member introduction thread

At a reader's suggestion, this new forum is open to all kinds of chat, excluding obvious spam.

Postby spacecat » Mon Jun 19, 2006 5:15 pm

Admin, sorry I did not really want to become an administrator. I was clicking around trying to get to some older postings. Hit the wrong button...

I see a lot of IT people that like SF but when we start talking about specific books or authors there is very little agreement. Movies seem to appeal more widely - perhaps because there are not as many of them.

Just wanted to add that I came to IT to try to make a living with my brain after quitting college too early. I had been knocking around at lots of odd(no really ODD) jobs for years before going back to school to get into computers because the pay was good.

I cooked in several states and types of places, drove auto parts and paint deliveries, was a file clerk, parked cars, and picked mushrooms in a cave for DOLE foods.

Mostly I read sf&f but I will read other books that come highly recommended. I was in a non-ficltion book club last year and got over a long standing prejudice against that category.

I have read and liked The Story of PI, The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, and I have a fondness for YA books.

So, what sub-genres interest you all? Anyone else into surviving and founding colonies? I love that stuff and it isn't even a category anywhere!
(=^._.^=)

I'm trading SF&F books at
Paperbackswap.com

Tell'em spacecat sent you!
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Tom Godwin

Postby admin » Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:49 am

If you are into surviving and founding colonies then "Space Prison" by Tom Godwin is a must read. Don't know if it still in print, but you should be able to find it at abebooks.
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Postby spacecat » Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:25 am

Cool, thanks for the recommendation! I will go looking for it now.

Abebooks is good - but have you ever tried the used book search at addall.com ? Their search includes abebooks, powells, and about 15 other huge online dbases linking used book stores.

Also very good for global users and really hard to find books as they include the UK in their search.
(=^._.^=)

I'm trading SF&F books at
Paperbackswap.com

Tell'em spacecat sent you!
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Postby zouk » Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:25 pm

Hi.... my name is Sylvain and i teach english in a village north in Quebec. I am a long time SF maniac and book worm. I also recommand the Life of Pi. By the way, am i the only one that thinks that The Best of the Best Anthology by Gardner Dozois has not much to do with Science-Fiction...and strangely is not as good as most of his "Year's best"? Anyway, great to meet you people, congratulations to the future father. Is the mother from Earth? Good day to you all....
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Dozois

Postby admin » Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:57 am

I read the various Best of the Year anthologies for a while, and then gave up. I've got the Best of the Best on my reading shelf, but your non-recommendation may cause me to shift it to my "maybe someday" shelf.

Dozois had a great influence in shifting the field toward the kind of story admired by English majors, and away from the kind of story admired by math and science majors. This is widely viewed as a great improvement in the quality of sf. Maybe so, but story after story about ordinary people in the present day or on Earth in the near future who have one mildly strange event happen in their lives do not interest me as much as realistic adventure in an exotic setting.
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Postby Aeneas » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:02 pm

Aeneas - aged 30 - Cincinnati, OH

I use this ID because it is the same one I use on wotmania.net.

I work in a shop, with an eye towards the engineering department, of a company that deals in industrial hydraulics.

I have been reading sci-fi since High School. I was one of the few who actually enjoyed 1984 and Childhood's End. I then skipped a few years then got really into the Star Wars books before the Special Editions were released. I read 80 of the books and was completely up to date until over a year ago when I gave them all to my cousin so he would stop re-reading Harry Potter and Narnia :) I have since moved on to more exciting realms. Current favorites include George Martin, R. Scott Bakker, any Terry Pratchett, Dan Simmons, Neal Stephenson, Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card, etc. I watch Lost, and The 4400, and World Cup soccer (football, whatever).

I am in the Deep Space Nine camp for best Trek series.

I'm not sure how I found this site and forum, but I admit I have rarely posted :( I'm not usually a big poster. I have been a member of the Other Fantasy section of Wotmania for a long time now, maybe 6-7 years and have had tonds of great recommendations from them. I also post fairly rarely there.

As I have gotten more into poker and outdoor activities, I have been reading less this year than any of the last 5 previous ones. I am currently on The Wizard by Gene Wolfe and I have very mixed feelings about the series right now. I have also started season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I majored in Aerospace Engineering so that puts me in the "nerd as Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader" category....which I am completely OK with!
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Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight

Postby admin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:09 am

Keep us posted on how you like The Wizard Knight. I also had mixed feelings -- I had to keep reminding myself that the point of view character for most of the book is a 12 year old boy in an adult body. (I think one of the points of the book is that most real life heroes (think Richard the Lion Hearted) had the mind of a 12 year old in the body of an adult.

I also had mixed, but generally positive feelings about the story.
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Postby zouk » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:22 pm

Hi there.

Spacecat, thanks for the hint about addall.com. It covers a lot of ground and save time. Still can't find Dozois "Year's best Science-Fiction FIRST and SECOND annual collection" though, i mean, the first one is out there for someone who wants to pay the price, but the second one seem to just have disappeared from the surface of the planet. For the other ones, it is almost a joke; one could get a used copy of most of them for less than the shipping cost...

Admin: I understand that "The Best of the Best..." stays on your "to-read" shelf. I am going through it like a slow spanish train myself. Not that it is bad litterature, but doubtfully a Best of the Best of anything and only partly a Science-Fiction collection of stories. The pompous title mislead the readers. The stories are very Bradburyans i found. I love Bradbury but i could not read 650 pages of his stuff in a row. It took me about a year, on and off, to read his 100 Collected stories. Some real gems in there by the way. But the best anthologies i have read since years remain Silverberg's Collected Stories. Here is a guy that can write a great story at different levels of Sci-Fi.

Ok, by now you must have guessed that i am mainly a short stories reader. So feel free to lead me on the path of great new stuff of that format if you want.

Have a great day-week to all.
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Best

Postby admin » Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:29 am

I think that Gardner Dozois has had a very large, very bad effect on the science fiction field. He goal, I think, was to move sf away from the category of "popular fiction" and into the category of "literature" as that word is understood by English majors. In short, he wanted sf to follow poetry and painting into a place where only the elete get anything out of it.

I find a reaction to Dozois setting in. I recently had a story rejected by Baen because it did not have a happy ending!

As for Best SF 1 and 2, they were from a different publisher, had a low print run, and are very hard to find. I finally found copies, but I had to pay about $100 each, and it took years of searching even then. (Volume 3, also from Bluejay, is relatively easy, though I suspect that will not be the case in ten years.)

The question is, are they worth it? They have good stories by Ray Lafferty, Ursula le Guin, James Tiptree, and Avram Davidson. But the best stories of 1983 and 1984 are in the Terry Carr Best of the Year anthologies: Press Enter and The Only Neat Thing to Do.
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Postby zouk » Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:33 am

We are pretty much on the save wavelenght concerning Dozois views of what SF is-should be. I guess that as a reader, i have just decided to accept the fact that reading one of his anthologies is diving in a pool of short stories that have S-F as a general theme. In the Best of the Best for example, a good third of the stories have nothing to do with the genre as i define it. I must admit that my expectations are lowering more and more, but then, one night, i would read something like "The story of your life" by Ted Chiang, and suddenly i am in love with those books again. Still, inspite of its flaws i find them usefull, probably because i have been a fan of short stories and novellas for ever, and maybe, also, but that one is harder to admit :-)... that with years my attention span dimmers... I am not sure if i could re-read War and Peace again with pleasure. Dozois books are like trout fishing :roll: ; some days are better than others and from time to time you catch a nice one that makes your day.

As for the First and Second annual collection of that series: Would you be kind enough to tell me what are their ISBN numbers please ? (Do you have a paperback copy of the Second one? Do you know if the ISBN number would change from the paperback copy to the hardcover of the same book or it would be the same one ?). My girlfriend works in a bookstore in Michigan and this is the lead that she wants to follow...

I am sorry to hear that you had a story rejected because the end was not Hollywoodish enough. Keep on trying. What was the plot about?

Ok, this was long enough. Have a great week everyone.
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Dozois

Postby admin » Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:06 am

It's nice of you to ask about my story. I keep meaning to post a few stories on line in hopes people will be willing to workshop them, but right now I have too many other demands on my time...including editing a book of Buz Sawyer comic strips.

The ISBNS are:

The Year's Best Science Fiction, First Annual Collection, Bluejay Books, 0-312-94482-9 (hardback) ...3-7 (paperback)

The Year's Best Science Fiction, Second Annual Collection, Bluejay Books, 0-312-94484-5 (hardback) ...5-3 (paperback)

Both of my copies are ex-library.
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Hello

Postby Penfold » Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:27 pm

I am new here. Just wanted to drop by and say "hello".
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ISBN...

Postby zouk » Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:58 am

Thanks a lot admin for the infos. I really appreciate it.[/b]
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Postby jdalton » Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:14 pm

Hi. My name is Jonathon Dalton. I'm 28, Canadian, and living in the UK (at the moment). I use being an elementary school teacher as an excuse to move to interesting places and get ideas for writing (and drawing) comic books, but have so far failed to find a balance between these two careers that is both emotionally and financially viable. Most of my comics are sci-fi.

I've given up on anything television can produce under the label "sci-fi." I still don't read as many books without pictures as I'd like to (there's just no time!)
Jonathon Dalton
Lords of Death and Life
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Postby Robert M. Blevins » Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:45 pm

My name is Robert and I write sci-fi (occasionally) and publish (more frequently) at Adventure Books of Seattle.

When I am not writing or editing, I like to take to the mountains with a big tent, a laptop, a surge suppressor, and a fishing pole. 8)
"Don't give up reaching for the stars...
just build yourself a bigger ladder."
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