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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:46 pm 
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Hobbit
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I just assumed it was an artificially constructed solar system. (What's the term when the star isn't Sol?) Somebody dragged all those planets into the habitable range with non colliding orbits - had to have!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:00 pm 
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Living in hope
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That's kind of what I thought, too. Still a lot of camels.

"Solar system" is probably fine, but "system" seems to be used alone a lot in SF.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
It's actually a fun reader's tool: find the title of an SF work you like, and the titles in the immediate vicinity will probably also be of books you'll like.


That;s what I immediately thought of. I was luckly that the first aspect I zoomed into had an author I know, and like - Neal Stephenson. So, I noted the other authors around him. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:31 am 
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I just came across this rewrite that Janis Ian did of "At Seventeen" for the Nebula Awards:

Quote:
Says Janis "I'd always resisted writing any sort of 'take' on 'At 17'. The song is too precious to me, and to many others. When SFWA asked me to host the Nebula Awards, though, I wanted to do something really special for the ceremony, something that would speak to my love of the genre and form, and the stories that informed me as an artist and as a human being. When I finished writing it, I felt like instead of creating a silly 'take-off', I'd actually written from the heart, something real, and true."

WELCOME HOME (THE NEBULAS SONG)

(Janis Ian)

            I learned the truth at seventeen
            That Asimov and Bradbury
            and Clarke were alphabetically
            my very perfect A-B-C

            While Algernon ran every maze,
            and slow glass hurt my heart for days,
            I sat and played a sweet guitar
            and Martians grokked me from afar

                    Odd John was my only friend
                    among the clocks and Ticktockmen,                
                    while Anne Mccaffrey’s dragons roared
                    above the skies of Majipoor

                    Bukharan winds blew cold and sharp
                    and whispered to my secret heart
                    “You are no more alone
                    “Welcome home”

            Tribbles came, and triffids went
            Time got wrinkled, then got spent
            Kirinyaga’s spirits soared,
            and Turtledove re-wrote a war

            While Scanners searched, and loved in vain,
            Hal Nine Thousand went insane,
            and Brother Francis had an ass
            whose wit and wile were unsurpassed

                    Every story I would read
                    became my private history,
                    as Zenna’s People learned to fly,
                    and Rachel loved until I cried

                    I spent a night at Whileaway,
                    then Houston called me just to say
                    “You are no more alone,
                    “so welcome home”

            Who dreams a positronic man?
            Who speaks of mist, and grass, and sand?
            Of stranger station’s silent tombs?
            Of speech that sounds in silent rooms?

            Who waters deserts with their tears?
            Who sees the stars each thousand years?
            Who dreams the dreams for kids like me,
            Whose only home is fantasy?

                    Let’s drink a toast to ugly chickens,
                    Marley’s ghost, and Ender Wiggins
                    Every mother’s son of you,
                    and all your darling daughters, too

                    When the aliens finally come,
                    we’ll say to each and every one
                    “You are no more alone,
                    “so welcome home
                    “Welcome home”

* Sung to the tune of “At Seventeen”, by Janis Ian

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:47 am 
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of Vinyamar
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:clap:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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:)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:43 pm 
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Living in hope
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Absolutely lovely. Thank you for finding and posting it, Wampus.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:08 pm 
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I loved the fact that I could recognize lots of old favorites, even some that are fairly obscure (such as Zenna Henderson's People). :love:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:12 pm 
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Living in hope
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Me, too. One after another. And it made me remember why reading SF was so central to my life growing up.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:47 pm 
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And here's an explanation of all the references!
http://www.janisian.com/lyrics/welcomehomedeconstructed.php

Now I know what books to look for that I somehow missed. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:06 pm 
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The geek is strong with this one. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Meanwhile...
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I only recognized a few. My consolation is that I am probably the only person here who read Beliaev's beautiful, romantic novels like Amphibian Man, or the Strugatsky brothers (whose Picnic by the Roadside was filmed as Stalker), or Stanislaw Lem of Solaris fame, or the unrelentingly patriotic Trublaini who had a really interesting idea for gravity-driven trains. Or many others.

I also read Wells, Jules Verne, Asimov, Bradbury and Clarke.

I have to say, there was a lot more foreign-language, translated fiction available in the old USSR than in the West.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Living in hope
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Isaac Asimov edited a couple of anthologies of Russian ("Soviet") short SF; I have one of them. I had Solaris, but the book fell apart. :(

I think SF anthologies and even magazines did a better job than most U.S. publications of including translated works, particularly from Russian authors. I grew up knowing that much great SF was being written and published in Russian, but not being able to find as much of it as I would have liked.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:13 am 
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Meanwhile...
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To osgiliate an osgiliation, I really want to read this book

I say sometimes that once I see the cover, I often have a pretty good idea of the story, but this time I don't even have a hypothesis.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:29 am 
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I'd at least like the opportunity to flip the book open here and there and examine the writing style ;) but yeah, that cover doesn't give anything away, does it! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:40 am 
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Living in hope
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Here it is on Amazon:

Link

$5 and it's yours (or much less used). It might actually be worth it; there are only five reviews but they make it sound pretty cool.

I'm not going to spring for it, because SF/fantasy humor mostly doesn't work for me, alas. It may be because I read those genres for something entirely other than humor, something that's more important to me. I'm not a stuffy person, but I laugh elsewhere.

Yesterday in church our intern pastor, a charming young woman, gave a card of thanks to a retired pastor who's a member and who oversaw the first month of her internship while the regular pastor was away. The card was a classic 19th-century image of Jesus holding a lamb, presumably #100. There was a cartoon balloon coming out of his mouth: "Oh, Fluffy! You're the only one who really understands me. . . ."

This was presented in church during the service, and we all laughed our socks off. I mention this to say it's not that SF is sacred to me, that's not why I can't laugh . . . I just can't. :P *


*Hitchhiker's always excepted.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:27 pm 
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But Hitchiker's was different. Some people hate it, you know. That sort of "Brit" humour doesn't appeal to everyone. But those of us who possess a superior tone of mind certainly love it! :D

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Living in hope
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<preens beside vison> Indubitably.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:17 pm 
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I about fell out of my chair the first time I read Hitchhiker's. My parents thought I was on drugs. They'd never seen me react to a book like that before.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Meanwhile...
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I guess my mind is inferior, then. :P

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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