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Ring Around the Sun > Through to Chapter Thirty

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message 1: by Fred (new)

Fred | 33 comments I am again amazed at how many ideas Simak seems to have originated. Certainly he didn't invent the idea of superheroes with superpowers, but this was first published in 1953 and while I'm not very well read, he, as far as I know seems to be the first person to introduce the idea of lots of people all around the world having a sudden genetic mutation that is inexplicably faster than evolution as we know it and that it is the source of the superpower, and that they more or less all seem to have a single power that is different than other people's. Indeed he incorporates evolution and prehistory in much of his writing. An excellent book by him is Prehistoric Man. I'm not sure if I'd classify it as historical fiction or some kind of quasi scientific treatise that proposes different theories on human origins, but it's really not sci fi so I don't know if we will read it here. My favorite chapter is the one on how dogs and humans first became companions. Imagine my delight when I read City!

But back to "the mutants" I believe the next occurrence of the idea is 1963; the X Men comic debuts. I was never really a big fan if that series and it so far doesn't seem to take much more than the basic idea if Simak's mutants and the fact that everyone wants to kill them even though some are good guys. Although I have just been introduced to it in this story and it's only half over. We'll see.

Another story line that so far seems to be more in line with Ring Around the Sun is the television show Heroes. It's a little less fantastical and exaggerated than X Men and much more interesting / entertaining in my opinion. I used to think the writers were adapting from X Men, but possibly not. I know that SF fans know about Simak, but I'm not sure how popular he is otherwise.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

When in doubt, check the SFE out:
http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/...

I'm really enjoying Ring. It's almost a mystery novel in the way that it teases out what is happening. I'm loving all the twists and turns, including the crazy reveal in Ch. 34 that changes everything!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Finished it this morning. I'll refrain from writing about the end until you're all caught up.


message 4: by Fred (new)

Fred | 33 comments Way disappointed. This should have been about 300 pages longer. The most interesting parts of this story were introduced and then developed almost not at all. Telepathic travel through spacetime, multiple copies of a mind being made and then being put into multiple manufactured android bodies only one day to have the unwitting androids (can we say, individuals?) be recombined, housing the experience and maybe, but probably not, the sense of multiple selves. This is the Simakian genius that I love. If anyone is capable of waxing eloquently on concepts like these it is Mr. Simak. I tolerated scores of pages of that everlasting razor drivel hoping for the payoff that never came. I know telepathic travel like this is addressed in multiple other books by him and that brain-to-brain mind transfers (even between species!) is a feature as well (although I'm not sure if a recombination version such as was referred to here is), but I don't care about those at the moment. I WANT IT NOW, DADDY!


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