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  1. #91
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    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
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    I'm gonna jump on the sci-fi train and ask if anyone thinks it's worth it to read through The Foundation series by Asimov? I enjoyed it at first, but I hit a point where I felt like it was just The Fall of the Roman Empire...In Space!, and I lost interest. Is it mostly just an analogy for the Romans, or is there something else going on? I've read of few of his other novels and enjoyed them, though I feel like he's writes more of a political writer with a sci-fi veneer.

    I will say, I thought Rip had a good comment recently about how a lot of older science fiction missed the impact that communication technology would have on humans. Makes me wonder what else modern authors are going to miss that'll seem really obvious in hindsight.

    On the other hand, I thought Orson Scott Card in Ender's Game did a decent job predicting the effects of something like the internet. Ender's two siblings post anonymous essays on a public communication forum that influence the government's policies and leads Ender's brother into a political career. He basically predicted Twitter/Facebook.

  2. #92
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    Currently reading " Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltomo View Post
    I'm gonna jump on the sci-fi train and ask if anyone thinks it's worth it to read through The Foundation series by Asimov? I enjoyed it at first, but I hit a point where I felt like it was just The Fall of the Roman Empire...In Space!, and I lost interest. Is it mostly just an analogy for the Romans, or is there something else going on? I've read of few of his other novels and enjoyed them, though I feel like he's writes more of a political writer with a sci-fi veneer.

    I will say, I thought Rip had a good comment recently about how a lot of older science fiction missed the impact that communication technology would have on humans. Makes me wonder what else modern authors are going to miss that'll seem really obvious in hindsight.

    On the other hand, I thought Orson Scott Card in Ender's Game did a decent job predicting the effects of something like the internet. Ender's two siblings post anonymous essays on a public communication forum that influence the government's policies and leads Ender's brother into a political career. He basically predicted Twitter/Facebook.
    Interesting that Rip would say that older science fiction missed the impact of communication technology. It's hard to say he's wrong.

    Burning Chrome and other William Gibson work had the idea of people implanted with "Zeiss-Ikon" eyes and broadcasting their experiences. This is pretty much Instagram influencers and all the rest, but Gibson didn't really understand what universal cameraphones would really mean.

    Heinlein has Agent Friday researching the Shipstone on a terminal that basically amounts to a search engine and the internet (disclaimer: I try to stick to G-rated Heinlein). But Heinlein doesn't grapple with what such universal information access would mean.

    The stories in I, Robot were thought-provoking. When I read Foundation, it seemed primitive in tone and content to me, compared with other sci-fi I'd read by that time. It might be interesting to read them again.

    Fans of Ender's Game might like Dorsai!

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Killmond View Post
    Interesting that Rip would say that older science fiction missed the impact of communication technology. It's hard to say he's wrong.
    Now that I'm thinking about it more, he may have been referring specifically to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress from the podcast a number of weeks ago.

  5. #95
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    I read a bunch of Gibson in my sci-fi elective in college. We also read Joe Haldeman’s Forever War, which is better than Starship Troopers, Frankenstein, Solaris, a highly recommended work, and a lot of obscure short stories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What a great class that was.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bre Hillen View Post
    I'm going to give up on reading Dune... any reason to finish the book? I should've listened to Rip.. it is boring. I started 1984 and am two chapters in.. much better book so far.
    I tried to read Dune once in high school but gave up after 50 to 75 pages. I picked it up again when I was in my thirties. This time I was determined to slog through it because a good friend with excellent literary taste (i.e. taste that coincides with mine) recommended I do so. I'm glad I did. While 50+ pages is a lot to get through while being bored and confused out of your mind, the rest of the book (and it's a fairly long one) was riveting.

    I say consider giving it another try.

    It was worth far more than the effort of reading Atlas Shrugged from cover to cover which is an even longer book. Ayn Rand found a way to make even the sex scenes boring. While I largely embrace Rand's philosophical viewpoint, if you do decide to read it, when you encounter any section where someone starts to deliver a speech (or Dagny is about to screw), skip it.

  7. #97
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    Here's the secret to reading Atlas Shrugged: read every third paragraph. Same info, better retention, time saved.

  8. #98
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    The problem with reading Atlas Shrugged as a stand-alone, is it's really the third book If you're going to read Ayn Rand, first read We the Living, followed with The Fountainhead, and then Atlas Shrugged

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpsmiley View Post
    Currently reading " Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl
    Mandatory reading right there. I wish all the self absorbed mentally soft fragilistas would read it.
    This book made me a better man.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFord View Post
    I tried to read Dune once in high school but gave up after 50 to 75 pages. I picked it up again when I was in my thirties. This time I was determined to slog through it because a good friend with excellent literary taste (i.e. taste that coincides with mine) recommended I do so. I'm glad I did. While 50+ pages is a lot to get through while being bored and confused out of your mind, the rest of the book (and it's a fairly long one) was riveting.

    I say consider giving it another try.

    It was worth far more than the effort of reading Atlas Shrugged from cover to cover which is an even longer book. Ayn Rand found a way to make even the sex scenes boring. While I largely embrace Rand's philosophical viewpoint, if you do decide to read it, when you encounter any section where someone starts to deliver a speech (or Dagny is about to screw), skip it.
    I also encourage sticking with it. Dune is a good experience on the whole. It has a style that is not my favorite--a little on the obscure, self-referential and unreal side.

    Heinlein's Glory Road (just by way of non-random example) has a style of wit, verve and lifelike feel that some may prefer.

    Dune does, however, weave together a lot of wild and imaginative themes and story elements (spice, mentats, secretive religious orders, shields, anti-technology movements, etc.), that are interesting and that have been influential in other science fiction.

    The story also was well done. For me, that combination swings the balance even with the style.

    The first time I read Dune, I found it a bit of a challenge, but definitely enjoyable. I re-read it not too long ago, and thought it held up well.

    The next three sequels, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune and God Emperor of Dune, which I also read way back, were harder to get through. I liked the final two books that were written by Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse Dune.

    Other than Dune, I have not been tempted to re-read the earlier books, much less the later ones by Brian Herbert and others (maybe I'm missing out!).

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