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Forums > Social Discussion > f it weren't for H.G. Wells, Sci-Fi wouldn't be what it is today...

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animatEd
BRONZE Member since Aug 2004

animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK

Total posts: 3540
Posted:Do you believe the above statement to be True/False?



Discuss your opinions of his works, or indeed your opinion on any Sci-Fi works.



Who (In your opinion) was a/the role model for modern Sci Fi?



What defines Sci-Fi from fantasy?



Edit: I changed some bits to make this topic a bit broader...

EDITED_BY: Long_Time_Coming (1132231529)


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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mo-seph


mo-seph

enthusiast
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Total posts: 524
Posted:Written by: mcp

My god man, have some dignity, it's like saying you like kim stanley robinson!




Kim stanley robison rocks - hard scifi about *people*.

Noone's mentioned philip k dick, for which you all deserve a slap.


monkeys ate my brain

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted:kim stanley robinson, hard sci-fi, because it's sooo hard to read. and at the end you think, why did I bother?

Whereas at the end of a philip k dick book you're left thinking, what did I just read?

Perky pat was it? That was disturbing.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Beth


Beth

Miss Whippy
Location: Cornwall & Oxford

Total posts: 1262
Posted:John Wyndham! I cant believe no one has mentioned him yet. Hello, Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, Midwitch Cuckoos. if you are a fan of Sci-fi, whether 'hard' or not, read Wyndham, hes amazing and in my opinion, better than Wells. I have read all of Wyndhams works and quite a few of Wells' and Wyndhams ideas are better formed, better thought out, the writing is ten times more fluent and more engaging.

Also a great fan of Huxley, Brave New World is so much better than 1984. And i'm glad someone mentioned Dune. How anyone can dislike the first book is beyond me. The rest are pants but the first is just amazing and even the film isnt that bad.

Douglas Adams anyone? If anyone hasnt read Hitchhikers Guide yet, do it, do it now and be saved for all eternity.

Ok, question now, can anyone give me a definition of Sci-fi and a definition of Fantasy? I believe they're totally different but i want to find out what you lot think each one is.


Aim high and you'll know your limits, aim low and you'll never know how high you could have climbed.

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spiralx


spiralx

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Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Written by: mcp
How can you not like dune! It kicks ass, if only for the bit about "I must not fear"



The first Dune book is one of the few books I've given up on, didn't manage to get past a hundred pages before I thought "wow, this is poo". And it takes a lot for me to not read a book.



Written by: mcp
I'll have a look at richard morgan, never heard of him myself.



Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and his other book (whose name I forget at the moment) are very good indeed. Market Forces is OTOH pretty dumb, but it is a rewrite of a book he wrote when he was sixteen or something.



Written by: mcp
And I forgot william gibson, but if you like that sort of thing, you'd know. Plus I had to spend exorbital amounts of money at the library when I forgot to return it...



Alright stories, but completely spoiled if you know anything about computers, they're not even close to realistic.



Written by: mcp
clarke was always pretty crap, and pete f hamilton, airport novelist also. My god man, have some dignity, it's like saying you like kim stanley robinson!



I like Peter F Hamilton a lot, his latest pair of books are excellent - a bit space opera, but that's no bad thing if you're not looking for 100% scientific accuracy and detail but just a good read. And Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy is a classic of near-future sci-fi, thoroughly entertaining. As long as you like detail. Lots and lots of detail wink



Written by: mcp
Making up aliens and then talking to them in books, is like distorting your image in a mirror for a good old bit of navel gazing with your distorted self. So if a author can make up a convincingly alien race and then write about them, I appreciate that.



Try Vacuum Diagrams by Stephen Baxter or Axiomatic by Greg Egan for a bunch of very crazy ideas about "alien" life.



Written by: mcp
Which reminds me: Neal Stephenson's first novel, Snow Crash. Also a classic.



Bah, I've sworn never to read any Stephenson again. Cryptonomicon was alright, I really enjoyed the Diamond Age, but they both suffered from the same thing, missing last chapter syndrome. The man cannot write an ending to save his life, both books just cut off with half of the threads in the story unresolved, incredibly, incredibly frustrating. I'm not falling for that again, and supposedly his latest trilogy suffers from authorial masturbation which doesn't make me want to read them either.

EDITED_BY: spiralx (1132692060)


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted:Written by: spiralx


Written by: mcp
How can you not like dune! It kicks ass, if only for the bit about "I must not fear"



The first Dune book is one of the few books I've given up on, didn't manage to get past a hundred pages before I thought "wow, this is poo". And it takes a lot for me to not read a book.







and yet, you like hamilton? I never really appreciated technical detail in sci-fi. Maybe in a few years people will be like wow! You got it right! I will be like: Wow you're novel was dull and absolutely accurate about the super slow pace of progress. Well done. Unimaginative idiot. Maybe peter hamilton is not as unimaginative as this, but real life is. Where are those thinking dolphins with computers in their brains? Nowhere cos real life is super boring in that regard.



Written by: spiralx


Written by: mcp
I'll have a look at richard morgan, never heard of him myself.



Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and his other book (whose name I forget at the moment) are very good indeed. Market Forces is OTOH pretty dumb, but it is a rewrite of a book he wrote when he was sixteen or something.







Yay for christmas!





william gibson:



But he has good ideas. And some of the brain stuff was more realistic than the computer stuff. Which made it worth while. Again, who wants to hear about crontab root exploits when we could be reading about sexy robot ladies fighting each other in a virtual world?





Detail, i don't mind. Tolkien levels of detail, I do mind. And dullness I cannot stand. See above.



Axiomatic is good. Got pretty bored by stephen baxter after his like fifth CAPITAL LETTERS book. (TITAN! etc.)



Written by: spiralx


Written by: mcp
Which reminds me: Neal Stephenson's first novel, Snow Crash. Also a classic.



Bah, I've sworn never to read any Stephenson again. Cryptonomicon was alright, I really enjoyed the Diamond Age, but they both suffered from the same thing, missing last chapter syndrome. The man cannot write an ending to save his life, both books just cut off with half of the threads in the story unresolved, incredibly, incredibly frustrating. I'm not falling for that again, and supposedly his latest trilogy suffers from authorial masturbation which doesn't make me want to read them either.





Honestly, snow crash is the first of his books. And still the best. Don't bother with anything else.



and while I'm here, bruce sterling... very good. Couldn't name my favourate off the top of my head thou.



I can't say I usually analyse why I like / dislike books. Especially when I read most of these when I was like, 14, but I can say one thing, I like sci-fi that has the same silly colourful-ness as the fifth element, but more so, and better.



I mean, technical is fine, but you'll get over it, when the future continues to disappoint you.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Richee
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague

Total posts: 1841
Posted:Cyberpunk forever.

Neal Stephanson Snow crash, Diamond Age,
William Gibson Cryptonomicon, Neuromacer
O. S. Card Ender's game
-RFC

Animatrix, Ghost in the Shell, Akira

:R


POI THEO(R)IST

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spiralx


spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Isn't Ender's Game a defence of Hilter though?

Read the section called "Guiltless Genocide" here

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/Killer_000.htm


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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spiralx


spiralx

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Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Written by: mcp
and yet, you like hamilton? I never really appreciated technical detail in sci-fi. Maybe in a few years people will be like wow! You got it right! I will be like: Wow you're novel was dull and absolutely accurate about the super slow pace of progress. Well done. Unimaginative idiot. Maybe peter hamilton is not as unimaginative as this, but real life is. Where are those thinking dolphins with computers in their brains? Nowhere cos real life is super boring in that regard.


But Hamilton doesn't include a lot of technical detail, hence my description of him as "a bit space opera". There's plenty of technology in there, but it's not hard sci-fi at all, it's all just there. Not that I think a lot of it is unrealistic, but none of it is overburdened by scientific justification - just look at affinity in the Night's Dawn series for instance.

Thinking dolphins? Sounds like Brin to me smile Which is also space opera I'm fond of smile Of course I happen to love Simon R Green, which may prejudice you if you don't like that sort of thing wink

Written by: mcp
william gibson:

But he has good ideas. And some of the brain stuff was more realistic than the computer stuff. Which made it worth while. Again, who wants to hear about crontab root exploits when we could be reading about sexy robot ladies fighting each other in a virtual world?


It's about suspension of belief though. Near future sci-fi is the hardest to write well, as anyone who realises the exponential increase in technological progress can pick holes in such novels. It's easier to believe in a multi-planetary culture linked by wormholes 500 years in the future than a dystopian cyberpunk world set 30 years in the future... And Gibson's writing was never good enough IMO to stand the test of time. Earlier I recommended Star Maker - 80 years on that's still a good read, because it deals with broad themes rather than try and make predicitions which will almost certainly look tame compared to reality.

Written by: mcp
Detail, i don't mind. Tolkien levels of detail, I do mind. And dullness I cannot stand. See above.


Heh, Tolkien, I could rant about him for hours. I managed to get halfway through the third book before giving up, utterly bored with 200 page passages describing the characters struggle through a rock-filled wilderness. I love long series (most of my favourite authors are writers of epic fantasy), but not mind-numbing, pointless minutae.

Written by: mcp
Honestly, snow crash is the first of his books. And still the best. Don't bother with anything else.


Well maybe I'll read it... if I ever see it around smile Please tell me though, does it actually tie up all major plot threads though? I really don't want to be left that annoyed again wink

Written by: mcp
and while I'm here, bruce sterling... very good. Couldn't name my favourate off the top of my head thou.


Don't think I've read any...

Written by: mcp
I can't say I usually analyse why I like / dislike books. Especially when I read most of these when I was like, 14, but I can say one thing, I like sci-fi that has the same silly colourful-ness as the fifth element, but more so, and better.

I mean, technical is fine, but you'll get over it, when the future continues to disappoint you.


Hence as I said the difficulty in writing near-future stuff, it seems dated so quickly. I love Baxter's Xeelee stuff because it's so epic and far out there, a story about modified humans living inside a neutron star that's been used as a weapon of war isn't going to be overtaken by technology in my lifetime for example. Well, probably not! ubblol


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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