Anyone else finding it hard to get into old(ish) sci-fi? Page 3

  • Deleted user 8 August 2015 11:38:34
    gammonbanter wrote:
    Read Man in the high castle and you will be a PKD fan for life!
    I just read that and I'm still not blown away. Like the first one of his I read, Ubik, it's absolutely an incredible idea for a story, but it's never as engaging as you think it should be. More meandering, disjointed and mad, which sounds like the author too I suppose.
  • ModoX 8 Aug 2015 17:52:55 3,480 posts
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    munki83 wrote:
    @ModoX Ahhh thats the problem its on page 405 that shit kicks off :p The books do take me an age to read and I remember taking a month or so off when I got half way through the second book

    As for Ringworld, I just found it dull and kinda offensive. Its old school sexist. I know it comes with the territory of reading old sci-fi but I found it off putting.

    I'd recommend The City and the Stars by Arthur C Clark, reminds me I must read more of his works...also the first three Dune books before they start getting too crazy.

    Oh the Demolished man by Alfred Bester, unfortunately its not anything to do with Demolition Man.
    Yeah I can see why you'd say that about Ringworld. I enjoyed it but I'm not sure it really deserves its place in lists of top sci fi.

    All your other recommendations are great. Stars my destination too.
  • ZuluHero 9 Aug 2015 10:05:34 8,925 posts
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    munki83 wrote:
    As for Ringworld, I just found it dull and kinda offensive. Its old school sexist. I know it comes with the territory of reading old sci-fi but I found it off putting.
    Yeah that makes sense, old(ish) sci fi is rarely a hard read, but some of the terminology and language used can be fairly eye-rolling when you read it nowadays. Still the are some really good premises and stories if you can look past it. Like someone said earlier, it's easy to forget that this was groundbreaking stuff when it was first published.
  • JoeBlade 6 Dec 2015 14:51:46 5,089 posts
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    FireFlow wrote:
    I got Neuromancer from the library the other day. It's not that old perhaps. Anyone read it?
    I've read it multiple times even, still one of my favourite sci-fi novels to date.

    I'm not sure whether it has aged well; the stories are still fresh IMO but Gibson tends to write mostly about fairly realistic (or at least plausible) topics and time has caught up with a number of the ones presented in Neuromancer, e.g. virtual reality and cybercrime.
  • Deleted user 6 December 2015 16:19:33
    @FireFlow I tried it a month or so ago. Couldn't get on with it all myself.
  • RunningMan 6 Dec 2015 16:41:37 2,999 posts
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    Starmaker by Olaf Stapledon is a old but excellent sci fi book. Written in 1937, & not even classed as scifi for ages. The scope of this novel is staggering. It is slightly hard going, but the sheer weight of ideas is amazing.
  • robo-ludwig 6 Dec 2015 16:45:30 23 posts
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    I haven't actually read contemporary sci fi, even regarding the older I only read three: 1984 by Orwell, Brave New World by Huxley, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by K Dick. I didn't find them particularly difficult, but I wouldn't consider them must-reads either. I'd like to read Foundation (trilogy) by Asimov, We by Zamyatin and Dune by Herbert.
  • Deleted user 6 December 2015 17:06:58
    Post deleted
  • Daryoon 6 Dec 2015 17:07:04 5,912 posts
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    I really struggle with it. And fantasy too, for the most part, and for similar reasons, I think. I simply cannot get into anything that sidelines characters for the sake of plot.

    I tried reading the Lensman and Foundation books earlier in the year. I gave up on both less than halfway through. They're just reams of exposition and events without the slightest pause to consider who the people involved are, and how the world is influencing them.
  • Deleted user 6 December 2015 17:15:25
    Foundation trilogy was good.
  • Scimarad 6 Dec 2015 18:04:30 9,753 posts
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    I've been looking forward to reading The Stars My Destination for absolutely ages considering all the praise it gets but I ended up really hating it. The protagonist is so completely loathsome I just couldn't stick with it. Maybe I'll give it another go one of these days, forewarned is forearmed and all that
  • BeebleB 6 Dec 2015 19:27:37 1,328 posts
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    The first dune is really really good. I think the first few are good but then it kind of loses its way and u end up with a bunch of characters you don't really know that we'll as people's relatives become the protagonists.
    Robert heinein is quite good, I've read a few of his and he normally has quite good stories but yea, old Sci fi tends to be really hit and miss, as to where science and technology are going so you have to enjoy them for what they are.
  • Deleted user 6 December 2015 19:37:00
    Vonnegut is literally the only sci fi author I got on with
  • anephric 6 Dec 2015 19:44:05 4,185 posts
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    Don't read past Children of Dune unless you want to disappear up Frank Herbert's didactic arse. God Emperor of Dune is literally a dude talking to a big worm for hundreds of pages.
  • neilka 6 Dec 2015 19:45:41 23,404 posts
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    Sounds like the Wii U thread.
  • JoeBlade 6 Dec 2015 20:03:36 5,089 posts
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    anephric wrote:
    Don't read past Children of Dune unless you want to disappear up Frank Herbert's didactic arse. God Emperor of Dune is literally a dude talking to a big worm for hundreds of pages.
    I didn't like the sequels much either except for, bizarrely, the very last one.
    And don't touch the ones by his son with a 10 mile pole.

    First one's ace however, although it's barely worth calling sci-fi.
  • anephric 6 Dec 2015 20:47:47 4,185 posts
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    Dune is SF in that it's concerned with manipulating a planetary ecology, which was a theme that was stronger in Herbert's early drafts of the novel.
  • Tonka 6 Dec 2015 21:18:12 30,893 posts
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    I recently read Dune for the first time. Loved the first two thirds, hated the last. Won't read any of the other.
  • Tricky 6 Dec 2015 21:30:03 4,992 posts
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    JoeBlade wrote:
    FireFlow wrote:
    I got Neuromancer from the library the other day. It's not that old perhaps. Anyone read it?
    I've read it multiple times even, still one of my favourite sci-fi novels to date.

    I'm not sure whether it has aged well; the stories are still fresh IMO but Gibson tends to write mostly about fairly realistic (or at least plausible) topics and time has caught up with a number of the ones presented in Neuromancer, e.g. virtual reality and cybercrime.
    Take the fact that time has caught up and passed it aside though and it remains my absolute number 1 all time favourite book, matched only by Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive.

    The first two, as standalone novels are superb, but the way he wraps it all together in Mona Lisa Overdrive is just genius as far as I'm concerned.


    Tried to convince my mate at work to read it, but because it isn't 1000 pages long and full of hard science fiction he point blank refused. Madness.
  • Mike1980 6 Dec 2015 21:32:46 531 posts
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    I got up to the space Jamaicans.
  • Tricky 6 Dec 2015 22:04:00 4,992 posts
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    Heh, Maelcum's a rude boy.
  • Tonka 7 Dec 2015 10:46:26 30,893 posts
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    I remember how far out Neuromancer was when i first read it. The whole
    AI gone rouge thing
    was a completely new concept to me. Last time I re-read it I was amazed how straight forward it has become by other popculture catching up.

    I think the Sprawl trilogy is up for a re-read actually. Haven't read the other two in aaaaaages. I don't really rate his lates (Blue Ant is it?) stuff except The Peripheral that I felt was a much needed return from pretentiousness.
  • McEwan 7 Dec 2015 10:56:01 884 posts
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    Scimarad wrote:
    I've been looking forward to reading The Stars My Destination for absolutely ages considering all the praise it gets but I ended up really hating it. The protagonist is so completely loathsome I just couldn't stick with it. Maybe I'll give it another go one of these days, forewarned is forearmed and all that
    That's the point of it - it's the character arc that takes him from being a stain on humanity to something else altogether.
  • Nemesis 7 Dec 2015 11:01:23 19,721 posts
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    Neuromancer is superb; however my imagination called it time trying to picture the Spire. I think I've got it now.

    I found 2001 onwards a bit dry, and gave up with them. Rama, however, was fantastic. The journey of discovery is the best part, so it falls away somewhat on re-reads.

    If The City and the Stars is of a similar quality, I'll be more than happy to pick it up.

    Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes I read a few years after the film. There's something about carousels that'll forever be creepy to me now. I much preferred Fahrenheit 451 to Orwell's 1984.

    I'd say check out the SF Masterworks as others have said. It seems a safe place to start.
  • Alastair 7 Dec 2015 12:17:28 24,271 posts
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    Has anyone mentioned John Wyndham? Love his work and surely it counts as old school sci-fi.
  • robo-ludwig 7 Dec 2015 12:43:18 23 posts
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    @FireFlow Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is wholly different from Blade Runner. The three books I read are all dystopian sci-fi, but despite sharing a very specific subgenre they couldn't be more varied in form and story - if you didn't like 1984, you may still enjoy the others.
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