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Crap.  I don't have my post ready for this week yet.  Part of it was I had an art commission I need to work on this weekend, and part of it was I posted a silly piece of snark about Papa Johns Pizza earlier this afternoon which unexpectedly generated a ton of comments; and so I wasted too much time reading and responding to comments.

Next Week's diary is going to be a one-shot reviewing a novel by cyberpunk author John Shirley which I've been meaning to get to for a while now.  And after that...

I haven't quite decided.  I'm considering a couple possibilities.  With the upcoming movie next month, The Hobbit is sorely tempting.  Ellid did a diary on it a few months back, but there's plenty of material there for me to also gnaw on.

Another author I'd like to highlight is E.E. "Doc" Smith.  He's best known for his Lensmen series, but I think I'll probably do another of his ether-busting space operas, The Skylark of Space.

Fantasy has been sorely under-represented in my series so far.  I've considered Ursula K. LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea and Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn.

I'd also like to do some Bradbury.  I'd considered The Martian Chronicles, but I'm not sure it my in-depth synopes would be the best way to approach that book.

So.  What would you like to see?

Poll

Which book should I do next?

16%6 votes
24%9 votes
16%6 votes
13%5 votes
13%5 votes
0%0 votes
16%6 votes

| 37 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar, he said (21+ / 0-)

    I live for feedback.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:24:16 PM PST

  •  I always love Clarke... (7+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't mind taking a look at some of his more obscure novels.

    Seeing as he's a very optimistic SF author, it's a nice way to clean the palate, IMHO.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:33:50 PM PST

  •  I can't vote in the pole. I don't know how to (7+ / 0-)

    chose.

    I think of least interest is "The Hobbit". Not because it isn't good, it's wonderful, but I've read the hell out of it.

    "The Skylark of Space" and "The Last Unicorn" would be interesting to me because I haven't read them.

    Ursula Le Guin is one of my favorite authors. I like to think I follow in her example, exploring more of the human, and perhaps not so human, connection than hardcore science fiction or fantasy in my own writing.

    And well, Bradbury is awesome too. It would be interesting to hear other viewpoints since often I feel like I miss something in his stories. Not big, important things, but rather like being color blind. I get the picture, but the hue seems washed at times.

    I am much too liberal to be a Democrat.

    by WiseFerret on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:40:02 PM PST

  •  Steam AM Gold (4+ / 0-)

    I have another diary piddling out. That'll teach us right-brained not-so-verbals to try and write....

    However using the strengths of the visual right brain, here's a work in progress of my genre tweak that I call  "Steam AM Gold". Since it's based my my Steam & Threshing Show meets Science Fiction daydreams of my junior high days in the early '70s.

    OTOH, I'm fretting that Sci Fi Guy! may never find a publisher.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:16:47 PM PST

  •  All good choices (6+ / 0-)

    And for once I've read all of  them.

    I think, IIRC that Skylark of Space is about the only one on the list that hasn't gotten a movie treatment at some point. Earthsea hasn't either it looks like, so I'd go between those two choices.

    The Skylark series is definitely space opera, with some of the most egregious characteristics of that genre on full display. It's also fun - and comes to a rather discordant conclusion in the 4th book.

    Earthsea is typical Leguin. I haven't read it in a long time. I recall it as an enjoyable read but can take it or leave it.

    If you're looking for a fantasy story, there's an interesting one by John Brunner, The Traveler in Black. I read the original version which was four stories collected together; I see a 'compleat' version came along later with an additional tale added. I remember it as having some good plot twists. Brunner didn't write much fantasy, but not because he couldn't judging by these tales.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 07:32:34 PM PST

    •  Earthsea Adapted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, MT Spaces

      There was a miniseries loosely based on the Earthsea Trilogy some years back.  They made Ged white, which annoyed the heck out of LeGuin, and turned the girl from Tombs of Autn into a love interest.

      A couple years later, Studio Ghibli, the animation studio run by anime god Hayao Miyazaki, did a film called Tales of Earthsea, which I have not seen.  I'm willing to bet that the animation in it is breathtaking, but I'm not so sure if it's neccessarily faithful to LeGuin's stories.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:55:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would like to see something about the Lensman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, MT Spaces, quarkstomper

    series.  It is more space opera than science fiction, but it is entertaining.

    The basic plot involves a young man who is taught by a wise super intelligent mentor (in this case, actually named Mentor) to develop his inherent ability for superhuman mental powers to fight an evil galactic empire.  Does this plot sound familiar?

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:30:10 PM PST

    •  There was a Japanese Version of Lensmen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces

      There was a Japanese animated version of Lensmen that blatantly mulched elements from Star Wars back into the story.  It had some good character design and some primative computer animation.  "Doc" Smith fans tend to hate it, though.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:50:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you're really looking for a book to chew on (6+ / 0-)

    Check out Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson.

    I'm actually enjoying it quite a lot, but it's a slow read.

    A lot of his books are like that.  They fill your brain so fast you only want 10-20 pages at a time lol.

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Mohandas Gandhi

    by DouglasH on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:33:31 PM PST

    •  I loved that trilogy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, quarkstomper, MT Spaces

      after I got past the first part of Quicksilver which was, frankly, a slog -- and should have been edited to within an inch of its life.  After we meet Jack, the pace picks up and the rest of QS and both the subsequent novels really move.

      But the first half of QS should have been a trunk novel.

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:21:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Earthsea (5+ / 0-)

    It was the first fantasy series I read. It holds a special place in my heart.

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 08:35:17 PM PST

  •  Doc Smith and his Trillion Year Spree ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, quarkstomper

    ... are Everclear in the cocktail of S-F.

    Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

    by MT Spaces on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:29:01 PM PST

  •  If you're considering Ray Bradbury, (5+ / 0-)

    how about either Something Wicked This Way Comes or Dandelion Wine?  Either would be more conducive to your style, I think, b/c The Martian Chronicles were loosely-linked stories "turned" into a novel, whereas the other two are organic novels.

    For LeGuin, either The Dispossessed or The Left Hand of Darkness.  Both are brilliant; both belong on a liberal website.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:17:45 PM PST

    •  I second (4+ / 0-)

      The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness. The Earthsea trilogy always struck me as being incoherent in terms of story development. I have the impression that LeGuin started out with a story concept that she then largely abandoned as the trilogy developed. The individual books stand up well but don't add up to a collective whole.

      I'm afraid I take a heretical view of Doc Smith. Zero interest. I tried reading him as an adolescent. Outside of the unintended campiness of his dialog, I thought he was a dreadful bore.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:47:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Agree about Earthsea (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Youffraita, MT Spaces

        The Earthsea books are not a trilogy in the same way Lord of the Rings are; they do not present a unified story arc.  But the individual stories, as you say, do hold up well.  I suspect LeGuin's publisher wanted a trilogy, so she wrote three books.

        As for "Doc"; I suppose my fondness for him is in part nostalgia.  I discovered him at an age where most science fiction geeks discover John Carter of Mars.  He, along with Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov Writing as Paul French, was my entry drug into the world of SF.

        "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

        by quarkstomper on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:59:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  quarkstomper, Earthsea's okay (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quarkstomper, MT Spaces

          and it was the first LeGuin I read.  So it sorta-kinda made an impression.

          But I have no desire to revisit it.

          OTOH, I very much want to reread Dispossessed and Left Hand of Darkness.

          I think they probably epitomize the very best writing LeGuin ever did.

          To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

          by Youffraita on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:03:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Martian Chronicles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    but the version that doesn't edit out the story of when all the black people left the South.

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:25:49 AM PST

  •  But, if you do the Left Hand of Darkness (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    I'll love you forever. It remains one of my favorites.

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:28:12 AM PST

  •  overly-familiars (0+ / 0-)

    The other day I was wondering if there are any new insights to be beat out of overly-familars as such "Nightfall", "The Arena", and "Flowers for Algernon". The stuff that's overly familiar because of tons of reprints and school reading assignments. Then I wouldn't be surprised that these horses have been flogged to bone dust that new insights aren't really possible.

    I finished "Steam is a Gas!"

    It's yet another promo item for a project that's not going anywhere. This just flairs up a lot of hurt and raw feelings about dealing with fandom and prodom back in the '80s and '90s. And I wonder if it's a variation on those '90s-'00s HR weasels that don't like some farm boy coming in and acing their aptitude tests.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 10:01:30 AM PST

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