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View Poll Results: Which science-fiction book will spark our imaginations in August?
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke 13 27.08%
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs 8 16.67%
Lost Horizon by James Hilton 11 22.92%
Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks 15 31.25%
Roadside Picnic by the Strugatskys brothers 15 31.25%
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 12 25.00%
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card 18 37.50%
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds 13 27.08%
Solaris by Lem Stanislaw 11 22.92%
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis 19 39.58%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:24 PM   #16
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In this context, I often think of my grandmother. She was born in the horse and buggy days and lived to see men walk on the moon.
Wow! When you put it like that sci-fi foesn't seem quite so far-fetched! The trouble is that I associate sci-fi with Star Trek and Star Wars etc, and I can't think of a worse film to watch, let alone book to read!

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Old 07-23-2013, 03:15 PM   #17
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And Surface Detail is making its move. C'mon, Banks!
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:51 PM   #18
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And Surface Detail is making its move. C'mon, Banks!
Hear hear! It would be a fitting tribute to a wonderful author who died so unexpectedly this year. I have never been as much of a fan of his sci-fi as I have of his mainstream novels, but I'd be more than happy to give this a go.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:24 PM   #19
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I've read Ender's Game, so I voted for Revelation Space. I've not read anything from Reynolds, but it looks like that will lose as well.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:56 PM   #20
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Some good choices. If Ender's Game wins, it will be a waste because it is already so well-known and read.

There's a free html text of Roadside Picnic on the internet. It's a on Russian server, so I suppose it's legal in Russia, but I won't post the link just in case. The surviving brother died last November. RIP, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:19 PM   #21
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Hear hear! It would be a fitting tribute to a wonderful author who died so unexpectedly this year. I have never been as much of a fan of his sci-fi as I have of his mainstream novels, but I'd be more than happy to give this a go.
Banks said that he would really like to "go out" with a science fiction novel. It did happen that way--in a sense--because while The Quarry is the last book he completed in time for publication--The Hydrogen Sonata was the last book he actually lived to see published and launched.

A final note about this remarkable writer:

"In recent months, the astronomer José Luis Galache at the Minor Planet Center put forth a request that an asteroid be named after Iain M. Banks. Sadly, it was too late for Iain to hear of it, but on the 23rd of June this was approved by the International Astronomical Union."
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:21 PM   #22
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I didn't vote for the Banks book since it's part of a series and not the first book. Now I've been told the Culture books don't need to be read in order, but I've been told that with other series' and found it to be wrong so I'm not sure I have the same criteria as some others on that. I've also been told that the books can be read in any order with the exception that you should read Consider Phlebas first as other books contain spoilers for that one. I do want to read this author, but am very leery of any order but the order they were published most of the time. I have Consider Phlebas, but haven't gotten to it yet.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:39 PM   #23
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I'd like to see Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds get some traction. It sounds very interesting.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #24
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Go on vacation a week and miss the nominations. As blissful as disconectedness is, that sucks.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:27 AM   #25
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I have Consider Phlebas, but haven't gotten to it yet.
Get on that one. As I'm sure many have told you, it's an amazing novel. It is true however that the Culture novels don't really need to read in order. You should think of them as all being set in the same universe, rather than being a series that progresses from one book to another.

I voted for Rendevous with Rama since I read this many, many years ago and would love to revisit it. I remember it being an amazing story.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:48 AM   #26
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Some good choices. If Ender's Game wins, it will be a waste because it is already so well-known and read.

There's a free html text of Roadside Picnic on the internet. It's a on Russian server, so I suppose it's legal in Russia, but I won't post the link just in case. The surviving brother died last November. RIP, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
I totally agree there about Ender's Game.

Two version of Roadside Picnic can be found at the bottom of its wikipedia page. I posted them here, but it's been edited. Sorry about that.

It is a great read and, unfortunately, Eastern European SF is not that well known in the Western world so we could give it a chance.
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:30 AM   #27
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Banks said that he would really like to "go out" with a science fiction novel. It did happen that way--in a sense--because while The Quarry is the last book he completed in time for publication--The Hydrogen Sonata was the last book he actually lived to see published and launched.
I remember a friend of mine who read this said that he thought The Hydrogen Sonata was the pinnacle of this Banks' career, so it was possibly a very fitting last novel to have published. I can't vouch for the statement having only read about 5 culture books so far but I haven't been disappointed yet.

I too prefer to read in order - as arbitrary as that is in the case of culture novels. That's why I didn't vote for Surface Detail as much as I want to eventually read it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:18 AM   #28
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My life in 2013 would have seemed far-fetched to me in 1963. The idea that I could have instant access to information on any subject or that I would be communicating with people from around the world in real time would have been mind-blowing.
They had radios in WW2 and telephones too. You'd think she could have stretched her imagination that far. I read the reviews. I think I'll give it a miss...
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:27 AM   #29
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I remember a friend of mine who read this said that he thought The Hydrogen Sonata was the pinnacle of this Banks' career, so it was possibly a very fitting last novel to have published. I can't vouch for the statement having only read about 5 culture books so far but I haven't been disappointed yet.

I too prefer to read in order - as arbitrary as that is in the case of culture novels. That's why I didn't vote for Surface Detail as much as I want to eventually read it.
Glad to hear Hydrogen Sonata is good. I'd heard otherwise, but I won't look at reviews in case of spoilers. I'll read it one day. I'm saving it as it's his only Culture book I haven't read. I'm also glad that I didn't read Transitions. Saving them both.

Probably Consider Phlebas would have been a better introduction to Banks and the Culture, but Surface Detail is a good book, long, convoluted, involved, but very good.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:28 AM   #30
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I'd like to see Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds get some traction. It sounds very interesting.
I tried Reynolds and found his pacing leaden and his characterization 2-D.
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