Yale discussion


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message 1: by Katie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:18AM) (new)

Katie | 2 comments Mod
Hi... let's talk about books? Yeah.

message 2: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:19AM) (new)

John | 6 comments I may not be the typical Yalie, as I was not
an undergraduate at Yale. However, I did earn
my MA and PhD in medieval studies at Yale, so
I actually spent a lot of time there --mostly in
the library.
My serious reading tends to be in medieval English history and literature. My light reading
tends to be in mysteries, science fiction and

message 3: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

John | 6 comments Looking at your books, Katie, I gather we share an interest in science fiction broadly defined.
I may say that in some cases I have read different
books by the same authors you list --for example, I have read and liked William Gibson's Burning Chrome, and have read a great deal of Heinlein (my favorites being The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Double Star).

message 4: by Katie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

Katie | 2 comments Mod
Heinlein is pretty great... I had a lot of fun with his books, though I never did get to Double Star. My friends and I got into a huge fight about Farnham's Freehold on several occasions.
I haven't read Burning Chrome either, but I'll add it to my list. I just finished Diamond Age, and loved that.

message 5: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new)

John | 6 comments Double Star is a kind of Prisoner of Zenda plot --
the protagonist (definitely not a very heroic hero at the beginning) is an actor who is reluctantly persuaded to impersonate a kidnapped
political leader in a solar system federation
which is a constitutional monarchy under the House of Orange (the present Dutch royal family)--just how that happened is not explained. The major
political issue is acceptance of the Martians as
full citizens of the federation, which the politician favors. On the whole, the politics is less bitterly cynical than in some of the later books. The main plot development is the actor's growth into the role of a genuinely idealistic statesman.
Other Heinlein stories I like include the short stories in The Man Who Sold the Moon and The Green Hills of Earth (especially the title story in the latter), the "juveniles" Red Planet, Between Planets, and The Rolling Stones (also published as Space Family Stone). I did not care as much for his later books which seemed chiefly expressions of his increasingly idiosyncratic philosophy. Friday was, I think, the last one I really liked.
On Gibson, I read and liked Neuromancer but got bogged down somewhere in Count Zero. Burning Chrome is short stories, some set in the same world as Neuromancer(notably "Johnny Mnemonic"). When I taught a science fiction class in 1990, I used one of the stories from that book ("Dogfight") and it was very popular with the students. On the other hand, some were baffled by Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I think because of the Russian/Australian/etc. lunar dialect in which it is written.
John Leland

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)


I didn't really know if I was allowed to join as I am techically not a Yale student yet but just an applicant - if you don't want me to be a group member, just tell me and I'll leave again.
I had my Yale interview today which just deepened my interest in the school, so I'd like to get to know people who went there.
Talking of books, I read pretty much everything. I also love Science Fiction.
I know you didn't post for some time, Katie and John, but if you are still following the discussion: My favorite Science Fiction author is Philip K. Dick, I also did my Senior thesis on it. Did you read anything by him?

message 7: by John (new)

John | 6 comments As far as I am concerned, you are welcome to join, but since Katie started this, it is really her call.
I may say I guess we have not been actively posting on this list, but we do exchange comments on books via the friends' reviews.
As for Philip K. Dick, I read some of his work when I was young, but most of it is vague for me now except The Man in the High Castle, which I regard as as a masterpiece. If I recall correctly, Katie was not as enthusiastic, but again, she can speak for herself.
John Leland

message 8: by Terence (new)

Terence Hawkins | 2 comments I was a huge Heinlein fan myself growing up, obsessively rereading everything he wrote. In fact in a recent spasm of middleaged nostalgia I bought my old public library's copy of Rocket Ship Galileo. Nevertheless his quality pretty muched cratered after Moon Is A Harsh etc. Didn't MG Lord (Yale 77) have a piece about him in the Times in the past few years?

message 9: by John (new)

John | 6 comments Terry wrote: "I was a huge Heinlein fan myself growing up, obsessively rereading everything he wrote. In fact in a recent spasm of middleaged nostalgia I bought my old public library's copy of Rocket Ship Galil..."

It sounds as if your experience of Heinlein was very like mine -- growing up in the 60's I read a lot of Heinlein from my public library, especially the juveniles -- and some that my father owned. Later I bought a lot of Heinlein myself, mostly in used paperback. I gather your taste in Heinlein is very like mine, in that you prefer his easrlier to his later work. My observation is that there seem to be (or seemed to be a few decades ago) 2 types of
Heinlein fans --those who loved his earlier stuff and generally disliked his later work, and those (usually younger) who had come to Heinlein through
Stranger in a Strange Land or later works and loved them, perhaps more for philosophical than literary reasons.

message 10: by Terence (new)

Terence Hawkins | 2 comments I just finished American Rust. Anyone else read it? Odd book for me; it's set in my home county and features a character who jumped the fence and went to Yale.

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