The Evolution of Science Fiction discussion

56 views
1980-1999 > What are you reading now, 1980-1999?

Comments (showing 1-50 of 91) (91 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
What are you reading now that was published in or has to do with SF in this time period?


message 2: by Randy (last edited Jul 09, 2017 08:04AM) (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments I'm reading A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. Really interesting space opera with some unique although probably nonsensical concepts. I enjoy the different types of aliens Vinge has introduced. Almost done, will probably finish next week while out of town for work.

After that I'll be picking up Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick - read this about 25 years ago when the Director's Cut of Blade Runner was released. It will be nice to read it again with the sequel coming out soon. Also, this was the first PKD I'd ever read, so I'm looking forward to re-visiting it after having read some of his other works.


message 3: by Gregoire (new)

Gregoire | 10 comments i have read Injection Burn de Jason M. Hough and I 'm now in book 2 Escape Velocity
Actions, ET, AI etc etc


message 4: by Jim (last edited Jul 09, 2017 09:39AM) (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Gregoire wrote: "i have read Injection Burn de Jason M. Hough and I 'm now in book 2 Escape Velocity
Actions, ET, AI etc etc"


I see "Injection Burn" was published in 2017, not in the 1980-1999 time period of this topic. We need some member feedback on this point. I just made new "What Are You Reading Now?" topics in all the new period folders. I think we had just one before & it was in the 'modern' period from 1970 to the present.

Do you think we should have just one such topic in General SF or should we keep a separate topic in each period folder?

Should I edit the titles of the topics so it's easier to see the period? I don't use the mobile app, so don't know how well the folder is displayed in it. In my browser on a PC the title of this topic is "1980-1999 > What are you reading now?" so pretty obvious. I'm not trying to pick on an honest mistake, just looking for clarification & your preferences.


message 5: by Donna Rae (last edited Jul 10, 2017 03:05AM) (new)

Donna Rae Jones | 100 comments Jim wrote: "Gregoire wrote: "i have read Injection Burn de Jason M. Hough and I 'm now in book 2 Escape Velocity
Actions, ET, AI etc etc"

I see "Injection Burn" was published..."


I think it's an honest mistake, Jim. If you go to the group homepage categories, it is listed clearly as "1980-1999". However, if you join this thread from the GR "Notifications" area - as I have just done - it simply says: "the topic: What are you reading now?"

Perhaps rename the thread "What are you reading from 1980-1999?" might resolve the issue.

Hope this helps.


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Donna Rae wrote: "...Perhaps rename the thread "What are you reading from 1980-1999?" might resolve the issue...."

That's what I was looking for. Thanks. It's easy enough to do. I'll take care of it ASAP.


message 7: by Gregoire (new)

Gregoire | 10 comments Sorry I haven't be paying attention to the editing year ...
I recently read The Priests Of Psi by Frank Herbert in this time area
Really love all the 6 "nouvelles"
Note that i'm a great fan of Franck HERBERT books even the less known such as Whipping Star


message 8: by Gregoire (new)

Gregoire | 10 comments and if I may cite those books i re(read) recently
Alien Influences Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Through Alien Eyes Amy Thomson
Vast Linda Nagata
Code of Conduct Kristine Smith

but nothing in the early 80's


message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Gregoire wrote: "Sorry I haven't be paying attention to the editing year ...
I recently read The Priests Of Psi by Frank Herbert in this time area..."


Year originally published, but it's not a big deal.

I read "Whipping Star" not too long ago, too. It was originally published in 1970 & there was a strong thread of absurdist humor in it typical of the times which didn't do much for me. Another reviewer compared the humor to Monty Python & really enjoyed it for that. I've never found that funny, though. Did you like the humor?


message 10: by Jim (last edited Jul 14, 2017 06:09PM) (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
On that "Year originally published", that's my knee jerk reaction & what I typically use, but whatever works for you is fine. A lot of things can change when a story is republished. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury noticed that there had been 75 unauthorized edits by publishers between the original & the version I last read.

In another group, we're reading a bunch of Conan short stories. One is listed as first being published a decade or more after his death & a couple of years before he died, too. Quite a trick. Turns out it was edited quite a bit & copyrighted again. That happened to his stories a lot.

The Timegod was published in 1993 & was supposed to be a significant change to Modesitt's 1982 novel "The Fires of Paratime", but they're about identical.

Anyway, whatever date makes you happy is fine with me. I've decided they're more of a suggestion than a fact.
;)


message 11: by Gregoire (new)

Gregoire | 10 comments To Jim in answer to his question about Whipping Star

I can't say I find humour in it ! I find Mc Kie is - in my mind -more cynical than funny but I like the universe invented by Herbert and the Caliban was my first " alien love" when first I read the book
PS You have to take into account that I am French and that certain subtleties in English can escape me...


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Gregoire, I'd imagine humor in another language would be very difficult. This was pretty subtle anyway. I don't think a lot of people got it.


message 13: by Randy (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments I just finished A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. Really enjoyed it as a space opera - obviously Vinge wasn't too worried about actual science getting in the way of a good story, which is just fine with me. I gave it 4 stars. I'd link to my review but I haven't written it yet - just got back in town from two back-to-back trips to Vegas then Phoenix. I'm wiped out, not to mention dehydrated.

From this SF era I am also picking away at Rama II by Arthur C. Clarke, which is slow-paced but actually a little better than I expected. I hope to finish it by the year 2020.


message 14: by Randy (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments I finished The Gunslinger by Stephen King. I'm not far enough in the series yet to be sure if this is SF (alternate or future history) or fantasy. It's probably the latter. This book wasn't very good, but the rest of the series is supposed to be an improvement.


message 15: by Marc-André (new)

Marc-André | 140 comments I really enjoyed the first short story The Gunslinger, great world building and King's prose was top notch. After that, the other stories just grew worse as I moved along. It didn't make me want to continue the Dark Tower series. Nothing happens much in the first book and from what I understood the series is pretty much the same and also deteriorates as it moves along.


message 16: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
I read the Dark Tower when it first came out, but he didn't do anything else with it for quite a few years, IIRC. Worse than GoT. By the time I saw there was more to it, I'd forgotten too much of the original story & wasn't a fan any more. His writing had gotten too verbose.


message 17: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1046 comments Mod
Is the Dark Tower series written for adults? I've just been to see the film tonight (which I have no idea if at all similar to the books) and couldn't work out if it was supposed to be a dark children's film or an adult book toned down to appeal to families.


message 18: by Randy (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments Jo wrote: "Is the Dark Tower series written for adults? I've just been to see the film tonight (which I have no idea if at all similar to the books) and couldn't work out if it was supposed to be a dark child..."

Definitely for adults, I would say.


message 19: by Marc-André (new)

Marc-André | 140 comments The books are for adults. The Hollywood film with a kid as a main character? Who knows?


message 20: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1046 comments Mod
I've just finished 2061: Odyssey Three by Arthur C. Clarke. Enjoyed it more than 3001: The Final Odyssey although maybe my fault for not reading things in the correct order.


message 21: by Gregg (new)

Gregg Wingo (gwingo) | 216 comments I didn't know there was a 3001......


message 22: by Gregg (new)

Gregg Wingo (gwingo) | 216 comments Jim wrote: "I read the Dark Tower when it first came out, but he didn't do anything else with it for quite a few years, IIRC. Worse than GoT. By the time I saw there was more to it, I'd forgotten too much of t..."

Yeah, the curse of later King is no editor was allowed to edit him anymore.


message 23: by Gregg (new)

Gregg Wingo (gwingo) | 216 comments King's early work is still his best.

I liked the Dark Tower but clearly the early works are bare bones and brilliant.


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Gregg wrote: "Yeah, the curse of later King is no editor was allowed to edit him anymore. "

Agreed. It happened to Heinlein, too. IMO, the work of both suffered for it. All writers need good editors. An author needs to love writing, & they tend fall in love with their own. That's obvious in the case of both King & Heinlein.


message 25: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 145 comments In 3001 we find out what happened to Dave's fellow astronaut, who was set adrift in space.


message 26: by Randy (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments Jim wrote: "All writers need good editors. An author needs to love writing, & they tend fall in love with their own. That's obvious in the case of both King & Heinlein."

"Authors who need better editing" could almost be its own discussion topic. And you have to add Tom Clancy to that list.


message 27: by Gregg (new)

Gregg Wingo (gwingo) | 216 comments True dat!


message 28: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
A failing of fame, I guess. They grow too popular to be controlled by their editor. It's interesting to watch the growth through the spines of their books. Kind of reminds me of tree rings in a way.


message 29: by Gregg (new)

Gregg Wingo (gwingo) | 216 comments LOL!


message 30: by Gregg (new)

Gregg Wingo (gwingo) | 216 comments Like petrified wood...


message 31: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Actually, I was thinking that each growth ring tells something about the conditions of the year. Early on, the rings are small & hidden in the heart. In a good year, they are wide & sometimes show a second growth spurt.

Looking at Heinlein's books on my shelf in published order, they trend from slim & enjoyable to obese & obscene. For instance, the Sixth Column is a good, short adventure that makes a good point. A decade later, Glory Road was written in the bloom of his success with Stranger in a Strange Land & is twice as thick. The first half is a good adventure with a good point, the second half is pointless preaching. About a decade after that, I Will Fear No Evil is even fatter with less meat & The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is twice as thick again with nothing but pointless preaching about the joys of incest & other points he's beat to death in previous books.


message 32: by Gregg (new)

Gregg Wingo (gwingo) | 216 comments Indeed.


message 33: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
I just finished Liege-Killer, the first of a trilogy by Christopher Hinz. It was an action SF book that I remembered fondly, but hadn't read for ages. It was still really good. I gave it a 4 star review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Hinz is probably better known for his work on the Blade comics.


message 34: by Randy (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments I'm almost done with Shards of Honour by Lois McMaster Bujold, which is kind of a space opera romance book, and just starting Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.


message 35: by Captain (new)

Captain (combatbootsandcardigans) | 1 comments Currently working my way through Neuromancer By: William Gibson


message 36: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
I gave Forrest J Ackerman's World of Science Fiction a 4 star review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

It was a lot of fun & at the end of my review I list a lot of authors & stories that I gleaned from it.


message 37: by Randy (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments I finished Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I liked it and gave it 3 stars.


message 38: by Oleksandr (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 150 comments I am currently finishing Medusa: A Tiger by the Tail, I read translation of the first two volumes of the series over a decade ago and then was very fascinated. Now, I'm somehow less thrilled by it but still see it as a nice read.


message 39: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "I am currently finishing Medusa: A Tiger by the Tail, I read translation of the first two volumes of the series over a decade ago and then was very fascinated. Now, I'm somehow less t..."

I really liked those books. They're my favorites by Chalker. I think I reread them 5 years or so ago & thought they held up well.


message 40: by Oleksandr (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 150 comments Jim wrote: "I really liked those books."
Don't get me wrong - I like them too. What I meant is that when I got hold of them a decade ago they seemed not just good but great. They were the rare books that led me to think what will be in the other books, what Warden organism will do there - because I had only the first two. By the way, I guessed almost correctly :)


message 41: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 751 comments Randy wrote: "I finished Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I liked it and gave it 3 stars."

Doomsday Book is Connie Willis' best IMO.


message 42: by Randy (new)

Randy (hawk5391yahoocom) | 232 comments Buck wrote: "Randy wrote: "I finished Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I liked it and gave it 3 stars."

Doomsday Book is Connie Willis' best IMO."


It seems like Willis' fans have mixed thoughts about it. Some of them think it's her best, others think it had pacing issues and other problems that she was able to correct in later works. I haven't read anything else by her so I think I'll read To Say Nothing of the Dog next (later this year maybe?) and see what I think. I also have Blackout sitting on the shelf since I found it used for $1.


message 43: by Buck (last edited Jan 08, 2018 03:07PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 751 comments Randy wrote: "I also have Blackout sitting on the shelf since I found it used for $1. "

Blackout is the first half of a long novel. The second half is All Clear. I thought they were better than To Say Noting of the Dog, YMMV.


message 44: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
The Unknown Soldier by Sean Williams was an unexpectedly good SF action adventure. It is disappointing that he never continued what was obviously written as the first book in a series. It wraps up well enough, but I'd really like to read more. I gave it a 4 star review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I believe one of my friends here on GR turned me on to this. Thanks, whoever you were. I never would have read a 20+ year old Aussie novel without your recommendation.


message 45: by Pam (new)

Pam I just started Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson for a SF book club read. I’m 60 pages in and really enjoying it. I’ve read one other book by this author and didn’t like it so I started the book reluctantly. I think this one will be much better!


message 46: by Jo (new)

Jo | 1046 comments Mod
Pam wrote: "I just started Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson for a SF book club read. I’m 60 pages in and really enjoying it. I’ve read one other book by this author and didn’t like i..."

I enjoyed the Mars trilogy. I recently finished The Years of Rice and Salt and it was very hard going. I do have the intention of reading Aurora at some point though.


message 47: by Oleksandr (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 150 comments Just started Liege-Killer by Christopher Hinz and so far I find it quite interesting. While there are no drastically novel concepts the story in quite enthralling for me. Got it after a recommendation about good but not well-known writers


message 48: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "Just started Liege-Killer by Christopher Hinz and so far I find it quite interesting. While there are no drastically novel concepts the story in quite enthralling for ..."

I'm reading Binary Storm right now. It's a prelude to the trilogy that he wrote afterward. It's pretty good, too. I liked the original trilogy a lot.


message 49: by Oleksandr (new)

Oleksandr Zholud | 150 comments Jim wrote: "I'm reading Binary Storm right now. It's a prelude to the trilogy that he wrote afterward. ."

I saw it but decided to finish books as they were published even if this story is a prequel


message 50: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 1310 comments Mod
I think it's better to read the trilogy first. The prelude would provide spoilers. Part of what I liked so much about the trilogy was how things were revealed. I thought it might be a bit much, but it hasn't been. It's nicely filling in.


« previous 1
back to top