Mini-Reviews & Sci Fi 50 Progress Report: 9/15/2015

Making a little progress reading my way through John C. Wrights’  Sci Fi 50 and the First 20 Hugo Award Winning Novels:

5. E.M. Forster ‘The Machine Stops’

Good story. I’m going to need to think about this one a bit.

  1. Tom Godwin ‘The Cold Equations’

Nobody engineers a ship that tight. No sane man doesn’t find 100 lbs of something else to throw off the ship to save the girl. Premise fail.

32. Harlan Ellison ‘Repent Harlequin Said the Ticktockman’

Eh. Funny in places, the writing is gimmicky as all hell. It was OK.

45. Larry Niven RINGWORLD

Excellent book. The characters are well-drawn and hilarious. It was hard not to read the kzin in Worf’s voice. The Pierson’s Puppeteers are brilliant. Bred for luck – ha!

The major Sci Fi devise – that different civilizations could go down different scientific paths, each discovering and failing to discover important stuff the other failed to find or did discover – is interesting enough, but is it really plausible? I mean, sure, for a decade or a century, maybe, but for longer than that? We are exploring the same objective universe, after all… Also, is there anyone who didn’t figure out the Fist of God the first time it is described?

Loved the book, rollicking good time and all, but sometimes I tire of the relentless drumbeat of just about everything written in that era of how the real advance in the future will be everybody getting as much consequence-free sex as they can stand. Star Trek, Stranger in a Strange Land, on and on

Currently working on Flatland and Dune (there’s a contrast for ya! Actually, pointing out the similarities would be more fun…) .

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

2 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews & Sci Fi 50 Progress Report: 9/15/2015”

  1. I remember reading something that made the good point that, despite “The Cold Equations” often being considered near the summit of ‘hard’ science fiction, the entire problem is actually ‘soft’ — it’s the extremeness of the assumed economic system, in which people will do dubious things with margins of error for nothing more than short-term and (relatively) minor margins of profit, that actually causes the main problem, not the ‘cold equations’, and it’s the training and narrow assumptions of the pilot, not the physics, that really result in the death.

    1. Makes sense. Also how is it that this policy isn’t well-known by everybody, including teenage girls? Would it not be in everybody’s interest – spacers & landlubbers – to KNOW that stowing away on a ship would be fatal? The science sounds hard, but the world it’s in makes no sense.

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