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Topic: 2015 SF Challenge/ DISCUSS

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Subject: 2015 SF Challenge/ DISCUSS
Date Posted: 12/31/2014 3:19 AM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
Posts: 8,982
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This thread is for continued discussion and questions regarding the 2015 SF Challenge.

Subject: Tom Hl.
Date Posted: 1/1/2015 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Lisa,  thanks for setting the challenge up.  This year, I am intending to participate in several book-of-the-month group reads and discussions elsewhere, so that will use most of my available reading time.  But I will record here on a hit or miss basis, so as to share reviews and chat with others.

-Tom Hl.

Date Posted: 1/2/2015 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2010
Posts: 60
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I tried to do one of these a few years ago and then crapped out, so I am trying it again this time.  Just posted over in the official thread, mostly as a placeholder so I can go back and fill in.  I have a pretty huge TBR mountain at home so I need to go through and see what fits!

Brad -
Date Posted: 1/6/2015 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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Thank you Lisa for taking care of this.  Last year I was pretty much AWOL from here for various reasons.  Hoping to be more active this year.  Reading Speaker of the Dead right now, which I'm enojoying so hopefully that will kick start my SCIFI reading interest.

Brad -
Date Posted: 1/10/2015 12:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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I'm confused.  I've tried searching on the net about this and haven't been able to figure it out. Maybe people here know.

I have 4 Philip K Dick collection books.  I'm gradually trying to pick up all of PKD's works.

All of them are by Citadel press.  The trouble is that Citadel put collections out two times.  I can't tell if they're identical, except for the name, or if there's slight differences.

I have this one and this one and this one and this one.

Basically the series are one that's the full cover and the other one has a cropped picture, with "Citadel Twilight" in the corner.

When I compare this one to the one I own they seem to be the same, but I don't know if that's true for the series.

So I'm not sure what other of the collection I need to pick up.

Date Posted: 1/15/2015 12:05 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2010
Posts: 60
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Brad,

That is a tough question, since I can't find contents listings for all the books you own.

However, it might be easier for you to go to Amazon and look at volumes you're considering buying and click "look inside" since that will show you which stories are in that volume.  That way you can compare it to the books you already have and see if there are stories in there you're missing.

It can be so confusing when publishers repackage and retitle stuff!

Date Posted: 1/27/2015 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 449
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First off -Thank you Lisa for doing this this year.  I am guessing that I will be a sporatic contributer -if the past is any indication.  

 

Brad.  There's a website that lists all the books/anthologies and contents of each anthology.  Hopefully this will shed some light:  Philip K. Dick at internet speculative fiction database  If the link doesn't work just go to isfdb.org  It's a great site for anthologies.  It's a bit bulky otherwise.

AND  I just read a very interesting book.  I had never heard of this author.  He's Russian and wrote during the soviet era.  Arkady Strugatsky Roadside Picnic.  It's a story about what happens after the aliens visit -and the aliens appear to have never noticed us.  They just dropped by to have a picnic...   No blatent anti-soviet propaganda or soviet propaganda.   It's been re-issued with a forward by Ursula LeGuin.  Now I have to go see what catagory it fits in for this year.

 

ETA  oh and Brad -if you click on a short fiction piece title  -it will list all anthologies that story is in.

 

 



Last Edited on: 1/27/15 8:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/31/2015 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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@Ann - Several of us here read Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky over the past two years when the new translation came out, and you can find some discussions by doing a forum search.  My review on goodreads is here.  I counted it as "originally written in a non-English language", but I see you counted it as "a found artifact" and that works too. The Strugatsky brothers have actually written a lot of books, and many are translated.  You might look for Hard To Be A God, as that is pretty good too.

-Tom Hl.

Brad -
Date Posted: 2/2/2015 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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Thanks Ann
Subject: see you guys around
Date Posted: 2/9/2015 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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Science Fiction forum buddies,

I've spent several fun years on this forum discussing science fiction and working on reading challenges, but for various reasons having nothing to do with you folks here, I have decided to leave paperbackswap.  I expect to lose the ability to post here in a few days, so if you would like to reach me after that, you will be able to find me at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3082950-tomislav.

Live long and prosper!

-Tom Hl.



Last Edited on: 2/9/15 1:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/10/2015 12:50 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 449
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I'll miss you here on PBS but it's nice to know we can still check out your reviews.  I just ordered Redshirts I'm looking forward to reading that one. 

 

Brad -
Date Posted: 2/12/2015 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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Sorry to hear that Tom, I've enjoyed our interactions and your posts.

I finished Animal Farm by George Orwell. Really enjoyed this read. It's shorter than Nineteen Eighty-Four, which I enjoyed as well. It's a pretty easy read, I'd say easier than Nineteen Eighty-Four. Apparently there's tons of things in there that references Soviet Union stuff, I'm sure I missed most of it, but I of course got the general message though, because I don't think you couldn't. I put it in the A3 - British writer category.



Last Edited on: 2/12/15 2:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/20/2015 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 449
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So, I finally read Oryx & Crake.   I'm not sure if I'll read the other two.  Has anyone read them?  Atwood says she doesn't consider it to be science fiction but I am  counting it.  I enjoy her writing but I'm not sure the story needs to continue.  I also read Among Others by Jo Walton which is another not exactly science fiction book.  I'm pretty sure it's YA as well.  I'm counting it because the  protagonist (a young girl) lives and breathes science fiction books.  Many are mentioned and she goes to a science fiction book club.  I liked it better than another book of hers I read (the name escapes me now -jane austin with dragons)  And another YA book I read was Surviving Antarctica.  I have been taking out any ebooks my library has available lately and it seems as though the YA are more available.  I would have thought otherwise.  Anyway it's a dystopia type short book.  Kids are sent on a reality TV show to survive Antarctica.  There are very few schools and there's a lottery to enroll so most kids just watch TV.  Most people just watch TV and very few people vote.  It's a pretty grim world.  I wouldn't recommend the book but it's a quick read with some interesting thoughts.

Date Posted: 2/23/2015 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 449
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I'm still on my library ebook roll.  Until all this icey/snowy/slushy  yuck & low temperatures are gone -it's nice to sit by the fire and read any old thing.  Well, any old thing is what i ended up with yesterday.  I can't believe I read as much of it as I did.  The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.  I have no idea how this is a science fiction book.  Apparently it's also an HBO show?  Anyway several million people vanish from earth.  Poof they are gone.  Then the book turns into a Nicholas Spark or Jodi Picoult book without the overwrought emotion.  The why is not brought up.  Apparently all farms and industries continue to run with few hitches.  It's just a book about people and how they act  after an odd event.  I thought it would be more interestng since people thought it was the "Rapture"  but all sorts of people disappeared.  Christians, Muslims, (insert all other religions here) murderers, saints.  It just wasn't written as a sci/fi book.  Anyway I got tired of reading it.  I kept on for a while because I thought maybe they had turned into pod people or were in a virtual reality evil scientists lab or something.  

I went on to read the 3rd installment of Gail Carriger's Finishing School Series.  I enjoy her writing.  It's witty.  This series is about a finishing school for assasination & espionage for young ladies in steampunk/victorian england.  I prefer her Parasol Proctorate series but they both are light and entertaining.  I then read another steampunk The Girl in the Steel Corset. I think this is 1st in a series.  It was light -not as witty as the Finishing School series but it had some interesting bio/cyber elements. 

I have started The Word Exchange but right now I'm finding it difficult because it's written from several character's point of view and they sound so similar I'm finding it difficult to remember who's writing when.

And now since a pipe burst I must go try and extract yet more water from the carpet. 



Last Edited on: 2/23/15 11:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/24/2015 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 449
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Oh here I am talking to myself since I think most people here have either left or are of the membership that can't post (not that anyone here is a big poster)  I am trying to keep track of my reading so I will just continue.  If you didn't sign up for the challenge but feel like commenting on my comments -feel free!  So I just finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.  I was afraid it was going to be another dud (IMO) like Leftovers but it was so very different.  The narrator assumes we (the reader) understand what her 'lot in life' is.  We gradually figure it out.  It's no secret.  It's a very different world although in some sort of contemporary time.  It's a simple story of 3 friends and their life at a boarding school and after.  It reads very straightforward but is actually very complex.  I can't say too much more without giving it away but it is by far the best e-library book I have read for a while.  How this particular dystopia came to be is not explained but it's not a necessary detail for the story.  I suppose I should have found it horribly depressing (Oh look what the study of science has done)  but I didn't.  What people & gov'ts did in response to that new knowledge wasn't  good but the characters acceptance of their fate made it palatable.

Subject: Never Let Me Go
Date Posted: 3/29/2015 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2014
Posts: 65
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I really enjoyed this one when I found it as well.  If you liked this one, try Unwind by Neal Shusterman; it has some similarities in terms of what is acceptable in the world of the story, and is very thought-provoking.

Date Posted: 3/30/2015 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 449
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Wow, Rosemary I hadn't even thought about the correlation between those 2 books.   They are very similar.  The writing syle and worlds are very different but the basic world norm is practically identical (if I remember unwind correctly).  Unwind needed an angry teenager or three to get the message across (and also it is a YA novel).   Never Let me Go had none, the fighters didn't have the unescapable destiny and fought within the system.  Interesting -thanks for mentioning that-

 

Date Posted: 4/27/2015 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
Posts: 8,982
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I haven't posted much because most of the scifi I've read so far has been meh or even "Oh god, I'll never get that portion of my wasted life back."

The Martian by Andy Weir was fun though.  It reminds me of the old hard science fiction adventure stories before dystopia and gloom took over.  It's a great read.

Speaking of dystopia, Sand by Hugh Howey isn't bad.  Not as good as Wool but worth reading.  It feels somewhat unfinished and the middle lags somewhat but the world building is excellent.

I'll have to keep an eye out for Never Let Me Go.

Subject: Challenge
Date Posted: 5/18/2015 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2014
Posts: 65
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I have to say, I like this challenge; I am fairly new to PBS (started last November), and I am discovering some really great books just by looking at what everyone else is reading.  Just got into The Martian last night, and I'm hooked; won't ever look at a potato the same way again!  Thanks for the great recommendations, everybody!