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Old 05-11-2008, 03:54 AM   #16
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How about SF stories by non-SF authors as a way of avoiding excessive nerdiness?

I remember really enjoying 'O-Zone' by Paul Theroux.
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Old 05-11-2008, 12:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
Huh? In 2008, I've read 48 books, 12 of them Science Fiction. Of the 16 books read on my Kindle, 9 were SF, 4 were fantasy, and 3 were mysteries.
Oh, good!
May I ask, Elsi, if your friends read SF? My wife and the women around me do not read SF so I was inclined to think as WDecraene. Maybe I was mistaken.
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Old 05-11-2008, 01:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
Huh? In 2008, I've read 48 books, 12 of them Science Fiction. Of the 16 books read on my Kindle, 9 were SF, 4 were fantasy, and 3 were mysteries.
Well, that's why I said "in general". Personally I only know one woman who likes SF, the rest being more into general fiction.
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Old 05-11-2008, 07:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by yvanleterrible View Post
Oh, good!
May I ask, Elsi, if your friends read SF? My wife and the women around me do not read SF so I was inclined to think as WDecraene. Maybe I was mistaken.
Well, most of the women in my family read SF. My mother, both sisters, and my 3 nieces.

My daughter doesn't read SF, but she enjoys SF television and movies. When I asked why she doesn't like to read SF, she said it's because they use words she doesn't understand. Pressed, it turns out that the words she doesn't understand are made-up terms for technology that doesn't exist. Since she's dyslexic, she gets frustrated because she doesn't know whether it's a made-up word or she's just not decoding the word correctly. With TV and movies, she catches on to terms like "phaser" and "tricorder" because she can see the devices in use.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
Well, most of the women in my family read SF. My mother, both sisters, and my 3 nieces. ...
[cough]Freaks![cough]

You'll have to take this as a Given Truth (which would suit me perfectly, so then I can just arbitrarily make things up. Like, Elsi, you still haven't paid me back that $50 you owe me), but I recall reading in several newspapers a few years ago (it was one of those stories that got tossed around) that females read more fiction books in all genres than males did. If I remember correctly, SF was the genre in which they had the lowest percentage, but it was still over 50%. In all other genres it could be significantly moreso. Where gender might matter, females had a significantly greater impact on sales of fiction than males.

So, given the Absolute Truth of my every utterance, and the Total Infallibility of my memory, I believe, Elsi, that "in general" your limited sampling actually expands quite reasonably.

Personally I find that in the niches and back alleys of the internet that are dedicated to SF, I get a pleasant and equal "balance" of genders (where apparent, which it is not usually) that makes for a nice, even-tempered environment, without a particular brand of googly-bit getting in the way of enjoyable conversation. io9 would be one example.

Cheers,
Marc

Last edited by montsnmags; 05-11-2008 at 08:42 PM. Reason: splelign
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:47 PM   #21
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Interesting comments, folks. I don't necessarily agree that Asimov is "soft' science fiction, though some of his work can be considered softer than others.

I'll take a look at some of your recommendations!
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jplumey View Post
Interesting comments, folks. I don't necessarily agree that Asimov is "soft' science fiction, though some of his work can be considered softer than others.

I'll take a look at some of your recommendations!
Incidentally, I found The Sparrow and Children of God (Mary Doria Russell) to be "soft" on the science (as in, "tread softly", not negligent) and, although I have my own reasons for disliking the books, my opinion is formed out of respect for the writing and the stories (they're in the "first contact" sub-genre). Their popularity is certainly justified. I have no hesitation in recommending them.

Cheers,
Marc

Last edited by montsnmags; 05-11-2008 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention the author
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:57 AM   #23
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I would think about Peter F Hamilton's 'Nights Dawn' Trilogy.

Granted each book is about 1000 pages or so, but it is a series I have re-read about 3 times.

There is also a collection of short stories called 'A Second Chance at Eden' set in the same universe, all leading up to the trilogy.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplumey View Post
Interesting comments, folks. I don't necessarily agree that Asimov is "soft' science fiction, though some of his work can be considered softer than others.
The "Foundation" trilogy might be a good one to choose; that's certainly not "hard" SF.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:51 AM   #25
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The "Foundation" trilogy might be a good one to choose; that's certainly not "hard" SF.
I agree about the Foundation series not being very "hard" SF, but i found them a chore to get through. I just don't think there's enough action for her. I want her to get hooked on sci-fi, so I am hoping her first few reads are memorable.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:04 AM   #26
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Good Morning!

I'm a girl, and I've read a lot of books in my time. I'd say 50% were scifi, the other half a mix of classic lit, fantasy, mysteries, romance, mainstream - just whatever I could get my hands on. But I don't know any other women who are scifi reading fans.

Definitely try Asimov's "Foundation" series. Your wife will find it easy reading, yet the concepts are mind-blowing. And I'd also suggest the monthly "Asimov" scifi magazine. The mag is loaded with lots of readable short stories, many of which go on to become famous. Or become ruined into movies. (There was a horrible movie with Cheryl Ladd, where far future people come back and crash airplanes for some reason or another. I remember thinking the story was much better than the movie.) But I digress.

I've been downloading the magazine onto my e-reader, and it translates to the device just fine. Happy Reading!
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:10 AM   #27
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Some memorable books that I'd recommend:

"Rendezvous With Rama" - Arthur C. Clarke.
"Tau Zero" - Poul Anderson.
"The Forever War" - Joe Haldeman.
"The Practice Effect" - David Brin
"The Uplift War" - David Brin
"The Mote in God's Eye" - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
"The Stainless Steel Rat" (and sequels) - Harry Harrison
"Ringworld" - Larry Niven
"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" - Robert Heinlein

I could name loads more, but those all strike me as being great for an SF "novice".
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:16 AM   #28
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One more suggestion: fantasy rather than SF, but one of the best books I've read in recent years - "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell" by Susanna Clarke. I was just blown away by this book.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:02 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplumey View Post
Interesting comments, folks. I don't necessarily agree that Asimov is "soft' science fiction, though some of his work can be considered softer than others.

I'll take a look at some of your recommendations!
Well, the paper on the solution properties of thiotimoline was, I thought, rather soft science-wise speaking.
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Old 05-12-2008, 11:39 AM   #30
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Some memorable books that I'd recommend:

"Rendezvous With Rama" - Arthur C. Clarke.
"Tau Zero" - Poul Anderson.
"The Forever War" - Joe Haldeman.
"The Practice Effect" - David Brin
"The Uplift War" - David Brin
"The Mote in God's Eye" - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
"The Stainless Steel Rat" (and sequels) - Harry Harrison
"Ringworld" - Larry Niven
"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" - Robert Heinlein

I could name loads more, but those all strike me as being great for an SF "novice".
These are all great recommendations. My only quibble is that I'd replace "The Uplift War" with "Startide Rising." It's one book earlier in the series; still a great starting point. And who wouldn't like a book in which (paraphrasing now) a character in the middle of a space battle experiences "a sudden overpowering sense of déjà vu" and recognizes it as being due to "a near miss with a probability weapon"? What a concept!

Xenophon
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