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jfortun
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Well... to tell you the truth, I hadn't thought so deeply about that :lol: . I had understood that the people from Noys' time had sent her in their self-interest, to prevent Eternity from ultimately making their reality an impossibility. I would have to re-read this part.

As I said, part of it is nitpicking. We also know Noys' people, if left alone, will evolve into exinction. We know that even before Noys becomes relevant to the story. Maybe they were all deeply disatissfied with their lives. Maybe Noys is the one individual who has a chance to truly live, and she embraces it. BTW Noys is my all-time favorite Asimov character. From attitude and character to her name and appearance, I love everything about her.

I could go on and nitpick, and this is unmistakable nitpicking on a scale to make a Trekkie blush, and say Noys mentions the naivette of Eternals who think only one Reality exist at a time. I could go on and say that then anything Eternity does, or anything Noys does, is completely and utterly irrelevant and immaterial. But I won't.

Still, sometimes I day dream about doing a sequel. I've had some outlandish ideas about it.

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I'm not sure about a sequel, I consider it a self-contained story with nothing further to resolve (I know the concepts of Eternity and hypertime could be further explored, but the theme of the novel itself is already perfectly dramatized).

By the way, yesterday I read an amazing science fiction story that I recommend to anyone here. It's called "Tunesmith" and the author is Lloyd Biggle Jr.

The plot goes on like this: in an era where commercial jingles are the only musical form that still exists, a single individual brings about a musical renaissance that reaches the whole solar system.

It's available in Orson Scott Card's "Masterworks" anthology.

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I'm not sure about a sequel, I consider it a self-contained story with nothing further to resolve (I know the concepts of Eternity and hypertime could be further explored, but the theme of the novel itself is already perfectly dramatized).

As I said, I don't think Eternity could stand up to much in the way of scrutiny. Still, it is a shame to make up such a background and discard it after one use.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, Gabo, I am re-reading "Eternity" after all these years.

BTW, I think I mentioned it before, but in case you missed it here it goes: there is an earlier version of "Eternity" writen as a novelette for publication in the pulps fo the 50s. The story is different, much less interesting, not centered on Harlan (who is named Horemm in that version), and with a much weaker ending. It's an interesting read if 1) you're a fan of Asimov's and/or 2) you like to compare what the same author can do differently with the same basic idea. It can be found in a book called "Parallel Asimovs."

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I haven't read the entire thread yet - so forgive me if this is redundant.

In the fantasy realm, if you enjoy Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett is hysterical. I strongly recommend reading his works in the order written, and make sure you read the footnotes along the way. Some of the funniest material is contained therein.

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Well, Gabo, I am re-reading "Eternity" after all these years.

BTW, I think I mentioned it before, but in case you missed it here it goes: there is an earlier version of "Eternity" writen as a novelette for publication in the pulps fo the 50s. The story is different, much less interesting, not centered on Harlan (who is named Horemm in that version), and with a much weaker ending. It's an interesting read if 1) you're a fan of Asimov's and/or 2) you like to compare what the same author can do differently with the same basic idea. It can be found in a book called "Parallel Asimovs."

I didn't know about that. Hope you are enjoying your re-reading, by the way!

I'm currently finishing For us, the living, Heinlein's long-lost first novel. It's mainly a fictionalized lecture on mores and economics, but nevertheless quite interesting, and very consistant with his later ideas.

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Hope you are enjoying your re-reading, by the way!

I think I've already re-read it too many times... On the other hand it is a small book.

I'm currently finishing For us, the living, Heinlein's long-lost first novel.

I'll have to look that up.

It's mainly a fictionalized lecture on mores and economics,

Aren't all his novels? :D

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That or incest festivals. Usually both...

Them too.

His first ever short story featured a conspiracy of insurers against the protagonist, who had undercut the life insurance market. I think that set the tone for his career.

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Aren't all his novels? :D

Yeah, in a way :P

Objectively speaking, probably the best novel I've read so far by him is Double Star, where the lecture element is not so extensive and is perfectly integrated into the storyline, rather than as an end in itself.

Nevertheless, I enjoy his "lecture-type" novels in spite of its literary mistakes, for his ideas are very interesting (though I don't agree with many of them) and effectively presented. Starship Troopers is worth reading if only for its devastating and hilarious attack on the Marxist theory of value.

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Some Recommendations of my own:

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time:

An epic fantasy series of the highest quality. If you liked Goodkind, you'll probably like Jordan. They share similar styles and sometimes plot elements (both claim to have never read the other). As far as Objectivism goes, Jordan's books don't really have an explicit theme in relation to our world, beyond general liberty and humanism. He can also be sometimes fatalistic. Prophecy in his world can be so profound and deep reaching that it is usually completed without any real knowledge of its influence. Interestingly enough, sometimes prophecy just acts as a record of what will happen, other times it seems to behave as rules for what will happen. One of the main themes is one character's struggle to survive what he believes may be his own foretold demise. Jordan does write some amazing and complex characters, and has probably the best and most profoundly well built fantasy worlds I have ever seen. His world is incredibly deep and instantly believable.

Sadly, Jordan died before he could finish the last book. He left extensive notes though, and another equally skilled author is going to finish it for him. Which brings me to my second author.

Brandon Sanderson:

I have only read one novel by Sanderson, Mistborn, but it was very good. His characters are engaging and funny. His magic system was very interesting as well. I can recommend it as a good book.

R.A. Salvatore:

If you care for DnD style fantasy, this is as good as it gets. Salvatore is an excellent writer, often noted for his detailed swordplay sequences. He and his flagship character, Drizzit Do'Urden are blatant altruists, but they also are large proponents of individualism and of personal achievement. All of the Drizzit novels have essays by Drizzit as markers for a section change, and these are usually well written introspections on philosophy and ethics (wether you agree with them or not). If you have any taste for DnD themed fantasy, this is probably the best author you can find.

There are many others, but these are the three I'll recommend for now.

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  • 10 months later...

A. E. Van Vogt is my favorite science fiction author, because of his novel Slan. I am curious as to whether anyone else has read this novel; I consider it a real masterpiece of romantic fiction. I can only describe the main character, Jommy Cross, as a heroic rational egoist (the allusion of his initials is ironic, since he has absolutely nothing in common with Jesus Christ). The theme of the book is also excellent-superficially, it is an attack on racism; more deeply, it is a condemnation of those who resent superior ability in others.

I would recommend Slan to any Objectivist. I cannot praise it highly enough; it is close behind the works of Ayn Rand on my list of favorite novels.

Slan is quite an obscure book, but I would love to discuss it if anyone else has read it.

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I have not read it (yet) but I inherited a copy of it. Ask me again in a couple of years. Or perhaps I'll bump it in the stack based on your recommendation.

Caveat: Slan was meant to be continued, but the author died before finishing the sequel. In the end, the sequel was written by Van Vogt's wife and another writer, and it has been widely described as a big disappointment (which I don't doubt given my experience with multi-author novels, although I would have to read the sequel myself to be sure). I still enjoyed Slan in spite of this fact, but the above may bother those for whom a fully-resolved plot is essential.

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Isaac Asimov.

He books on robots present great use of the power of logic.

I second Isaac Asimov. Nightfall was the book that paved the way, for me, for Atlas Shrugged. He didn't answer my questions, but he got me to thinking about those questions that led me to Rand.

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Since I have not read the majority of works by any one science fiction writer, I can only say which writers whose works I've liked the most so far: Jules Verne, Fredric Brown, Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G. Wells.

As far as best works I've read in the sci-fi genre:

Novels:

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (sure would love Peter Jackson to direct a film of this one!)

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (despite its anti-military-technology premise)

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Novelettes:

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (this work has an anti-intellect premise, but it's fascinating to read as you witness the transformation of a mentally retarded man into a genius through gradual spelling and grammar changes in his diary)

Short Stories:

Arena by Fredric Brown

Light of Other Days by Bob Shaw

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Generally true but the Niven/Pournelle books are *very* good.

The only one of these I have read is Lucifer's Hammer, and I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, the concept was fascinating, the plot exciting, and the theme excellent. On the other hand, I thought the characterization was poor, mainly because it was heavily naturalistic. The good points of the book definitely made it worthwhile to read, however.

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Asimov (especially the Foundation trilogy), Marion Zimmer Bradley, Heinlein, Poul Anderson. E.E. "Doc" Smith (especially the Skylark Series), Coardwainer Smith (The Instruemtality), C.C. McApp (Gree series), Niven (Known Space), Alan Nourse, van Vogt, Aldiss, Simak and Andre Norton.

In the 1970's there was some movement to put ATLAS SHRUGGED in this category. Even THE FOUNTAINHEAD reads like an SF novel in tone and texture. What would you say if I told you that Kerry O'Quinn was working on a theatrical movie of ANTHEM? so it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to put Rand in that category.

Other topics. The early 1950's spaceman shows; especially Space Patrol,

http://www.spacepatrol.us/firstpage.html

Go ahead: Make your day

http://www.console.spacepatrol.us/kdettv.html

Men into Space, Dr Who, Star Trek:TOS and Stargate SG-1

Star Wars: A New HOpe; beofore it dgenerated into mysticism.

I consider science fiction to be the ultimate in Romantic Realistic fiction because it shows man solving a situation specifically by means of his rational faculty and often in a future scientific utopia, which means underpinned by rationality

Edited by Space Patroller
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Asimov (especially the Foundation trilogy), Marion Zimmer Bradley, Heinlein, Poul Anderson. E.E. "Doc" Smith (especially the Skylark Series), Coardwainer Smith (The Instruemtality), C.C. McApp (Gree series), Niven (Known Space), Alan Nourse, van Vogt, Aldiss, Simak and Andre Norton.

In the 1970's there was some movement to put ATLAS SHRUGGED in this category. Even THE FOUNTAINHEAD reads like an SF novel in tone and texture. What would you say if I told you that Kerry O'Quinn was working on a theatrical movie of ANTHEM? so it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to put Rand in that category.

Other topics. The early 1950's spaceman shows; especially Space Patrol,

http://www.spacepatrol.us/firstpage.html

Go ahead: Make your day

http://www.console.spacepatrol.us/kdettv.html

Men into Space, Dr Who, Star Trek:TOS and Stargate SG-1

Star Wars: A New HOpe; beofore it dgenerated into mysticism.

I consider science fiction to be the ultimate in Romantic Realistic fiction because it shows man solving a situation specifically by means of his rational faculty and often in a future scientific utopia, which means underpinned by rationality

Wouldn't you just know I'd forget Keith Luamer (Retief of the CDT)?

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  • 1 month later...

I've read some of Heinlein and I like his style. Card's Ender's Game is AMAZING. I think I read it in three hours because I just couldn't put it down. I agree that Philip K Dick is a really paranoid author, but I've read a lot of his stuff and I liked some.

Interestingly I was introduced to AYN RAND through a reference in Dick's A Scanner Darkly

oh, and SG-1 is awesome.

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