Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > Reading Recommendations > Book Clubs

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-04-2018, 07:37 PM   #46
AnotherCat
Me
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,116
Karma: 12183664
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Anything
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrangerhere View Post
Jenkins the robot was by far the best character for me.
Jenkins was the best character by far for me too.
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2018, 01:52 AM   #47
darryl
Wizard
darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
darryl's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,529
Karma: 40356996
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Kindle Oasis, Huwei Ascend Mate 7
@astrangerhere. Interesting contrast. Of the three, I would classify only Bradbury as a real master of the craft of writing. That is not to disparage either Asimov or Simak. I believe there is one aspect of Science Fiction which can sometimes result in an otherwise ordinary competent writer joining the ranks of the great. That aspect is ideas and their exploration. This I think includes authors like Asimov and Simak. This type of writer is also perhaps better suited to grand saga's like those mentioned. I was blown away by Nightfall when I read it as a child. Not because it was particularly well written. Not because I cared for the superficial characters. But because of the ideas it explored and exposed me to. The consequences of such a small but important difference on the human psyche. The fall of successive civilisations, the fires, the religion and mysticism. And the hope of final release from the cycle. Years later I had a similar reaction to Alice Sheldon's "The Screwfly Solution", though in fairness Sheldon was a much better writer than Asimov. The Foundation Trilogy was enjoyable for the same reason, the ideas. I can't say I cared for any of the sketchily drawn characters, but I loved the idea of psycho-history and the foundations. Asimov was at his best with great ideas and grand sweeping stories and deserves his place as one of the greats. Simak also explores interesting ideas and concepts, but I don't think it's an accident that many here think that the best character in the books was a sketchily drawn Robot. Bradbury, on the other hand, was a master of his craft, and far more capable of conveying emotion. Who can forget "All Summer in a day" or "I Sing the Body Electric".

The theme of human flaws and ultimate serious limitations lost me also as the stories progressed, mainly because, like AnotherCat, I found the Dogs and Animals which increasingly dominated quite jarring, fantasy more suited to Children's books. I would nevertheless still classify the book overall as Science Fiction, but with a large and important element consisting of pure fantasy drawing it very close to the border.

@AnotherCat. Good post. You set out the reasons for your point of view very well. The only story I can really say I loved in the book is Desertion. I note your comments about Jupiter's core, and had a very cursory look at the state of the science when the story was written. I found nothing definitive, though what I did find suggests that real information about the composition of Jupiter only surfaced after close encounters with our probes. I'm not so sure that the science of the time invalidated Simak's speculation on this point and if so whether he should have known of it. That aside I managed to enjoy the story in any event.
darryl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2018, 01:09 AM   #48
AnotherCat
Me
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,116
Karma: 12183664
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Anything
Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl View Post
...I note your comments about Jupiter's core, and had a very cursory look at the state of the science when the story was written. I found nothing definitive, though what I did find suggests that real information about the composition of Jupiter only surfaced after close encounters with our probes. I'm not so sure that the science of the time invalidated Simak's speculation on this point and if so whether he should have known of it...
I don't know the exact timelines (apart from the determination that it was not a solid body) but I suspect they are much like the following:

- Part 1; That Jupiter was not solid but gaseous (what is now called a Gas Giant); 17th Century using known diameter and Kepler's orbital law, so deriving mass and average density (this is trivial to calculate).

- Part 2; Helium was discovered mid 19th Century, it was discovered in the sun (from its spectrum) as it was unknown at that time on earth. Hydrogen was discovered in the 18th Century (on earth) so I assume it was identified in the sun (from its spectrum) before helium.

- Part 3; Discovery that hydrogen (mostly) and helium comprise most of the mass in the universe (before the concept of dark matter came along ). I am unsure when that was identified but I would assume early 20th Century, if not before, because the visible mass of the universe is predominantly stars and our own sun was then known to be hydrogen and helium. It would then be a reasonable assumption that gas giants comprised mostly of hydrogen (mostly) and helium as there are not enough other gases, in comparison, floating around to form giant gaseous planets. Hydrogen predominates in the universe as helium is just the fusion product of hydrogen (so from stars and the theoretical big bang). Confirmation of the gases of Jupiter from earth by spectroscopy are compromised by Jupiter's cloud cover, its outer layer turbulence and, I assume, the low level of reflected light from the sun - when and if hydrogen and helium had been confirmed as predominant in Jupiter by spectroscopy before the first space probes I do not know.

- Part 4; Following the discovery of Jupiter's gaseous composition it would have been known that the density of the gas increases the deeper into the planet one went (due to gravitational compression) and this could be calculated for a known gas. Following the discovery that Jupiter's composition was likely hydrogen (mostly) and helium I would have thought that by early 20th Century that it would have been known (or at least possible to know) that due to pressure hydrogen at depths would be liquid hydrogen and then solid hydrogen deeper still as is proposed now. Liquid hydrogen and solid hydrogen were prepared on earth in the last quarter of the 19th Century.

- Part 5; From fly by spacecraft it is known that the surface is predominately hydrogen (90% by volume, 75% by mass) and almost all the rest helium. The spacecraft Galileo released a probe into Jupiter which survived to around 95 miles before being crushed by gaseous pressure, but confirmed hydrogen and helium likely all the way down. So it is currently believed that as the interior pressure increases hydrogen becomes liquid and then solid, and within that a possible small rocky core (rock being that which is not gas, liquid or a phase of those). It needs to be kept in mind that the liquid and solid phases of hydrogen are very light, being only approx. 7% and 8% that of water respectively, and so cannot be compared with our usual experience of liquid and solid.

So, I think that Simak perhaps did not know anything of Parts 1 to 4 above, any of which would have alerted him to a possible problem with his story, and thought no one else knew any more than he did. Or he did not research it (not researching the facts in case they were to come up with information contrary to the agenda is a journalistic device ). If he did research it and knew that there was a likely problem with his story he ignored what he found (avoiding information that compromises the agenda is another journalistic device ).

In the end, as I have said, I quite liked the book. In the end, the more I think of it, it is improved for me by just considering the collection of stories as being someone's dream; so they are in a frame in which facts and the past, present and future have no meaning.

PS: am not trying to be a smartass here . I studied the History of Modern Physics at university and enjoyed it, and that led me to developing a general interest in the history of science.

Last edited by AnotherCat; 09-07-2018 at 01:25 AM.
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2018, 02:13 AM   #49
darryl
Wizard
darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.darryl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
darryl's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,529
Karma: 40356996
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Australia
Device: Kobo Aura H2O, Kindle Oasis, Huwei Ascend Mate 7
@AnotherCat. Not at all. You are certainly in a much better position to judge this than I. I appreciate you setting out your reasons so logically. Perhaps had he gone to some trouble he could have found out, even if it meant him doing his own calculations. Based on his stories, however, and his background I suspect he was no Andy Weir!
darryl is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2018, 10:28 AM   #50
Wearever
Guru
Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 804
Karma: 7331788
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: New England
Device: Oasis 2,Voyage, Kindlle hdx 8.9, Ipad mini 4. Air 2
I felt that Semak was underscoring human flaws, in this book. Jarome Webster M.D. suffered from agoraphobia. He also invited his peers to his home to discuss his book, they never came. That led me to believe the others also had agoraphobia as well. At a time when in their younger days they traveled to Mars to help with the Martian plague.

Man continues to isolate himself over the centuries to the point where there are only few hundred in Geneva. They also took up strange hobbies like painting one picture for a lifetime. In Sara Webster's case. They were idle everything was done for them by robots. Creativity was stagnant no new ideas, no new destinations interested them. They took "The Sleep " in hopes that in the distant future some other generation would solve their problems for them. They also decided the earth should be left to the dogs.

The dogs were the ultimate optimists, they succeeded in their utopian ideals but failed in practical terms. Without predators the world became overcrowded and they ran out of space to grow food for the now depended upon feeding stations.

It was a world without corrections.
Wearever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2018, 09:40 PM   #51
AnotherCat
Me
AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.AnotherCat ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,116
Karma: 12183664
Join Date: May 2012
Device: Anything
Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl View Post
...Based on his stories, however, and his background I suspect he was no Andy Weir!
You just caused me to extend my "to read" list by 2 books .

Another evolution thing I noticed in the stories was that cats were not mentioned (as far as I noticed). We have kept cats all our lives so their not being mentioned stuck out - cats are not only carnivores, they actually cannot survive on a non meat diet. As far as I know the whole cat family are the same, vege's provide no nourishment for them; I think the only other mammals that are the same are the pinnipeds (seals, walrus, etc.).

This posed a problem once there was no killing on earth. Did Simak secretly kill off all the domestic cats before then without telling us, or did they all die of hunger, or did they evolve to become talkative vegetarians but remain domestic cats ?
AnotherCat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2018, 10:10 PM   #52
Bookworm_Girl
E-reader Enthusiast
Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bookworm_Girl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bookworm_Girl's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,996
Karma: 28746979
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Kindle Oasis 2; Kobo Aura One; iPad Pro 9.7
I have just returned from traveling so I haven't had a chance to read all of the posts yet. However, I have to say that of course the lack of cats got my attention too. Who doesn't believe that in our world cats must be secretly plotting global domination. At least I know all the cats that I've had were! Ironically, cat bans in New Zealand were a big topic in the news a week ago. I read the articles with a completely different perspective having just finished City and wondering how cats would have behaved in a killing-free dog world. By the way, I thought it was interesting how the dogs transitioned in the timeline from using special flea powders (killing insects contrary to the societal expectations) to suffering again from fleas.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45347136
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nat...217569255.html
Bookworm_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2018, 11:23 AM   #53
Wearever
Guru
Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 804
Karma: 7331788
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: New England
Device: Oasis 2,Voyage, Kindlle hdx 8.9, Ipad mini 4. Air 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl View Post
I have just returned from traveling so I haven't had a chance to read all of the posts yet. However, I have to say that of course the lack of cats got my attention too. Who doesn't believe that in our world cats must be secretly plotting global domination. At least I know all the cats that I've had were! Ironically, cat bans in New Zealand were a big topic in the news a week ago. I read the articles with a completely different perspective having just finished City and wondering how cats would have behaved in a killing-free dog world. By the way, I thought it was interesting how the dogs transitioned in the timeline from using special flea powders (killing insects contrary to the societal expectations) to suffering again from fleas.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45347136
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nat...217569255.html
Thanks for the links Bookworm_Girl . I had no idea about the bans on cats.
It seems the cats wouldn't have cooperated in the dog world. Lol . They probably are in another dimension ( cobbly world ) where the cat's rule and use dogs to find and retrieve their prey.

Last edited by Wearever; 09-10-2018 at 04:06 PM.
Wearever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2018, 04:24 PM   #54
fantasyfan
Wizard
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,208
Karma: 24458020
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle 3 (wifi only) Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch
Simak's Jupiter is clearly not in our solar system. He used it as an image of transcendence which doesn't seem likely with our present knowledge--at least as he creates it. Much the same can be said of the re-creations of Mars and Venus by most science fiction writers of the "Golden Age". Mars had canals deserts and sometimes ancient civilisations still surviving while Venus was usually a swampy sweltering jungle though C.S.Lewis presents it as a water-world and second Eden.

Thus, Another Cat's idea of seeing City as a sequence of dream images is certainly a way of enjoying this type of older work. A friend of mine loves stories about Mars and her way out is simply to assume that such a planet could exist elsewhere in an infinite multiverse of alternate worlds. Philip Pullman does exactly that for his alternate Oxford in Northern Lights.

Personally, I just accept the fictional universe as given. I know that there are not strange alien malignant creatures on Mars who can manipulate our sense of reality as happens in Bradbury's chilling"Mars Is Heaven", but for the purposes of the story I suspend disbelief.

This works perfectly with fantasy but I can understand that those who prefer hard sci-fi are going to be annoyed with a work which uses science which has become clearly outdated. I found Doyle's The Maracot Deep to be annoying because he simply ignored the problems created by the existence of water pressure at great depths--even though the physical fact of this was well known to all--including him. I think that Simak probably was being speculative rather than deceptive in City concerning Jupiter and he got it wrong.

But I still like the story.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 09-13-2018 at 04:26 PM.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2018, 10:48 AM   #55
Wearever
Guru
Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Wearever ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 804
Karma: 7331788
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: New England
Device: Oasis 2,Voyage, Kindlle hdx 8.9, Ipad mini 4. Air 2
I liked the story too, thanks for recommending it fantasyfan !

I counted it as a fantasy book on my fantasy challenge, but also saw science fiction as well. The Jupiter part of the story was the most confusing part of the book for me. The rest of the book made more sense. When I first read about the experiences man was having on Jupiter, I thought they were hallucinating or on some unknown drug, perhaps a way for the Martians to get humans off earth. That wasn't the case, but I did suspect the Martians motives throughout the story. Probably because Juwain and his species never thought of Medicine or had Doctors. Philosophy seemed to be their only interest. So I felt that Man had accepted Juwain's philosophy without thinking about what the down side could be. It seemed they went through drastic measures to achieve this philosophy, and suffered the consequences.
Wearever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2018, 05:34 PM   #56
fantasyfan
Wizard
fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.fantasyfan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
fantasyfan's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,208
Karma: 24458020
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ireland
Device: Kindle 3 (wifi only) Kindle Paperwhite 2G Wi-Fi only, iPad, iPod Touch
I would completely agree with you that the Juwain Philosophy is the key to the book.

It is interesting that the book follows four different groups: Humans, Mutants (who really don’t see themselves as human), the ants, and the dogs. Humans for all practical purposes disappear; the Mutants simply disappear into some alternate reality, the ants remain ants with technology, and the dogs seem to inherit the universe. The ants probably are incapable of using The Juwain Philosophy: mutants use it to send humanity to transcendence, and the dogs don’t need it.

I think it’s a book which opens quite a few portals.
fantasyfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amazon selling a pirate edition of Clifford Simak's "City"? carld General Discussions 18 10-21-2012 03:42 AM
Science Fiction Simak, Clifford D: Empire, v.1, 4 March 2009. Patricia IMP Books (offline) 0 03-03-2009 10:33 PM
Science Fiction Simak, Clifford D: Empire, v.1, 4 March 2009. Patricia BBeB/LRF Books (offline) 0 03-03-2009 10:27 PM
Science Fiction Simak, Clifford D: Empire, v.1, 4 March 2009. Patricia Kindle Books (offline) 0 03-03-2009 10:23 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:36 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.