Saturday, July 25, 2009

I want to know!

What did you read?

What did think of it?

Did anyone try SciFi for the first time and did you like it, loathe it or couldn't get into it?


detecktive said...

I read the Minority Report. It is a short story by Phillip K Dick which looks at a police agency called Precrime using psychic savants (who are so severely handicapped they barely resemble a human) to predict future crimes and then stop them before they occur. People stopped from committing the crime are then put into labour camps as punishment for the crime they were supposedly going to commit (but haven't).

This story raised a whole heap of God sci fi issues for me, particularly the concept of determining a persons guilt based on something they 'might' do and then punishing them, even though they haven't actually committed the crime. The Precrime unit, with the support of Congress, acts as judge, jury and executioner over people.

The story also shows the flaw in this system (as usual - humanity), as a conspiracy involving the army (now essentially displaced by Precrime)trying to reassert itself takes place. This is done by the army trying to show the inherent paradoxes in Precrime's operation. The result: a conspiracy created by the head of the army to make the head of Precrime, John Anderton, commit a murder; which if he commits will vindicate Precrime and if he doesn't will show it as flawed.

I have read quite a bit of Sci Fi and it always tends to ask questions of humanity - our mortality, our reliance and use of technology and our desire to explore (and war).

Sometimes optimistic and inspirational, it can highlight what humanity is capable of...but unfortunately more often than not, shows what humanity is capable of.

PJ said...

I am reading Idlewild, which is the book before Edenborn. I must admit I found it hard to get into at the beginning, but once I got past the first 30 pages I was well and truly into it. I am not quite finished yet and am interested to see where it is going.

I have read quite a bit of SF but mostly alternate worlds or hard sf from the eighties (colonising mars and such like). The book that got me into sf in the first place was "Dune" by Frank Herbert, I loved it, it was nothing like anything I had read before (don't bother with the sequels). I also read heaps of Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and other "classics".

At one stage I tried cyber-punk (William Gibson, neuromancer etc) which was all the rage in the early 90s but I just found it too depressing. Cyber-punk is all about the next stage of computing where chips are inserted into your head and you physically become part of the network. I guess it is kind of similar to the Virtual Reality thing.

Nick Sagan is the son of Carl Sagan, the astronomer and author. "Contact" was written by Carl Sagan and I highly recommend it. Totally different from Idlewild!

My post is not quite as intellectual as some and a bit confused, but please excuse me I have had a very long weekend! (in a good way)

Gem said...

Am I bad for not having even started reading my book?! I've got Edenborn to read. Has anyone read it and should I read the first one, Idlewild? (I just had to get through Twilight first!)

爱书 said...

I have read (almost finished) Idlewild and it's Ok. Having looked at the wiki for Edenborn I am VERY glad I didn't start with that

I haven't read much Sci-Fi, mostly post-apocolyptic stuff (eg Marianne De Pierres) and a couple of space operas. The only SF I have truly loved has to be Anne McCaffery's Brainship stories (and these are admittedly light weight and aimed at kids) and SL Vieh's Stardoc series (medical SF)

I am still not too sure what 'god SF' is so I am looking forward to the chat when my confusion can be cleared up

At the end of it all I am left wondering....does SF ever have a happy ending???

Nic said...

Yes, they do, promise! You should read my all-time favourite Hyperion series by Dan Simmons, but you have to read through 4 books to get to the happy ending....