Sci Fi Aficionados discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
54 views
Monthly Group Read Suggestions > December Theme Nominations-Far-Future Human History

Comments (showing 1-39 of 39) (39 new)    post a comment »
dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (last edited Oct 25, 2011 06:24PM) (new)

Maggie K | 741 comments Mod
Welcome to our December nominations! Now this theme is a little bit different (as in open-ended) so it should make for an interesting debate as to what novels apply...

Put on your thinking caps!

So far:
Dawn
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Echo City
Terminal World
A Fire Upon the Deep
Norstrilia
Planet of the Apes
Seeker
A World Out of Time
A Talent for War


Sffgeek Possibles (that I've read)
Last and First Men - Olaf Stapleton
Across the Sea of Suns (Galactic Center series) - Gregory Benford
The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun #1) - Gene Wolfe
The Dying Earth - Jack Vance (although this reads more like fantasy)


message 3: by Candiss (last edited Oct 20, 2011 12:07PM) (new)

Candiss (Tantara) Hmm... I'll suggest Dawn by Octavia E. Butler.

The basics: Far in the future, humanity has managed to effectively wipe themselves out in a devastating war, but a very small number of survivors have been rescued by an alien race and kept in suspended animation on one of their ships for some 250 years. The aliens have healed the Earth, enhanced the humans, and eradicated disease, and they will return these re-colonists to re-populate the planet...for a price.

I've wanted to read this forever, yet I seem to keep putting it off.

Edit to add: This is technically the first book in a series, but each book is self-contained, and subsequent books focus on completely different characters in a new generation...a new epoch of human history. So one need not necessarily commit to another series if one reads the first installment.


message 4: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 741 comments Mod
ooooooh I like that one Candiss.
My thought was A Canticle for Leibowitz. I read it eons ago, but it was a far-future post-apocalypse where they had put some strange interpretations on artifacts from our time.


Scott | 247 comments Would Echo City qualify? I guess I'm not really clear on where the "history" part comes in.


message 6: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 741 comments Mod
Geek-Again-you have to pick just one!


Banner | 133 comments I'll second A Canticle for Leibowitz (even though I don't think we have to do that). I've been wanting to read that one for a while.


Sffgeek Maggie wrote: "Geek-Again-you have to pick just one!"

Sorry! New to this.

Previous posts were ones I've read, so how about this:
Terminal World by by Alastair Reynolds

(I've actually got A Canticle for Leibowitz, but never read it - it just looks too depressing!)


message 9: by Leah (last edited Oct 21, 2011 06:41AM) (new)

Leah | 14 comments A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge? I have wanted to read this one for a long time now.

Edit: here is the synopsis--
Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function. Nobody knows what strange force partitioned space into these "regions of thought," but when the warring Straumli realm use an ancient Transcendent artifact as a weapon, they unwittingly unleash an awesome power that destroys thousands of worlds and enslaves all natural and artificial intelligence.

Fleeing the threat, a family of scientists, including two children, are taken captive by the Tines, an alien race with a harsh medieval culture, and used as pawns in a ruthless power struggle. A rescue mission, not entirely composed of humans, must rescue the children-and a secret that may save the rest of interstellar civilization.


Richard (ThinkingBlueCountingTwo) | 152 comments Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith.

It was a discussion of Cordwainer Smith in the theme nomination thread that got this theme nominated, with his 'Instrumentality of Mankind' series in mind.
Rather than try and convince everyone to find and read almost his entire short story work I thought I'd nominate his only novel, which is also set within the scope of 'The Instrumentality of Mankind'.

The novel is no. 46 (arranged by publication date) in David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels : An English-Language Selection, 1949-1984. So I'll cheat and copy bits from that.

"The title refers to the planet, Old North Australia, whence the hero comes. This is extravagant, far-future sf which imagines a universe thickly populated by humanity and other intelligent beings, including the so-called under people, animals that have been turned into the semblance of men and women by latter-day avatars of Dr Moreau. The interstellar imperium is ruled by the mysterious Lords of the Instrumentality, a sort of scientific priesthood.
The novels hero is a youth called Rod McBan, scion of an ancient family on the rugged and deeply conservative planet Norstrilia. Originally settled by Australians from Old Earth, Rod's world has become immensely wealthy, thanks to a disease of the local sheep. The farmers' hideously bloated sheep are the source of the drug, stroon, which confers near-immortality on human beings. It is impossible to manufacture the drug artificially, or to export the lucrative disease to other planets, so Norstilia remains the sole provider of this life-giving substance. The natives guard their farms jealously, and cull their own population to prevent overcrowding and degeneration. At the opening of the story Rod undergoes a test to determine whether he shall live or die. Their is a reason to doubt his future, since he suffers from an incapacity to communicate telepathically, as can all his neighbours. He passes the test, but he also makes a dangerous enemy, and it seems that his best course of action is to leave the planet of his birth. With the aid of an age-old (and illegal) computer he gambles his inherited wealth on the galactic stock market. Overnight he becomes the richest man in the universe, and the effective owner of humanity's home-world. He is now free to travel across space and claim his own - to see for the first time the 'mad wild faraway skies of Old Earth'.
On Earth Rod finds a society of daunting complexity. He becomes involved with the underpeople, and with the 'Rediscovery of Man'. This last is a movement launched by certain members of the Instrumentality in order to bring to an end the sybaritic stagnation which ensnares the majority of humankind: 'Earth had no dangers, no hopes, no rewards, no future except endlessness...'."

There is nothing like this stuff, and if it grabs you, be warned, the short stories i.e. 'Alpha Ralpha Boulevard' and 'Golden The Ship Was - Oh! Oh! Oh!' are even better.


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 483 comments Sffgeek wrote: "Maggie wrote: "Geek-Again-you have to pick just one!"

Sorry! New to this.

Previous posts were ones I've read, so how about this:
Terminal World by by Alastair Reynolds

(I've act..."


I will second Terminal World.


message 12: by Kevin (last edited Oct 21, 2011 02:37PM) (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 483 comments I would like to nominate Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle.


Sffgeek What are the rules on changing my vote? (I fancy Norstrilia even more than Terminal World.)


message 14: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (last edited Oct 24, 2011 09:03AM) (new)

Maggie K | 741 comments Mod
is Nostrilia going to be hard for people to find copies of?

and my recollection of Canticle was that it was humorous...but its been so long I could be worng...Also I have weird sense of humor!


message 15: by Richard (last edited Oct 24, 2011 11:38AM) (new)

Richard (ThinkingBlueCountingTwo) | 152 comments Maggie wrote: "is Nostrilia going to be hard for people to find copies of?!"

Norstrilia is available in kindle format at Amazon Uk and Amazon US

And

AbeBooks have 120 copies ranging from less than 2 US dollars up to about 75 dollars.


Jonathan (headspinningfromvagueness) How about I am Legend by Richard Matheson or The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Both deal with the future of humanity in different ways.

Not necessarily suggesting this for the read but I'm saying its a good YA book on the far future is Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. Or there's the The White Mountains...


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) I'll nominateCoyote even though the second in the series is better. This is by Allen Steele and I think it's an award winner, but I'm not sure which award.

I think it's a very good read. (I have a review on it that won't spoil it I believe.) To me, this is more like traditional "Hard Science Fiction" than some of my other favorites might be-lots of science, strong characters, but this is better than Tera Nova (and older). Just My Opinion.

Coyote by Allen Steele

(I nominated this on the Random reads thread, but it might fit here. It's not post appocolypse, but the term "Future Human History" fits very well with it).


message 18: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost (last edited Oct 25, 2011 06:57AM) (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) I'd also add A World Out of Time by Larry Nivenwhich is more in keeping with some of these recommendations and closer to a "Classic" (written in the 1970s I believe) in style and content. A World Out of Time by Larry Niven


message 19: by Susinok (last edited Oct 25, 2011 07:15AM) (new)

Susinok Hm how about Tau Zero by Poul Anderson.

or Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson Foundation (Foundation, #1) by Isaac Asimov

I looked in past folders and didn't see that these have been done. I apologize if they've been BOTM before. Is there a list somewhere?


Wastrel | 27 comments "Last and First Men" is what immediately springs to mind. "Foundation" and "Shadow of the Torturer" are both good suggestions as well (and, really, required reading for everybody). "The Nightland" should also be mentioned, if only because otherwise nobody, including myself, will ever get around to reading it - it's the original Dying Earth novel (or rather, Dead Earth).


message 21: by Dirk (last edited Oct 25, 2011 08:55AM) (new)

Dirk Grobbelaar (DirkG) | 1 comments The first thing that comes to mind is the Alex Benedict series by Jack McDevitt. These actually go so far as to explore a future human history through archeological means. The protagonist of these novels is an antiquities expert that delves into mysteries found in human history. Thing is: this history is in the far future, so it concerns stuff like derelict space ships and missing colonies.

My favourite is Seeker so that will be my nomination.


Scott | 247 comments I love that series. I think we are only supposed to nominate the first book of a series though (even though these are more or less self-contained.)


message 23: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 741 comments Mod
hmm just posted but now I dont see it-sorry if there are 2 of these....

People! You can only nominate 1! Please do so...there are some great suggestions here!

and I will allow Seeker...further in a series is ok as long as it is self contained


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Maggie wrote: "hmm just posted but now I dont see it-sorry if there are 2 of these....

People! You can only nominate 1! Please do so...there are some great suggestions here!

and I will allow Seeker...further in..."


I'm sorry, If I can only Nominate one, I'll go with

A World Out of Time here by Larry Niven and leave Coyote nominated on the "random Read" thread.

A World Out of Time by Larry Niven

I'm not sure I've broken the code on the group reads/nomination process here (the subtlties and politics of members not so much the rules...I can read... well, other than the one nomination only thing. I did miss that.)


message 25: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 741 comments Mod
lol hugh-no worries.....I sometimes tend to get a bit snotty when something trashy gets nominated, but you didn't do that at all! A World Out of Time seems to fit just fine!


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Thank you Maggie. It's one of my all time favorite Sci-Fi novels in vein of "Hard Science Fiction." Though it's a story, not so much an expression of philosophy.

It has one of my all time favorite quotes "Never tell a computer to forget it." (Because they will and you'll never get that information back.)


Jason (Darkfiction) | 422 comments Seeker is already suggested, but I'd like to nominate
A Talent for War, which is in the same series. If that's okay, Maggie. :)


message 28: by Maggie, space cruisin' for a bruisin' (new)

Maggie K | 741 comments Mod
lol-I am NOT scary-that is Aloha's job!


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Yep, Al's scary with a capital AAAAH.


Aloha | 534 comments Geesh! I'm cuddly and adorable, not scary at all.

Maggie wrote: "lol-I am NOT scary-that is Aloha's job!"


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Aloha wrote: "Geesh! I'm cuddly and adorable, not scary at all.

Maggie wrote: "lol-I am NOT scary-that is Aloha's job!""


So is a succubus, but they'll still suck your soul out through your.... ear... (cough) or something like that.


Aloha | 534 comments *ack* ear wax!


message 34: by Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost (last edited Oct 25, 2011 07:14PM) (new)

Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) I see you've obviously had experience there. (With Soul sucking I mean... you know like a succubu.. ah.. never mind. I'm going to bug out while I still have a soul and a cute bunny face, bunny ears and cotton tail... that doesn't want to be a pair of slippers).


Aloha | 534 comments Ellie is really cute, Hugh. You're always talking about her gymnastic feats. Now I can imagine her performing them.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) Ellie is the dog (snort) Gabi is cute too. (and I'm teasing. Thank you. And I've got some pictures of her doing the power cartwheels. She's now the feature tumbler (since most 6 year olds aren't great at cartwheels, and can't do back walk overs, round off sor drop into the splits out of a flying cartwheel. (I've even got a video of her singing (some Justin Beiber song) on the playground then doing the splits down the slide in the middle of her music/dance video (via cellphone). It was pretty cool.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) There. I put a couple more pictures up for you Al.


Aloha | 534 comments I love the picture of Gabi doing a hand stand. Sorry for the name mistake. It's always a peril navigating through all these threads and trying to catch up on all of them. I'm sure I've ignored messages and responses left and right.


Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper (PirateGhost) It's okay, I realize I didn't say who was who in that. I'm glad you liked the pictures. Sometimes I look at pictures and wonder "Where's my 6 year old girl go?" (Sigh) Other times it's hard to remember she's still only six. Like, when she tells me about her 3 boyrfriends (that was in Pre-school though. She's playing the feild now I think.)


back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.