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Fantasy & Science Fiction worth Reading/Re-reading

 
 
Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 05:00 pm
Fantasy and science fiction worth reading and re-reading
Noddy - If I am correct, the book is "Allan Quartermain" by H Rider Haggard.
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Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 05:13 pm
Fantasy and science fiction worth reading and re-reading
I think it was "Allan Quartermain" by H Rider Haggard, the third(?) in the series including "King Solomon's Mines".

Have you ever read Agatha Christie"s classic, "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd"?
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 06:50 am
Tomkitten--

Rider Haggard! Yes!

I've read and re-read all of Agatha Christie, but not recently. Did you know that as a girl of courting age, she was painfully inarticulate, unable to exchange any level of small talk with her dancing partners?
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 02:41 pm
Last night I re-read Sheri S. Tepper's A Plague of Angels. Ms. Tepper is both an environmentalist and a feminist as well as being a very entertaining author with a knack for creating interesting heros and heroines.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheri_S._Tepper

Amazon readers (26 reviews) give her 3 1/2 stars with the low-raters making it clear that the book tended to elbow their view of the universe.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 03:05 pm
Every year, science fiction fans gather at a convention called Worldcon. Among other things, they award a price called Hugo for the best publication in categories like novel, short stories, and movies. Think of it as Science Fiction's equivalent to an Oscar.

One of my favorite books as a teenager was The Hugo Winners, an anthology of short stories and novelletas from the 1950s and 60s. It was edited by Isaac Asimov. The book is out of print now, but many copies are available second-hand.

On a more general note, maybe you could get some reading ideas by gleaning over WorldCon's list of past Hugo winners?
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 04:04 pm
Thomas--

The Hugo Awards tend to favor "hard" Science Fiction. Some years the voters are spoiled for choice and some years....

All the same, anyone who wanted to get a grounding in modern speculative fiction could do worse than read the winners of Hugo and the Nebula Awards.

Asimov was a busy-busy man, wasn't he? I read in one of his autobiographical pieces that his parents ran a little corner store, open from 6 a.m. to midnight, he grew up with the idea that a "working day" was 18 hours long.

I forget how many books he published before he died of AIDS contracted from a blood transfusion.
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Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 04:30 pm
Fantasy and science fiction worth reading and re-reading
Noddy - totally off the subject, but since we've mentioned Rider Haggard, I wonder if you ever read Anthony Hope's "The Prisoner of Zenda" and its sequel, "Rupert of Hentzau"?
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 06:26 pm
Tomkitten--

I read Prisoner of Zenda long, long ago.

You might enjoy Sheri S. Tepper. Gate to Woman's Country is a good place to start.

http://www.amazon.com/Gate-Womens-Country-Sheri-Tepper/dp/0553280643/ref=pd_bbs_2/102-5805506-0965726?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1174954956&sr=1-2

Thomas--

If you want to discuss individual Hugo winners on this thread, you're more than welcome.

So many good books...so little time.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2007 05:24 pm
I had totally forgotten who won the Hugo in 1958 -- the convention being in Los Angeles and I was the art director. That was the transition to calling it World Science Fiction Convention or WorldCon. Some of the organizers of that convention also had a "precon" (which we dubbed with the slogan "It's the Nuts!" since bad puns were in order) which was a trip to Disneyland. There was even some intrigue with the attempt started at the previous year's New York to incorporate the conventions. It failed.

There was also the Western Science Fiction Convention, or WesterCon, which I don't even know if it's still in existence. Good memories from that, and I've related this story before, as I got trapped in a stalled elevator with John W. Campbell, Jr., Anthony Boucher (Fantasy and Science Fiction editor), Richard Matheson and a bottle of cognac. They also gave out awards and it was the world premiere of the short film of Matheson's "Born of Man and Woman."
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 09:56 am
Lightwizard--

Ah, 1958 was an excellent year:

Quote:
1958:
Novel or Novelette: The Big Time by Fritz Leiber
Short Story: "Or All the Seas With Oysters" by Avram Davidson
Outstanding Movie: The Incredible Shrinking Man
Magazine: Fantasy & Science Fiction
Outstanding Artist: Frank Kelly Freas
Outstanding Actifan: Walter A. Willis
[year] [category]


I envy you your elevator episode--and even more the memories of the elevator episode. Undoubtedly you are going to have a richly textured old age.

Evidently these days there are F/SF conventions taking place somewhere during every week of the year.

http://www.sfsite.com/depts/cons01.htm

Speculative Fiction fans aren't a minority anymore.

***************

Last night I read another Sharon Lee and Steve Miller Liaden Novel, Agent of Change. Obviously the appeal for the cult following of the Laiden Universe novels is partly due a succession of feisty, physical heroines.

This isn't 1958 any more.

One of the humiliations of an increasingly cluttered mind is to remember facts without remembering the sources of these facts. I understand that among YA publishers there is a sub-category of books for teen-age readers, informally titled "Girls Who Kick Ass".
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 11:53 am
Yes, lots of fond memories, especially having Forry Ackerman as a personal friend. I am going to visit his Fantasy and Sci-Fi Museum very soon -- I'm not too sure how many days he has left.

I also remember the Hollywood WesterCon, I think 1956, where there was an extensive showing of Chesley Bonestell original paintings. He did the illustrations in the Werner Von Braun books. They did a goofy spoof as a play of a serious sci-fi short story but I don't remember which one.

At the 1958 LA Sci-Fi World Convention, I went as Gandalf the White for the dress ball.

Now the memory of the Hugo Award event is coming back to me, as I especially remember the award to Kelly Freas, my favorite illustrator and one I included in the art show.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 11:58 am
Lightwizard--

I've noticed that many memories dehydrate and adding just a little attention and water....

Gandalf...before be became a marketed commodity.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 12:42 pm
There were some licensed items by the Tolkien Society back then but cannot remember what they were. Certainly not a Frodo tee-shirt! Very Happy

I had just actually read the full trilogy by checking them out of the LA public library and enjoying a good part of the books out in their garden reading area.

Back to classic Sci-Fi, my favorite Heinlein is still "The Green Hills of Earth."

I met Ray Bradbury at a Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society meeting while in high school. My favorite Bradbury has to be "The Martian Chronicles." My favorite short story is actually in that book, "The Pedestrian."
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 03:10 pm
Lightwizard--

I read The Hobbit for the first time when I was eight years old. Because the Tolkien cover was drab, I read my other Christmas books first and was delighted to find that the Last Book was the Best Book.

"Don't judge a book by its cover," became a very meaningful proverb.

Fellowship came out when I was 13. My mother pointed out the book review in the NYT's--one of the first book reviews that had any interest for me. The reviewer was W.H. Auden and while waiting for the book, I read some of Auden's poetry.

Reading the books as they were released and published in the States meant months and months of cliff-hanging suspense between volumes. Looking back, I probably learned a lot about waiting because of the Houghton-Mifflin publishing schedule.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 03:43 pm
The last volume, "The Return of the King" was moved up for publication nearly a year because of Tolkienites writing letters to the publisher.

My third re-reading was all I needed to almost remember the book scene-for-scene so actually enjoyed Peter Jackson's cinematic rearrangement of the story because it was different.

I can still reread all of Philip K. Dick, Hal Clement (especially "Mission of Gravity"), and Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth. "The Space Merchants" fit into Galaxy magazines bias for socio-political future fiction. Of course, Frank Herbert and "Dune" seems to overshadow such classics as "Under Pressure" and "Santaroga Barrier," another of his novels that dwelled on the possibilities of exotic drugs. I remember first reading Hal Clement's "Iceworld" and thought of him also as a really great adventure story writer.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2007 11:35 am
Some websites for Lightwizard's contributions:

Ray Bradbury: Martian Chronicles

http://www.raybradbury.com/books/martianchronicles-hc.html

Googling reveals that all levels of "study guides" are available for Bradbury and his books.



Hal Clement: Ice World and Mission of Gravity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Clement

http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Hal-Clement-Slide-Typewriter/dp/188677806X

http://www.geocities.com/gamgeephile/hal/



Philip K. Dick:

http://www.philipkdick.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_K._Dick

http://www.philipkdickfans.com/



Robert A. Heinlein: Green Hills of Earth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Green_Hills_of_Earth

http://www.nitrosyncretic.com/rah/

http://www.heinleinsociety.org/



Frank Herbert: Under Pressure Dune, Santaroga Barrier

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Herbert

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/frank-herbert/

http://www.bookian.net/book/story37.html

C.M. Kornbluth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_M._Kornbluth

http://www.nndb.com/people/218/000077984/



Frederick Pohl:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederik_Pohl

http://www.frederikpohl.com/

****************
The Laiden Universe suits my springtime lassitude. Last night I finished Conflict of Honors.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2007 11:50 am
Pretty good short synopsis of "The Space Merchants," a scathing satire on the advertising world, what happens in the future if we ignore conservation, and capitalism run wild (the Senate is comprised of representatives from major corporations, not voted in by the people). Fits in with my new Mencken quote, below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Merchants
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2007 01:13 pm
Lightwizard--

The Oh, Mine Prophetic Soul Department is necessary. May some futures never happen.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2007 01:42 pm
That's the idea of sociological and socio-political future fiction -- they do sometimes miss on the dates of when some of this stuff is going to happen. The Los Angeles of "Blade Runner" seems plausible but not in 2017 AD.
Then, there's "2001" and "1984."

I'm not sure if Pohl/Kornbluth quote dates in "The Space Merchants," but likely the did and they're off by miles also.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2007 01:54 pm
A very good review of "Gravy Planet" (the original serialized title of the novel in Galaxy Magazine):

http://www.thealienonline.net/ao_060.asp?baa=1&tid=2&scid=14&iid=1884

I remember a trip to the mountains with my parents which I was avidly buying every sci-fi magazine as they came out. We stopped into a roadside market and, voila!, they had a selection of sci-fi magazines on the racks. So I bought a bottle of NEHI Orange and the first part of "Gravy Planet" and ignored my parents on the way up to the lake.

I agree that the ending seems a bit of a stretch but it's forgivable with this material. The writers were having fun, and now by reading the article above, I never knew they were under the same roof when they wrote it.
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