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RE: [ProgAndOther] Re: OT: Arthur C. Clarke

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  • Ellerbee, Jason
    ... From: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Andre Papillon Sent: Fri 1/12/2007 10:06 AM To: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com Subject: [ProgAndOther] Re:
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 12, 2007
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Andre Papillon
      Sent: Fri 1/12/2007 10:06 AM
      To: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ProgAndOther] Re: OT: Arthur C. Clarke

      You could also try the sequels to 2001:

      2010 Odyssey Two
      2061 Odyssey Three
      and
      3001 The Final Odyssey
      --------------------------

      It's been many years, but I thought 2061 was terrible, and stopped there.

      Jeff, have you considered his short stories? Your library surely has some of his collections. "The Nine Billion Names of God" and "The Star" are just beautiful.

      0
    • stevesly@aol.com
      It has been a while since I read any Clarke, but I thought all of the Odyssey books were good. I also remember loving Childhood s End although it has been
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 13, 2007
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        It has been a while since I read any Clarke, but I thought all of the "Odyssey" books were good.  I also remember loving "Childhood's End" although it has been years since I read it.  One that I have read more recently that I highly recommend is "The Light Of Other Days" (co-written with Stephen Baxter).  It is about how in the future man discovers wormholes that allow them to look into any place on the planet in the present or past.  I found it to be fascinating as once they have this ability all elements of privacy disappear.  I don't know is hard to explain, but I thought it was one of the best sci-fi books I have read in years and it really makes you think.  I found this book by chance in a book store bargain rack. I am glad I took a chance on it.
         
        Steve Sly
        ProgDay 2007
        (NP - Jimmy Dillon - Rituals)
         
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: jeffoaster@...
        To: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Fri, 12 Jan 2007 8:48 AM
        Subject: [ProgAndOther] OT: Arthur C. Clarke

        Hey, I figured that most prog fans are probably into sci-fi, so this
        list would be a safe place to post this question.

        I've found myself caught up on most of the books that I want to read,
        so I decided that I would try to read some of the old-school Masters
        of the Genre. I work in a library, and have access to pretty much
        every Arthur C. Clarke book. However, I don't really know where to
        start, so some input would be welcome.

        I've only read Rendezvous with Rama (and its sequels, which I believe
        he didn't have all that much to do with) and I liked it. I tend to
        like my sci-fi to be more of the "space opera" type and I prefer
        exotic alien races as well as some humor. I'm a huge fan of David
        Brin's Uplift series and pretty much everything that Larry Niven did
        before he lost his fastball (around 1995). Charles Sheffield's
        Heritage Universe and Cold as Ice/Dark as Day (Rustum Battachariya is
        *the* greatest character ever in a book).

        So, any suggestions?

        After Clarke, it's on to Asimov, Heinlein (strangely absent from
        Widener University's Collection), Philip K. Dick and then I may even
        go further back to Verne and Wells (I read War of the Worlds last
        summer and enjoyed it thoroughly - I loved its narrative style).

        - Jeff

        p.s. I picked up Neurosis' A Sun That Never Sets and really, really
        like it so far.


        Check out the new AOL. Most comprehensive set of free safety and security tools, free access to millions of high-quality videos from across the web, free AOL Mail and more.
      • biceeichler
        ... For what it s worth, Odyssey Three killed my interest in that series too. I loved the movies and books of 2001 and 2010, but that third book - if I
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 15, 2007
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          --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "Ellerbee, Jason" <jeller@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > You could also try the sequels to 2001:
          >
          > 2010 Odyssey Two
          > 2061 Odyssey Three
          > and
          > 3001 The Final Odyssey
          > --------------------------
          >
          > It's been many years, but I thought 2061 was terrible, and stopped
          > there.

          For what it's worth, "Odyssey Three" killed my interest in that
          series too. I loved the movies and books of 2001 and 2010, but
          that third book - if I remember right, it had NOTHING to do with
          the previous books. I think Clarke just wanted to write a book
          about Halley's comet and put the "20??" title on it to sell it.

          I ended up loaning that book to a coworker who wouldn't believe
          me that it sucked, and a couple weeks later he returned it and
          said he should have just taken my word for it and not wasted
          his time.

          If you move on to Asimov, the Robot/Empire/Foundation series of
          books is pretty good. I've read the whole lot of 'em a couple
          of times. Some of the books are better than others, but you
          need to read the whole thing because some of the books make
          reference to characters from other books, and he threw a couple
          in there towards the end of his life that tie the three
          "franchises" together. If you're interested, I can put
          together a list of all the books involved and the order you
          should read them. Just avoid the "second Foundation trilogy"
          which was written by other sci-fi writers after Asimov died
          and don't add anything to the storyline.

          -- Bob
        • Jeff Oaster
          ... Well, it sounds like I ll be skipping the third one in the series then. I hate it when I grab a sequel and it hardly has any of the original characters
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
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            --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "biceeichler" <eichler@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > > It's been many years, but I thought 2061 was terrible, and stopped
            > > there.
            >
            > For what it's worth, "Odyssey Three" killed my interest in that
            > series too. I loved the movies and books of 2001 and 2010, but
            > that third book - if I remember right, it had NOTHING to do with
            > the previous books. I think Clarke just wanted to write a book
            > about Halley's comet and put the "20??" title on it to sell it.

            Well, it sounds like I'll be skipping the third one in the series
            then. I hate it when I grab a "sequel" and it hardly has any of the
            original characters and story in it


            >
            > If you move on to Asimov, the Robot/Empire/Foundation series of
            > books is pretty good. I've read the whole lot of 'em a couple
            > of times. Some of the books are better than others, but you
            > need to read the whole thing because some of the books make
            > reference to characters from other books, and he threw a couple
            > in there towards the end of his life that tie the three
            > "franchises" together. If you're interested, I can put
            > together a list of all the books involved and the order you
            > should read them. Just avoid the "second Foundation trilogy"
            > which was written by other sci-fi writers after Asimov died
            > and don't add anything to the storyline.

            Thanks Bob. I'd be interested in seeing your Asimov list (especially
            if you can throw in some non-spoiler reviews/guidelines). I tried
            reading Foundation about ten years ago, and didn't finish it. From
            what I remember, the book was set 20000 years in the future, and there
            were no aliens (not a big deal, since Asimov felt we were alone
            anyway), no computers and there was no cure for cancer. Maybe I'm
            remebering it wrong. I'd be willing to give it another shot.

            It's funny that the Second Foundation didn't go over so well, since
            I'm a fan of the Killer Bs (Benford, Bear and especially Brin).

            I plan on starting Childhood's End in a day or two.

            - Jeff

            np: Isis, Live Volume 3
          • Bobby Simons
            ... It s a great read. We could use a bit of Overlord intervention in this world these days. Bobby Simons boo@icsnet.com IM: patentdraw
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
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              On Jan 16, 2007, at 10:33 AM, Jeff Oaster wrote:

              I plan on starting Childhood's End in a day or two.

              It's a great read. We could use a bit of Overlord intervention in this world these days.

              Bobby Simons
              IM: patentdraw




            • Ellerbee, Jason
              ... From: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Jeff Oaster Sent: Tue 1/16/2007 10:33 AM Well, it sounds like I ll be skipping the third one in the series
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
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                -----Original Message-----
                From: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Jeff Oaster
                Sent: Tue 1/16/2007 10:33 AM

                Well, it sounds like I'll be skipping the third one in the series
                then. I hate it when I grab a "sequel" and it hardly has any of the
                original characters and story in it
                --------------------------

                Heywood Floyd is the main character. He's like a hundred-something years old, through some miracle of authorial fiat, clearly demonstrating that Clarke needed him there, and not some new character, to sell the book.

                ---------------------------
                I plan on starting Childhood's End in a day or two.
                ---------------------------

                Tell me how that is. I still haven't read it <kicks self>.

                0
              • biceeichler
                ... Until I read Jason s post just now, I had completely forgotten that Heywood was in the third book. Which shows how much it had to do with the others. I
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 16, 2007
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                  --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Oaster" <jeffoaster@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Well, it sounds like I'll be skipping the third one in the series
                  > then. I hate it when I grab a "sequel" and it hardly has any of the
                  > original characters and story in it

                  Until I read Jason's post just now, I had completely forgotten
                  that Heywood was in the third book. Which shows how much it
                  had to do with the others. I donated my copy to the library
                  as soon as I got it back from my co-worker, so I can't confirm
                  what it was about.


                  > > If you move on to Asimov, the Robot/Empire/Foundation series of
                  > > books is pretty good.
                  > > If you're interested, I can put
                  > > together a list of all the books involved and the order you
                  > > should read them.


                  > Thanks Bob. I'd be interested in seeing your Asimov list
                  > (especially if you can throw in some non-spoiler
                  > reviews/guidelines). I tried reading Foundation about ten years
                  > ago, and didn't finish it. From what I remember, the book was
                  > set 20000 years in the future, and there were no aliens (not a
                  > big deal, since Asimov felt we were alone anyway), no computers
                  > and there was no cure for cancer. Maybe I'm remebering it wrong.
                  > I'd be willing to give it another shot.

                  No, it sounds like you're remembering it right. Asimov himself
                  described the series as one where "all the action takes place
                  offscreen". But that's one of its charms. If the original
                  Foundation trilogy didn't do it for you, you might want to skip
                  the whole Robot/Empire/Foundation series. Remember that it was
                  started in the 1950s (I think - possibly as far back as the 40s),
                  which would at least explain the lack of computers....

                  Anyway, if you decide to try it anyway, here are the books that
                  make up the series, or at least they did 10 years or so ago
                  which was the last time I read them. Since Asmiov is dead, I
                  doubt he's added too many more books since then.

                  The Complete Robot - a collection of most (all?) of the robot
                  short stories. Most of them were written ages ago and sound
                  so dated as to fall into the "quaint" category, but there are
                  some good stories in there and it sets up things like the
                  three laws of robotics, etc.

                  The Caves of Steel / The Naked Sun - the first two robot
                  detective novels. I've got them in a two-fer book, so I
                  listed 'em together. Set in the not-too-distant future when
                  humanity has grown to the point of living in giant cities
                  and completely abandoning the countryside.

                  The Robots of Dawn - a third sequel, written much later but
                  starring the same main characters. Asimov puts a twist on
                  it by having them visit a distant planet that is the exact
                  opposite of Earth - everyone lives as spread-out as possible,
                  with each person having their own manor on acres and acres
                  of land. The mystery is how could someone have been murdered
                  when the planet's inhabitants have a taboo against seeing one
                  another in the flesh?

                  Robots and Empire - a very late addition that was written as
                  a bridge between the Robot series and the Empire series. I
                  forget what the plot was, but it's a must-read if you're
                  going to read both the Robot and Empire series.

                  The Stars Like Dust / The Currents of Space / Pebble in the
                  Sky - the three Empire books. These were written back in
                  the 50s (?), so they can seem very dated. Not completely
                  essential, especially since some of what's written in them
                  contradicts stuff that comes later, but worth reading just
                  for the continuity. These books sketch out the rise of the
                  great galactic empire and the demise of Earth (it's hinted
                  that there was a huge nuclear war), but all that is just
                  sort of "background" to the stories of the books.

                  Prelude to Foundation / Forward the Foundation - these were
                  "prequels" that Asimov wrote long after the original
                  Foundation books. I honestly can't remember much of these
                  books - I don't think they're all that vital to the series.
                  I think they just tell the life story of Harry Seldon (sp?),
                  and how he develops psychohistory (a scientific method of
                  predicting the future, which the original Foundation series
                  was based on).

                  Foundation / Foundation and Empire / Second Foundation - the
                  three original Foundation novels...although they were really
                  a bunch of short stories that Asmiov wrote for various sci-fi
                  magazines in the 50s (and 60s?) and later collected into a
                  trilogy of books. Tells of the decline and collapse of the
                  great galactic empire, and how psychohistory was used to set
                  up the Foundation which would lead to a new empire within a
                  thousand years, rather than the 20,000 or something like that
                  that would be required otherwise. Psychohistory eventually
                  goes wrong when a character called The Mule comes along with
                  psychic powers that couldn't be predicted, but the hidden
                  Second Foundation eventually sets things aright. Or so they
                  think...

                  Foundation's Edge - a scientist and a political outcast from
                  the Foundation set out to try to find the mythical planet
                  from which humanity first arose. Set so far in the future
                  that most people no longer belive such a single point of
                  origin ever existed. At some point we learn why the Earth
                  became radioactive (I forget if it was this book or another
                  one), and since it was written before Chernobyl (sp?) Asimov
                  assumed that Three Mile Island would be the worst nuclear
                  accident to ever occur. Kind of funny, in a dark, disturbing
                  way. Anyway, I was just psyched to read about future visitors
                  to the TMI area because I was living within sight of the
                  cooling towers at the time that I read the book.

                  Foundation and Earth - the grand conclusion that wraps
                  everything up. Hey, it has ALIENS!!! Actually, I think
                  the alien presence may have started in the previous book,
                  I'm not sure. Anyway, the aliens present a sort of threat
                  to the plans of the Foundation, but it may turn out to be
                  a blessing in disguise. The main character from Foundation's
                  Edge ends up having to make the biggest decision in the
                  history of humanity (or he might have made it at the end
                  of the previous book - like I said, it's been a long time
                  since I read them), and it turns out he's been driven
                  towards it by someone from way back near the beginning of
                  the Robot series...

                  Actually, that last book doesn't wrap everything up,
                  because the ending implies that Asimov intended to write
                  more in the series by leaving a dangling thread on the
                  very last page. But then he croaked, so that's the
                  ending we're gonna have to live with.

                  This all reminds me that I loaned my brother "The Complete
                  Robot" several years ago in an attempt to lure him into
                  reading the whole series, and he never returned it. Guess
                  I'll have to pay him a visit soon...


                  > It's funny that the Second Foundation didn't go over so well, since
                  > I'm a fan of the Killer Bs (Benford, Bear and especially Brin).

                  Then maybe you'd like them. Give 'em a shot after reading the
                  original books, especially if you can find them in a library.
                  They just didn't do much for me though.

                  -- Bob
                • Jeff Oaster
                  ... a lot of things ... Thanks much Bob. Once I get my fill of Clarke, I ll delve into Asimov, and start with the Robot Series. Unfortunately, it doesn t look
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 17, 2007
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                    --- In ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com, "biceeichler" <eichler@...> wrote
                    a lot of things
                    >


                    Thanks much Bob. Once I get my fill of Clarke, I'll delve into Asimov,
                    and start with the Robot Series. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like
                    there is a whole lot of his stuff here at work, but I'll make do.

                    - Jeff, kinda bummed about Michael Brecker's passing.
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