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Old 09-29-2021, 08:38 AM   #31
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Foundation is now on Apple TV.
Yeah, the first two episodes. The third will come on Friday.
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Old 09-29-2021, 09:17 AM   #32
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I've read this and found it very boring. Nothing actually happened. A slug of a book. Just awful. I'd rate it 0 stars.
I liked it, but I agree few things happen. It's one of those "sense of wonder" books with a huge alien structure. There's been a lot of literature, TV shows and movies along those lines since then, which has dulled our ability to feel that wonder.
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Old 09-29-2021, 09:26 AM   #33
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Coming back to Asimov, I'm a big fan. I started reading SF with his works, and I loved all of them. It's been a long time since then, and old SF doesn't age as well as other genres, but I still love it.
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Old 09-29-2021, 07:58 PM   #34
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What are your 3 great books?
  1. Rendezvous with Rama
  2. ?
  3. ?

I'm guessing 2001 and Childhood's End?

I'm interested in Imperial Earth, The Fountains of Paradise and The Songs of Distant Earth.



I haven't read any of the Rama sequels. My only experience with Clarke and Gentry Lee was Cradle which sounds GREAT. But I remember being very disappointed when I read it.

Clarke and Stephen Baxter make a good pair though and I recommend their Light of Other Days if you haven't read it.
I was thinking Childhood's End and The City and the Stars. 2001 is great too, I guess. I agree his Baxter stuff is good too. Cradle I could never read.
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Old 09-29-2021, 08:03 PM   #35
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FWIW one of my favourites from Clarke is The Trigger by Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Kube-McDowell.

Curiously enough, I've never read The City and the Stars. I had really liked Against the Fall of Night and was wary of picking up the rewrite. But I do now own The City and the Stars in ebook, so will probably get to it.
I'll give The Trigger a try. The City and the Stars is very different from Against the Fall of Night.

Surprised you didn't like the short stories. I suggest you read The Songs of Distant Earth (the short story). I read it only recently. It showcases his skills.
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Old 09-29-2021, 09:12 PM   #36
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I'll give The Trigger a try. The City and the Stars is very different from Against the Fall of Night.

Surprised you didn't like the short stories. I suggest you read The Songs of Distant Earth (the short story). I read it only recently. It showcases his skills.
I don't recall mentioning short stories on this thread - or maybe you infer dislike from their absence here? I think short stories is/was where Science Fiction often shines - it lets authors wrap their neat ideas in minimal story and (often) get away with it. Both Clarke and Asimov had some truly great short stories, but Asimov was the one I where I ended up buying my own copies of various collections. But I don't tend to revisit the shorts very often.
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Old 09-29-2021, 09:15 PM   #37
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Foundation is now on Apple TV.
Cool, I'm on it.
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Old 09-30-2021, 06:53 AM   #38
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Cool, I'm on it.
Though it's only "inspired by" the Foundation books.
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:23 AM   #39
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I liked it, but I agree few things happen. It's one of those "sense of wonder" books with a huge alien structure. There's been a lot of literature, TV shows and movies along those lines since then, which has dulled our ability to feel that wonder.
I agree it's a sense of wonder book, and it is done exceedingly well. One can argue not a lot happens. I disagree. What happens is the exploration of the mystery of the object. And Clarke describes and evokes that wonder so well. I wonder if that was Clarke was truly a master of--describing wonder, eternity, mortality, the tininess of humans in the face of it. His title of first novel length work Against the Fall of Night quotes a poem that describes that sentiment. Clarke was probably the best at this since Hodgson in the Nightland. It's a thread that runs through all his best work.
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:23 AM   #40
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Though it's only "inspired by" the Foundation books.
I skimmed through the start. It looks dreadful.

The adaption of Childshood End was not bad. It kind of went off, and added new stuff early on, but I feel it did a lot of what it did well. But Foundation looks dreadful.
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:14 AM   #41
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I wonder if that was Clarke was truly a master of--describing wonder, eternity, mortality, the tininess of humans in the face of it.
Yes. One of my all-time favorite books, The City and the Stars, is also one of the best epitomes of that sense of wonder I've ever read. Granted, I've only read the Estonian translation of it, but I still remember the awe I felt when I first read it in my early teens. (The Soviet-era translations (of mostly any book) were excellent, as a rule. I've never felt the need to read the original with most of them. Not so with later translations, where I prefer the originals if they're in English).
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Old 09-30-2021, 05:28 PM   #42
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Coming back to Asimov, I'm a big fan. I started reading SF with his works, and I loved all of them. It's been a long time since then, and old SF doesn't age as well as other genres, but I still love it.
One of the problems is that Science itself advances so that what was once known fact can change. Edmund Hamilton's "The City at World's end" is an example. Knowledge about how stars age and their life cycle changed after he wrote it so that it doesn't work in that regard anymore. It's still a good story though.
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Old 10-01-2021, 11:50 AM   #43
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Yes. One of my all-time favorite books, The City and the Stars, is also one of the best epitomes of that sense of wonder I've ever read. Granted, I've only read the Estonian translation of it, but I still remember the awe I felt when I first read it in my early teens. (The Soviet-era translations (of mostly any book) were excellent, as a rule. I've never felt the need to read the original with most of them. Not so with later translations, where I prefer the originals if they're in English).
Yes, I know it's a drag reading in another language. At least on an e-reader we have the dictionary. Have you tried some of the short stories in the original English? I read Strugatsky in English, and find them fine to read. I actually prefer the older translations. They are less polished, but perhaps they convey the original Russian better.

I will add that Clarke writes particularly beautiful prose. Against the fall of night is shorter, and just as good as the city and the stars. It's worth reading just for the opening scene. Apparently the opening scene was what spawned both books. It appeared in his mind all by itself with great power, and he wrote it down immediately.

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Old 10-01-2021, 11:51 AM   #44
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One of the problems is that Science itself advances so that what was once known fact can change. Edmund Hamilton's "The City at World's end" is an example. Knowledge about how stars age and their life cycle changed after he wrote it so that it doesn't work in that regard anymore. It's still a good story though.
Yeah, that's a good book. Best Hamilton I've read.
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Old 10-01-2021, 11:57 AM   #45
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But... the saving grace was when I discovered the Final Foundation Trilogy which beautifully tied up the loose ends and confused storylines while also making quite a few stunning revelations about the characters and the storylines.

The author is self published and his books are available to download for free.

He has completed the first two books - Foundation and Second Empire in 2013 and The Robots of the Interregnum in 2018. Untitled book 3 is still a WIP and a couple of years off. (I have corresponded with the author)

His site can be found here... https://ibmjob.dk/
I started the first book. The author writes well enough, and he appears to develop the universe in interesting ways. However, the first few pages are very dull, with one character just basically giving a long mental infodump. But I will persevere based on what he is doing with the universe.
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