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  1. #11
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanStill View Post
    Did you just star name drop?
    Not only that, but he name-dropped stars from Star Trek.
    Thanks from StanStill

  2. #12
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    Not only that, but he name-dropped stars from Star Trek.
    Um, those are ALL nearby stars, stars that are considered to be possibly hosting habitable planets, and stars that have been featured in MANY science fiction novels, not just in Star Trek.

    You guys have Star Trek on the brain! Read some OTHER science fiction once in a while, will you? Gosh!!!

  3. #13
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    Um, those are ALL nearby stars, stars that are considered to be possibly hosting habitable planets, and stars that have been featured in MANY science fiction novels, not just in Star Trek.

    You guys have Star Trek on the brain! Read some OTHER science fiction once in a while, will you? Gosh!!!
    You say that like Star Trek is a bad thing...

    I haven't read Star Trek in a while (though I did recently re-read a ST novel). I currently watch DS9, though I will probably take a break to Babylon 5 sometime soon.

    My current reading material consists of short stories from Twilight Zone and Derech Hashem (a work of Jewish philosophy), and I intend to soon start Slaughterhouse Five and McCulloch's John Adams bio. See? Lots of not-Star Trek.

  4. #14
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    You say that like Star Trek is a bad thing...

    I haven't read Star Trek in a while (though I did recently re-read a ST novel). I currently watch DS9, though I will probably take a break to Babylon 5 sometime soon.

    My current reading material consists of short stories from Twilight Zone and Derech Hashem (a work of Jewish philosophy), and I intend to soon start Slaughterhouse Five and McCulloch's John Adams bio. See? Lots of not-Star Trek.
    Never read Slaughterhouse Five before? Have you ever read any Vonnegut before? I almost bought Cat's Cradle at Barnes & Noble's yesterday, it has been since college that I read that. May still do it, but I have SO many other books to read first.


    I am planning on getting Star Trek: Enterprise (the entire series) on Blu-Ray. It's only about $68 on Amazon. Already have the entire original series. I will probably eventually get the entire Next Generation series as well, it is not much more expensive than the Enterprise series. They have not yet put out either DS9 or the Voyager series on Blu-Ray (at least, I don't think they have). I didn't enjoy the Voyager series as much, for whatever reason.

    I ASSUME you've read a great deal of Asimov. The Grandmaster of Science Fiction, as far as I'm concerned. The best CONTEMPORARY sci-fi author, for my money, is Jack McDevitt. If you're not familiar with him, you SHOULD be!

  5. #15
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    Never read Slaughterhouse Five before? Have you ever read any Vonnegut before? I almost bought Cat's Cradle at Barnes & Noble's yesterday, it has been since college that I read that. May still do it, but I have SO many other books to read first.
    No, this will be my first Vonnegut.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    I am planning on getting Star Trek: Enterprise (the entire series) on Blu-Ray. It's only about $68 on Amazon. Already have the entire original series. I will probably eventually get the entire Next Generation series as well, it is not much more expensive than the Enterprise series. They have not yet put out either DS9 or the Voyager series on Blu-Ray (at least, I don't think they have). I didn't enjoy the Voyager series as much, for whatever reason.
    I have many of the original series on VHS; the first DS9 on VHS; a smattering of TNG episodes on VHS; the first two seasons of TNG on DVD; and several movies on VHS/DVD. I will eventually get rid of them, most likely, since all the episodes and occasionally some of the movies are available on Netflix (they sometimes change, and I haven't checked Prime YT yet ... may not keep YT).

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    I ASSUME you've read a great deal of Asimov. The Grandmaster of Science Fiction, as far as I'm concerned.
    I have, though nowhere near all his work. At a minimum, I have read the original Foundation trilogy plus Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth and Prelude to Foundation; the four robot novels; all of the robot short stories that I know of; the Lucky Starr books; the three Galactic Empire novels; The End of Eternity; Nightfall (the novel with Robert Silverberg, not the original short story); and those are all I can think of for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    The best CONTEMPORARY sci-fi author, for my money, is Jack McDevitt. If you're not familiar with him, you SHOULD be!
    Never heard of him before just now. I haven't actually read anything new in quite a while. And I'm still waiting for David Gerrold to come out with the next Chtorr novel - yes, still waiting, 25 years after #4 came out. His (non-Star Trek) stuff is rather interesting, too.

  6. #16
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    No, this will be my first Vonnegut.


    I have many of the original series on VHS; the first DS9 on VHS; a smattering of TNG episodes on VHS; the first two seasons of TNG on DVD; and several movies on VHS/DVD. I will eventually get rid of them, most likely, since all the episodes and occasionally some of the movies are available on Netflix (they sometimes change, and I haven't checked Prime YT yet ... may not keep YT).


    I have, though nowhere near all his work. At a minimum, I have read the original Foundation trilogy plus Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth and Prelude to Foundation; the four robot novels; all of the robot short stories that I know of; the Lucky Starr books; the three Galactic Empire novels; The End of Eternity; Nightfall (the novel with Robert Silverberg, not the original short story); and those are all I can think of for now.


    Never heard of him before just now. I haven't actually read anything new in quite a while. And I'm still waiting for David Gerrold to come out with the next Chtorr novel - yes, still waiting, 25 years after #4 came out. His (non-Star Trek) stuff is rather interesting, too.
    Vonnegut is a unique author; there is no one else quite like him.

    I have never read any of the Lucky Starr novels by Asimov. Would you say they are worth it?


    Here is the Wikipedia article about Jack McDevitt:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_McDevitt

    From the link:

    Jack McDevitt is an American science fiction author whose novels frequently deal with attempts to make contact with alien races, and with archaeology or xenoarchaeology. His two main series are the Alex Benedict series and the Priscilla Hutchins series.

    McDevitt's first published story was "The Emerson Effect" in The Twilight Zone Magazine in 1981. Five years later, he published his first novel, The Hercules Text, about the discovery of an intelligently conceived signal whose repercussions threaten human civilization. This novel set the tone for many of McDevitt's following novels, which focused on making first contact. Frequently this theme is mixed with both trepidation before the unknown and a sense of wonder at the universe.

    With The Engines of God (1994), McDevitt introduced the idea of a universe that was once teeming with intelligent life, but contains only their abandoned artifacts by the time humans arrive on the scene. Although it was initially written as a standalone novel,[citation needed] the main character of The Engines of God, pilot Priscilla Hutchins, has since appeared in six more books, Deepsix (2001), Chindi (2002), Omega (2003), Odyssey (2006), Cauldron (2007) and StarHawk (2013). The mystery surrounding the destructive "Omega Clouds" (which are introduced in The Engines of God) is left unexplored until Omega.[2]

    LeRoy: I am particularly fond of his Priscilla Hutchins series, which is set about 220 years in the future, when humanity is just breaking out into the nearby portions of the galaxy. If you're interested, I would start with The Engines of God or with Starhawk. He is simply uncanny at invoking the mystery and awe of interstellar archaeology.


    The Alex Benedict series, which I also like, is set quite a bit farther into the future, perhaps 11,000 years into the future, when humans have colonized perhaps a few hundred worlds in the nearby portions of the galaxy. One of the best books in this series is Seeker, which won a Nebula Award for the best sci-fi novel the year it was published. It is, simply put, the BEST lost colony sci-fi novel EVER written.
    Last edited by BigLeRoy; 28th June 2018 at 06:00 PM.

  7. #17
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    I have never read any of the Lucky Starr novels by Asimov. Would you say they are worth it?
    Truthfully, I don't remember them all that well, and no longer have copies. (Did I tell you how my paperback collection got pared down?) I remember enjoying them, but could not really talk about them ... haven't read them since 19-- (probably the 80s). However, it's Asimov, so you can always depend on a good story.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    I am particularly fond of his Priscilla Hutchins series, which is set about 220 years in the future, when humanity is just breaking out into the nearby portions of the galaxy. If you're interested, I would start with The Engines of God or with Starhawk. He is simply uncanny at invoking the mystery and awe of interstellar archaeology.

    The Alex Benedict series, which I also like, is set quite a bit farther into the future, perhaps 11,000 years into the future, when humans have colonized perhaps a few hundred worlds in the nearby portions of the galaxy. One of the best books in this series is Seeker, which won a Nebula Award for the best sci-fi novel the year it was published. It is, simply put, the BEST lost colony sci-fi novel EVER written.
    Hm ... I may have to start with some new material, which I have not done in some years.

    Have you read any of David Gerrold's non-ST stuff? How about (the now-deceased) Jack L. Chalker? Two of my favorites.

  8. #18
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    Truthfully, I don't remember them all that well, and no longer have copies. (Did I tell you how my paperback collection got pared down?) I remember enjoying them, but could not really talk about them ... haven't read them since 19-- (probably the 80s). However, it's Asimov, so you can always depend on a good story.


    Hm ... I may have to start with some new material, which I have not done in some years.

    Have you read any of David Gerrold's non-ST stuff? How about (the now-deceased) Jack L. Chalker? Two of my favorites.
    I have heard of Jack Chalker but have never read any of his stuff. As for David Gerrold, the only novel of his I have read is When HARLIE Was One, which is about an AI becoming sentient, and I thought that novel was simply delightful. I recall a very funny passage from it, when HARLIE was being asked to 'demonstrate' his intelligence to a person the AI did not particularly care for, and in particular he was asked to generate an example of poetry. And what he came up with was this:


    I BM, You BM, we all BM, for IBM.


    The executive who had asked for a demonstration of HARLIE's intelligence was not amused. [But HARLIE was.]


    Not familiar at all with his Chtorr series, if I spelled it correctly. Two other 'modern' sci-fi authors I like are Gregory Benford and Greg Bear. Ever read anything by them?

  9. #19
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    I have heard of Jack Chalker but have never read any of his stuff.
    My first exposure to Chalker was - still my favorite - the Four Lords of the Diamond books (really a four-novel single story - sort of). (Loaned to someone, never got it back, though she did the same with me, so we're even.) Main character is "copied" into four other bodies to infiltrate a series of worlds from which one cannot escape once you are there. That way the same agent carries out all four missions, and communicates with the "original" mostly via memory upload. The idea is to solve a single puzzle using the same guy. Quite the clever setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    As for David Gerrold, the only novel of his I have read is When HARLIE Was One, which is about an AI becoming sentient, and I thought that novel was simply delightful. I recall a very funny passage from it, when HARLIE was being asked to 'demonstrate' his intelligence to a person the AI did not particularly care for, and in particular he was asked to generate an example of poetry. And what he came up with was this:

    I BM, You BM, we all BM, for IBM.

    The executive who had asked for a demonstration of HARLIE's intelligence was not amused. [But HARLIE was.]
    Yes, that's a classic, IMO. There was also a Release 2.0 (I have read both, but only have the second one) that updated some of the technological stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    Not familiar at all with his Chtorr series, if I spelled it correctly.
    (Yes, spelled correctly.) Definitely a good series, a combination of hard sci-fi as well as sociological and economic speculation into the relatively near future. Basically, instead of a classic alien invasion, it's an ecological infestation taking over Earth's ecology, essentially Chtorraforming Earth.

    Something else of Gerrold's you would have enjoyed was, in an issue of Starlog back around 1985 or so, he did a regular column, and one of them dealt solely with his limericks. The only one I remember, not exactly a limerick, he said "I knew I had gone off the deep end when I produced the following:"

    A king, who was mad at the time,
    Declared limerick writing a crime.
    But late in the night,
    all the poets would write
    verses without any rhyme or meter.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    Two other 'modern' sci-fi authors I like are Gregory Benford and Greg Bear. Ever read anything by them?
    I haven't read any Benford. Bear, yes ... I've read Eon (but not Eternity or the prequel Legacy), and the extended novel The Infinity Concerto and The Serpent Mage (also collected into a single volume - I have that as well as the individual novels). Looking at his website, I want to go back and read more of his stuff.
    Last edited by Ian Jeffrey; 28th June 2018 at 10:23 PM.

  10. #20
    Anarquistador StanStill's Avatar
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    It feels like I that time I was late for the first day of class so I slipped in and sat in the back only to realize that I was in a Spanish class instead of French. I decided to just sink into my chair and wait it out rather than stand back up and walk back out.

    I've read Galápagos, which I remember liking and I think either Cat's Cradle or Slaughterhouse Five but I don't remember much about it.

    Never read anything by Asimov, and never heard of any of the others you mention. Have seen a episodes of the various Star Treks over the years, but never really became a superfan. Quite frankly, not so big on sci-fi overall. There's just so much out there to read that I always feel like I'm wasting time if it's fiction.

    Anyway, the site in the OP reminded me of this short film, which I'm sure you guys remember.

    Thanks from johnflesh, BigLeRoy and Ian Jeffrey

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