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Old 12-03-2016   #41
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

I really love J.G. Ballard's short story "The Drowned Giant". The prose and imagery is stunning, and we are only left with a haunting mystery of what the thing was that washed up on the shore.
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Old 03-16-2017   #42
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

Quote Originally Posted by MTC View Post
I was just reminded that I've often heard Jack Vance mentioned ... specifically the Dying Earth series. ... I wonder if Vance's books are worth tracking down?
If you want to try Jack Vance's science fiction, it shouldn't be the Dying Earth series, because that is fantasy.
I would start with his science fiction thriller Star King, first book in the Demon Princes series. It has some great writing, and at the same time it is fast-paced.
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Old 03-17-2017   #43
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

Brian Aldiss
Ursula Le Guin
Theodore Sturgeon
Octavia Butler
Michael Bishop (not many people have heard of him but he's brilliant)
Iain Banks
Alastair Reynolds
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Old 03-18-2017   #44
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

Paul Scheerbart's fiction occupies an unlikely borderland between SF and Symbolism. His novel Lesabendio manages to combine a spoof of Thus Spake Zarathustra, his expertise in what was then the cutting edge of architecture, and one of the most bizarre and richest alien cultures I've encountered. The Perpetual Motion Machine reminds me of a Herzog documentary; he contrasts his own futile and obsessive attempts at building such a device with flights of utopian fantasy.

Since I haven't seen him mentioned, Anthony Burgess's The Wanting Seed is definitely bleak - it establishes a cyclical history between one type of dystopia to another.

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Old 03-18-2017   #45
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

Quote Originally Posted by Speaking Mute View Post

Since I haven't seen him mentioned, Anthony Burgess's The Wanton Seed is definitely bleak - it establishes a cyclical history between one type of dystopia to another.
Wasn't that Burgess novel actually "The Wanting Seed?" Just saying.

"What Exactly is a Dream? And What Exactly is a Joke?"
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Old 03-18-2017   #46
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

Sturgeon's "The Dreaming Jewels" (more commonly known as "The Synthetic Man").

Gore Vidal's "Messiah."

William Sloane's "To Walk the Night."

Wyndham's "Re-birth." "Triffids."

"Nova" by Delaney.

Russ, "Picnic on Paradise."

"Voyage of the Space Beagle" by A. E. van Vogt.


"Do Androids Dream..." by PDK

Bester, "The Demolished Man" and "The Stars are my Destination."

"Fahrenheit 451" by Bradbury.

"Sinister Barrier" by Eric Frank Russell.

"The Dark Chamber" by Leonard Cline.

"The Time Machine." "Island of Doctor Moreau" -- Wells.

"The Night Land" --Hodgson.

"The Invincible" -- Lem.

"The Winter War in Tibet" --Durrenmatt.

"The Drowned World" -- Ballard.

"I Am Legend" -- Matheson.

1984 -- Orwell.

Radix -- Attanasio.

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Old 03-19-2017   #47
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

Some of these days I will read Viriconium. I promise.

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #48
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

Reading Arthur C. Clarke's The Songs of Distant Earth while listening in the background to Mike Oldfield's delicious music inspired by the book, and with the same album title, should be great! I have not read the book yet though.

Clarke's The City and the Stars, Childhood's End, and Rendezvous With Rama, are of course masterpieces of science fiction and futuristic vision, and very pleasurable books. Best science fiction I have ever read.
I am sure Lovecraft would have been impressed by the cosmic outlook in these books. Fritz Leiber expressed a similar thought.

A. E. van Vogt was a "diamond in the rough", I find his prose is not very polished or developed and often near unreadable to me. An uneven writer. But at his most inspired, his futuristic visions are bewitching, hauntingly convincing, ... ecstatic, ... and precursor to Clarke.

And don't miss John W. Campbell's short story "Twilight", in a similar vein.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #49
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Re: Science Fiction Recommendations

A. E. van Vogt's main interest seems to be in the human intellect more than anything else, specifically in non-Aristotelian thinking, and how this can help us function better, elevate us as human beings, especially in social situations. This subject reappears in book after book.

Aristotelian logic is a clumsy way of thinking, in which you deduct one of two options, step by step, and finally arrive at a conclusion that supposedly rests on empirical evidence. However, it is an extremely simplified view of reality, an approcah that is bound to be an insufficient tool for understanding reality. And even harmful, especially to social interaction, which is much too nuanced to be deductible by intellectual reasoning. Furthermore the Aristotelian logic way of using our brain, builds rigid intellectual patterns/models from experience, that we bring with us into new situations where they don't quite fit. But we still try to apply them, and arrive at awkward, dissatisfied, misunderstood and incorrect results.

Non-Aristotelian thinking is much more intuitive, and attempts to take in all of reality to make the optimal assessment of a situation, instead of applying two elements at a time and going step by step. Non-Aristotelian thinking intentionally keeps the mind wide open, and sensitively notes every aspect of what is going on. It is the act of full presence, and truly listening.

I have found this side of van Vogt's writing inspiring, and helpful to my thinking.

Van Vogt's future science fiction application of non-Aristotelian thinking, is that a well developed practitioner becomes so intensely in tune with his surroundings, that telepathy, telekinesis, and reshaping of objects with mind alone, become possible.
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