. I said: "Be still!
I've kept my old-time spark.
My step is light, my eye is bright,
My hair is thick and dark."

His smile, in brief, spelled disbelief,
So this is what I did;
I scowled, you know, and with one blow,
I killed that rotten kid.

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Burngate
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:37 am

John Beetem said:


Another favorite SF author of mine is Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  The ones I've read (Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five, and Player Piano) combine SF with social commentary and philosophy, making a very interesting read.  I've lost how track of how many times I've read Cat's Cradle -- each time it's different because I'm at a different place in my own path.



Just dug him out of the bookshelf (far end from the computer so I'd forgotten him) and discovered I haven't got Player Piano! (though I'm sure I've read it)

I do have Welcome to the Monkey House, and The Sirens of Titan, which you don't mention. Deja vu on financial crices if I remember.

Maybe, when others are forming local pi user groups and discussing cookery and cats, we should form our own and swap sf books.

Kernel
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:50 pm

Burngate said:

Maybe, when others are forming local pi user groups and discussing cookery and cats, we should form our own and swap sf books.
This sir is an excellent idea

MDC
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:13 pm

Does anyone else remember courage the cowardly dog?

I think I have seen most of the episodes and it wasn't until I looked back on them did I realise how freaky they were. They even did a parody of the exorcist.

Just in case anyone doesn't recall, this was a children's tv show.

Kernel
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:24 pm

MDC said:


Does anyone else remember courage the cowardly dog?

I think I have seen most of the episodes and it wasn"t until I looked back on them did I realise how freaky they were. They even did a parody of the exorcist.

Just in case anyone doesn"t recall, this was a children"s tv show.



I recall it but can't remember any of the plotlines

gimliflea
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Re: Science Fiction

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:57 pm

No ones mentioned Frank Herbert yet!  Dune is  Great sequels go off but later on become better again. Many others I can't remember names off.

Ian M Banks has only had one mention so I'll big him up some. Ian Banks is good too but really off topic as not SF. Can you be OT in OT forum.

11+ 11 should be 110

JustThisGuy
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Re: Science Fiction

Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:19 am

gimliflea said:


No ones mentioned Frank Herbert yet!  Dune is  Great sequels go off but later on become better again. Many others I can't remember names off.

Ian M Banks has only had one mention so I'll big him up some. Ian Banks is good too but really off topic as not SF. Can you be OT in OT forum.


Herbert's Jesus Incident, Lazarus Effect and Ascension Factor were great.

Maybe we aren't talking about the same Banks. I'm talking about the Culture books and others that are definitely Space Opera. He has written other non-sf books like The Company.
Any conversation about a sufficiently complex subject is indistinguishable from babble.

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:33 am

@JustThisGuy

Frank Herbert! Jesus Incident, Lazarus Effect and Ascension Factor. I'd almost forgotten those!

@Kernel

They ruined it all when they gave him a voice.

takaya
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Re: Science Fiction

Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:37 am

film-

2001 a space odyssey

literature-

neuromancer

television-

star trek

animation-

ghost in the shell

i am really getting into cyberpunk at the moment.

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riffraff
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:49 am

Who here has read The Difference Engine?

Gotta have one or two in a group of cybernerds.

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RaTTuS
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Re: Science Fiction

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:07 am

Larry Niven - Known Space

Walter John Williams - Hard Wired

The Great Dismal - all of
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deepthought
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Re: Science Fiction

Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:27 pm

Arthur C. Clarke (whom I occasionally corresponded with before he died).

Isaac Asimov.

Robert A. Heinlein.

H.G. Wells.

H.P. Lovecraft.

Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Douglas Adams.

Roger Zelazny.

Ray Bradbury.

On the "fantasy" side:

Robert E. Howard.

Michael Moorcock.

J.R.R. Tolkien.

Terry Pratchett.

George R.R. Martin.

Dabble a little in Steampunk myself…

On TV:

Babylon 5.

Stargate SG-1.

Star Trek.

U.F.O.

Blakes Seven.

Doctor Who.

The X-Files.

Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Red Dwarf.

Day of the Triffids.

The Tripods.

On film:

The Time Machine (both versions).

War of the Worlds (1950s).

Forbidden Planet.

Blade Runner.

The Matrix series.

Dune.

John Carter (of Mars).

Star Wars.

Conan the Barbarian (new version).

Loads more of course :O)

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Re: Science Fiction

Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:35 pm

Anyone mentioned Silent Running yet?
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deepthought
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Re: Science Fiction

Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:01 pm

JamesH said:


Anyone mentioned Silent Running yet?


Joan Baez' 'Rejoice in the Sun'...

feature=related

Always makes my eyes water...

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