Remove ads

Introducing the LemonFools Personal Finance Calculators

R4 good read and SF

Urbandreamer
Lemon Slice
Posts: 380
Joined: December 7th, 2016, 9:09 pm
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 69 times

R4 good read and SF

#128724

Postby Urbandreamer » March 28th, 2018, 11:15 pm

Ok, I admit that I mostly read SF and fantasy, but I regualarly listen to the R4 program "a good read".

I was SO pleased that this week someone responded to Harriett Gilbert's comment that she didn't usually like SF by pointing out that she obviously didn't read enough good SF!

She did admit actually recommending a SF story* in the past, which I felt just emphasised the point that the original opinion was ill considered or expressed.

I mention it because every time a SF book turns up on the program from a guest it seems to be treated with dread. Why?

It's not all E.E "Doc" Smith and hasn't been since the days that he wrote "Space hounds of the IPC" in the late 20's. There is pleanty of lightweight stuff mixed in with more hard core stuff and of course a fair share of dross, but surely there is in any genre. The example given by the guest was deciding that it wasn't worth trying D H Laurance (re previous thread) because you didn't like Mills and Boon.

Anyway, regardless of my comments, the program is well worth listening to.

*Actually I suspect that the guest may have known that she recommended "Flowers for Algernon" when he mentioned it as an example of good SF.

PS, for those who may not know, the original idea for SF is to take a scientific idea and produce an entertaining/interesting story about how people are effected by this fact, as in the books "Flowers for Algernon" or "Frankenstein...", often accepted as the first SF book and now studdied for GCSE's.

Slarti
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2052
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:46 pm
Has thanked: 315 times
Been thanked: 260 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#128786

Postby Slarti » March 29th, 2018, 11:42 am

Urbandreamer wrote:I mention it because every time a SF book turns up on the program from a guest it seems to be treated with dread. Why?


Too many new concepts to be taken in?

Scientifically illiterate reviewers?

Lack of imagination?


Slarti

JMN2
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2117
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:21 am
Has thanked: 329 times
Been thanked: 298 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#145894

Postby JMN2 » June 15th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Robert Holdstock Mythago Wood
Read that in the 80's, haven't really read much SF ever, except Marsian Chronicles, I am Legend, etc, perhaps I should revisit the genre. I am in a rut when it comes to reading novels.

Slarti
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2052
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:46 pm
Has thanked: 315 times
Been thanked: 260 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#145918

Postby Slarti » June 15th, 2018, 5:07 pm

JMN2 wrote:Robert Holdstock Mythago Wood
Read that in the 80's, haven't really read much SF ever, except Marsian Chronicles, I am Legend, etc, perhaps I should revisit the genre. I am in a rut when it comes to reading novels.



Try Consider Phlebas by Ian M Banks for something a bit space opera or The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett for something a lot lighter.

Slarti

JMN2
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2117
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:21 am
Has thanked: 329 times
Been thanked: 298 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#145929

Postby JMN2 » June 15th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Slarti wrote:
JMN2 wrote:Robert Holdstock Mythago Wood
Read that in the 80's, haven't really read much SF ever, except Marsian Chronicles, I am Legend, etc, perhaps I should revisit the genre. I am in a rut when it comes to reading novels.



Try Consider Phlebas by Ian M Banks for something a bit space opera or The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett for something a lot lighter.

Slarti


I seem to remember some kind of a mammoth book from Banks which I read. I need a good story, that's why I like Stephen King, the time travel book to go back to kill Oswald was good.

Urbandreamer
Lemon Slice
Posts: 380
Joined: December 7th, 2016, 9:09 pm
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#146007

Postby Urbandreamer » June 15th, 2018, 10:19 pm

JMN2 wrote:Robert Holdstock Mythago Wood
Read that in the 80's, haven't really read much SF ever, except Marsian Chronicles, I am Legend, etc, perhaps I should revisit the genre. I am in a rut when it comes to reading novels.


Try the St' Marys Chronicles if you want something a bit different.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Damned-Thing-A ... B00EUIEKA4
It's not a heavy book and apparently free.

If you fancy something more award winning then Bable-17 is a classic.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Babel-17-S-F-M ... s=babel+17

Finally, it's worth a visit to Baen to glance at their free library.
https://www.baen.com/catalog/category/v ... ublisher=0

Slarti
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 2052
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 3:46 pm
Has thanked: 315 times
Been thanked: 260 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#146110

Postby Slarti » June 16th, 2018, 3:27 pm

JMN2 wrote:I seem to remember some kind of a mammoth book from Banks which I read. I need a good story, that's why I like Stephen King, the time travel book to go back to kill Oswald was good.


Ian Banks, or Ian M Banks?

Same bloke, but the first is when he is doing novels, like The Crow Road or The Wasp Factory, the second is for his scifi.

Slarti

ap8889
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1053
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 10:55 am
Has thanked: 100 times
Been thanked: 209 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#146122

Postby ap8889 » June 16th, 2018, 4:02 pm

The "Years Best" short story collections gathered by the recently deceased Gardener Duzois always contain some gems. I will never understand why many detract from genre fiction when it can be so imaginative.

Urbandreamer
Lemon Slice
Posts: 380
Joined: December 7th, 2016, 9:09 pm
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 69 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#148240

Postby Urbandreamer » June 27th, 2018, 6:55 am

My goodness.

Either Harriett Gilbert frequents TLF, or other social media has been a buzz with reactions to that episode.
This week she commented on the the fact and said that she had made a special effort to read more SF, before commenting on Gibson's Neuromancer.

It wasn't universally loved by the guests, but I would have been surprised if it was. The chief complaint was that it wasn't a book that you could read in the bath (ie relax and turn the brain off), which is fair. It would also be fair to say that many want just that sort of book (including me) an lot of the time.

Hat's off to Harriett though for responding and putting the effort in to investigate SF.

Should she actually be reading this thread, as a lightweight, well written, purportedly SF book, can I secommend "A Civil Campaign" by Bujold..

I say purportedly, because while it has a SF backdrop, is part of a set of SF books about the same character in the same universe and does contain some traditional SF. It's actually a romance or "comedy of manners". That fact is why it gets conflicting reviews and characters in books by other authors have it recommended to them.

The "hard" SF is well hidden, but consider the social implications of property rights, in-vetro fertilisation, medical facilities provided to vasllas by their lord in a feudal society and uterine replicators. There are just a few line which many would miss with a humerous solution. However contained in those few lines is an entire SF concept .

If you choose to read it, make sure that you are not drinking tea or wine when you get to Mile's dinner party.

77ss
Lemon Slice
Posts: 638
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 10:42 am
Has thanked: 41 times
Been thanked: 77 times

Re: R4 good read and SF

#148541

Postby 77ss » June 28th, 2018, 9:38 am

JMN2 wrote:Robert Holdstock Mythago Wood
Read that in the 80's, haven't really read much SF ever, except Marsian Chronicles, I am Legend, etc, perhaps I should revisit the genre. I am in a rut when it comes to reading novels.


The Hugo Award Winners (and nominees) list is aways a good starting point for some new ideas. Wiki gives a comprensive list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel

A couple of recent novels from this list that I have particularly enjoyed were the Ann Leckie 2014 winner, Ancillary Justice and the 2015 nomination, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

Quite different books - one hard sci-fi, the other a political/personal story set in a different world.

Happy reading!


Return to “Books and Reading”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest