View Full Version : Weapon Shops os Isher / Weapon makers
November 7th 2003, 11:36 AM
Just re read these after a long gap. Full of interesting ideas that you really feel need exploring more.
Quote from the first book.
The right to bear arms is the right to be free.
November 7th 2003, 12:28 PM
Who is the author?
November 10th 2003, 05:21 AM
AE Van Vogt
November 10th 2003, 06:25 AM
Never got around to WSI; only read the Null-A books, and a couple of collections. Lo-o-o-ong time ago too.
November 10th 2003, 06:28 AM
I'd forgotten about the null A books. My dad had them, and has now sold them. The only otehr AEVV book I now have is The voyage of teh space beagle
November 10th 2003, 06:30 AM
Oh, yes, I remember, I read that too. Kind of early Star Trek type book. Great author, along with Hal Clement, full of intriguing ideas. made SF respectable.
November 10th 2003, 06:31 AM
Indeed, full of ideas, with no padding at all.
November 10th 2003, 06:41 AM
I really enjoyed "hard" SF. Clement, Asimov, Bova, Pournelle, Niven, Hogan, Blish, Forward, Barrington-Bayley, Clarke. I stopeed reading SF partly because I became a Christian, and partly because in the late 80s everybody turned to fantasy, even people like Silverberg and Aldiss. Gordy Dickson fell behind on his Dorsai books, Clarke went trilogy mad, Asimov kicked the bucket, Pournelle and Niven went blockbuster mad... siiy. I haven't tried Stephen Baxter yet, but I heard an adaptation of his Mars book and it sucked. CyberPuck also put me off, though I liked early Bruce Sterling (Involution Ocean).
Trouble is, you can't get the old stuff anymore. VanVogt isn't on the shelves, any more than Harlan Ellison.
November 10th 2003, 06:48 AM
Startide Rising by David Brin is really good, although he has now gone down the dull trilogy route.
November 10th 2003, 06:50 AM
The Uplift War was good too, and Sundiver was okay.
The books after Uplift War/Startide Rising were really disappointing. There is very little Science Fiction coming out at all these days, all fantasy stuff.
November 10th 2003, 07:03 AM
I used to put Brin is the same category as people like Eklund, Gerrold, Dean Foster. Also rans. OK if you have nothing else to hand, but something decent better come up quick.
Vonda McIntyre, Ursula LeGuin, Sam Delaney, Robert Bloch, Jack Vance - sort of, Harry Harrison, Joe Haldeman. More names from the past.
November 10th 2003, 07:12 AM
November 10th 2003, 07:25 AM
Yes, though not a lot. Wan't much available then.
Frank Herbert. H Beam Piper. Christopher Priest - all time favourite, The Affirmation, and Dream of Wessex (knocks the Matrix into a cocked hat, I'll say). Robert Heinlein - Moon is a Harsh Mistress!! Overtaxing my memory, it's been over ten years since I thought about all this stuff.
November 10th 2003, 07:35 AM
Don't know Christopher Priest. I will have to look at my book shelves when I get home tonight. Most of my books were packed in the loft for the last twenty years, so only just rediscovering some old favourites. It is really depressing how little science fiction is written now, although I like fantasy (particularly David Gemmel) it just isn't as good.
November 10th 2003, 07:55 AM
Priest is excellent. He started as part of the new wave, and graduated towards mainstream, culminating in The Affirmation. He couldn't write after that for a good few years, and his later work is more pastiche on his earlier work and I wouldn't bother with it.
Dream of Wesex, a virtual reality world where reality and virtual get confused.
Fugue for a Darkening Island. England after an invasion by asylum seekers from a nuclear conflict torn Africa. Visionary.
Inverted World. His "hardest" work, based on perceptions of the world.
Space Machine. A Re-writing of War of the Worlds from characters within the story.
There is a book out called Dream Archipelago, which is short stories. Only get it if you have can handle explicit writing. Some of the stories are good, but one is bad - he got more sexually explicit as he went on.
November 10th 2003, 08:07 AM
Do you read fantasy at all. If you do I can recommend the George RR Martin series The Game of Thrones. Very war of the roses set in a fantasy background. These books can really surprise you.
November 10th 2003, 08:57 AM
I never really got the taste for it. Tried Katherine Kurtz once. After LOTR the rest looks a bit pale by comparison. Can you recommend stuff that has the same intellectual punch as, say Dune, or Dorsai?
November 10th 2003, 09:21 AM
You could try some of Piers Anthony stuff. He did both SF and fantasy.
The xanth series is very light fantasy.
You might find the the incarnations series interesting. Set in the current time.
Again fantasy but where Death, Fate, War, Nature and one other are actually people who play the role. Originally planned as a 5 book series (each book concentrating on an individual incarnation), he expanded to add in two books one for the devil and one for God.
As an aside at one point there is a discussion on the Mutually Assured Destruction theme (written during the cold war) along the lines of no one was sure which would create the greater destruction, nuclear bombs or releasing the greater demons from hell.
November 10th 2003, 09:29 AM
/ot I have been trying to remember the Poul anderson books I read. Earthbook of Stormgate.
Thanks for the info. I have read, I now remember, on of Josť Farmer's Books, the eternal river series. I think I looked at Anthony, and might have read something, possibly a co-write with Roger Zelazny - another name from the past; he was good. Theodore Sturgeon. Dangerous Visions and all that.
The ideas you mention remind me of Blish's Case of Conscience series, including Black Easter, in which the pit of Hell is opened. Case of Conscience itself is a brilliant book along the lines of "what if there is life, and I am a Christian." taking a different line to Lewis in his books, because the life, in its normal life cycle, recapitulates the evolutionary series, and the Catholic priest/scientist hero concludes it is a work of the devil. Dramatic ending. Blish's Cities in Flight is another all time favourite.
I mainly didn't go for fantasy cos I didn't read just for pleasure, although I encountered a lot of pleasureable stuff. Cut my teeth on Clarke's trilogy, Moondust, Sands of Mars, Earthlight.
/ot Brian Stableford, Hooded Swan series, another favourite.
November 10th 2003, 09:48 AM
Cities in flight, another classic, recently reprinted if I remember correctly.
I have all the Hooded swan series, plus the series where they went checking on various colonies (can't remember the name). But didn't start to write fantasy (I seem to remember an article saying that he couldn't make money writing SF) not read anything of his since.
November 10th 2003, 10:27 AM
Hooded Swan was one of my favourite starships. He wrote something about a dyson sphere world as well didn't he? Anyway, I put himn with Eklund, Brin. Gerrold etc. Good read. When I started, back in my late teens (late 70s) I got through 6-8 paperbacks a week, back when books were 45-75p each!! plus all the ST novelizations.
It was a golden age followed by a silver age, and we appear to be into the iron age now. Either fantasy stuff, or revisits, like Dune copies.
One writer I read a bit of and liked, Michael Moorcock. Another, Philip K Dick. If I get the money i keep telling myself I'll by their collected volumes that are out.
November 10th 2003, 12:05 PM
Liked the Elric stories, bit I'm struggling with dancers at the end of time.
November 10th 2003, 12:07 PM
Have you read Iain Banks? Waterstones did some offres on his books, but I didn't bite. Not sure about him, along with a lot of other newbies.
November 10th 2003, 12:13 PM
His culture stories have a lot of good ideas in them, but I always find that he can't end teh story, always seems to have a flat ending.
November 10th 2003, 12:16 PM
Reminds me of Ian Watson. I tried him, but it was like he had a few good ideas for scenes and he tried to tack them together to make a story, all passed off in the name of New Wave, so consistancy didn't matter. Real New Wave like Ellison, Sturgeon, Aldiss etc did it much better. Perhaps it's the level of education these days. I especially liked the authors who approached mainstream while not forgetting their roots: Delany, Ellison, LeGuin, Priest for instance.
Favourite one off story from an author: Space War Blues, by Richard A Lupoff.
November 10th 2003, 12:18 PM
Your mad gerbil has broken the games room!
November 10th 2003, 12:24 PM
November 18th 2003, 07:05 AM
I remember when Orson Scott Card came on the scene, with Hot Sleep and Capitol. Good books.
Lloyd Biggle Jr's The Light That Never Was. Excellent.
C J Cherryh, Wave Without A Shore. Brilliant, as were her SF Merchanter stuff, esp Cyteen.
A set I remember was the Lemmus Trilogy, by someone i can't remember the name of. The first two were very good, intergalactic empires and stuff, but the thrid was a retelling of the gospel accounts, with the disciples as alien agents molding human evolution. Oh dear.
Barrington Bayley's Collision with Chronos was good.
November 18th 2003, 07:36 AM
Did you read 40,000 down on Gehenna by C J Cherryh, I found it really disturbing for some reason. Liked the merchanter stuff and the fleet v union books.
November 18th 2003, 07:50 AM
No, I didn't I read a couple of other Merchanter novels, but it was just before I became a Christian, so it all went by the board.
Did I say I read Larry Niven's stuff - I really enjoyed his "Known Space" works, esp ones like Protector, and Ringworld (the sequels were nowhere near as good, as usual)
I think the most disturbing book I read was Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison. Reading his writings is why I can never lower myself to read the likes of King, Herbert, and whoever else is writing horror.
November 18th 2003, 07:56 AM
I tend to avid horror stories. Liked the Niven known space stuff.
Did you read the forever war, Joe Halderman(?). Or teh detah world stories by Harry Harrison.
What did you make of the later foundation stories?
November 18th 2003, 08:14 AM
Yes to FW, Haldeman was one of my favourites; I think that was the book that introduced me to the knoweldge that war is hell, wherever it happens (I was early twenties then I think). I only read a bit of HH, mostly Bill the Galactic Hero.
I read the original trilogy, but not the later ones; I was getting a bit disenchanted with all thse "return to" novels that came out, most of them bigger than the original trilogy. I haven't forgiven Dickson for writing such huge laborious volumes in the Dorsai cycle. Clarke got carried away with Rama, Silverberg with Majipoor, Aldiss with Hellicona, Niven with Ringworld, and his Barnes collaborations. I have also avoided the new Dune novels (in fact only read up to God Emporer). I didn't read much by Asimov; as time went by I think I tended to shy away from the naivete of earlier SF, having encountered authors like Ellison and Haldeman. I also turned to writers like Lawrence Durrell, Nikos Kazantzakis, and D M Thomas, and that affected what I found readable as well.
btw, Illuminatus messed my head up!!
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