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wiretripped January 31st, 2017 15:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arhu (Post 1061432859)
Foundation's Edge (Foundation #4) by Isaac Asimov
Thoroughly enjoyed this one and even more so than the original trilogy. A real page-turner, intricately plotted with various layers, and even though some themes seemed familiar and I could guess at some things, it was a very fun read. I liked how the story was continued, even though this is a standalone (with a mild cliffhanger). 5/5

Foundation and Earth (Foundation #5) by Isaac Asimov
I felt relatively disappointed. Foundation's Edge had multiple POVs, new behind-the-scenes mysteries to pop up in every chapter, converging stories and interesting musings, all against the backdrop of the Seldon Plan.
This book lacked almost all of those. There's only one POV and instead of a grand mystery we get a smallish feeling adventure journey with mostly bickering protagonists. I liked the ending though and I'm looking forward to continue reading the series after a break: next up will be Robots and Empire and The End of Eternity, followed at some point by the two Foundation prequels. 2/5

Ha, I just finished the Foundation series myself, only just having discovered Asimov. Though I also thought Foundation's Edge was the better of the two, I wasn't as disappointed by Foundation & Earth as you were. I was quite absorbed by the search for Earth, and what they'd find there.

Did you read them in chronological order, or in published order? I read the two prequels after, and though the first one was a little slow going, I really liked the second (Forward the Foundation). In all, I found his later Foundation novels better than the originals.

I've just finished Caves of Steel and started the Naked Sun. While "mystery" stories aren't really my thing, I am enjoying reading more of the same universe.

I've got the Culture series on my wishlist at the moment. How would you say it compares to Foundation?

Arhu January 31st, 2017 16:30

Neat!

Quote:

Originally Posted by wiretripped (Post 1061432872)
Did you read them in chronological order, or in published order? I read the two prequels after, and though the first one was a little slow going, I really liked the second (Forward the Foundation). In all, I found his later Foundation novels better than the originals.

I'm following this flow chart:
https://i.stack.imgur.com/Gqa0S.png
Further explanation: Robots & Empire Reading Order

I'm going to read the two prequels last.

Quote:

I've got the Culture series on my wishlist at the moment. How would you say it compares to Foundation?
In a nutshell, the Culture books are fundamentally upgraded Sci-Fi. Think of a jump from Star Trek TOS to the next-next-next-…-next generation. ;)

While Foundation paved the way, it does feel a bit archaic, or charming, nowadays (although Foundation aged much better than Robots). The Culture feels very modern and sleek.

wiretripped January 31st, 2017 18:25

Nice chart!

I skipped "I, Robot" because I am not really big on short stories (and from what I understood, they don't really tie in with the rest of the universe), but I do want to read "Robots and Empire" too. However, can you believe that no Kindle version exists of that book? I was rather frustrated when I found out. >:(

I'll check out the "End of Eternity". I heard of it, but wasn't aware it tied into the larger Foundation universe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arhu (Post 1061432876)
In a nutshell, the Culture books are fundamentally upgraded Sci-Fi. Think of a jump from Star Trek TOS to the next-next-next-…-next generation. ;)

While Foundation paved the way, it does feel a bit archaic, or charming, nowadays (although Foundation aged much better than Robots). The Culture feels very modern and sleek.

I see, I'll have to put those on my wishlist then.
Since you seem to be into SF, have you read any of James Corey's books and, if so, are they decent? I was considering starting those after I wrapped up Asimov, since I rather enjoyed the Expanse.

Pongo January 31st, 2017 18:36

Just started John Christopher's 'the White Mountains'. I have vague memories of quite enjoying the Tripods tv series on the BBC back in the 80s so picked it up. It's good so far - interesting characters and concept. And you can never go wrong with giant three legged metal monsters. Although, you know, three legs, right? How the hell do they walk without falling over? Surely they unbalance as soon as they lift one up.

Ahh, I'm probably thinking about this too hard :).

Arhu January 31st, 2017 22:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by wiretripped (Post 1061432909)
I'll check out the "End of Eternity". I heard of it, but wasn't aware it tied into the larger Foundation universe.

From the explanation link: "Our epilogue to all this is 'The End of Eternity'. While it's related to the series by the thinnest of threads, I feel it works at the end because: (spoilers)"
So it doesn't, but supposedly works anyway. We'll see. :)

Quote:

Since you seem to be into SF, have you read any of James Corey's books and, if so, are they decent? I was considering starting those after I wrapped up Asimov, since I rather enjoyed the Expanse.
I had Leviathan Wakes on my to-read list and then found out it's about The Expanse, which I'd already watched the first season of. :o After having read some opinions on the differences between books and TV series, I decided to stick with the series. They added various twists that weren't in the books and the changes sounded like they were for the better. Overall I got the impression that the books, while good, had their dull moments or so … Anyway, I have enough unfinished novel series to read (my list is huge), so I'll savor the TV show.

Our resident Sci-Fi specialists are Hurls (he must be breathing books) and Thrasher, so maybe they can chime in with their own opinions.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Pongo (Post 1061432913)
Just started John Christopher's 'the White Mountains'.

Whoot. The last book (the one that wasn't filmed) is still on my to-read list. Good times and lots of nostalgia.

Carnifex February 1st, 2017 22:30

I'm back to reading the Wild Card series, I reread these every couple of years, and some of the earlier books have a new story or two in them, so that spices it up a bit. My hope is that someday home box office picks these up as a television series because, if done right, it could really set the standard for heroic viewing on the screen.

Pongo March 8th, 2017 17:28

I was thinking of trying a Conan book, never read one before. Can anyone recommend one?

Cronis March 8th, 2017 20:54

Pongo you can try the Chronicles of Conan Vol 1 by Robert Jordan. It consists of 3 full books of Conan written by Robert Jordan, acclaimed writer of the Wheel of Time series. It's pretty well done and still available to purchase on Amazon, at least in the US, not sure about Euro Amazon.

luj1 March 8th, 2017 21:06

Origins of Christianity by Karl Kautsky.

wiretripped March 9th, 2017 13:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pongo (Post 1061439054)
I was thinking of trying a Conan book, never read one before. Can anyone recommend one?

If you're going to read Conan, read the originals by Robert Howard.

The stories are a little disjointed for me, and short, but then I don't really like short story collections.

Carnifex March 9th, 2017 20:38

Seriously, if you are new to Conan you really should read all the Howard books first….well, I say all assuming you enjoy the first one.

I'm on my third day of reading American Lion, a book on Andrew Jackson, written by Jon Meacham. His life before becoming president always intrigued me so I was glad to find a book that covers all his life, not just his tenure as president. Really enjoying it so far.

luj1 March 10th, 2017 01:53

After Howard's books you can hit Buscema's comics. :)

Cronis March 10th, 2017 05:10

Currently reading John Gwynne's Ruin, book 3 of The Faithful and Fallen series. Very entertaining, fast paced with a wide variety of characters. Relatively low magic fantasy, with a Christian feel without being overtly religious. Lots of twists and turns with betrayal, lots of fighting and a ambitious overarching story line.

Pongo March 10th, 2017 12:15

Thanks all. I'll try the first Conan book by Howard and report back. :)
Ah looks like Amazon are doing a deal on an anthology collection by Howard. I hadn't realised they were short stories, I'll grab the collection and try that.

wiretripped March 10th, 2017 15:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pongo (Post 1061439455)
Thanks all. I'll try the first Conan book by Howard and report back. :)
Ah looks like Amazon are doing a deal on an anthology collection by Howard. I hadn't realised they were short stories, I'll grab the collection and try that.

I did some research before I grabbed my copy, and from what I found the Del Rey collections are the way to go. There's 3 of those, gathering all the Conan stories by Howard. Here is the first.

Pongo March 10th, 2017 16:36

Thanks Wiretripped - that one has a better cover as well, the picture sums up what I imagine Conan to be all about!

txa1265 March 10th, 2017 23:15

Reading Lincoln in the Bardo, first novel from George Saunders, who is acclaimed for shorter works. Very interesting mix of history and inventive fiction.

Hastar April 7th, 2017 00:56

Since I have been playing Battle Brothers I was wondering if anyone here has read the Black Company books? Seems interesting that it follows a mercenary company around. Just like in the BB game.

Lucky Day April 7th, 2017 02:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arhu (Post 1061432876)
Neat!


I'm following this flow chart:
https://i.stack.imgur.com/Gqa0S.png
Further explanation: Robots & Empire Reading Order

I'm going to read the two prequels last.


In a nutshell, the Culture books are fundamentally upgraded Sci-Fi. Think of a jump from Star Trek TOS to the next-next-next--next generation. ;)

While Foundation paved the way, it does feel a bit archaic, or charming, nowadays (although Foundation aged much better than Robots). The Culture feels very modern and sleek.

I was a huge fan of Foundation when I was in High School but they are a little silly to me now. The writing style is neat - all conversational and no romance. You will find familiar ideas (ripped off) from it included a character named Han.

The Mule is one of the most iconic characters in Sci Fi. I am of the opinion that Jar Jar Binks was or is supposed to be based off the Mule.

You should definitely include the Galactic Empire (sound familiar) as an important part of the canon. These were Asimov's first full length novels and he returns to some of the ideas in the final stories.

The Foundations written by the Killer B's are unfortunate junk. They quickly abandon the core of the stories for their own ideas, getting rid of the important conversational writing technique and misunderstanding that mind reading comes from some weird psionic energy instead of starting at understanding simple body language - i.e. Asimov's unique idea that psychic powers are more natural and less fantasy.

They do fill in some holes though and point out that certain characters were not so benevolent as the seem.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pongo (Post 1061439455)
Thanks all. I'll try the first Conan book by Howard and report back. :)
Ah looks like Amazon are doing a deal on an anthology collection by Howard. I hadn't realised they were short stories, I'll grab the collection and try that.

"The Phoenix on the Sword", the first short story, features King Conan - Conan in his later life. The amazing story reads literally like a Dungeons and Dragons story. I believe this is the story Schwarzenegger will do if another movie ever gets made.

Unfortunately, I found Howard repeated himself - a lot. He was in a rush it seemed to make some quick cash so he pounded out a lot of drivel for these pulp magazines so I quit reading them.

Howard's universe though is like a weird version of HP Lovecraft though. Its really dark and twisted which is what some people don't realize about Conan (Buscema :) ) Its like the two writers were trying to do different spins on each other's worlds.
He had a big influence on Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time because Tor assigned Jordan to those books before WoT took off.

Its interesting to note the publishers failed to renew the copyrights of their magazines back in the day and due to REH's unfortunate, untimely death his work is now in the public domain.

Several companies still try to dispute Conan as a trademark though.

Lucky Day April 7th, 2017 02:25

I should also note that Asimov approved an early version of I, Robot as a screenplay written by Harlan Ellison.

Ellison published the story of attempting to get it on the screen. I haven't read it but Ellison is such a character I bet its as entertaining as his roast of of Gene Roddenberry re: City of the Edge of Forever or the Ben Bova novelization of the disaster that was The Starlost called The Starcrossed


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