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Thread: The Basics

  1. #101
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    I'm sure Lovecraft and Poe should both feature for something, I'm just not entirely sure what.

  2. #102
    Learning to read more, post less JustSarah's Avatar
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    If someone were writing Epic Science Fiction (epic used in the same way as epic fantasy), would Frank Hubert's Dune be a recommended read?
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  3. #103
    Ah-HA! Smiling Ted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustSarah View Post
    If someone were writing Epic Science Fiction (epic used in the same way as epic fantasy), would Frank Hubert's Dune be a recommended read?
    I would recommend it, certainly - along with A Deepness in the Sky, the Foundation trilogy, Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space books and Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. But this list isn't about genres; it's about concepts. You might try this thread for more suggestions; also search the forum for "space opera."
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  4. #104
    The ever absent-minded CChampeau's Avatar
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    Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem fits well under "elevated animals", "mind control" and "dystopia". Nominated for a Nebula award in 1994. One of the weirdest darn stories I ever read. It's a hard-boiled detective novel set in a dismal future where menial jobs are performed by "evolved" animals, which have become about as smart as a young child and can talk. Dark, funny, scary, shocking, weird...yeah, it has all those in spades. You could kind of tell it was the author's first novel, but hell. I enjoyed it and it serves two or three of the categories well.

    ETA: This book is in no way seminal - I just couldn't resist mentioning it when I saw the "Elevated animals" category and this novella fit so perfectly ^_^;
    Last edited by CChampeau; 02-25-2013 at 07:37 AM. Reason: edited to add
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  5. #105
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin MidnightMused's Avatar
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    A fantasy category that is so common it shows up everywhere, but is more required there: Group of unique/misfits with a variety of magic abilities on quest. I think one I saw subverted the trope and had too much goodness after the good guys won made a new doom. Tolkein to CRPGs and Dragonlance are all over this.

    Another fantasy and SF common one (often done badly) was crossover from our time and space to the fantastic. MZB House Between Worlds, or the doctor in the save the whales-Trek movie in the original timeline.

  6. #106
    That cheeky buggerer Maxinquaye's Avatar
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    I would argue that Wilson Tucker's "The Long Loud Silence" should be in the dystopia section. It's one of those "most influential books you've never heard about". It hasn't been in print, as far as I know, since 1993, but is totally worth the read. It's like the Kraftwerk of the dystopia genre in that it set the tone for later writing, but isn't that known outside niche readerships.
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  7. #107
    It's a doggy dog world benbradley's Avatar
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    Looking back over this thread (since it was bumped), I found this post, but the Wikipedia link is now a disambiguation page:
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadia Divine View Post
    Does anyone know any books that involve an omniverse? Here's a link just in case (it's wikipedia, but what the heck. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omniverse

    BTW: I ask because my WIP is in an Omniverse. I haven't found anything that features an omniverse so I feel like I'm reinventing the wheel. Granted I don't mind reinventing the wheel, I just want something to go by.

    based of that example, mine is just barely an omniverse.
    Here's how the page appeared at some time before that post:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20100420...wiki/Omniverse

    And here's how it appeared later, at archive.org's next saving of the page:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20111106...wiki/Omniverse

    And the multiverse article linked to from the current entry is also "interesting:"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse
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  8. #108
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Looking over the list, I think you can add Jennifer Government to Franchise Government/Anarchy, as practically everything in its universe is privatized and there are two competing groups of corporations essentially (the government is a small organization struggling for funding and part of neither corporate group). It's a damn good read, as well.

  9. #109
    Ah-HA! Smiling Ted's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, Zyr. I didn't include Jennifer Government (2003) because it comes too late. The fundamental concepts at play in it can already be found in Vernor Vinge's The Ungoverned (1985) and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash (1992). The loyalty programs appeared in the 1950s in the works of Fred Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth (The Space Merchants). (In fact, for anyone interested in SF as satire, I heartily recommend C.M. Kornbluth.)
    Last edited by Smiling Ted; 06-07-2015 at 08:10 AM.
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  10. #110
    Urban Fantasy Author brkingsolver's Avatar
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    Great list. I am surprised that MZ Bradley's Darkover books weren't included under Telepathy.

  11. #111
    late cretaceous SciSarahTops's Avatar
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    Brilliant resource. Thank you
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  12. #112
    figuring it all out
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiling Ted View Post
    Over at the Science Fiction Writers of America, they call it "re-inventing the wheel." Here's what they say:


    First Contact
    Between humans and aliens.

    The Mote in God’s Eye, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
    "A Martian Odyssey," Stanley G. Weinbaum
    “First Contact,” Murray Leinster
    "The Helping Hand," Poul Anderson
    The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
    2001, A Space Odyssey, film, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind, film, Steven Spielberg
    The Day the Earth Stood Still, film, 1951, Robert Wise, Harry Bates, Edmund North
    ET, film, Steven Spielberg
    The Man Who Fell to Earth, film, Walter Tevis, Nicolas Roeg
    Solaris, Stanislaw Lem
    Contact, Carl Sagan
    Similarly:
    A Signal From Space, Will Eisner (graphic novel)
    His Master's Voice, Stanislaw Lem
    The Hercules Text, Jack McDevitt
    I would like to add to this list Needle, Hal Clement

  13. #113
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    This is a great idea. Kind of goes against the whole Gatekeeper concept of a genre, replacing it with a checklist. I've read about half of these fantasy ones, maybe a quarter of the scifi ones, and a smidge of the others. And that's a lot of books. Always nice to be able to come back here to look for more classics

  14. #114
    practical experience, FTW The Black Prince's Avatar
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    Brilliant thread. I read sci-fi voraciously throughout my teens and twenties but kinda went off it. I'm pleased to note how many of the books above I've read, but who knows what I've missed in the last 20 years? Which is suddenly important because I've suddenly written a sci-fi novel (almost finished) and I don't think it quite falls into any of the categories above.

    I haven't read the entire thread but I wonder if there is a category missing - much typified by Andre Norton's work - rediscovery of ancient alien ruins and technology. Books such as The Beast Master; The Zero Stone; Uncharted Stars are great stories.

    Also, for the uplifted animals category, Breed to Come is brilliant.

    Has there been much mention of Vonnegut? Existential satire for Player Piano; Sirens of Titan; Slaughterhouse Five.
    Last edited by The Black Prince; 02-27-2018 at 02:10 PM.

  15. #115
    Kalsik Kalsik's Avatar
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    There is a way to take into account other works without having to read all these titles cover to cover/see end to end.
    Summaries, snippets, but more or less finding a way to get an abridged but informative insight into each story's interpretations and features.
    I approach it the same way I approached my degree, I looked into those who'd studied works already [secondary], and then I look out specific sources I feel would be the best to dive deeper into [primary].

  16. #116
    killin' all teh werds AW Moderator zanzjan's Avatar
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    Fiction doesn't work like non-fiction, though.
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  17. #117
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    This is amazing, thank you!

  18. #118
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Great thread, many thanks to those who contributed.

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