I've just read John Scalzi and Heinlein -1 reply

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jumjum

Write heavy; write hard.

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11th April 2005

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#1 11 years ago

I've never really been a fan of sci fi writing. In college I read some of Issac Asimov's Foundation series and Frank Herberts' Dune, and a little Arthur C. Clarke. (Tolkien I found to be a fantastic writer, able to stand up well against Dickens, but he's more fantasy.) For the most part I found sci fi writing, well, substandard. To me the average sci fi book was very much like Stephen King's writing, which I find so bad I'm actually embarrassed for the man.

I've just read John Scalzi's Old Man's War and the Ghost Brigades, and I have to say my opinion is about the same of Scalzi's writing ability. Stereotyped and cardboard characters who mouth wooden, predictable and plain stupid dialogue. Easily digested by junior-high readers, which in my book is not a compliment. But his plotting and storyline, his concepts of future high tech, heck, his imagination...they just knocked me out. It was actually exciting to read. It still felt like I was eating a Baby Ruth for breakfast.

I was even more impressed by my first-ever reading of Robert Heinlein, with his The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. His writing can almost stand up against good standard fiction. I found him even more imaginative than Scalzi, with a complex plot, believable dialogue and real characters. What is most impressive is that Heinlein wrote Mistress in 1964. Simply incredible that he could come up with what he did over 40 years ago.

So I plan on giving Heinlein and Scalzi another try. Maybe some Philip K. Dick. Suggestions?




Coca-Cola

[130.Pz.]A.Aussen

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28th August 2006

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#2 11 years ago

How does it compare to my religion's/belief's book of scientology?:p

But yeah you need a good background when you're talking about another world other than our own, duh. But if you can do it and do it well, Kudos to you!




El Chupacabra

::GRUNT::

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20th July 2006

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#3 11 years ago

My favourite sci-fi authors are the Strugatsky brothers. Some of their best works really combine great sci-fi imagination and atmosphere with first class literature. That russian writers duo is not so well known to the western reader, but, from what I know, there have been many translations in english. Such works like Snail on the Slope, Hard to Be a God or Roadside Picnic (the famed Tarkovsky's Stalker was based on this novel) are definitely worth a try.




jumjum

Write heavy; write hard.

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11th April 2005

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#4 11 years ago

?There's gotta be some post jumping going on here.




stylie

Mas stylie por favor...

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13th April 2005

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#5 11 years ago
jumjum;3695254I've never really been a fan of sci fi writing. In college I read some of Issac Asimov's Foundation series and Frank Herberts' Dune, and a little Arthur C. Clarke. (Tolkien I found to be a fantastic writer, able to stand up well against Dickens, but he's more fantasy.) For the most part I found sci fi writing, well, substandard. To me the average sci fi book was very much like Stephen King's writing, which I find so bad I'm actually embarrassed for the man.

What?!? Blasphemy! Jum Id never match wits with you on your reading, You are quite avid and have already read more books this year then I have in the last 5. That said You havent read the right SK ones. So much good stuff. I recommend to you the [COLOR=blue]Dark Tower[/COLOR] series. I havent finished the series, but the 2nd (at the time but he has since added prequels) is called "Drawing of the Three" and almost the best book Ive read. I got to call it a tie though with Clive Barker's [COLOR=blue]"Great and Secret Show".[/COLOR] Man, I gotta get back to fiction books again, just no time and about 5,000 more pages of MCSE text to go through. :sleep:




Bikewer

Dread pwns me!

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17th October 2003

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#6 11 years ago

I've been reading science fiction since I was a little kid in the 50s waiting for those "pulp" magazines like "Amazing" to come out each month. I never felt any need to compare sci-fi with "literature", because the best of it stands up with the best of any writing.

Who wanted to read about stingy old Silas Marner or straying Hester Prynne when there were whole new worlds to create?

Heinlien at his best is quite good, but he got awfully preachy towards the end of his life. One of his juvenile novels, The Star Beast, is very clever.

My current favorites include Greg Bear, William Gibson, John Miehville, Gene Wolfe, and Charles Stross.




jumjum

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#7 11 years ago

[quote=stylie;3696104... That said You havent read the right SK ones. So much good stuff...[/quote] Well, Heinlein gave me the hint that there was some smart, good stuff out there, and that's why I'm asking for recommendations.

A word about my tastes in literature. I read War And Peace...for fun. Same with The Iliad, most of Dickens, Moby Dick (which about killed me), Gravity's Rainbow and many other books both ancient and modern generally considered difficult to stay with (maybe because they're just plain boring). I read maybe forty books a year, not counting the ones I re-read from time to time, and they are about 50-50 fiction and history/biography.

When I was a young man, er, younger man, what was available usually had Frank Frazella art on the cover. Not to take away from the master illustrator, but it was not a sign that IMO promised literary excellence.

The Heavy Metal and Omni mags made me yawn; I was barely interested in Star Trek when it was still first-run, but I loved most of the Star Wars flicks but they were light on sci fi and heavy on classic action themes. Blade Runner is one of my all time fave movies, probably because it was done more as a noir private eye film than a study of androids.

So maybe there's still hope for me. Thanks for the rec, stylin' man.




jumjum

Write heavy; write hard.

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#8 11 years ago
stylie;3696104...You havent read the right SK ones. So much good stuff...

A word about my tastes in literature. I read War And Peace...for fun. Same with The Iliad, most of Dickens, Moby Dick (which about killed me), Gravity's Rainbow and many other books both ancient and modern generally considered difficult to stay with (maybe because they're just plain boring). I read maybe forty books a year, not counting the ones I re-read from time to time, and they are about 50-50 fiction and history/biography. When I was a young man, er, younger man, what was available usually had Frank Frazella art on the cover. Not to take away from the master illustrator, but it was not a sign that IMO promised literary excellence. The Heavy Metal and Omni mags made me yawn; I was barely interested in Star Trek when it was still first-run, but I loved most of the Star Wars flicks but they were light on sci fi and heavy on classic action themes. Blade Runner is one of my all time fave movies, probably because it was done more as a noir private eye film than a study of androids. So maybe there's still hope for me. Thanks for the rec, stylin' man.

edit: Bikewer, I agree absolutely with you about Silas Marner and Hester Prynne. Otherwise, there's no accounting for taste, so vive le difference!




{SmB}IcelanDick

Ég tala ekki Íslensku

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12th June 2004

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#9 11 years ago

Ever read George R.R. Martin? Particularly the 'song of ice & fire' series. If you like Tolkien, you should like this.

And I read Clive Barker's Imajica a long time ago and found it...imaginative. I'd like to read it again to see whether I'd still like it now that I'm all grown'd up and stuff. :p

And read King's short story 'The Long Walk'. (Actually he wrote it as Richard Bachman) That is one of my SK favorites.




stylie

Mas stylie por favor...

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#10 11 years ago

I will say when a SK book hits a screen, it better not invlove Steven King! those usually suck. Gie it to movie makers I say. The Stand/It, all drivel. Take Shawshank/Green Mile/Misery all thrilling movies. Usually lacking Steven Kings interference! I never finished Imajica, but Id like to get back to that one.




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