ThunderPeel2001

Books, books, books...

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I was going to type in a passage, before I Googled and found this little gem. It's pretty much what I'm talking about. I'll quote the whole thing here to make it easier.

If all stories were written like science fiction stories

by Mark Rosenfelder

Roger and Ann needed to meet Sergey in San Francisco.

“Should we take a train, or a steamship, or a plane?” asked Ann.

“Trains are too slow, and the trip by steamship around South America would take months,” replied Roger. “We’ll take a plane.”

He logged onto the central network using his personal computer, and waited while the system verified his identity. With a few keystrokes he entered an electronic ticketing system, and entered the codes for his point of departure and his destination. In moments the computer displayed a list of possible flights, and he picked the earliest one. Dollars were automatically deducted from his personal account to pay for the transaction.

The planes left from the city airport, which they reached using the city bi-rail. Ann had changed into her travelling outfit, which consisted of a light shirt in polycarbon-derived artifical fabric, which showed off her pert figure, without genetic enhancements, and dark blue pants made of textiles. Her attractive brown hair was uncovered.

At the airport Roger presented their identification cards to a representative of the airline company, who used her own computer system to check his identity and retrieve his itinerary. She entered a confirmation number, and gave him two passes which gave them access to the boarding area. They now underwent a security inspection, which was required for all airline flights. They handed their luggage to another representative; it would be transported in a separate, unpressurized chamber on the aircraft.

“Do you think we’ll be flying on a propeller plane? Or one of the newer jets?” asked Ann.

“I’m sure it will be a jet,” said Roger. “Propeller planes are almost entirely out of date, after all. On the other hand, rocket engines are still experimental. It’s said that when they’re in general use, trips like this will take an hour at most. This one will take up to four hours.”

After a short wait, they were ushered onto the plane with the other passengers. The plane was an enormous steel cylinder at least a hundred meters long, with sleek backswept wings on which four jet engines were mounted. They glanced into the front cabin and saw the two pilots, consulting a bank of equipment needed the fly the plane. Roger was glad that he did not need to fly the plane himself; it was a difficult profession which required years of training.

The surprisingly large passenger area was equipped with soft benches, and windows through which they could look down at the countryside as they flew 11 km high at more than 800 km/h. There were nozzles for the pressurized air which kept the atmosphere in the cabin warm and comfortable despite the coldness of the stratosphere.

“I’m a little nervous,” Ann said, before the plane took off.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” he assured her. “These flights are entirely routine. You’re safer than you are in our ground transport cars!”

Despite his calm words, Roger had to admit to some nervousness as the pilot took off, and the land dropped away below them. He and the other passengers watched out the windows for a long time. With difficulty, he could make out houses and farms and moving vehicles far below.

“There are more people going to San Francisco today than I would have expected,” he remarked.

“Some of them may in fact be going elsewhere,” she answered. “As you know, it’s expensive to provide airplane links between all possible locations. We employ a hub system, and people from smaller cities travel first to the hub, and then to their final destination. Fortunately, you found us a flight that takes us straight to San Francisco.”

When they arrived at the San Francisco airport, agents of the airline company helped them out of their seats and retrieved their luggage, checking the numeric tags to ensure that they were given to the right people.

“I can hardly believe we’re already in another city,” said Ann. “Just four hours ago we were in Chicago.”

“We’re not quite there!” corrected Roger. “We’re in the airport, which is some distance from the city, since it requires a good deal of space on the ground, and because of occasional accidents. From here we’ll take a smaller vehicle into the city.”

They selected one of the hydrocarbon-powered ground transports from the queue which waited outside the airport. The fee was small enough that it was not paid electronically, but using portable dollar tokens. The driver conducted his car unit into the city; though he drove only at 100 km/hr, it felt much faster since they were only a meter from the concrete road surface. He looked over at Ann, concerned that the speed might alarm her; but she seemed to be enjoying the ride. A game girl, and intelligent as well!

At last the driver stopped his car, and they had arrived. Electronic self-opening doors welcomed them to Sergey’s building. The entire trip had taken less than seven hours.

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Thanks! Like the previous post said, here :)

Awesome! Where does that link go?

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Lol! That was brilliant and very true. I have to say that I don't mind that sort of sci-fi, though, in fact it's sort of necessary. If you're going to experiment with technology then the reader needs to know how it all works, to a degree, at least.

"Jake and Jyll boarded a typical example of public transportation for their day and age, and soon found themselves at their destination." Lol. (Sorry, I just cracked myself up.)

I mean, if you took out all the technology references, wouldn't it just be "fi"? ;(

Still, I suppose it doesn't need to be quite that blatant and soulless!

I would recommend:

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

They do have certain elements of what you described, but they've also got a lot more to them :tup:

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Nearly at the end of the Baroque Cycle from Stephenson. The first one was heavy going, but the latter two are fantabulous.

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This thread make me feel so stupid for reading and loving Stephen King.

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Nearly at the end of the Baroque Cycle from Stephenson. The first one was heavy going, but the latter two are fantabulous.

Is that the series where they

find there's life after death, and it's so boring it drives people insane

? If so I remember reading one of those when I was 17, and always meant to go back to them.

I also just finished The Time Traveller's Wife, which is science fiction as it should be. No babbling or exposition about imaginary technology, just a very strange proposition projected into people's lives. It has some beautiful circular loops in it, such as

Henry as a child learning how to fight, pick pockets, etc. from his later self

:)

I'm now about 100 pages into jPod by Douglas Coupland. Apparently he got a job at an EA studio to do research for it, and it's like all the tales of crunch, excess and bureaucracy I've ever heard from the games industry rolled up into a hilarious ball. "Where's [so-and-so]?" "Oh, he went out to tag freight trains with some guys from IT last night and they haven't come back yet".

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Yeah, CBC tried to turn that one into a TV show. Didn't work out so well. Oh, Canadian television. Why are there so many failures and so few Newsrooms?

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This thread make me feel so stupid for reading and loving Stephen King.

I really like Stephen King. I just finished Night Shift, actually. I still have The Stand and The Dead Zone in my closet, but am too tired to read anything that big for now.

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Is that the series where they

find there's life after death, and it's so boring it drives people insane

? If so I remember reading one of those when I was 17, and always meant to go back to them.

Nope. It's historical fiction and follows the life of a character called Daniel Waterhouse, a puritan and one of the founder members of the Royal Society, back when science and the scientific method was first being thrashed out. The other major characters are Jack, a Vagabond, and Eliza, a concubine in Constantinople - or at least that where she starts. The major supporting characters are Newton, Robert Hooke, Liebniz, Wren, Charles II, Louis XIV, Cromwell and many other major figures of history from those exciting times. The books cover the Cromwellian revolution, the reformation, the great fire (of London) amongst many other things, all intertwined around the three characters as they influence and are influenced by the political and financial upheavals that characterised European expansion and World events in that time period. As I said, the first one starts off well, but bogs down... the 2nd and third are joys to read.

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And the baroque cycle is a prequel to the Cryptonomicon. A book about WWII and the near future. I can recommend all books. But only read them if you've got plenty of time on your hands, they are rather long.

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I finished Nation by Terry Pratchett a couple of weeks back (it was good, although I found the "does not happen" stuff a bit cheesy and ridiculous), and have moved on to Gödel, Escher, Bach. After several train journeys to and from work, I have made my way through the 20th anniversary edition introduction and yesterday made a start on the book itself. I'm not a fast reader, and it's a large book. This could take quite some time.

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The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

Seconded.

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Guest HotScoopDealer

In terms of books I have to recommend the new one by Joe Abercrombie. Called 'best served cold' and it's a one off extension of the world he built up inhis first law trilogy. Absolutely excellent and a must read.

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In terms of books I have to recommend the new one by Joe Abercrombie. Called 'best served cold' and it's a one off extension of the world he built up inhis first law trilogy. Absolutely excellent and a must read.

Did the Spambots suddenly go high-brow?

(Joking: Welcome HSD, you real user, you.)

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Just finished reading the Serpent and the Rainbow, and it was incredible. Great pacing, very engaging, and it somehow made me interested in Ethnobotany! Who knew?

The movie you might've seen with Bill Pullman is only loosely based on the actual events of the book, so if you like zombies and adventurous non-fiction, check it out. Just don't expect Dawn of the Dead.

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I'm about halfway through Watchmen.

I am probably shit for not reading this a decade ago, but whatever. It is a quality thing so far.

The ending will blow your mind.

I'm soon done with Kingdom of Fear by HST. It's about him, his life and his thoughts on USA in general... Let's just say that they aren't very nice. After that I've got some low-key Sci Fi lined up, namely Cloud Atlas and Ghostwritten by David Mitchells. Which one should I start with? After that I've Moby Dick, Underground (about the terrorist attack on the Tokyo Subway by Murakami) and some more Cormac McCarthy lined up. I also plan on reading Paradise Lost before it becomes another God of War clone :violin:

I'm reading Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose right now, and it's fantastic so far. I'm 150 pages in, which is about a third of the way.

I read that when I was a kid, pretty awesome book. Never struck me to compare him to Dan Brown, maybe because I just recently read all his books and yeah, I saw the movie with Tom Hanks (I really don't want to compare any book to any movie with Tom Hanks in it).

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The ending will blow your mind.

David, I presume you've finished Watchmen by now, but don't get your hopes up about the ending if you haven't.

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David, I presume you've finished Watchmen by now, but don't get your hopes up about the ending if you haven't.

I didn't suggest that the ending was good. Just, surprising...

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The good thing about the ending is not the plot but the reactions of the characters. Watchmen is, first and foremost, a series of character studies.

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I didn't suggest that the ending was good. Just, surprising...

Well there's nothing less surprising than the surprise you were waiting for. (Or something.)

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