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Old 06-10-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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Favorite Sci-fi Universe

My favorite thing about reading science fiction besides escape-ism, is the take one the Universe by the author.

Some are simple, Giant Empires of Humans spread across systems, its just earth warfare on a larger scale... (really its earth pre 1500ad on space ships instead of wooden sailboats)

Some are so complex you need a score book.

it's the complex ones I love, its so easy to talk about to people. tell them about the story, and get them to read it.

The reason I bring it up is I just finished reading "A Fire Upon the Deep" by Vernor Vinge. This Novel had the most Original universe I've ever seen. Zones of Thought its called. the way it seems, the further away from the galactic core you are. the more the laws of physics tend to do some funky things. Faster then Light Speed is Possible. Computer programs can be sentient. Programs can Kill people and manifest. When a Human Travels toward the center of the Universe, Thought slows down, in the book they mention that it could make a genius go to an IQ of 60. But when you get out of what the book calls the Slowness, the Part of the Galaxy where FTL is not possible, and get into what they call the Beyond (Earth is in the Slowness, all Humans in the Beyond got there by Ram Scoop Sub Light and Cold Sleep) things get interesting. Beyond the Beyond, the Transcend is where the real cool stuff happens, Civilizations come and go in a matter of years, computer programs can be smarter than a sentient being, This is where the Gods Reside. And Beyond that there are things even stronger, faster, and more powerful, where thought can change the laws of the Galaxy.


Another Novel that I found hat a "novel" idea of the Universe is "Sun Diver" By David Brin. First book in the Uplift Universe Series. in this Universe there are ways things happen. One Race Uplifts another race, Often Enslaving that race for a certain number of years in the process. Turning a Race of ground Slugs into Sentient Beings. Humans Got on the Scene, but no one Uplifted the Human Race. We had no prestige in their eyes, we were not respected because we didn't have a parent race who was respected. the only reason any aliens talked to us at all is because before we met these aliens, We Uplifted Two races ourselves, the Dolphins, and Chimps. The Second Book Of this Series main characters are Dolphins! How cool is that.

My all time favorite Universe is Heinleins Universe. I saw Only one because although many of his works take place in different time streams, where different events happened in history. he later brings it all together in his latter books like Number of the beast and his idea of "pantheistic solipsism" or "world-as-myth" — the theory that universes are created by the act of imagining them. Where he brought together not only his books, but books by favorite authors of his, Like ER Broughs, and The OZ books. how cool would it be to be in a Flying Car, that can go between 6^6^6 Universes and have explore and have fun. although many found the book, "the number of the beast" as meandering (I believe he devoted like 4 pages to a discussion about the Word Teat Vs Breast) the Universe he created in this novel was one of my favorites. If not my favorite of all time, If only because in it, any universe that can be imagined exists. So in a List about favorite Universes, You Have to Include this one, because in this one they all exist. (Dora and the Gay Deceiver doesn't hurt much either)

What are some of yours?
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:14 PM   #2
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Lensman Red (as opposed to the Red Lensman.) Everybody has bad things to say about E.E. Smith PHD, but 1. They're fun, and @. There is a lot behind the stories if you think about they universe. But you have to think, it's not spoon fed...
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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Lensman Red (as opposed to the Red Lensman.) Everybody has bad things to say about E.E. Smith PHD, but 1. They're fun, and @. There is a lot behind the stories if you think about they universe. But you have to think, it's not spoon fed...
I read one of the lensman books. but it was in the middle of the series I think so I didn't like it all that much.

on the other hand. I have never heard of anything bad about the Lensman books or EE Doc Smith besides him being a little Young adult. Which I don't think is a bad thing either. I do plan to read it from the beginning but I've got a ton ahead of it
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #4
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My first choice would be Larry Niven's "Known Space." A wide range of races and a long stretch of history (especially if you factor in the "Man-Kzin War" series of books.)
My second nomination is the either the "Confederation" or "Commonweatlh" universes created by Peter F. Hamilton. Both authors create very detailed worlds in which the aliens really are alien, not just Green Bug Eyed Humans.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:28 PM   #5
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My first choice would be Larry Niven's "Known Space." A wide range of races and a long stretch of history (especially if you factor in the "Man-Kzin War" series of books.)
My second nomination is the either the "Confederation" or "Commonweatlh" universes created by Peter F. Hamilton. Both authors create very detailed worlds in which the aliens really are alien, not just Green Bug Eyed Humans.
I'm also a big fan of Known Space... although I must admit I'm finding myself disappointed with the most recent books featuring Nessus. More than a few points revealed about the puppetteers seem unrealistic or even self-indulgent in contrast with the earlier stuff.

e.g.: General puppetteer enamourment with human culture to the point that its fashionable for some members even of the highest echelons to take names from Greek mythology?! Part of me wonders if its just a last-minute justification for a publisher-forced convention to give the puppetteer characters readable/memorable names...

-------

I am even more taken by Iain M. Bank's "The Culture" universe:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture

Sentient machines, super-intelligent spaceship Minds, infinitely moldable and changeable bodies and the presence of both mindless hedonism and good old fashioned human (not that they are humans--they aren't, as per the story world, I believe) intrigue and politicking... but more than a little bit of it involving the (compared to "meat-bags") seemingly omniscient Minds.

Also, I found the Idirans ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiran-Culture_War ) to be magnificent villains. I am sad they were so quickly (after just one book) cut down to size and thus basically disposed of.

- Ahi
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:35 PM   #6
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"the Culture" series sounds interesting. never heard about that before... I think ill go get a copy of the first book.

(also I noticed I spelled Universe wrong in the title after I went through and fixed it every time I spelled it wrong in my post... its one of my very common misspellings.)
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:42 PM   #7
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Well I'm really sure if its my favorite but it gotta be close is the Honorverse of David Weber's Honor Harrington(same intials as Horatio Hornblower). Their are a lot of politics involved, and the space battles are pretty believable because there are a lot of tactics/strategy talked about in the book. I find it very enjoyable, fine literature maybe not. Entertaining? Yes.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:17 PM   #8
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:23 PM   #9
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Well I'm really sure if its my favorite but it gotta be close is the Honorverse of David Weber's Honor Harrington(same intials as Horatio Hornblower). Their are a lot of politics involved, and the space battles are pretty believable because there are a lot of tactics/strategy talked about in the book. I find it very enjoyable, fine literature maybe not. Entertaining? Yes.
I find the Honorverse very entertaining too. but as far as the universe is concerned I find it unoriginal. Empires going against eachother, political motivations, posturing. its good stories, but the world created it just a cover over earth warefare. when I wrote the first paragraph, the Honorverse and the lost fleet came to mind, along with most other Military scifi that I have read. the old mans war universe was a bit different, one of the few novels that has humanity has an aggressor on the glactic scale against non humans... but in all honesty it feels alot like the US against the rest of earth but on a galactic setting again. Especially the bit about how the galactic UN was created by humans but we didn't join it.. seems alot like alot of US policies, (US position on land mines for example)
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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You may have noticed my many posts praising A Fire Upon the Deep. Skroderiders. Any universe featuring ancient potted palms riding around on scooters which contain their intelligence for them just has to be an interesting place to exist.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:00 PM   #11
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You may have noticed my many posts praising A Fire Upon the Deep. Skroderiders. Any universe featuring ancient potted palms riding around on scooters which contain their intelligence for them just has to be an interesting place to exist.
What's interesting is that Vinge didn't invent the Skroderiders. He got them from a story in either Galaxy or Astounding from the 50's. At the time I had complete runs of that decade in both magazines so I was able to check it out and read the story. I think it was called "Junior." (Unfortunately I no longer have either my copy of AFUTD or the magazine in question.)

However my favorite universe is probably still the Lensman Universe. "Doc" Smith was brilliant, and I'm not really sure why anyone would really consider that series "young-adult," especially by the standards of the time. Drug dealing and addiction was pretty heavy subject matter.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:03 PM   #12
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You may have noticed my many posts praising A Fire Upon the Deep. Skroderiders. Any universe featuring ancient potted palms riding around on scooters which contain their intelligence for them just has to be an interesting place to exist.
possibly that's whats made me read it so soon.. and made my eyes stop over it when I was reading over the Hugo list. the name just kept poping up all over the place. it is quite a complex book. I remember being more than 1/3rd into it and I still didn't understand what anything was or how it fit. by about halfway though though most things clicked into place. what the heck a Skrode was etc etc etc. it takes alot of investment to read it, but rich rewards.

I love the Tines, and I love the way it ended. with Humans and Tines working together. very man and mans best friend, and it was almost obvious from Amdijefri throughout the novel.

I had one minor inconsistency. when Tyrachet put on the cloaks, I thought that put Her In Control and submerged Flenser. but when we come back to her later. Flenser is in control. did I just Miss read and Flenser was in control from that time. or was it an inconsistency? when I think back to the reasoning it would make more sense that Flenser spent time in the cave of echos then Tyrachet would, a School teacher. but it surprised me
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:06 PM   #13
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one universe I like:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Particularly towards the end)


P.S. This is just a brief reminder that I look at the world at a 103 degree angle from everyone else.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:10 PM   #14
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However my favorite universe is probably still the Lensman Universe. "Doc" Smith was brilliant, and I'm not really sure why anyone would really consider that series "young-adult," especially by the standards of the time. Drug dealing and addiction was pretty heavy subject matter.
I think because most of the reviews out there were written by men who first read it as 13 year old boys. many Scifi books Deemed Young Adult have alot more in it than the average vampire Novel or traveling pants. but I don't care for that genre title.

the average 13 year old can read a novel just as well as a 30 year old. I find the whole Young Adult Category in stores just crappy novels written for teen girls.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:19 PM   #15
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What's interesting is that Vinge didn't invent the Skroderiders. He got them from a story in either Galaxy or Astounding from the 50's. At the time I had complete runs of that decade in both magazines so I was able to check it out and read the story. I think it was called "Junior." (Unfortunately I no longer have either my copy of AFUTD or the magazine in question.)

However my favorite universe is probably still the Lensman Universe. "Doc" Smith was brilliant, and I'm not really sure why anyone would really consider that series "young-adult," especially by the standards of the time. Drug dealing and addiction was pretty heavy subject matter.
I acknowledge that there are good short stories.. but my problem with them is that they are so short!. I watch TV shows because movies are so short. I read books cause TV shows are so short. I read book Series because books are so short.

I like to fall into a world. and stay there, for a long time. a short story is like a hit of Coke. but then the author wont sell you anymore.
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