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insanity [15 Mar 2014|11:00pm]

twistedtendril
Just putting up a post here to show that this asylum is still alive, if a bit sleepy at the moment...
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STID [24 Apr 2013|12:19pm]

raf2a
Hard to believe that YEARS OF WAITING and speculation about Star Trek Twelve are aborted three weeks before the due date, so to speak, by-- what? showing the film in Australia??? Somehow I missed the fact that this was going to happen, till just a few hours before it actually did. I don't get the logic-- and it seems a bit contemptuous of American fans.
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read it on a screen, it's cleaner [21 Apr 2012|01:09am]

raf2a
Every since last year's terrible incident which resulted in my running into the house and throwing Lord Valentine's Castle straight into the garbage, I haven't had the will to start another SF book.

But I've been over reading the thirteenth issue of Flurb, which has some very interesting stories, including "Procrastination" and "The Gaon of Chozzerai," as well as a few I could have done without. But I'll be very sorry if this is the last issue.

However, I especially recommend this story from Issue 12, "Big Ripples Without A Splash." Really original, and scary creepy too.
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finished for now [13 Sep 2010|09:10am]

raf2a
Well, I actually took the story collections I had here all summer back to the library, largely unread. It's already starting to feel like Fall.

The two main books I read were Joe Haldeman's Marsbound and Starbound. I really enjoyed them; I'm really looking forward to the third one of the trilogy, whose name you suddenly guess at the end of the second book-- very clever. In spite of being all apocalyptic, they're surprisingly undark. As far as I can remember, these are the first of his books that I've read.

I started them as part of the Mars project. Here's a link to raf2a's Mars page. They're not totally Mars-focused, but Mars is central and the starting place for the whole story.

Any other Mars books, please recommend.




I also read Rudy Rucker's Postsingular. This was a novel taking off from the short story "Chu and the Nants," mentioned awhile back. His work is really original, especially in the way it envisions the digital culture infused into all aspects of life. Still, I sometimes have to fight my way through his longer works. I ended up liking Spaceland a lot, but the first third at least was a struggle. This one was a struggle all the way through, despite many wonderful features. I just often feel I can hear him trying to be quirky and "out there." It leaves the characters in the background, rather two-dimensional and unengaging. Despite comparisons to Philip K. Dick, his work has nothing like the integrity of Dick's work. No matter how crazy Dick's universes became, the people were always at the center, and you were interested in them.

Raf2a's Philip K. Dick page.

Still, I like his work. It just needs to have more at the heart, somehow.



Afterwards I reread Cory Doctorow's Little Brother. Still interesting, although the ending is a ridiculous sell-out. Awhile back I said I was hating Makers. I finished it, and a lot of it was interesting and entertaining, and, as always, informative about Doctorow's issues. Still... what. Maybe he should take a year off to study philosophy, or environmental science.

But in the epilogue to Little Brother, I noticed a recommendation to read Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars, which hadn't caught my eye before. So I ordered it and read it.

This is the one you should read! It's really a classic.
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star trek stuff [25 Aug 2010|12:52am]

raf2a
Go here and vote:

https://songcontest.nasa.gov/top40.aspx

YOU KNOW WHAT TO VOTE FOR.

Countdown by Rush-- what the hell is that?



Also, you might like this.

No one on Facebook did. But they didn't like my House of Wax photo either, so really, there's no pleasing them.
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paradise [17 Aug 2010|11:45am]

raf2a
I read the Foundation series long ago; the Robot series a bit later. I have to admit Solaria always seemed a bit like paradise to me. I like to imagine myself on gigantic estates waited on by dutiful robots, and no one around to get in my way.

The lack of crowding seems especially attractive. Also, the lack of neighbors, especially obnoxious drum-playing neighbors.

Also, Absolute Power!

Here's an article that uses Solaria as a springboard to a discussion of friendship. It's not earth-shatteringly insightful, but it touches on a lot of very interesting points, including "the remorseless eroticization of human relations that was bequeathed to us by Sigmund Freud." That evil man.

If you read it, tell me what you think.
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yes He does [23 Jul 2010|02:56pm]

twistedtendril

A Comic-Con moment, courtesy of BoingBoing...
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[29 May 2010|08:48pm]

merryrebec
Science fiction season is officially open!
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how things turn out [11 May 2010|09:20pm]

raf2a
My third grade teacher read us The Martian Chronicles. I've probably mentioned that ten times already, but believe me, it's the best thing I got out of the third grade.

Here's a nice essay on Ray Bradbury in Slate; he's still writing.
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prereview [27 Feb 2010|05:21pm]

raf2a
I'm reading Cory Doctorow's new novel Makers. So far I hate it.
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It'll never be quite the same as Analog, or Fantasy and Science Fiction, but... [19 Jan 2010|12:51am]

twistedtendril
I know I've mentioned it briefly before, but I've been reading through the latest issue of Flurb (it's been up for awhile), and if you read SF short stories, I think you should take a look at it.

FLURB


And if you don't read science fiction short stories, uh... you should. It's the heart of the genre.

I hate to read things onscreen, but it's been years since I could afford to buy actual magazine issues. And this has a beautiful presentation, with Rucker's paintings and photos as illustrations. I especially recommend the one about the monkeys.
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a beautiful bower [16 Jan 2010|11:14pm]

raf2a
I'd be quite happy to live here:

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/16/portland-treehouse-s.html

But isn't it a pad for swanky Ewoks? I believe hobbits prefer to live underground.
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all good things [17 Sep 2009|08:24am]

raf2a
USS Enterprise and Titan/Saturn

AND

Takei to appear on Newlywed Game


Yes, IIRC The Newlywed Game always ends in joy!
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God I love Twitter... [15 Sep 2009|01:12pm]

raf2a
...'cause that's where I found this.

I'm really not too into Klingons; I find them kind of oafish. But I might be saving up for the Vulcan one.
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if only my brain were bigger [30 Aug 2009|12:31pm]

raf2a
This is cool. I don't understand it at all, not even intuitively. Especially not intuitively. But it's very cool. And I wish I could buy that book.
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it's raining stars [12 Aug 2009|12:25am]

merryrebec
Wow... it's been a few months since I've visited the SFWA website; it's been redesigned.

And good advice for watching the Perseids at Sky and Telescope. I've seen two so far.
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Read Rudy Rucker [09 Aug 2009|12:38am]

twistedtendril
It was just about a year ago that I was reading a short story anthology and mentioned that one of the best stories was "Chu and the Nants" by Rudy Rucker.

Since then I look at his blog now and then, and when I saw that there was a new novel, I ordered it from the library. Postsingular. They sent it back before I could get to it, unfortunately; just like them.

But anyway, when I went down the day after, I found three of his other books on the shelf, in itself a minor miracle. These were an acceptable substitute. So I've finished reading The Mad Professor, a short story collection, and Spaceland, which is a novel riff on Flatland.

The Mad Professor includes quite a lot of material-- much of it, in my opinion, raw material-- as well as a section of Rucker's commentary on the art of writing sf. This discusses concepts such as "power chords" and "gnarliness" and the somewhat gimmicky approach he lays out is reflected in many of the stories, which often seem strained and excessively self-conscious. However, I felt that the longer the stories got (many of the later ones in the book are novelettes) the better they were, and by the time I read "Jenna and Me," "Junk DNA," and "Pockets," I was really enjoying myself. In these more extended efforts the humor was paced and entertaining; the strange premises unfolded in an integrated and convincing, sometimes enthralling way. After reading the longer pieces, I really wondered why some of the short ones had been included at all: they seemed unfinished and unpolished enough to be kept in the file card box, so to speak, until they merited his full attention.

As I began Spaceland, I felt a bit unsure: was a reworking of the Flatland idea really going to be worth the effort? The start was a bit slow, and maybe I was feeling somewhat impatient... But I was soon drawn in, laughing and fairly fascinated, and fully absorbed. The relationships of the four main characters provide an undercurrent of soap opera and pathos, and the story itself is wild and funny, drawing you through all of its twists and turns without losing either the thread or the momentum; I recommend it.

Rucker has a website and blog http://www.rudyrucker.com and a webzine called Flurb; he also does plenty of product placement for the ISP run by his son, monkeybrains.net!
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keep looking up [26 Jul 2009|10:15pm]

merryrebec
If I haven't been pushing Heavens Above here, I've been remiss; I've been using this site for a decade or more, since they had a long, complex, German-sounding address that I knew by heart.

The space station is so bright now! and the the last couple of nights it's been flying around the brightest summer stars, so no effort involved in figuring out where it's going to be. And I'm still hoping to catch that toolbag!
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tomorrowland [26 Jul 2009|12:25am]

raf2a
Woohooo!!! We've been watching The Jetsons, which comes on free On Demand-- free for $78.00 a month. It was hidden away in some kids category, which is totally idiotic, as kids would have absolutely no reference points for anything besides the slapstick. *sigh* I want my flying car.
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what is going on down there? [25 Jul 2009|09:29am]

twistedtendril
Strange things are happening on Jupiter and if you read far enough down you will see that this happened fifteen years to the day after Shoemaker-Levy.

And yes, I read Spaceflight Now, because NASA has locked me out-- me and IE5. Way to egalitarianly spend my taxpayer dollars, boys...
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