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betajet
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Reminds me of a Limerick
betajet   2/7/2014 2:08:24 PM
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This reminds me of a Limerick that starts "There once was a man from Racine..."

I can't include more without violating Geek Times' Terms of Service.  But go ahead and Google it.  In this case Google is your friend that you hang out on the street corner with :-)

Stargzer
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CEO
Re: One of the best science fiction tales of all time ...
Stargzer   2/7/2014 12:16:56 PM
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Well, as I said, I haven't read Steel Beach, but I would put the short stories The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin and Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut near the top of the list.  The SciFi channel managed to mangle both of those stories, particularly The Cold Equations.

Beware the Summary of The Cold Equations on Wikipedia, as it contains a spoiler.  Instead, read a copy at SpaceWesterns.com.

Harrison Bergeron is a tale of how, in the future, everyone is equal because of the Handicapper General.  It was published in 1961 and we can see the beginnings of it in out society now.  It reminds me of the best descripton of equalization on a phone line:

Imagine a line of soldiers marching across the field but not in step. Some march faster than others, so they do not all arrive at the other side at the same time.  Rather than make the slower soldiers march faster, the general has obstacles placed in the paths of the faster soldiers, with tougher obstacles in the path of the fastest, easier ones in front of slower soldiers, and no obstacles in the path of the slowest.  Finally, all soldiers start and arrive at the same time, all in step. 

Just like an ancient C2-conditioned phone line ...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Steel Beach
Max The Magnificent   2/7/2014 11:30:17 AM
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@Stargzr: Yet another computer in need of a lobotomy.

Be careful of what you say -- they might be watching you...

Stargzer
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CEO
Re: Steel Beach
Stargzer   2/7/2014 11:26:05 AM
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@Max:  "...only one of the best science fiction tales of all time -- "Steel Beach" by John Varley."

I haven't read Steel Beach, but the Central Computer in Steel Beach sounds like a cross between New York's "City Fathers" in James Blish's Cities in Flight and HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey:

"... the near-utopian society run by the Central Computer. The Central Computer runs every aspect of every person's life: it is the government, court, information source, and friend to every citizen.

"... and in its death throes, the Central Computer sends a projection of itself to Hildy, explaining that the schizoid nature of having multiple versions of itself was conflicting and strenuous, ..."

Yet another computer in need of a lobotomy. 

:-Þ



BrainiacVI
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Manager
Re: New industry
BrainiacVI   2/7/2014 11:13:49 AM
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I used to save my weekly $0.50 allowance so I could buy a new book every two weeks for $1.00.  I worked my way up to 10 books that way and would reread the entire set I owned with each addition. Then my parents bought me the rest of the set available (up to #24) for Christmas that year. I couldn't tell you how many times I read the entire set.

My journey to SF was a short one, I think the first books I owned before I could read were the Golden Book reprints of the Collier Man in Space articles and from there it was any book at the library with a space ship sticker on the spine. I had read Asimov, Clarke, and others without noting the authors until I was reading Citizen of the Galaxy and I was so impressed that for the first time I turned the book over to see who it was written by and it was Robert A Heinlein. I resolved to read as many of his as I could find and thereafter made a note of the authors of the other books I had read.

I learned of the Tom Swifts from the back page advertisements of other books, but sadly, the local library did not have any of them.  I later discovered them at some Kmart style department store of the time and begged my mother to buy the first one for me. I did not put it down until I finished reading it the next day.

I always thoght the Repelatrons where his best invention since there were so many applications of it, many, not covered by the books.

As they say, reality is for those who cannot handle science fiction.  But I always thought it made me forward looking on how technology could be used. I was always laughed at and told to be serious when I was predicting we'd have computers with 80 column screens, upper/lowercase keyboards and megabytes of storage is not RAM. I get to tell people nowadays we are living in Star Trek times.

Stargzer
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CEO
Re: New industry
Stargzer   2/7/2014 10:52:55 AM
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@BrainiacV:  "Right now I'm discovered that there is fan fiction of updated Tom Swift stories ..."

Ooh!  I cut my eye teeth reading Tom Swift Jr. in early grade school in the 50s.  A couple of us were always racing to get the next volume.  That is what started me on reading SciFi.  I always like the Matter Maker (and the solar panels to power it!) and Chow, the cowboy chuck wagon cook.

 

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: New industry
Max The Magnificent   11/21/2013 2:06:59 PM
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@BrainiacV: I wonder if Steve Wozniak is aware of them, he is always stating how much he loved them as a child.

I think I heard/read that about the Woz somewhere -- I'm sure he does know about them -- and he can certainly afford a full set LOL

BrainiacV
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Rookie
Re: New industry
BrainiacV   11/21/2013 1:57:40 PM
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I'll check it out and look through my library of what I have read.  I know I have at least two books by Varley.

Right now I'm discovered that there is fan fiction of updated Tom Swift stories than I chewing through. http://www.tomswiftlives.com/

I wonder if Steve Wozniak is aware of them, he is always stating how much he loved them as a child.

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: New industry
Max The Magnificent   11/21/2013 1:51:09 PM
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@BrainiacV: Not a big Varley fan. I've read some of his work, but I must have missed that one.

I like all the authors you mention. Varley has his ups and downs -- but I would 100% recommend Steel Beach -- I woudl love for you to give it a read and then let me know what you think.

 

BrainiacV
User Rank
Rookie
Re: New industry
BrainiacV   11/21/2013 1:48:18 PM
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Not a big Varley fan. I've read some of his work, but I must have missed that one.

Heinlein, Niven, Clarke, Asimov, Delaney, Joe Haldeman, James P Hogan, generally hard science fiction.

One story comes to mind, can't remember the author, possibly Sturgeon, about a couple that are having relationship problems and attempt to use some device that was supposed to enhance their interaction. After a night of fantastic lovemaking they discover in the morning they had not plugged it in.

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