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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Wandering Minds » Science Fiction

Science Fiction

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1Science Fiction  Empty Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 08:47

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Where to begin? Greek mythology? Tales of Norse Gods re-emerging as Marvel comic heroes in early 21st century blockbuster movies? Mary Shelley's Frankenstein?The 17th century story of Gulliver's Travels?
The thread that loosely ties this massively popular sub-genre together seems to be using imaginary worlds, alternative realities, parallel universes, space exploration or potential changes in technology to illustrate aspects of our own existence often in the form of a moral lesson for our own world and own times.

Whatever definition of sci-fi you prefer, I think we can all agree it covers an enormous range of the arts and thereby encompasses both genius and dross, so I'm curious to know what bits of sci-fi float your boat?

The first "proper" sci-fi book I read - and bearing in mind that for the first 16 years of my life I'd been fed a diet of Torchy the Battery Boy, HG Wells classic films on the telly, Gerry Anderson's Fireball XL5 etc, Daleks and Quatermass and the Pit - was Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man".

A collection of 18 short stories - some simply moralistic and others absolutely brilliant in concept - all based around a central story about a man who had been tattooed by an alien witch and when folk looked at the tattoos it gave them visions of worlds where things happened that had an implication on their own lives. The tattoos were a curse - as those who looked at the illustrated man invariably ended up hating him for showing them the alternative reality.

This book is by no means a challenging read and I would recommend it as something to leave by the loo. - and not as a standby in case you run out of loo roll.

A few years after I read it they made an appalling film of the book - well 3 of the stories in it - starring Rod Steiger and I would recommend avoiding that at all costs.

Any sci-fi recommendations?

2Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 09:14

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I've always loved Bradbury, and he'd certainly be at the top of my list of fantasy/SF writers. Something Wicked This Way Comes, is a Bradbury classic, as is Fahrenheit 451. One of the oddest SF/fantasy books I've ever read is The Hopkins Manuscript, by R.C. Sherriff, written in 1939.
I won't go into detail, it's much more fun researching for yourself.
This particular genre covers a huge spectrum, so I'll have to go and have a good think, before getting stuck into it.

3Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 09:21

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Just getting back to The Hopkins Manuscript, The first paragraph grabs you straight away.

'I am writing by the light of a piece of string which I have pushed through a fragment of bacon fat and arranged in an egg cup. I shall write by night, partly because I can no longer sleep through these ghastly, moonless chasms, and partly because by day I must search for food, and the days are short'.

4Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 09:57

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
I prefer classic SF, and some of the space opera stuff. Started reading Asimov, although not exclusively. Quite liked the fact that he was a professor and explained a lot of the theories and workings of his plots, (not that I understood half of it).
Very much into series of books, such as the Lensman series, Amtrak series, Robot series. Foundation series. etc. Started reading the Dune series, which was quite confusing for me right at the beginning, but was posted overseas, and when I came back there were a couple more already out, and I lost the thread. May well take it up again.
I'll read almost any SF, but not overly impressed with a lot of new writers, especially those that self publish. Apart from the typos and wrong words, ('shined' instead of 'shone' is a favourite), there are one or two that look as though they will do well.

5Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 10:46

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I too find many of the modern writers hard to take, and, like Glos, am drawn to writers with a scientific background. One of my favourites being Robert A. Heinlein.
On a possibly controversial note, I hate Kurt Vonnegut, although I don't consider him a genuine SF writer, he seems to be included in many lists.

6Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 10:54

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I have always loved sci-fi films too, which have been increasingly more impacting with the advent of CGI and the use of actors who don't necessarily have a plummy accent, but I have to say I still have a soft spot for the classic B movies - bloke wearing a furry rug for example.

7Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 10:58

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Anyone read Terry Pratchett's Discworld series? I never started it and seeing as it's lengthy could someone advise me whether or not I'd be wasting my time?

Have to confess I enjoyed the Tolkien movies. Gandalf went to Bolton School you know Smile

8Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 11:06

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
I've read a few Discworld books, and have to say that they were really funny. So ridiculous at times that you knew the story was going to be entertaining. You'll need a sense of the ludicrous to appreciate them.

9Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 11:10

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
I remember the story 'City'by Clifford Simak which was spread over a very long time, and found some of the predictions and the story line fascinating. Not so sure I would nowadays, but it certainly left an impression.

10Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 11:11

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@wanderlust wrote:I have always loved sci-fi films too, which have been increasingly more impacting with the advent of CGI and the use of actors who don't necessarily have a plummy accent, but I have to say I still have a soft spot for the classic B movies - bloke wearing a furry rug for example.
It Came From Outer Space.

The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (Original version)

The Thing From Another World.

So many more. I never get bored with them.

11Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 11:15

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
When I was about 9 or 10, (I think), I went with my brother to see the original Time Machine, scared the hell out of me when the Morlocks appeared, and when the windows were shuttered.

12Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 12:37

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@gloswhite wrote:When I was about 9 or 10, (I think), I went with my brother to see the original Time Machine, scared the hell out of me when the Morlocks appeared, and when the windows were shuttered.
Although it seems pretty tame now, The Incredible Shrinking Man gave me the chills as a child.

13Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 13:03

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@gloswhite wrote:I've read a few Discworld books, and have to say that they were really funny. So ridiculous at times that you knew the story was going to be entertaining. You'll need a sense of the ludicrous to appreciate them.
Do they have a chronological order i.e. is there a specific place to start?

14Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 13:31

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
A lot of the original 1960s Outer Limits and Twilight Zone could be classed as Science Fiction and in amongst the drole tales there were some belters.

15Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 13:36

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@wanderlust wrote:Anyone read Terry Pratchett's Discworld series? I never started it and seeing as it's lengthy could someone advise me whether or not I'd be wasting my time?

Have to confess I enjoyed the Tolkien movies. Gandalf went to Bolton School you know Smile
Yes. I got my results early.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!

16Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 13:39

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@gloswhite wrote:I remember the story 'City'by Clifford Simak which was spread over a very long time, and found some of the predictions and the story line fascinating. Not so sure I would nowadays, but it certainly left an impression.
Simak is a name from my youth. Used to devour his books at the local library. In those days you could fill in a little card and order books. They used to dread my arrival at the counter.

17Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 14:25

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
@wanderlust wrote:
@gloswhite wrote:I've read a few Discworld books, and have to say that they were really funny. So ridiculous at times that you knew the story was going to be entertaining. You'll need a sense of the ludicrous to appreciate them.
Do they have a chronological order i.e. is there a specific place to start?
Wander, I just looked at the Discworld Wiki page, and there's so much on it, that I think it would be best to refer you directly to it.

18Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 14:28

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
A fall of Moondust by Arthur C Clarke is also a very good read.

19Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 14:51

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I have to say, I never got into Pratchett. Friends who are into him seem almost obsessed.

Trekkie Syndrome begins to set in after a while.

20Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 15:41

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
I loved the original Start Trek series, all those years ago, as corny as the stories were.

21Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 18:04

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@gloswhite wrote:I loved the original Start Trek series, all those years ago, as corny as the stories were.
I still watch them. Nothing beats The Twilight Zone though.

22Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 21:18

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
As you said earlier Twilight Zone, and Outer Limits were something else.

23Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 21:30

BoltonTillIDie

BoltonTillIDie
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I used to like the outer limits

24Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 22:11

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
I am pleased that there are so many others who enjoy quality SF and it’s nice to know that I am not alone in my appreciation for the classics like Asimov, Clarke, Simak, Herbert, etc. A couple of other classic series are Niven’s Ringworld and Farmer’s Riverworld.

An all time great vintage SF film is Forbidden Planet.

Glos judging by your tastes I think there are a couple of modern writers you might enjoy: Neal Asher who has a series of books set in the Polity universe and Peter Hamilton who has written several trilogies.

25Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Fri Sep 27 2019, 22:40

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
I love Forbidden Planet. Based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, although that fact passed me by as a kid.

Have you noticed how most of these 50's SF movies contain 3 must haves.

1. Slightly barmy professor, who thinks he can communicate with a two headed, multi armed, monster, intent on killing off the human race.

2. Beautiful, unattached daughter of said professor, up for some hot romance, if the right, square jawed hunk, possibly in uniform, should make an appearance.

3. Square jawed hunk, possibly in uniform, who gets off to a ropey start with beautiful daughter, but wins her over with his wise cracking charm.

26Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Sat Sep 28 2019, 11:43

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson
@xmiles wrote:I am pleased that there are so many others who enjoy quality SF and it’s nice to know that I am not alone in my appreciation for the classics like Asimov, Clarke, Simak, Herbert, etc. A couple of other classic series are Niven’s Ringworld and Farmer’s Riverworld.

An all time great vintage SF film is Forbidden Planet.

Glos judging by your tastes I think there are a couple of modern writers you might enjoy: Neal Asher who has a series of books set in the Polity universe and Peter Hamilton who has written several trilogies.
Agreed, I've read  a lot of Asher, and Hamilton.
Larry Nivens Ringworld was a classic, and you've just reminded me that I never got to read the last of Farmers Riverworld, (it was a trilogy if I remember ?)
My problem is that I have read so many books on my Kindle that I forget to go back to the latest offering when it comes out, and then wonder what the hell is gong on and what have I still to read  Very Happy

27Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Sat Sep 28 2019, 13:28

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
There are definite themes that run through Sci-Fi and sometimes they reflect life far too convincingly for comfort. I remember watching Gattaca (the organise society on the basis of perceived genetic superiority theme) and then found out about the CRISPR programme which scared me shitless (think of the implications of this, especially the end bit about creating transgenic animals with targeted mutations!)

28Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Sat Sep 28 2019, 14:06

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Silent Running. Very relevant to us now.

29Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Sat Sep 28 2019, 14:55

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
@gloswhite wrote:
@xmiles wrote:I am pleased that there are so many others who enjoy quality SF and it’s nice to know that I am not alone in my appreciation for the classics like Asimov, Clarke, Simak, Herbert, etc. A couple of other classic series are Niven’s Ringworld and Farmer’s Riverworld.

An all time great vintage SF film is Forbidden Planet.

Glos judging by your tastes I think there are a couple of modern writers you might enjoy: Neal Asher who has a series of books set in the Polity
universe and Peter Hamilton who has written several
trilogies.

Agreed, I've read  a lot of Asher, and Hamilton.
Larry Nivens Ringworld was a classic, and you've just reminded me that I never got to read the last of Farmers Riverworld, (it was a trilogy if I remember ?)
My problem is that I have read so many books on my Kindle that I forget to go back to the latest offering when it comes out, and then wonder what the hell is gong on and what have I still to read  Very Happy

Yes it is difficult keeping track of what is out there. I find using Amazon recommendations helpful though.

Farmer actually wrote 5 Riverworld books and the final one, Gods of Riverworld, does bring things to a conclusion.

Have you tried Iain M Banks glos? He used the name Iain Banks for his equally good non SF books.

30Science Fiction  Empty Re: Science Fiction on Sat Sep 28 2019, 14:58

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
Sorry about jumbling up the text glos. I am using my wife’s IPad and am not familiar with it. The IPad that is not my wife!

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