What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

R is for Rocket
This topic is about R is for Rocket
SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED — SF short story, 70s, survivors on barren planet, speedy lives. [s]

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message 1: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian (traveller1) | 10 comments Ok, here goes. Way back in the early 70s, when I was in HS, I read a book that contained a collection of SF short stories. Most were good. One in particular has always haunted me (in a good way).

This short was about the survivors of a crashed space craft, who lived a barren existence on a rather barren planet, but, where due to radiation, there lives sped by quickly. I think that it was 6 days from birth to death—not as silly as it sounds. They managed to escape by reaching one of the crashed space craft. The planet had killer daylight solar radiation (was it Mercury?).

Possibly my memory is poor on some these details, but the gist is correct.

I would enjoy greatly re-reading this. Any useful guidance and I owe you a beer.


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Were they living in a cave & one guy made a run to the ship? Because the ship's shielding stops the aging rays, when he comes back to get his girl, but she is very old? Or am I mixing it up with another?

This sounds very familiar. I'm thinking it's one of the old standards like Asimov, Heinlein or Clarke.

message 3: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 221 comments Ray Bradbury's "Frost and Fire" was one I was looking for with this idea.

message 4: by Andy (new)

Andy Love | 2056 comments Dawn wrote: "Ray Bradbury's "Frost and Fire" was one I was looking for with this idea."

Yeah, this is definitely "Frost and Fire" (see description here http://alienterritory.wordpress.com/2...)

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) That's the one I was remembering & Bradbury certainly fits in with the 3 authors I mentioned. Was it what you remembered, Ian?

message 6: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian (traveller1) | 10 comments Jim wrote: "That's the one I was remembering & Bradbury certainly fits in with the 3 authors I mentioned. Was it what you remembered, Ian?"

Jim, yes that is it. I love you guys. I would not have thought it was a Bradbury, it did not quiet seem his style. Wrong again. Now all I have to do is find a copy!

Thanks again guys. Next time you are in Oz drop by for a cold drink.

message 7: by Ian (last edited Sep 20, 2012 06:33PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian (traveller1) | 10 comments Ok, gee, its in "R is for Rocket", which I have right here, in front of me. Glad I have that uni degree.

Just re-read, a scary story. Bradbury had a way with words—to state the obvious. A few scientific liberties taken, but what I found a tad repellant, both back when I first read the story and also now, is the conclusion. The protagonist, his girlfriend, and one hundred others fly off into space leaving their erstwhile compatriots behind! The remainder of his people, many thousands one would assume, are abandoned to spend their few, brief days bereft of now even the hope of succour, as the sole remaining space ship is now in space—great work guys! Also, there are one hundred and one men on the ship, but only one woman. This does not seem a recipe for a stable society.

These quibbles aside, a strong and gut wrenching story. The inner dialogue of the protagonist rebelling against the unfairness of his and his people's too brief, rushed lives. His father attempting to kill him after his birth, as their lives are harsh and pointless. Scary stuff. Bradbury.

message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I just listened to Something Wicked This Way Comes & Fahrenheit 451. You are right on about the way he has with words. The latter was especially chilling for me because he talks about drowning people in facts & calling it knowledge. It's like he knew the Internet was coming. The bit with the TVs, too. I wrote more about it in my review here:

message 9: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian (traveller1) | 10 comments You have named two of my favourite Bradbury novels.
I agree with your review of Fahrenheit. I recall myself those pieces of "modern" tech. They struck me as prophetic at the time (70s). However, I drew a comparison between Bradbury's tv and the bread and circuses of the ancient Roman empire. There is always some way to keep people distracted.

To be even more negative about human nature, I dispute the claim that "in the past" people read more books and thought more about their world. I suspect that the same percentage read now as turned a page a century ago, and ditto for concerning themselves with anything more important than the next ball game. I am sure that a sizeable minority of the population would stand in line to live in Bradbury's Fahrenheit world.

gee - where is my morning coffee?

message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) The Roman comparison is quite apt & one I've drawn myself.

If you look at the state of the newspapers in the early 1800's, yellow journalism, & then at today, it's amazingly similar.

Today we have talking heads. We saw some of these on Jeopardy a few months back. I was floored by how poorly they fared with historical questions that directly related to their supposed areas of expertise. I don't feel I'm particularly well informed & yet I managed to correctly answer many questions they couldn't. It was shocking & very sad.

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