Group Reads Book 4

ForumGroup Reads - Sci-Fi

Melde dich bei LibraryThing an, um Nachrichten zu schreiben.

Group Reads Book 4

Dieses Thema ruht momentan. Die letzte Nachricht liegt mehr als 90 Tage zurück. Du kannst es wieder aufgreifen, indem du eine neue Antwort schreibst.

1iansales
Bearbeitet: Jan. 16, 2009, 9:17am

Might as well start thinking about what book to read next.

Classic or new book?

SF or fantasy? (Do we do fantasy?)

I'm going to chuck out a few suggestions:
White Queen, Gwyneth Jones (1992)
Lord Byron's Novel, John Crowley (2005)
Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon (1930)
Roadside Picnic, Boris & Arkady Strugatsky (1972) - bonus points if you watch Tarkovsky's "Stalker" as well
The Accord, Keith Brooke (2009)

2billiejean
Jan. 16, 2009, 8:46am

My suggestion is The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
--BJ

3geneg
Jan. 16, 2009, 9:16am

A fire upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

4andyl
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:17am

I think we should go for something unashamedly SF.

The Accord isn't published until March so I think that is out.
I don't think White Queen is in print in the UK or the US.
Roadside Picnic is a good book and fairly short so should be suitable. Unfortunately it doesn't look to be in print in the US.
Last And First Men is an interesting choice as it comes from the British philosophical SF tradition rather than the US pulp tradition.

As Michael Coney was mentioned on a thread recently how about Hello Summer, Goodbye aka Pallahaxi Tide aka Rax.
Also how about Learning the World by Ken MacLeod. Yes I know some of us have probably read it but it should at least be available in most good book shops.

5Aerrin99
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:24am

I've never read Learning the World, but it looks very interesting!

6iansales
Jan. 16, 2009, 11:32am

#4 - doh. Should have realised The Accord hadn't been published yet. Not that I have an advance copy or anything... And I've got Hello Summer, Goodbye so I'm up for that.

7andyl
Jan. 16, 2009, 3:56pm

I think that Ian recommended The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness last month. I managed to find a hardcover in a cheap/remainder book shop the other day for £2.00 so I bought it. I am reading it now and I am half-way through and finding it a very good read indeed. So thanks for the recommendation, I had seen Niall mention it on Torque Control but I couldn't be arsed to go out and buy it at the new price. In hindsight that was a mistake it is well worth the paperback price.

8iansales
Bearbeitet: Jan. 16, 2009, 4:19pm

I've not read it myself yet, although I've seen uniformly good reviews. And I wish I'd managed to find a copy for £2 (it cost me three times that from Amazon).

9billiejean
Jan. 16, 2009, 7:04pm

My daughter suggested that I nominate another book Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and I just read a review of it elsewhere that was really good. Plus, apparently there will be a movie of it in 2011.
--BJ

10bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 16, 2009, 9:09pm

i'll suggest alchemy of stone - excellent combination of steam punk with the fantastic by an author i hadn't come across previously. I'd be tempted (and will buy or check out) to suggest her previous book the secret history of moscow but judging from reviews, it seems more wholly fantasy.
http://www.librarything.com/work/4729265/37417211 for several reviews, including, unusually, one from me as i don't bother too often. I totally agree w/ both bibliojim's and bluesalamander's reviews. I think this book has a shot at becoming a classic.

Just fyi:I had a majorly negative response to radio freefall - just awful; be happy to pass my copy on to someone. Duped by my fondness for SF featuring music. Now i'm very Heinlien averse, so someone who likes his work may well have a far more positive reaction.

Kind of negative on Ender's Game as we've had some pretty extended discussions about Card's books on the SFFans group already.

11iansales
Jan. 17, 2009, 4:26am

I second the negative on Ender's Game. By all accounts, it's a book best enjoyed in your early teens.

12GwenH
Jan. 17, 2009, 12:38pm

I'll second: The War of the Worlds by Wells

I'll add: "Dawn" by Octavia E. Butler
here's link since Touchstone doesn't work:
http://www.librarything.com/work/1118709
"Dawn" is also in the omnibus Lilith's Brood

13LolaWalser
Jan. 17, 2009, 1:38pm

A kind friend intent on educating me about SF (especially stuff fresher than 1953, say) sent me the following recently, and I haven't started on any so far, so these are all my suggestions:

White queen by Gwyneth Jones

Divine endurance also by Jones

The parable of the sower by Octavia E. Butler

The player of games by Iain M. Banks

and

Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch

14rojse
Bearbeitet: Jan. 18, 2009, 11:10pm

Here is what has been nominated so far:

The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
The Accord - Keith Brooke
The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney
Lord Byron's Novel - John Crowley
Camp Concentration - Thomas M. Disch
White Queen - Gwyneth Jones
Divine Endurance - Gwyneth Jones
Learning the World - Ken MacLeod
The Knife Of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
Alchemy of stone - Ekaterina Sedia
Last and First Men - Olaf Stapledon
Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
A fire upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells

I suggest that we do secondings and the like on the 26th (so we know what the entire list of books is before we start) give the secondings a week, and the top five nominations go to a poll. However, what does everyone else think?

15GwenH
Jan. 18, 2009, 11:54pm

I'd also nominated Dawn by Octavia Butler, if that counts.

16iansales
Jan. 19, 2009, 2:18am

Cross off The Accord - it's not published until March.

18ronincats
Jan. 19, 2009, 1:37pm

I'll second the Vinge once again (or third it, technically). The book Bob mentioned, Alchemy of Stone, sounds interesting as well. I have Divine Endurance and would love to read it again (it's been at least 30 years) but it looks very hard to find--at least Amazon has only a few copies ranging from $10 to $90.

19andyl
Jan. 19, 2009, 3:23pm

Divine Endurance is still in print in the UK and can be bought from The Book Depository for £6.18 (free delivery to the US and Canada and a number of other places). So around $9 for a new paperback copy.

20rojse
Jan. 19, 2009, 6:30pm

Here is what has been nominated so far:

The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney
Lord Byron's Novel - John Crowley
Camp Concentration - Thomas M. Disch
White Queen - Gwyneth Jones
Divine Endurance - Gwyneth Jones
Learning the World - Ken MacLeod
The Knife Of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
Alchemy of stone - Ekaterina Sedia
Last and First Men - Olaf Stapledon
Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
A fire upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells

Would like to know if we should postpone secondings until everyone has had a chance to nominate books first (see post #14)

#17
You can nominate as many books as you want initially, but you only get to second one book.

21Aerrin99
Jan. 19, 2009, 6:48pm

Oops! Then I will withdraw my secondings for a bit and mull it over!

22geneg
Jan. 24, 2009, 9:40am

Is it time for someone to get a poll together?

23ronincats
Jan. 24, 2009, 12:25pm

I'll nominate Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. It's probably been on my shelves 30 years since I read it, but a discussion in the last few months suggested it aged well.

24bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 25, 2009, 4:37pm

i'll second Vinge. While i'd likely enjoy the Jones books, they look more like fantasy; i've never completed a Stapledon, though i should; and i'm always disappointed in Crowley.

25iansales
Jan. 25, 2009, 5:07pm

The Gwyneth Jones books are sf. White Queen is a near-future first contact story, and Divine Endurance is set in a Malaysian-inspired future.

26bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 25, 2009, 7:23pm

thanks Ian - i'm up for either of them. I've already read the Vinge (a very good book, worth discussing) so i'll switch my 2nd to White Queen.

27Aerrin99
Jan. 26, 2009, 10:26am

I'll second Banks' The Player of Games.

28rojse
Jan. 26, 2009, 7:18pm

Here is what has been nominated so far:

The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Hello Summer, Goodbye - Michael Coney
Lord Byron's Novel - John Crowley
Camp Concentration - Thomas M. Disch
Divine Endurance - Gwyneth Jones
Learning the World - Ken MacLeod
The Knife Of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
Alchemy of stone - Ekaterina Sedia
Roadside Picnic - Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells

Here is what has been seconded:

(2) The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
(2) White Queen - Gwyneth Jones
(2) Last and First Men - Olaf Stapledon
(2) A fire upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge

I seconded Stapledon; can't pass up the opportunity to do a group read for my favourite author and one of my favourite books.

We'll wait a few days for more nominations, even if we do pass five books, just so everyone can have their say.

29iansales
Jan. 27, 2009, 2:33am

I thought I seconded Hello Summer, Goodbye too.

30andyl
Jan. 27, 2009, 3:49am

I will second Roadside Picnic it has been a long, long time since I read that.

31iansales
Jan. 27, 2009, 4:00am

Well, that's six titles with more than one nomination. Shall we give it another 24 hours and then cream off those with more than one nomination for a vote?

32bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 27, 2009, 7:57am

sounds fine to me.

33iansales
Jan. 27, 2009, 8:08am

More than one nomination so far...

The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks
White Queen, Gwyneth Jones
Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon
A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge
Hello Summer, Goodbye, Michael G Coney
Roadside Picnic, Boris & Arkady Strugatsky

34GwenH
Jan. 27, 2009, 11:00am

Beyond my own nomination, I'll second Earth Abides. (from #23)

I'm interested in Vinge's book, but at almost 600 pages, it's a bit daunting at the moment. :-)

35rojse
Jan. 27, 2009, 6:32pm

#31, #33

That sounds like a good plan; and thanks.

36iansales
Jan. 28, 2009, 4:02am

It all got a bit confusing - we probably need to set out some sort of guidelines for next time. People were nominating and seconding books all over the place... with the result that I count 4 books with 3 votes, 8 books with 2 votes, and 4 books with a single vote. For the record:

3 votes
White Queen, Gwyneth Jones
A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge
Learning the World, Ken MacLeod
The Player of Games, Iain M Banks

2 votes
Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon
Roadside Picnic, Boris & Arkady Strugatsky
The War of the Worlds, HG Wells
Hello Summer, Goodbye, Michael G Coney
Alchemy of Stone, Ekaterina Sedia
Divine Endurance, Gwyneth Jones
Camp Concentration, Thomas M Disch
Earth Abides, George R Stewart

1 vote
Lord Byron's Novel, John Crowley
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
Dawn, Octavia Butler
The Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler

So we need at least one more title to get a third vote...

37sqdancer
Jan. 28, 2009, 10:35am

I'll vote for Last and First Men

38iansales
Jan. 28, 2009, 10:43am

Great. First through the door gets it. I'll set up a poll for:-

White Queen, Gwyneth Jones
A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge
Learning the World, Ken MacLeod
The Player of Games, Iain M Banks
Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon

39iansales
Bearbeitet: Jan. 28, 2009, 10:59am

Poll is here.

NOTE: I changed polls, but it was 5 minutes after posting the original one so I don't think anyone's lost a vote. Micropoll is pants - it only shows US results, and it randomly decided to cast a vote for the Vinge. So I changed it to a Vizu poll instead.

40iansales
Jan. 28, 2009, 11:00am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

41bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 29, 2009, 12:13pm

the opinionated ghost in the machine. Maybe Micropoll is Diebold?

42geneg
Jan. 29, 2009, 12:16pm

I was the Vinge Vote on the first poll. I probably voted not more than one or two minutes after Ian posted it. Don't blame it on the poll. Not counting non-American votes is a problem, though.

43iansales
Jan. 29, 2009, 12:29pm

Ah. Sorry. The vote showed up, but not the location so I assumed it was a bogus one.

Micropoll allowed "the rest Of the world" to vote, but didn't show them on the map. Which struck me as a bit pointless. Vizu seems to do the job.

44LolaWalser
Jan. 29, 2009, 12:32pm

I voted.

45bobmcconnaughey
Bearbeitet: Jan. 29, 2009, 1:51pm

is there a way to delete my vote (for the clearly hopeless white queen) and switch it over to a different candidate? If it's gonna screw up the polling software, i'll leave it be.

46geneg
Jan. 29, 2009, 1:52pm

One of the chances one takes living on the bleeding edge. Sometimes you just back the wrong horse. I've done it often enough.

47iansales
Bearbeitet: Jan. 29, 2009, 1:58pm

Sorry, Bob. You're stuck with your vote. No hanging chads here. We might just make you read it as well as the winner. (It's a good book - you should read it anyway.)

48andyl
Jan. 29, 2009, 2:10pm

#45

I think you just vote again and it moves your vote from your old selection to the new.

49GwenH
Jan. 29, 2009, 2:14pm

I haven't voted yet, but I'm tempted to vote for the Vinge book, just to finally get rid of it. It keeps crowding out other contenders for the top 5 position. ;-)

50bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 29, 2009, 2:21pm

i do plan to read both the Gwyneth Jones books - just being lazy and trying to do the 1 book, 2 stone thing.

51geneg
Jan. 29, 2009, 2:41pm

Wow, is that book really 28 pounds?

52bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 29, 2009, 2:45pm

well, i'm beginning weight training again in my old age.

53billiejean
Jan. 29, 2009, 3:32pm

I voted, too.
--BJ

54bobmcconnaughey
Jan. 29, 2009, 3:42pm

#45 AndyL is correct - i think.

55rojse
Jan. 29, 2009, 7:19pm

I don't live in America, and Micropoll counted my vote for the book last time (setting up the poll and voting before I put the link up lets me be sure of that).

56iansales
Jan. 30, 2009, 2:53am

Yes, Micropoll counts the votes, but doesn't show them on the map (which is only of the USA). Vizu has a world map. I prefer use a site that acknowledges the existence of a world outside the US.

57geneg
Jan. 30, 2009, 11:03am

Oh, come on surely you jest, Sales! A world outside the US? Bwaa-haa-haa-haa, what a strange idea! Obviously you didn't get the memo, old Europe and all that.

58iansales
Jan. 30, 2009, 11:10am

Hey, I bet we transcend before you do :-)

59iansales
Jan. 30, 2009, 11:12am

The poll is turning into a two-horse race. 17 votes so far. A Fire Upon the Deep is a length ahead of Last and First Men, but there's still time for it to change...

60iansales
Jan. 31, 2009, 5:53am

More votes needed!

I'll officially close the poll at midnight GMT 1st Feb. But since I'll not actually take it offline until I get up the next morning, there'll still be an opportunity to vote until about 7:30 am GMT. Results will be announced shortly afterwards.

But. Only 17 votes so far. There's double that number of people in the group.

61andyl
Jan. 31, 2009, 7:11am

Maybe the lack of votes is due to AFUTD leaping out to an early lead and it looking like the only one that could ever beat it is Last And First Men (and I can understand that some people wouldn't want to vote for that). However AFUTD only has 7 votes so it is beatable if you want to read one of the other books.

Also maybe we ought to put a one-liner describing the books before we vote. So that people can make a more informed judgement on whether to vote (and which book).

62GwenH
Jan. 31, 2009, 10:08am

#61 " (and I can understand that some people wouldn't want to vote for that)."

I voted for Last and First Men thinking it sounded interesting. I'm curious now, what don't I know about the book? :-O

63davisfamily
Jan. 31, 2009, 10:11am

I voted.

64ronincats
Jan. 31, 2009, 12:02pm

I voted.

65andyl
Bearbeitet: Jan. 31, 2009, 3:00pm

#62

Nothing is wrong with it. Last And First Men is from the philosophical strand of British SF and so is based in a different ideal to most US (and indeed modern British) SF. A number of people also believe that is has aged extremely badly, the science in particular is laughable. Of course it is of interest for other things - for example was he the first one to write about large scale group marriages? I can't think of any earlier examples.

66iansales
Jan. 31, 2009, 3:44pm

A number of people also believe that is has aged extremely badly, the science in particular is laughable.

But that's true of many sf novels written before 1980. And it's certainly true of a lot of sf novels that are still revered by sf fans today...

67geneg
Jan. 31, 2009, 3:47pm

I have a far more cogent reason to read the Vinge than any of the others, quality and staying power aside. I bought a copy when it looked like it might edge Farthing the last time. So it's important people vote for it.

68andyl
Jan. 31, 2009, 3:58pm

#66

Sure, and I can imagine that quite a number of books from the pre-modern era might lose some votes because of it. Last And First Men isn't merely pre-modern but almost pre-historic when it comes to its SF heritage.

69merry10
Bearbeitet: Feb. 1, 2009, 6:06am

Just for the record, I voted early for the Vinge from outside the US.

70rojse
Bearbeitet: Feb. 1, 2009, 6:34pm

#65

"A number of people also believe that is has aged extremely badly, the science in particular is laughable"

It also was quite prescient in some regards - a world ruled by the US and China, for example, the world's balance threatened by a world-wide oil shortage. Who would credit such nonsense today?

And the science was of such a general nature in this that it has dated little. Yes, there are mentions of germplasm and other dated ideas, but these mentions could, on the main part, be substituted with the modern equivalents. Stapledon was more interested in the effects of the science, rather than the science itself.

71rojse
Feb. 1, 2009, 6:31pm

Vinge has been on the list since the first group read, has it not? Although I didn't like the book when I first tried to read it, it would nearly be worth trying to read it again just to see a choice of five SF books to read that does not include "A Fire Upon the Deep."

72bobmcconnaughey
Feb. 1, 2009, 10:03pm

i KNOW that Stapledon is very important in the history of SF and singular in being an early SF writer who took (for lack of a better word) a "large" view. But i have found myself getting bogged down in his drawn out descriptions in other books of his that i've started. Kind of like Bradbury, Stapledon had a tendency to overwrite (obviously imo). I HAVEN'T tried L&F Men, however.

73billiejean
Feb. 2, 2009, 1:56am

Has the voting ended?
--BJ

74iansales
Feb. 2, 2009, 2:45am

Poll finished.

31.6% Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon

36.8% A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge

5.3% White Queen, Gwyneth Jones

15.8% The Player of Games, Iain M Banks

10.5% Learning the World, Ken MacLeod

Looks like Vinge won.

75geneg
Feb. 2, 2009, 12:14pm

Did it or didn't it?

76GwenH
Bearbeitet: Feb. 2, 2009, 12:29pm

How to explain? How to describe? Even the omniscient viewpoint quails...

77geneg
Feb. 2, 2009, 12:29pm

Well now, Gwen, that clears it up quite nicely, thanks!

78GwenH
Bearbeitet: Feb. 2, 2009, 1:59pm

I fixed it....for some reason everything I typed didn't appear, probably a misplaced ' ...

ah, I see it did it again. Ah well. The poll was taken down so I could only assume that what looks to be true....is. Hence the quote from the appropriate source. :)

79LolaWalser
Feb. 12, 2009, 2:25pm

I received Vinge today.