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Wed 28 Dec 2022 11:07:55 PM CST : 1672290475

Three suggestions for SF newbies

If you're like me and never called it anything other than SF, you're not a noob.  Don't like that word either, but it'll do I guess. 

If you cringe, as I still do after 50+ years (albeit so slightly these days) when you hear the term Sci-Fi (Syfy) - well, we ain't gonna be around much longer to annoy people by insisting on doing it right, whatever 'it' may be. 

The reason we old geezers are still a little touchy, back in the day, in high school and college, even as a young guy in the Air Force (higher IQ requirements meant more of the more cerebral types, if you know what I mean) invariably some of us would get together and have an informal club for whatever we were interested in.  Besides liquor and women.  And sooner or later a Trekkie would join up.  Never worked well.  Unless they were a complete noob, no exposure to the genre at all.  Weren't many of those though. 

So their entire world was Star Trek.  Later Star Wars of course.  These guys weren't reading Heinlein and Asimov in the 70s, much less the Golden Age classics.  Or Larry Niven and Gordon Dickson, Frank Herbert, C.J. Cherryh, John Varley, the bottomless cornucopia where we found Jack Vance, Michael Moorcock, Brian Aldiss, Roger Zelazny...  in my own library of several thousand books I can barely scratch the surface here. 

The universe of the unwashed has expanded, with Dune falling victim not so much as a result of David Lynchs' mutilation (and it was followed by the excellent SyFy Channel adaptation) but by last year's insult.  But wokeness has ruined everything, it seems. 

Ironically some of the Star Trek (and Twilight Zone and Outer Limits) episodes of those days were written by noted SF authors.  If only the Trekkies had the curiosity to step outside that narrow channel and explore... 

To be sure the variety has increased in recent years, but aside from some rather lame movies (sociological rot the main cause) and franchises based on, besides Star Wars and Star Trek, popular (very) mainstream writers such as Stephen King and recently, George R. R. Martin, the latter a sad affair for his early fans.  But that's for another time. 

What I have in mind is discussing a ternion of multi-volume works I have found especially enjoyable.  So far I'm pretty settled on two, taking into consideration subject matter, setting, and some other common factors. 

There quite a few candidates, but I'll start with two that I recently found sufficiently so to include them right off.  I'm looking for a third one that fits well. 

So, here we go:

The Hyperion Cantos - Dan Simmons

Confluence - Paul McAuley

The Solar Cycle - Gene Wolfe

Here are some candidates for the third:

Gene Wolfe's excellent "Long Sun" series.  This eventually became three series' of novels, about a dozen volumes.  I noticed that I hadn't read the third (final) set. Unfortunate, because I really enjoyed the first two.  UPDATE: Last night I took a bottle Irish Mist to my library and spent a few hours browsing.  I have lost most of my memory prior to 2020 due to the unique ability of the Medical Industry to combine avarice and incompetence to destroy the lives of people to satisfy its greed.  So it joins the list, last but far from least. 

Larry Niven's Ringworld series. 

Frank Herbert's Dune novels (and the later works by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

The Dorsai novels by Gordon Dickson are interesting

The Snow Queen cycle by Joan D. Vinge was very enjoyable, but I noticed I've only read Snow Queen and Summer Queen, and missed two of the set.  Very good. 

The Foundation Series is an early example of the type, beginning in the 1950s and continuing almost to the time of Isaac Asimov's death (actually a final one was published posthumously)

I'll leave it here for now, it'll probably take a while. 

Quiescent Benevolence ~~ Wed 28 Dec 2022 11:09:28 PM CST : 1672290568

Last updated: Sun 22 Oct 2023 09:18:21 PM CDT : 1698027501

Mon 20 Jun 2022 06:40:24 AM UTC : 1655707224
Last updated: Fri 20 Oct 2023 09:45:36 PM CDT : 1697856336

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