Discussion:
29 Best S.F. books (Wired list)
occam
2021-11-25 11:00:05 UTC
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.

<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>

If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Jerry Friedman
2021-11-25 15:55:27 UTC
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
The author clearly likes the surrealist side of SF. And 8 of the 29 are from
2015 or later, none of which I've read.

Good choices: /The Moon is a Harsh Mistress/, /Dune/, /The Left Hand
of Darkness/, /Through a Scanner Darkly/, /Neuromancer/, /The
Martian/.

Replace the /Foundation/ series with /The Gods Themselves/, also by
Asimov.

Replace /The Stars My Destination/ with /The Demolished Man/, also by
Bester.

Replace /Oryx and Crake/ with /The Handmaid's Tale/, also by Atwood.

Replace /The Three-Body Problem/ with /Childhood's End/, by Clarke.

Replace /Consider Phlebas/ with /Engine Summer/, by John Crowley.

Replace /Jurassic Park/ (I haven't read it, but I can just tell) with /The
Book of the New Sun/, by Gene Wolfe.

I can probably think of books I can replace /Hyperion/ and /Snow Crash/
with.
--
Jerry Friedman
spains...@gmail.com
2021-11-25 16:37:58 UTC
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
The author clearly likes the surrealist side of SF. And 8 of the 29 are from
2015 or later, none of which I've read.
Good choices: /The Moon is a Harsh Mistress/, /Dune/, /The Left Hand
of Darkness/, /Through a Scanner Darkly/, /Neuromancer/, /The
Martian/.
Replace the /Foundation/ series with /The Gods Themselves/, also by
Asimov.
Replace /The Stars My Destination/ with /The Demolished Man/, also by
Bester.
Replace /Oryx and Crake/ with /The Handmaid's Tale/, also by Atwood.
Replace /The Three-Body Problem/ with /Childhood's End/, by Clarke.
Replace /Consider Phlebas/ with /Engine Summer/, by John Crowley.
Replace /Jurassic Park/ (I haven't read it, but I can just tell) with /The
Book of the New Sun/, by Gene Wolfe.
I can probably think of books I can replace /Hyperion/ and /Snow Crash/
with.
"1984" and "The Day of the Triffids" are conspicuous by their absence.
I struggled with "The War of the Worlds" so I wouldn't advocate it.

On the other hand giants falling from the moon would make good SF,
so maybe this can squeeze into the genre. Three excerpts:

"For as to what we have heard you affirm, that there are
other kingdoms and states in the world inhabited by human
creatures as large as yourself, our philosophers are in much
doubt, and would rather conjecture that you dropped from the
moon, or one of the stars; because it is certain, that a
hundred mortals of your bulk would in a short time destroy
all the fruits and cattle of his majesty’s dominions: besides,
our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any
other regions than the two great empires of Lilliput and
Blefuscu. Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to
tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for
six-and-thirty moons past."

"It began upon the following occasion. It is allowed on all
hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat
them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty’s
grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and
breaking it according to the ancient practice, happened to
cut one of his fingers. Whereupon the emperor his father
published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great
penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The people
so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there
have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one
emperor lost his life, and another his crown. These civil
commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of
Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled
for refuge to that empire."

"It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several
times suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs
at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been
published upon this controversy: but the books of the
Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party
rendered incapable by law of holding employments. During the
course of these troubles, the emperors of Blefusca did
frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of
making a schism in religion, by offending against a fundamental
doctrine of our great prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth
chapter of the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran). This,
however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the text; for the
words are these: ‘that all true believers break their eggs at
the convenient end.’ And which is the convenient end, seems,
in my humble opinion to be left to every man’s conscience, or
at least in the power of the chief magistrate to determine."
bruce bowser
2021-11-25 16:49:14 UTC
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
The author clearly likes the surrealist side of SF. And 8 of the 29 are from
2015 or later, none of which I've read.
Good choices: /The Moon is a Harsh Mistress/, /Dune/, /The Left Hand
of Darkness/, /Through a Scanner Darkly/, /Neuromancer/, /The
Martian/.
Replace the /Foundation/ series with /The Gods Themselves/, also by
Asimov.
Replace /The Stars My Destination/ with /The Demolished Man/, also by
Bester.
Replace /Oryx and Crake/ with /The Handmaid's Tale/, also by Atwood.
Replace /The Three-Body Problem/ with /Childhood's End/, by Clarke.
Replace /Consider Phlebas/ with /Engine Summer/, by John Crowley.
Replace /Jurassic Park/ (I haven't read it, but I can just tell) with /The
Book of the New Sun/, by Gene Wolfe.
I can probably think of books I can replace /Hyperion/ and /Snow Crash/
with.
"1984" and "The Day of the Triffids" are conspicuous by their absence.
I struggled with "The War of the Worlds" so I wouldn't advocate it.
I like the Star Trek novels and genre. I like the series because their writers and producers keep such a reverential relationship with actual physicists, chemists, astronomers and others in the scientific community.
2021-11-25 17:40:22 UTC
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
The author clearly likes the surrealist side of SF. And 8 of the 29 are from
2015 or later, none of which I've read.
Good choices: /The Moon is a Harsh Mistress/, /Dune/, /The Left Hand
of Darkness/, /Through a Scanner Darkly/, /Neuromancer/, /The
Martian/.
Replace the /Foundation/ series with /The Gods Themselves/, also by
Asimov.
Replace /The Stars My Destination/ with /The Demolished Man/, also by
Bester.
Replace /Oryx and Crake/ with /The Handmaid's Tale/, also by Atwood.
Replace /The Three-Body Problem/ with /Childhood's End/, by Clarke.
Replace /Consider Phlebas/ with /Engine Summer/, by John Crowley.
Replace /Jurassic Park/ (I haven't read it, but I can just tell) with /The
Book of the New Sun/, by Gene Wolfe.
I can probably think of books I can replace /Hyperion/ and /Snow Crash/
with.
"1984" and "The Day of the Triffids" are conspicuous by their absence.
I struggled with "The War of the Worlds" so I wouldn't advocate it.
Do most people consider _1984_ as SF now?

I'm surprised nothing by John Wyndham is on the list.
Post by ***@gmail.com
On the other hand giants falling from the moon would make good SF,
"For as to what we have heard you affirm, that there are
other kingdoms and states in the world inhabited by human
creatures as large as yourself, our philosophers are in much
doubt, and would rather conjecture that you dropped from the
moon, or one of the stars; because it is certain, that a
hundred mortals of your bulk would in a short time destroy
all the fruits and cattle of his majesty’s dominions: besides,
our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any
other regions than the two great empires of Lilliput and
Blefuscu. Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to
tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for
six-and-thirty moons past."
"It began upon the following occasion. It is allowed on all
hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat
them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty’s
grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and
breaking it according to the ancient practice, happened to
cut one of his fingers. Whereupon the emperor his father
published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great
penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The people
so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there
have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one
emperor lost his life, and another his crown. These civil
commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of
Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled
for refuge to that empire."
"It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several
times suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs
at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been
published upon this controversy: but the books of the
Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party
rendered incapable by law of holding employments. During the
course of these troubles, the emperors of Blefusca did
frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of
making a schism in religion, by offending against a fundamental
doctrine of our great prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth
chapter of the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran). This,
however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the text; for the
words are these: ‘that all true believers break their eggs at
the convenient end.’ And which is the convenient end, seems,
in my humble opinion to be left to every man’s conscience, or
at least in the power of the chief magistrate to determine."
--
You cannot really appreciate Dilbert unless you've read it in the
original Klingon. ---Klingon Programmer's Guide
Jerry Friedman
2021-11-26 03:42:02 UTC
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
The author clearly likes the surrealist side of SF. And 8 of the 29 are from
2015 or later, none of which I've read.
Good choices: /The Moon is a Harsh Mistress/, /Dune/, /The Left Hand
of Darkness/, /Through a Scanner Darkly/, /Neuromancer/, /The
Martian/.
...
Post by ***@gmail.com
"1984" and "The Day of the Triffids" are conspicuous by their absence.
I struggled with "The War of the Worlds" so I wouldn't advocate it.
Do most people consider _1984_ as SF now?
I'm surprised nothing by John Wyndham is on the list.
...

Nothing by Wyndham would have crossed my mind. I like the suggestion
of /1984/, but it does depend on how you define the genre.
--
Jerry Friedman
occam
2021-11-26 09:07:29 UTC
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
The author clearly likes the surrealist side of SF. And 8 of the 29 are from
2015 or later, none of which I've read.
Good choices: /The Moon is a Harsh Mistress/, /Dune/, /The Left Hand
of Darkness/, /Through a Scanner Darkly/, /Neuromancer/, /The
Martian/.
Replace the /Foundation/ series with /The Gods Themselves/, also by
Asimov.
Replace /The Stars My Destination/ with /The Demolished Man/, also by
Bester.
Replace /Oryx and Crake/ with /The Handmaid's Tale/, also by Atwood.
Replace /The Three-Body Problem/ with /Childhood's End/, by Clarke.
Replace /Consider Phlebas/ with /Engine Summer/, by John Crowley.
Replace /Jurassic Park/ (I haven't read it, but I can just tell) with /The
Book of the New Sun/, by Gene Wolfe.
I can probably think of books I can replace /Hyperion/ and /Snow Crash/
with.
"1984" and "The Day of the Triffids" are conspicuous by their absence.
I struggled with "The War of the Worlds" so I wouldn't advocate it.
Do most people consider _1984_ as SF now?
No, they don't. It is social fiction (s.f. ?)- a hypothetical scenario
set in 1984.
Peter Moylan
2021-11-26 07:09:55 UTC
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it
be? And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the
list to 29 long?
The author clearly likes the surrealist side of SF. And 8 of the 29
are from 2015 or later, none of which I've read.
Good choices: /The Moon is a Harsh Mistress/, /Dune/, /The Left Hand
of Darkness/, /Through a Scanner Darkly/, /Neuromancer/, /The
Martian/.
I see that people are avoiding naming more than one work by any author,
but personally I'd place /The Dispossessed/ slightly ahead of
/The Left Hand of Darkness/, although I'd say those two are running neck
and neck among the all-time greats.

To forestall one possible objection: the only thing she stole from
Dostoevsky is the title. (And that was taken from an English
translation, not from the Russian original.) The content is totally
different.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Replace the /Foundation/ series with /The Gods Themselves/, also by
Asimov.
It depends on the selection criteria. /The Gods Themselves/ is the
better novel, but /Foundation/ is more important in terms of historical
context. But if we end up talking about major influences on the field,
I'll throw in Farmer's /The Lovers/, even though it's far from being his
best work. The reason I mention this is that I think the Wired list is
focusing on "major influences" rather than "good reads".

--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-25 17:23:46 UTC
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master" (1940)

Remove "Frankenstein", not the right genre; it is "horror". Some will
disagree.
spains...@gmail.com
2021-11-25 19:50:13 UTC
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master" (1940)
Remove "Frankenstein", not the right genre; it is "horror". Some will
disagree.
SF is a modern terminology (like "racism"). "Frankenstein" was indeed "Horror",
so it should be "Fahrenheit 451" for Frankenstein.
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-25 20:49:20 UTC
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master" (1940)
Remove "Frankenstein", not the right genre; it is "horror". Some will
disagree.
SF is a modern terminology (like "racism"). "Frankenstein" was indeed "Horror",
so it should be "Fahrenheit 451" for Frankenstein.
What genre is "1984"?

If it is SF, then it belongs on the list.
spains...@gmail.com
2021-11-25 21:16:21 UTC
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master" (1940)
Remove "Frankenstein", not the right genre; it is "horror". Some will
disagree.
SF is a modern terminology (like "racism"). "Frankenstein" was indeed "Horror",
so it should be "Fahrenheit 451" for Frankenstein.
What genre is "1984"?
If it is SF, then it belongs on the list.
Of course it belongs there; but it isn't on the list. "Fahrenheit 451" is
the temperature required to destroy books - as the Nazis (or Ray

I vote "The Day of the Triffids" the scariest SF book. Modern films such
as "The Terminator" reach across to another level of scariness.
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-25 21:47:59 UTC
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master" (1940)
Remove "Frankenstein", not the right genre; it is "horror". Some will
disagree.
SF is a modern terminology (like "racism"). "Frankenstein" was indeed "Horror",
so it should be "Fahrenheit 451" for Frankenstein.
What genre is "1984"?
If it is SF, then it belongs on the list.
Of course it belongs there; but it isn't on the list. "Fahrenheit 451" is
the temperature required to destroy books - as the Nazis (or Ray
I vote "The Day of the Triffids" the scariest SF book. Modern films such
as "The Terminator" reach across to another level of scariness.
Books often bore me. I am talking more about fiction than non-
fiction. Even so, I have had eye problems all of my adult life. I
suffer from diplopia and have strong prisms in my lenses. My eyes get
tired very easily. I really do prefer movie versions.
David Kleinecke
2021-11-26 00:55:14 UTC
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master" (1940)
Remove "Frankenstein", not the right genre; it is "horror". Some will
disagree.
SF is a modern terminology (like "racism"). "Frankenstein" was indeed "Horror",
so it should be "Fahrenheit 451" for Frankenstein.
What genre is "1984"?
If it is SF, then it belongs on the list.
Of course it belongs there; but it isn't on the list. "Fahrenheit 451" is
the temperature required to destroy books - as the Nazis (or Ray
I vote "The Day of the Triffids" the scariest SF book. Modern films such
as "The Terminator" reach across to another level of scariness.
Books often bore me. I am talking more about fiction than non-
fiction. Even so, I have had eye problems all of my adult life. I
suffer from diplopia and have strong prisms in my lenses. My eyes get
tired very easily. I really do prefer movie versions.
I stopped reading non-technical books about thirty years ago so I am
more than a little out-of-date. I have a problem in that I read magazines
to get my SF not books and I let my subscription to Astounding lapse
about fifty years ago. But here goes:

If you want scary nothing beats John W. Campbells "Who Goes There".
And Campbell also wrote "Twilight" which is only a short story and
doesn't belong here.

If you want fantasy I would suggest "The Worm Ourboros".

If you are thinking about dying: Huxley's "Island".

Time will tell and perhaps A. E. van Vogt will be forgotten but I think
his work desires a mention somewhere. And then there was Doc
Smith.

PS: Re dying: Sendaks "Higglety Piggelty Pop" if you lose a loved one.
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-26 01:24:15 UTC
On Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:55:14 -0800 (PST), David Kleinecke
Post by David Kleinecke
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by ***@gmail.com
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Harry Bates, "Farewell to the Master" (1940)
Remove "Frankenstein", not the right genre; it is "horror". Some will
disagree.
SF is a modern terminology (like "racism"). "Frankenstein" was indeed "Horror",
so it should be "Fahrenheit 451" for Frankenstein.
What genre is "1984"?
If it is SF, then it belongs on the list.
Of course it belongs there; but it isn't on the list. "Fahrenheit 451" is
the temperature required to destroy books - as the Nazis (or Ray
I vote "The Day of the Triffids" the scariest SF book. Modern films such
as "The Terminator" reach across to another level of scariness.
Books often bore me. I am talking more about fiction than non-
fiction. Even so, I have had eye problems all of my adult life. I
suffer from diplopia and have strong prisms in my lenses. My eyes get
tired very easily. I really do prefer movie versions.
I stopped reading non-technical books about thirty years ago so I am
more than a little out-of-date. I have a problem in that I read magazines
to get my SF not books and I let my subscription to Astounding lapse
If you want scary nothing beats John W. Campbells "Who Goes There".
And Campbell also wrote "Twilight" which is only a short story and
doesn't belong here.
If you want fantasy I would suggest "The Worm Ourboros".
If you are thinking about dying: Huxley's "Island".
Time will tell and perhaps A. E. van Vogt will be forgotten but I think
his work desires a mention somewhere. And then there was Doc
Smith.
PS: Re dying: Sendaks "Higglety Piggelty Pop" if you lose a loved one.
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
musika
2021-11-26 02:07:28 UTC
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
--
Ray
UK
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-26 03:10:30 UTC
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Maybe it is better to say, "never say never", and who am I to say what
may be possible in, say, a thousand years, but nine billion miles is a
long way to travel. And where will they be going? How will they
return? (Answer: They will not return.)

If the universe has been around for fourteen billion years, why don't
we have more evidence of extraterrestrial life? Latest theory is that
the universe has always been here. Plenty of time for other
civilizations on distant worlds to create the technology needed to
visit us IF it is possible.
Sam Plusnet
2021-11-26 19:42:13 UTC
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely.  I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
By a sling shot (manoeuvre)?
--
Sam Plusnet
Lewis
2021-11-27 11:24:29 UTC
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
--
Kickboxing. Sport of the future.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-27 13:14:25 UTC
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Not with a Bussard fusion ramjet, if it would work.
(it doesn't)
Niven's was perhaps the last hard core SF author
to get anywhere near lightspeed
while respecting the laws of physics.

Jan
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2021-11-27 17:47:00 UTC
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
--
Athel -- French and British, living mainly in England until 1987.
spains...@gmail.com
2021-11-27 18:31:21 UTC
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
That depends on light. We are human and we have our five sentences,
(copyright WS), but suppose there are other sentences we don't yet have?

I used to operate a compost bin. When we took the lid off, the creatures
inside seemed to be surprised at the huge Universe that they had never
experienced or been able to imagine.

We are in that same dark bin.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-27 20:38:51 UTC
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,

Jan
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-27 22:50:38 UTC
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
No use in kicking around the laws of physics as they are known. The
answer if there is one will be found elsewhere. And possibly not.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 09:38:46 UTC
Post by Mack A. Damia
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
No use in kicking around the laws of physics as they are known. The
answer if there is one will be found elsewhere. And possibly not.
Yes, but "why aren't they here?" (Fermi)

Jan
Rich Ulrich
2021-11-28 03:28:04 UTC
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
I liked the Bussard ramjet idea of a cruise around the galaxy,
returning to earth in a time-compressed lifetime (or a few).

On the other hands, who knows what prospects will open
up when we learn to manipulate the "dark matter" that
accounts for most of the mass of the universe? - You know,
I don't remember my SF authors using dark matter.
--
Rich Ulrich
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 09:38:46 UTC
Post by Rich Ulrich
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
I liked the Bussard ramjet idea of a cruise around the galaxy,
returning to earth in a time-compressed lifetime (or a few).
Sure would be nice, but Bussard ramjets won't do it.
The basic reason is that fusion yields hardly any energy,
(a mere 25 MeV out of 4 GeV for He4)

Jan
Kerr-Mudd, John
2021-11-28 10:09:17 UTC
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 22:28:04 -0500
Post by Rich Ulrich
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief
passed away decades ago. For example, I have studied enough
about the universe, et al, to believe that interplanetary
space travel to the planet Earth by alien civilizations was
and is highly to almost unlikely. I can see us flying to Mars
in decades to come, but humans will not escape the Solar
System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the
math just doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal
propulsion just to get to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will
doubtlessly correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere,
but I think the light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as
it's usually thought to be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of
light, $v = c$, then we have infinite mass and that's impossible.
However, it goes down quite steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that
we only want to get to 80% of $c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get
$1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e. the mass is increased by less
than 70%, and at that speed we could reach Alpha Centauri in about
seven years. Solving the "normal propulsion" problem is another
matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
I liked the Bussard ramjet idea of a cruise around the galaxy,
returning to earth in a time-compressed lifetime (or a few).
On the other hands, who knows what prospects will open
up when we learn to manipulate the "dark matter" that
accounts for most of the mass of the universe? - You know,
I don't remember my SF authors using dark matter.
Dark Matter can't be seen; it's no good. It's too big and too small at
the same time!

ISTM that it'll turn out to be a Dreadful Mistake like phlogiston. Or
maybe that's just wishful thinking.
--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 10:24:13 UTC
Post by Kerr-Mudd, John
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 22:28:04 -0500
Post by Rich Ulrich
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief
passed away decades ago. For example, I have studied enough
about the universe, et al, to believe that interplanetary
space travel to the planet Earth by alien civilizations was
and is highly to almost unlikely. I can see us flying to Mars
in decades to come, but humans will not escape the Solar
System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the
math just doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal
propulsion just to get to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will
doubtlessly correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere,
but I think the light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as
it's usually thought to be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of
light, $v = c$, then we have infinite mass and that's impossible.
However, it goes down quite steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that
we only want to get to 80% of $c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get
$1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e. the mass is increased by less
than 70%, and at that speed we could reach Alpha Centauri in about
seven years. Solving the "normal propulsion" problem is another
matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
I liked the Bussard ramjet idea of a cruise around the galaxy,
returning to earth in a time-compressed lifetime (or a few).
On the other hands, who knows what prospects will open
up when we learn to manipulate the "dark matter" that
accounts for most of the mass of the universe? - You know,
I don't remember my SF authors using dark matter.
Dark Matter can't be seen; it's no good. It's too big and too small at
the same time!
ISTM that it'll turn out to be a Dreadful Mistake like phlogiston. Or
maybe that's just wishful thinking.
There is Dark Matter and Dark Energy. (aka the energy of the vacuum)

Dark Matter otoh must be there.
Those galaxies, including our own, just rotate to fast.
Either there is invisible mass for extra pull,
or general relativity is dreadfully wrong,
(which seems far less likely)

Jan
Lewis
2021-11-28 13:27:47 UTC
Post by Kerr-Mudd, John
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 22:28:04 -0500
Post by Rich Ulrich
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief
passed away decades ago. For example, I have studied enough
about the universe, et al, to believe that interplanetary
space travel to the planet Earth by alien civilizations was
and is highly to almost unlikely. I can see us flying to Mars
in decades to come, but humans will not escape the Solar
System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the
math just doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal
propulsion just to get to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will
doubtlessly correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere,
but I think the light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as
it's usually thought to be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of
light, $v = c$, then we have infinite mass and that's impossible.
However, it goes down quite steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that
we only want to get to 80% of $c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get
$1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e. the mass is increased by less
than 70%, and at that speed we could reach Alpha Centauri in about
seven years. Solving the "normal propulsion" problem is another
matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
I liked the Bussard ramjet idea of a cruise around the galaxy,
returning to earth in a time-compressed lifetime (or a few).
On the other hands, who knows what prospects will open
up when we learn to manipulate the "dark matter" that
accounts for most of the mass of the universe? - You know,
I don't remember my SF authors using dark matter.
Dark Matter can't be seen; it's no good. It's too big and too small at
the same time!
ISTM that it'll turn out to be a Dreadful Mistake like phlogiston. Or
maybe that's just wishful thinking.
The reason for the idea of dark matter is that the masses of the
galaxies far exceeds their visible mass. We know this is true, and it's
been verified over and over. The name "dark matter" is really a
catch-all for "that thing we have no idea where it is or how it works
that gives the universe about 9 times more mass than it should have".
--
Girl wins her man after showing off her legs and not talking
(The Little Mermaid)
Kerr-Mudd, John
2021-11-28 15:10:50 UTC
On Sun, 28 Nov 2021 13:27:47 -0000 (UTC)
Post by Lewis
Post by Kerr-Mudd, John
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 22:28:04 -0500
Post by Rich Ulrich
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief
passed away decades ago. For example, I have studied enough
about the universe, et al, to believe that interplanetary
space travel to the planet Earth by alien civilizations was
and is highly to almost unlikely. I can see us flying to
Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape the
Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the
math just doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal
propulsion just to get to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will
doubtlessly correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere,
but I think the light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as
it's usually thought to be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of
light, $v = c$, then we have infinite mass and that's
impossible. However, it goes down quite steeply as $v$
decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of $c$, i.e.
$v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we
could reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the
"normal propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
Perhaps, but the energy requirements are huge.
(remember that c^2 ~= 10^17 joule/kg)
So impossible unless you can burn anti-matter as fuel,
and at high efficiency too.
A Bussard ramjet won't do it,
I liked the Bussard ramjet idea of a cruise around the galaxy,
returning to earth in a time-compressed lifetime (or a few).
On the other hands, who knows what prospects will open
up when we learn to manipulate the "dark matter" that
accounts for most of the mass of the universe? - You know,
I don't remember my SF authors using dark matter.
Dark Matter can't be seen; it's no good. It's too big and too small
at the same time!
ISTM that it'll turn out to be a Dreadful Mistake like phlogiston.
Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.
The reason for the idea of dark matter is that the masses of the
galaxies far exceeds their visible mass. We know this is true, and
Oh, all right then:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_Cluster.
Post by Lewis
it's been verified over and over. The name "dark matter" is really a
catch-all for "that thing we have no idea where it is or how it works
that gives the universe about 9 times more mass than it should have".
We know there's a lot of it (85% on mass on Universe) but we can't see
it, feel it, smell it, hear it or taste it (c HHGTTG the text adventure)
or interact in any way other than see it's gravitational effects.

Uselessium!
--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.
Lewis
2021-11-27 22:04:45 UTC
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve. Second, of course,
is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed. Third is how do
you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down? The slowing
down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time right there,
and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital velocity,
will increase the time even more, All that still completely ignores the
fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical way to
generate that amount of acceleration.

As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
--
SHERRI DOES NOT "GOT BACK" Bart chalkboard Ep. AABF07
Jerry Friedman
2021-11-27 23:29:17 UTC
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve. Second, of course,
is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed. Third is how do
you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down? The slowing
down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time right there,
and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital velocity,
will increase the time even more,
The classic method is to accelerate at 1 g, turn around at the midpoint,
and decelerate at 1 g. According to this, getting to Proxima Centauri that
way would take 5.9 years Earth time and 3.5 years ship time.

https://www.quora.com/How-long-would-it-take-to-reach-the-closest-exoplanet-bearing-star-given-1G-acceleration-from-the-ships-perspective-and-from-an-earthbound-perspective-and-what-would-be-the-ships-top-speed
Post by Lewis
All that still completely ignores the
fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical way to
generate that amount of acceleration.
That's the real problem. That answer goes on to discuss the energy requirements
if we had a way to transport large amounts of antimatter (as Jan mentioned),
which we don't.

There's also a problem about hitting tiny bits of space debris when you're
going 94% of the speed of light.
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
The math works. Technology is the problem.
--
Jerry Friedman
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-28 00:00:23 UTC
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:29:17 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve. Second, of course,
is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed. Third is how do
you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down? The slowing
down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time right there,
and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital velocity,
will increase the time even more,
The classic method is to accelerate at 1 g, turn around at the midpoint,
and decelerate at 1 g. According to this, getting to Proxima Centauri that
way would take 5.9 years Earth time and 3.5 years ship time.
https://www.quora.com/How-long-would-it-take-to-reach-the-closest-exoplanet-bearing-star-given-1G-acceleration-from-the-ships-perspective-and-from-an-earthbound-perspective-and-what-would-be-the-ships-top-speed
Post by Lewis
All that still completely ignores the
fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical way to
generate that amount of acceleration.
That's the real problem. That answer goes on to discuss the energy requirements
if we had a way to transport large amounts of antimatter (as Jan mentioned),
which we don't.
There's also a problem about hitting tiny bits of space debris when you're
going 94% of the speed of light.
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
The math works. Technology is the problem.
Are there any many-made objects that can travel the speed of light?
Currently they would disintegrate. Do you think that humans can
travel the speed of light if we had the means? I don't. Our
physiological systems couldn't handle it.

If you go to a state that still executes the convicted by
electrocution, you could always "ride the lightning."
Jerry Friedman
2021-11-28 00:19:19 UTC
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:29:17 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve. Second, of course,
is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed. Third is how do
you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down? The slowing
down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time right there,
and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital velocity,
will increase the time even more,
The classic method is to accelerate at 1 g, turn around at the midpoint,
and decelerate at 1 g. According to this, getting to Proxima Centauri that
way would take 5.9 years Earth time and 3.5 years ship time.
https://www.quora.com/How-long-would-it-take-to-reach-the-closest-exoplanet-bearing-star-given-1G-acceleration-from-the-ships-perspective-and-from-an-earthbound-perspective-and-what-would-be-the-ships-top-speed
Post by Lewis
All that still completely ignores the
fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical way to
generate that amount of acceleration.
That's the real problem. That answer goes on to discuss the energy requirements
if we had a way to transport large amounts of antimatter (as Jan mentioned),
which we don't.
There's also a problem about hitting tiny bits of space debris when you're
going 94% of the speed of light.
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
The math works. Technology is the problem.
Are there any many-made objects that can travel the speed of light?
Currently they would disintegrate.
There's no reason that they would disintegrate, as long as they weren't
hitting anything.

However, we don't have the capability to accelerate anything bigger than a
uranium nucleus to anywhere near the speed of light. Nothing at all can be
accelerated to the exact speed of light (the speed in vacuum, that is, c).
Post by Mack A. Damia
Do you think that humans can
travel the speed of light if we had the means? I don't. Our
physiological systems couldn't handle it.
...

The whole point of relativity--Einstein's or Galileo's--is that the laws of physics
are the same in any non-accelerated reference frame. Just as you can't tell
how fast you're going in an airplane, you can't tell in a rocket, and you wouldn't
be able to tell in a hypothetical relativistic spaceship. In the hypothetical trip
described above, you would feel just as if you were on Earth (except when you
turn around and start decelerating, when you'd presumably be weightless like
the astronauts in orbit), as long as the ship didn't hit anything.
--
Jerry Friedman
Stefan Ram
2021-11-28 00:57:53 UTC
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Mack A. Damia
Are there any many-made objects that can travel the speed of light?
Currently they would disintegrate.
There's no reason that they would disintegrate, as long as they weren't
hitting anything.
Objects with mass continously hit photons of the microwave
should impede speeds of more than ( 1 - 3.3 × 10^-17 )c.

Man-made photons can travel with c, however.
Mack A. Damia
2021-11-28 02:09:15 UTC
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 16:19:19 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:29:17 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve. Second, of course,
is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed. Third is how do
you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down? The slowing
down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time right there,
and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital velocity,
will increase the time even more,
The classic method is to accelerate at 1 g, turn around at the midpoint,
and decelerate at 1 g. According to this, getting to Proxima Centauri that
way would take 5.9 years Earth time and 3.5 years ship time.
https://www.quora.com/How-long-would-it-take-to-reach-the-closest-exoplanet-bearing-star-given-1G-acceleration-from-the-ships-perspective-and-from-an-earthbound-perspective-and-what-would-be-the-ships-top-speed
Post by Lewis
All that still completely ignores the
fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical way to
generate that amount of acceleration.
That's the real problem. That answer goes on to discuss the energy requirements
if we had a way to transport large amounts of antimatter (as Jan mentioned),
which we don't.
There's also a problem about hitting tiny bits of space debris when you're
going 94% of the speed of light.
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
The math works. Technology is the problem.
Are there any many-made objects that can travel the speed of light?
Currently they would disintegrate.
There's no reason that they would disintegrate, as long as they weren't
hitting anything.
I beg to differ as we have never had anything travel at the speed of
light except light itself, so we have no idea what its effect would be
on man-made materials or humans for that matter.
Post by Jerry Friedman
However, we don't have the capability to accelerate anything bigger than a
uranium nucleus to anywhere near the speed of light. Nothing at all can be
accelerated to the exact speed of light (the speed in vacuum, that is, c).
Post by Mack A. Damia
Do you think that humans can
travel the speed of light if we had the means? I don't. Our
physiological systems couldn't handle it.
...
The whole point of relativity--Einstein's or Galileo's--is that the laws of physics
are the same in any non-accelerated reference frame. Just as you can't tell
how fast you're going in an airplane, you can't tell in a rocket, and you wouldn't
be able to tell in a hypothetical relativistic spaceship. In the hypothetical trip
described above, you would feel just as if you were on Earth (except when you
turn around and start decelerating, when you'd presumably be weightless like
the astronauts in orbit), as long as the ship didn't hit anything.
But there is no evidence of any solid object traveling at the speed of
light as far as I know. What would be the mechanism of propulsion?
Plenty of unknown factors; methinks it is pure theoretical fantasy.
Snidely
2021-11-28 10:28:01 UTC
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 16:19:19 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 15:29:17 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet
Earth by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I
can see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not
escape the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math
just doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just
to get to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve. Second, of course,
is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed. Third is how do
you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down? The slowing
down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time right there,
and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital velocity,
will increase the time even more,
The classic method is to accelerate at 1 g, turn around at the midpoint,
and decelerate at 1 g. According to this, getting to Proxima Centauri that
way would take 5.9 years Earth time and 3.5 years ship time.
https://www.quora.com/How-long-would-it-take-to-reach-the-closest-exoplanet-bearing-star-given-1G-acceleration-from-the-ships-perspective-and-from-an-earthbound-perspective-and-what-would-be-the-ships-top-speed
Post by Lewis
All that still completely ignores the
fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical way to
generate that amount of acceleration.
That's the real problem. That answer goes on to discuss the energy
requirements if we had a way to transport large amounts of antimatter (as
Jan mentioned), which we don't.
There's also a problem about hitting tiny bits of space debris when you're
going 94% of the speed of light.
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
The math works. Technology is the problem.
Are there any many-made objects that can travel the speed of light?
Currently they would disintegrate.
There's no reason that they would disintegrate, as long as they weren't
hitting anything.
I beg to differ as we have never had anything travel at the speed of
light except light itself, so we have no idea what its effect would be
on man-made materials or humans for that matter.
Post by Jerry Friedman
However, we don't have the capability to accelerate anything bigger than a
uranium nucleus to anywhere near the speed of light. Nothing at all can be
accelerated to the exact speed of light (the speed in vacuum, that is, c).
Post by Mack A. Damia
Do you think that humans can
travel the speed of light if we had the means? I don't. Our
physiological systems couldn't handle it.
...
The whole point of relativity--Einstein's or Galileo's--is that the laws of
physics are the same in any non-accelerated reference frame. Just as you
can't tell how fast you're going in an airplane, you can't tell in a rocket,
and you wouldn't be able to tell in a hypothetical relativistic spaceship.
In the hypothetical trip described above, you would feel just as if you were
on Earth (except when you turn around and start decelerating, when you'd
presumably be weightless like the astronauts in orbit), as long as the ship
didn't hit anything.
But there is no evidence of any solid object traveling at the speed of
light as far as I know. What would be the mechanism of propulsion?
Plenty of unknown factors; methinks it is pure theoretical fantasy.
It isn't even a theoretical possibility, as you can never reach the
speed of light unless you're massless.

/dps
--
Who, me? And what lacuna?
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 09:38:46 UTC
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve. Second, of course,
is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed. Third is how do
you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down? The slowing
down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time right there,
and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital velocity,
will increase the time even more,
The classic method is to accelerate at 1 g, turn around at the midpoint,
and decelerate at 1 g. According to this, getting to Proxima Centauri that
way would take 5.9 years Earth time and 3.5 years ship time.
https://www.quora.com/How-long-would-it-take-to-reach-the-closest-exoplanet-be
aring-star-given-1G-acceleration-from-the-ships-perspective-and-from-an-earthbound-perspective-and-what-would-be-the-ships-top-speed
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Lewis
All that still completely ignores the
fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical way to
generate that amount of acceleration.
That's the real problem. That answer goes on to discuss the energy
requirements if we had a way to transport large amounts of antimatter (as
Jan mentioned), which we don't.
Any SF author worth his salt can discover an anti-matter asteroid.
Post by Jerry Friedman
There's also a problem about hitting tiny bits of space debris when you're
going 94% of the speed of light.
Worse, you'll hit interstelar gas, that is protons.
Since you are near relativistic, they are near relativistic wrt you.
So that means they will hit you with energies of order one GeV.
You are going to need lots of quite heavy shielding,
so there are more 'practicalities',

Jan
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
The math works. Technology is the problem.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 08:27:57 UTC
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve.
Maintaining 1g of acceleration (in the ship's instantaneous rest frame)
will do it in a reasonable time.
Post by Lewis
Second, of course, is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed.
There are none, for the travellers. They live in their own proper time.
Post by Lewis
Third is how do you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down?
Same way as you speed up.
Post by Lewis
The slowing down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time
right there, and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital
velocity, will increase the time even more, All that still completely
ignores the fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical
way to generate that amount of acceleration.
Photon drive at sufficient power levels.
(but remember that c = 300 MW/Newton, in slightly unconventional units)
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
"Interstellar distances are god's quarantine regulations" (John Brunner)

Jan
Lewis
2021-11-28 13:33:05 UTC
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Lewis
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Lewis
Post by musika
Post by Mack A. Damia
I guess another factor is that my suspension of disbelief passed away
et al, to believe that interplanetary space travel to the planet Earth
by alien civilizations was and is highly to almost unlikely. I can
see us flying to Mars in decades to come, but humans will not escape
the Solar System by a long shot.
I think that humans will *only* escape the Solar System by a long shot.
Without some sort of way to avoid the light speed barrier, the math just
doesn't work; it is thousands of years of normal propulsion just to get
to the nearest star.
Someone more knowledgeable (Jan? Jerry? Peter Moylan?) will doubtlessly
correct me if I'm making a silly mistake somewhere, but I think the
light speed barrier is not as unsurmountable as it's usually thought to
be. Yes, if we travel at the speed of light, $v = c$, then we have
infinite mass and that's impossible. However, it goes down quite
steeply as $v$ decreases. Suppose that we only want to get to 80% of
$c$, i.e. $v/c = 0.8$. Then we get $1/\sqrt{1 - c^2/v^2} = 1.67$, i.e.
the mass is increased by less than 70%, and at that speed we could
reach Alpha Centauri in about seven years. Solving the "normal
propulsion" problem is another matter, of course.
You have to consider some more factors. First, if you are sending people
you are limited in the acceleration you can achieve.
Maintaining 1g of acceleration (in the ship's instantaneous rest frame)
will do it in a reasonable time.
And how do you achieve 1g constant acceleration for years?
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Lewis
Second, of course, is the relativistic effects of traveling at that speed.
There are none, for the travellers. They live in their own proper time.
Post by Lewis
Third is how do you generate 0.8c worth of speed and how do you slow down?
Same way as you speed up.
And same problem, only doubled.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Lewis
The slowing down alone means you are doubling the amount of travel time
right there, and the time it will take to accelerate down to, say orbital
velocity, will increase the time even more, All that still completely
ignores the fact that there is no known or even realistically theoretical
way to generate that amount of acceleration.
Photon drive at sufficient power levels.
What powers them? How do you carry the fuel? and the fuel adds mass
which means MORE FUEL.
Post by J. J. Lodder
(but remember that c = 300 MW/Newton, in slightly unconventional units)
Post by Lewis
As I said, the math does not work with our current level of knowledge,
and it will take a breakthrough at least on the level of e=mc^2 or F=ma
(hey, those are the same!) before that could even ebgin to change.
"Interstellar distances are god's quarantine regulations" (John Brunner)
So it seems. There's nothing that we know of right now, even at the
purely theoretical level, that will solve this problem.
--
"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
"I think so, Brain. But even if we found a tuxedo to fit a blowfish,
who would marry it?"
lar3ryca
2021-11-25 20:56:21 UTC
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
I have not read 16 of the books.

I would remove
Frankenstein
Jurassic Park
Hyperion
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
and replace them with
The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson
Realtime series, Vernor Vinge
A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge
Makers, Cory Doctorow
Peter Moylan
2021-11-25 23:50:08 UTC
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers
in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be?
And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list
to 29 long?
have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to read, judging
by their descriptions.

I was surprised to see Liu Cixin on the list. I have read just one of
his/her books, and that was sufficient for me to say "never again". It
was a steaming pile of crap.

(I say his/her because I thought the author was a woman, but that web
page says that he's a man.)

I could put together my own list of 29 must-read SF, but there's not
much point, because everyone has their own preferences. There are even
people who like cyberpunk, I've heard.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Jerry Friedman
2021-11-26 01:27:50 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers
in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be?
And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list
to 29 long?
have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to read, judging
by their descriptions.
I was surprised to see Liu Cixin on the list. I have read just one of
his/her books, and that was sufficient for me to say "never again". It
was a steaming pile of crap.
...

I thought /The Three-Body Problem/ started quite well.
--
Jerry Friedman
Rich Ulrich
2021-11-26 07:27:27 UTC
On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 10:50:08 +1100, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers
in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be?
And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list
to 29 long?
have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to read, judging
by their descriptions.
Yes, my reaction, generally. You say, books would never want to read
"in some cases." I took no note of any title I should look for.

This list makes me think of English majors plus magazine staff,
rather than SF nerds.
Post by Peter Moylan
I was surprised to see Liu Cixin on the list. I have read just one of
his/her books, and that was sufficient for me to say "never again". It
was a steaming pile of crap.
My big exclusion was Crichton, whom I consider to be
outside the genre. SF written and read by non-SF people --
not having the virtues of SF imagination.
Post by Peter Moylan
(I say his/her because I thought the author was a woman, but that web
page says that he's a man.)
I could put together my own list of 29 must-read SF, but there's not
much point, because everyone has their own preferences. There are even
people who like cyberpunk, I've heard.
I read and recommend /series/ for the most part, if I am not
recommending an author for everything. When I have a
quick reaction, "This is a great book!" -- I don't always feel
the same after several years and several readings.

List: Dune was great; the original trilogy is worth reading.

I do recommend Le Guin, for two books that still seem great.
My small collection has both The Dispossessed and The Left
Hand of Darkness.

The Foundation Trilogy (not the added volumes).

Beyond the list?
Old timers? Authors? Anything by Robert Heinlein, A.E. Van
Vogt, James H. Schmitz. I loved a trilogy of small books by

The (very old) Lensmen series by E.E. Doc Smith was the
first SF series that grabbed me, if I read that before Foundation.

Modern series? Authors: Lois McMaster Bujold. John Scalzi.
Patricia Briggs. Tanya Huff. Steven Gould.
--
Rich Ulrich
Peter Moylan
2021-11-26 07:43:04 UTC
Post by Rich Ulrich
List: Dune was great; the original trilogy is worth reading.
I disagree with that second statement. The first book was great. All of
the sequels (up to the point where I stopped reading them) disappointed me.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Peter T. Daniels
2021-11-26 17:39:11 UTC
Post by Rich Ulrich
My big exclusion was Crichton, whom I consider to be
outside the genre. SF written and read by non-SF people --
not having the virtues of SF imagination.
I read *The Andromeda Strain* -- and crossed Crichton off the list forever.
Space microbes menace Earth, scientists can't come up with a treatment,
space virus goes away, author has accomplished nothing..
Peter Moylan
2021-11-26 23:50:01 UTC
Post by Peter T. Daniels
My big exclusion was Crichton, whom I consider to be outside the
genre. SF written and read by non-SF people -- not having the
virtues of SF imagination.
I read *The Andromeda Strain* -- and crossed Crichton off the list
forever. Space microbes menace Earth, scientists can't come up with
a treatment, space virus goes away, author has accomplished
nothing..
That book was indeed pretty hopeless, and I'm annoyed that I was
suckered into buying it; but I think I've read one or two Crichton books
that I found acceptable. /Timeline/ is the only one I can think of now.

Many would say that Crichton's brand of pseudo-science is not scientific
enough to qualify as SF; but there have been plenty of accepted SF
authors - Van Vogt, for example - whose understanding of science is
laughable.

I think of Crichton as someone, like Vonnegut, who lives in the outer
fringes of SF.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Snidely
2021-11-27 01:58:25 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Peter T. Daniels
My big exclusion was Crichton, whom I consider to be outside the
genre. SF written and read by non-SF people -- not having the
virtues of SF imagination.
I read *The Andromeda Strain* -- and crossed Crichton off the list
forever. Space microbes menace Earth, scientists can't come up with
a treatment, space virus goes away, author has accomplished
nothing..
That book was indeed pretty hopeless, and I'm annoyed that I was
suckered into buying it; but I think I've read one or two Crichton books
that I found acceptable. /Timeline/ is the only one I can think of now.
Many would say that Crichton's brand of pseudo-science is not scientific
enough to qualify as SF; but there have been plenty of accepted SF
authors - Van Vogt, for example - whose understanding of science is
laughable.
I think of Crichton as someone, like Vonnegut, who lives in the outer
fringes of SF.
I've read that Crichton is anti-scientist, liking to find the mortal
flaws among the lab coats.

/dps
--
The presence of this syntax results from the fact that SQLite is really
a Tcl extension that has escaped into the wild.
<http://www.sqlite.org/lang_expr.html>
Peter Moylan
2021-11-27 02:58:06 UTC
Post by Snidely
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Peter T. Daniels
My big exclusion was Crichton, whom I consider to be outside
the genre. SF written and read by non-SF people -- not having
the virtues of SF imagination.
I read *The Andromeda Strain* -- and crossed Crichton off the
list forever. Space microbes menace Earth, scientists can't come
up with a treatment, space virus goes away, author has
accomplished nothing..
That book was indeed pretty hopeless, and I'm annoyed that I was
suckered into buying it; but I think I've read one or two Crichton
books that I found acceptable. /Timeline/ is the only one I can
think of now.
Many would say that Crichton's brand of pseudo-science is not
scientific enough to qualify as SF; but there have been plenty of
accepted SF authors - Van Vogt, for example - whose understanding
of science is laughable.
I think of Crichton as someone, like Vonnegut, who lives in the
outer fringes of SF.
I've read that Crichton is anti-scientist, liking to find the mortal
flaws among the lab coats.
I didn't know that. A bit like C S Lewis, then.

I've just looked up the Wikipedia article on him, and it does mention
his having been a science sceptic. It also includes the word
"techno-thriller", which is a good label for his kind of writing.

Having looked at the list of his books, I withdraw my comment about his
being on the fringe of SF. None of them qualify as SF.

My positive comment on /Timeline/ still stands. It's a good mediaeval
adventure story, and I would happily re-read it. The science is shonky,
though.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Peter T. Daniels
2021-11-27 16:51:50 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
The science is shonky,
though.
An Ozzism?

Yes! NZ also.
Peter Moylan
2021-11-27 22:19:46 UTC
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Peter Moylan
The science is shonky,
though.
An Ozzism?
Yes! NZ also.
Also Ankh-Morporkian, although with a different meaning.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Peter T. Daniels
2021-11-27 16:44:05 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Peter T. Daniels
My big exclusion was Crichton, whom I consider to be outside the
genre. SF written and read by non-SF people -- not having the
virtues of SF imagination.
I read *The Andromeda Strain* -- and crossed Crichton off the list
forever. Space microbes menace Earth, scientists can't come up with
a treatment, space virus goes away, author has accomplished
nothing..
That book was indeed pretty hopeless, and I'm annoyed that I was
suckered into buying it; but I think I've read one or two Crichton books
that I found acceptable. /Timeline/ is the only one I can think of now.
Many would say that Crichton's brand of pseudo-science is not scientific
enough to qualify as SF; but there have been plenty of accepted SF
authors - Van Vogt, for example - whose understanding of science is
laughable.
I think of Crichton as someone, like Vonnegut, who lives in the outer
fringes of SF.
One difference is that Vonnegut can _write_.

of and found as a used paperback. It may have been *God Bless You,
Mr. Rosewater* (1965), which is surprising because it comes between

During his last years, he did a series of short pieces on WNYC, reporting
from Heaven in the voice of various celebrities. It was a little indulgent
of them to broadcast all of them.
Rich Ulrich
2021-11-26 18:33:22 UTC
On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 02:27:27 -0500, Rich Ulrich

me>
Post by Rich Ulrich
I do recommend Le Guin, for two books that still seem great.
My small collection has both The Dispossessed and The Left
Hand of Darkness.
I wanted to imply that I have gotten rid of a whole lot of
books, but I have saved those two.

My "small collection" has a few hundred books, out of the
thousands that I have bought over the years. I have been
selective in what I do not pass along to libraries or family, so
I think it is a "collection" instead of being "a bunch of books."

that could fill another. I live in an apartment, and shelf space for
books competes with space for discs - CDs, DVDs, BluRay.

Mine would be a "large" book collection, compared to all the
homes that I remember visiting as a youth in a small town in
Texas. My parents had "quite a few" books but Mom relied
on the library. We kids had very small collections of children's
books, and library cards.

But I think of "large collection" as describing the 10 thousand or
so books (mostly on shelves in the basement) of my earliest friends
in Pittsburgh, Professor King and Professor Mrs. King. They had
cash to spare for books, and space to store them.

I figure that the regulars of aue are almost all avid readers,
though not necessarily of fiction (which there is so much of).

Do some readers prefer NOT to have a collection as big as they
can afford and have room for? I think there's a good chance
I would have de-acquistioned quite a few books over the years,
enough, a "moderate sized collection" -- I say, today.
--
Rich Ulrich
bil...@shaw.ca
2021-11-26 19:59:14 UTC
Post by Rich Ulrich
On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 02:27:27 -0500, Rich Ulrich
me>
Post by Rich Ulrich
I do recommend Le Guin, for two books that still seem great.
My small collection has both The Dispossessed and The Left
Hand of Darkness.
I wanted to imply that I have gotten rid of a whole lot of
books, but I have saved those two.
My "small collection" has a few hundred books, out of the
thousands that I have bought over the years. I have been
selective in what I do not pass along to libraries or family, so
I think it is a "collection" instead of being "a bunch of books."
that could fill another. I live in an apartment, and shelf space for
books competes with space for discs - CDs, DVDs, BluRay.
Mine would be a "large" book collection, compared to all the
homes that I remember visiting as a youth in a small town in
Texas. My parents had "quite a few" books but Mom relied
on the library. We kids had very small collections of children's
books, and library cards.
But I think of "large collection" as describing the 10 thousand or
so books (mostly on shelves in the basement) of my earliest friends
in Pittsburgh, Professor King and Professor Mrs. King. They had
cash to spare for books, and space to store them.
I figure that the regulars of aue are almost all avid readers,
though not necessarily of fiction (which there is so much of).
Do some readers prefer NOT to have a collection as big as they
can afford and have room for? I think there's a good chance
I would have de-acquistioned quite a few books over the years,
enough, a "moderate sized collection" -- I say, today.
I'm overdue for a major culling of my SF collection, which is
comparable in size to yours, by the sound of it. But tastes change.
I used to buy and read everything Roger Zelazny wrote, but a few
months ago I picked up the first book in the Amber series and
couldn't get through the first few pages. It was just too juvenile.
But I used to love that stuff, and I've been procrastinating about
the culling.

However, I'll never get rid of my Le Guin collection, from Dispossessed/Darkness
through the Earthsea books to the wonderful Lavinia, which was not so much
SF or Fantasy as imaginative historical fiction, though full of magic. I regret
never making the pilgrimage to where she lived on the Oregon coast,
though I'm not one to knock on somebody's door uninvited.

bill
Ken Blake
2021-11-26 18:37:58 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers
in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be?
And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list
to 29 long?
have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to read, judging
by their descriptions.
Same for me. Back when I was around 10-14, I used to be a SF fan, but
those days are long gone. I've read a few book on the list, but hardly
ever read any SF books nowadays unless they are highly touted by one of
the very few people I know whose taste in books is similar to mine.
Kerr-Mudd, John
2021-11-26 20:46:18 UTC
On Fri, 26 Nov 2021 11:37:58 -0700
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be?
And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list
to 29 long?
that I have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to
Same for me. Back when I was around 10-14, I used to be a SF fan, but
those days are long gone. I've read a few book on the list, but
hardly ever read any SF books nowadays unless they are highly touted
by one of the very few people I know whose taste in books is similar
to mine.
IAWTP, and have stopped myself from x-posting to any alt.fan.sf NGs.
--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.
Peter Moylan
2021-11-27 00:03:12 UTC
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it
be? And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep
the list to 29 long?
that I have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to
Same for me. Back when I was around 10-14, I used to be a SF fan, but
those days are long gone. I've read a few book on the list, but
hardly ever read any SF books nowadays unless they are highly touted
by one of the very few people I know whose taste in books is similar
to mine.
I am very much an SF fan, but these days I find myself sticking to
re-reading my existing collection. When I go to a bookshop I find that
almost all the books in the SF section are fantasy, a genre that does
not appeal to me. When I do find something that is genuine science
fiction, it disappoints more often than not. There appears to be a new
"new wave" happening, with new writers trying to appeal to book critics

The only relatively new SF author that I like is Greg Egan, who comes up
with genuinely new ideas and turns them into readable stories. His short
stories are mostly better than his novels.

I tried Peter Hamilton, and after a few chapters wanted to call for an
editor who could trim the book to about 10% of its length. I threw the
book out rather that struggle through the many remaining chapters. With
publishers focusing on thickness rather than content, useless and
unnecessarily boring padding has become fashionable.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Snidely
2021-11-27 02:06:12 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it
be? And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep
the list to 29 long?
that I have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to
Same for me. Back when I was around 10-14, I used to be a SF fan, but
those days are long gone. I've read a few book on the list, but
hardly ever read any SF books nowadays unless they are highly touted
by one of the very few people I know whose taste in books is similar
to mine.
I am very much an SF fan, but these days I find myself sticking to
re-reading my existing collection. When I go to a bookshop I find that
almost all the books in the SF section are fantasy, a genre that does
not appeal to me. When I do find something that is genuine science
fiction, it disappoints more often than not. There appears to be a new
"new wave" happening, with new writers trying to appeal to book critics
The only relatively new SF author that I like is Greg Egan, who comes up
with genuinely new ideas and turns them into readable stories. His short
stories are mostly better than his novels.
I tried Peter Hamilton, and after a few chapters wanted to call for an
editor who could trim the book to about 10% of its length. I threw the
book out rather that struggle through the many remaining chapters. With
publishers focusing on thickness rather than content, useless and
unnecessarily boring padding has become fashionable.
I've read one Greg Bear (_Slant_) which WP says is the logical 2nd
novel in his Quantum Logic series. This one was about a surreptitious
application of "nano" to the human species, with it spreading much like
a cold. It also involved a team breaking into a sealed facility, so a
dose of action hero (more Fleming-ish than Film-Franchise-ish).

Should I finish the series, now that I know it is one?

Do other readers here have recommendations on his other books?

Per the Particle:
"Bear is often classified as a hard science fiction author because of
the level of scientific detail in his work. Early in his career, he
also published work as an artist, including illustrations for an early
version of the Star Trek Concordance and covers for Galaxy and F&SF.[1]
He sold his first story, "Destroyers", to Famous Science Fiction in
1967.[1]"

and

"Bear cites Ray Bradbury as the most influential writer in his life. He
met Bradbury in 1967 and had a lifelong correspondence. As a teenager,
Bear attended Bradbury lectures and events in Southern California.[4]"

/dps
--
"This is all very fine, but let us not be carried away be excitement,
but ask calmly, how does this person feel about in in his cooler
moments next day, with six or seven thousand feet of snow and stuff on
top of him?"
_Roughing It_, Mark Twain.
Lewis
2021-11-27 13:16:43 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by Ken Blake
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it
be? And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep
the list to 29 long?
that I have never read; and, in some cases, would never want to
Same for me. Back when I was around 10-14, I used to be a SF fan, but
those days are long gone. I've read a few book on the list, but
hardly ever read any SF books nowadays unless they are highly touted
by one of the very few people I know whose taste in books is similar
to mine.
I am very much an SF fan, but these days I find myself sticking to
re-reading my existing collection. When I go to a bookshop I find that
almost all the books in the SF section are fantasy, a genre that does
not appeal to me. When I do find something that is genuine science
fiction, it disappoints more often than not. There appears to be a new
"new wave" happening, with new writers trying to appeal to book critics
I find the Nebula nominees are generally good with one or two gawdawful
books in the mix just to keep you awake and make sure your brain is
working.

Recent oned that I thought were excellent:

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (straight SciFi)
A Desolation Called Peace (sequel)
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. Part of an alt-
history series, excellent sci-fi.
The Fifth Season series by NK Jemiso
Ninefox Gambit bu Yoon Ha Lee (an excellent sci-fi book that
will take some effort as it just throws you into a totally
unfamiliar world and lets you play catchup as you go along
well worth it.
The Three Body Problem by Lui Cixin, tranlated by Ken Lui. A
mind bending hard-science sci-fi story that, through three
novels ends up covering the entire span of the universe. It
is an excellent series, but it will hurt your head as you
grapple with it's perspective.

* The list is in date order, newest at the top. There are a lot of
other Nebula nominees I would recommend, but they are probably
not what you are looking for. Ther are other nominees that I still
intend to read that people I trust have said are very good, but I

You might also look for books stores that do "staff recommendations"
and look for ones where the sci-fi recommendations look like they are
thoughtful instead of pushing overstock. Of course, this is getting
harder and hard to to.

There are also various podcast that cover scifi books. Two that I listen
to are the yearly episode on The Incomparable
<https://www.theincomparable.com/theincomparable/> where they cover the
Nebula nominees.

The people on the podcasts read all the books and have differing
opinions, so it is generally pretty easy to pick out the ones you'll be
most interested in.

Most of the episodes are not about books specifically, but the do cover
both the Hugo and nebula nominees every year. Because of this, they have
a separate sub-list that covers just the "book club" episodes going back

<https://www.theincomparable.com/theincomparable/bookclub/>

Lastly, there is goodReads.com (owned by Amazon now) which can be vary
helpful with connection with people with similar tastes, which of course
lets you find other books based on what they are reading. It is not all
that active, but I still find it quite useful.

If you prefer military scfi, the David Weber Honor Harrington novels are
a scifi retelling on the Napoleonic Wars. He does pretty well with the
science and quite well with space battle tactics. I would not say they
are GOOD exactly, but they are entertaining.
Post by Peter Moylan
The only relatively new SF author that I like is Greg Egan, who comes up
with genuinely new ideas and turns them into readable stories. His short
stories are mostly better than his novels.
I tried Peter Hamilton, and after a few chapters wanted to call for an
editor who could trim the book to about 10% of its length.
I can see that. Not only does he write a lot in each book, he churns
them out at a fast clip. I get why some people like him (it's a bot like
feeding yourself cheap chips/crisps).
Post by Peter Moylan
I threw the book out rather that struggle through the many remaining
chapters. With publishers focusing on thickness rather than content,
useless and unnecessarily boring padding has become fashionable.
It's not the publishers, it's the readers and the author. I refer to it
as the Stephen King problem, as he got more popular, his editors became
less able to cut his stories down. In fact, King republished his novel
The Stand with about 50% more pages than the original. While the new
version is definitely MORE STORY, and it made the ravenous fans of King
very happy, the material he added back in was certainly not necessary
and the original book, already very long, told the same story as
effectively, if not more so.

It happens with any author who gets a solid base of fans that are
basically guaranteed sales. Of course, some of them are better than
others at self-editing or or listening to their editors suggestions
without using their status to overrule those decisions.
--
'Can't argue with the truth, sir.' 'In my experience, Vimes, you can
argue with anything.'
Lewis
2021-11-27 22:16:56 UTC
Post by Lewis
There are also various podcast that cover scifi books. Two that I listen
to are the yearly episode on The Incomparable
<https://www.theincomparable.com/theincomparable/> where they cover the
Nebula nominees.
Oops. The other is Sword and Laser, <http://swordandlaser.com> which
features a fixed duo of hosts, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt.
--
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
Winston Churchill
Peter T. Daniels
2021-11-27 16:49:01 UTC
Post by Peter Moylan
I am very much an SF fan, but these days I find myself sticking to
re-reading my existing collection. When I go to a bookshop I find that
almost all the books in the SF section are fantasy, a genre that does
not appeal to me. When I do find something that is genuine science
fiction, it disappoints more often than not. There appears to be a new
"new wave" happening, with new writers trying to appeal to book critics
amazon just alerted me (via "you might also like") that there's a new
collection of Tolkien's last Middle-Earth stories, none of them completed,
apparently, edited by someone other than Christopher Tolkien. (The only
Tolkien I'd ordered from them was *Beowulf*, which somehow I'd missed
in hardcover at B&N, and when the paperback came out they no longer
stocked the hardcover.) (It would be nice but otiose to get the recent
collections of the shorter books, because they're bound uniformly with
the others.)
Steve Hayes
2021-11-26 06:30:18 UTC
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
I'll look at the list when I'm back in Windows and can look at the web
more easily.
--
Steve Hayes http://khanya.wordpress.com
Anders D. Nygaard
2021-11-26 20:18:11 UTC
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.

/Anders, Denmark
Paul Wolff
2021-11-26 20:36:44 UTC
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
Yes indeed - I did appreciate at least the /semblance/ of science in
Niven's work, and then his imaginative use of it. It was good enough to
fool me, anyway. Was Niven a scientist?
--
Paul
Peter Moylan
2021-11-27 00:09:48 UTC
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books
Everyone Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books> If you were
asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And which
title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29
long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has
Niven is one of the all-time greats of SF, but he hurt his reputation a
bit by writing sequels to /Ringworld/.

Sooner or later, all the top writers run into the trap of writing
sequels. Good for their income, bad for their reputation.
Post by Paul Wolff
Yes indeed - I did appreciate at least the /semblance/ of science in
Niven's work, and then his imaginative use of it. It was good enough
to fool me, anyway. Was Niven a scientist?
His education was in mathematics, IIRC, but I have the impression that
he kept self-educating long after graduation.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2021-11-27 11:29:44 UTC
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
Yes indeed - I did appreciate at least the /semblance/ of science in
Niven's work, and then his imaginative use of it. It was good enough to
fool me, anyway. Was Niven a scientist?
Not really, but he was obviously well-read in it.
My impression was that Niven's writing didn't improve
once he started collaborating with Jerry Pournelle.
(to put it mildly)
Looking Pournelle up I learned several new (to me) words,
like paleoconservative, Dark Enlightenment,
paleolibertarianism, etc.
I enjoyed Pournelle's articles in Byte [The writer in Byte that I
enjoyed the most, however, was Dick Pountain] as long as he confined
himself to computing. He was almost the only pundit to argue against
the stampede to C, the archetypal write-only language. On the other
hand I ignored his political views. I imagine that at the end of his
life he supported the nascent Trxxx regime, apart from its being too
far to the left.
So worse than even Heinlein,
===

As others have mentioned, the time has come to get rid of a lot of
books, as I don't want to saddle my daughter with a problem. I find
that no matter how many I give away or dump there seem to be just as
many left. Disposing of my science-fiction collection, on the other
hand, will be easy, consisting as it does of two books, Ossian's Ride
and The Black Cloud: a single walk to the recycling bin will be
sufficient.
--
Athel -- French and British, living mainly in England until 1987.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-27 13:14:23 UTC
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this
group. <https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books> If you
were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
Yes indeed - I did appreciate at least the /semblance/ of science in
Niven's work, and then his imaginative use of it. It was good enough to
fool me, anyway. Was Niven a scientist?
Not really, but he was obviously well-read in it.
My impression was that Niven's writing didn't improve
once he started collaborating with Jerry Pournelle.
(to put it mildly)
Looking Pournelle up I learned several new (to me) words,
like paleoconservative, Dark Enlightenment,
paleolibertarianism, etc.
I enjoyed Pournelle's articles in Byte [The writer in Byte that I
enjoyed the most, however, was Dick Pountain] as long as he confined
himself to computing. He was almost the only pundit to argue against
the stampede to C, the archetypal write-only language. On the other
hand I ignored his political views. I imagine that at the end of his
life he supported the nascent Trxxx regime, apart from its being too
far to the left.
So worse than even Heinlein,
===
As others have mentioned, the time has come to get rid of a lot of
books, as I don't want to saddle my daughter with a problem. I find
that no matter how many I give away or dump there seem to be just as
many left.
You have no Emmaus nearby?
If you offer them enough books they will come and collect.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Disposing of my science-fiction collection, on the other
hand, will be easy, consisting as it does of two books, Ossian's Ride
and The Black Cloud: a single walk to the recycling bin will be
sufficient.
Yes, I know you don't like Fred Hoyle.
'Ossian's Ride' is hardly science fiction, I think.
It is more of a thriller with a marginal SF element.
(secret police, thugs, chases, escapes, and so on)
What little SF there was reappeared in much better form
in his 'A for Andromeda' book and TV series.

Apart from the core SF in 'The Black Cloud'
it offers amusing carricature of the scientific
and political establishment in the British fifties,
which is by itself amusing,

Jan
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-27 14:03:12 UTC
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
[ … ]
As others have mentioned, the time has come to get rid of a lot of
books, as I don't want to saddle my daughter with a problem. I find
that no matter how many I give away or dump there seem to be just as
many left.
You have no Emmaus nearby?
Yes
Post by J. J. Lodder
If you offer them enough books they will come and collect.
I can ask, but I think their interest in books in English will be limited.
I did buy some English books at an Emmaus, sometime ago.
Brits who give up on second houses in France
sometimes donate whole libraries.
She said that Emmaus has a 'take all' policy when clearing out houses.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Disposing of my science-fiction collection, on the other
hand, will be easy, consisting as it does of two books, Ossian's Ride
and The Black Cloud: a single walk to the recycling bin will be
sufficient.
Yes, I know you don't like Fred Hoyle.
You oversimplify!
Hoyle would be most disapointed. He was a controversialist
who enjoyed generating arguments, heated ones of possible.
In usenet terms, an academic troll.
I don't like his pretence of knowing more biology than biologists.
It wasn't a pretence.
Hoyle was expert in the use of statistical mechanics,
at a time when most biologists were comletely ignorant
He succeeded in getting them quite upset,

Jan
Post by J. J. Lodder
'Ossian's Ride' is hardly science fiction, I think.
It is more of a thriller with a marginal SF element.
(secret police, thugs, chases, escapes, and so on)
What little SF there was reappeared in much better form
in his 'A for Andromeda' book and TV series.
Apart from the core SF in 'The Black Cloud'
it offers amusing carricature of the scientific
and political establishment in the British fifties,
which is by itself amusing,
Jan
Peter Moylan
2021-11-27 12:28:45 UTC
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
Yes indeed - I did appreciate at least the /semblance/ of science in
Niven's work, and then his imaginative use of it. It was good enough to
fool me, anyway. Was Niven a scientist?
Not really, but he was obviously well-read in it.
My impression was that Niven's writing didn't improve
once he started collaborating with Jerry Pournelle.
(to put it mildly)
Looking Pournelle up I learned several new (to me) words,
like paleoconservative, Dark Enlightenment,
paleolibertarianism, etc.
So worse than even Heinlein,
Niven himself seems to lean a long way to the right politically,
although nowhere as far as Pournelle.

Pournelle, apart from his political weirdness, is pretty good as a
writer, especially when he collaborates with Niven. When publishing
alone he focuses too much on war books, which are a bit offputting.

One admirable feature of Niven is that he's helped lesser-known authors
progress by co-authoring with them. One of the more successful
collaborations was /The Flying Sorcerers/, a genuinely funny book, by
Niven and David Gerrold. I've never read anything else by Gerrold, so I
don't know how talented he is, but that book really worked.
--
Peter Moylan Newcastle, NSW http://www.pmoylan.org
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-27 13:14:24 UTC
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be?
And which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to
29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
Yes indeed - I did appreciate at least the /semblance/ of science in
Niven's work, and then his imaginative use of it. It was good enough to
fool me, anyway. Was Niven a scientist?
No, but he cared very much about having everything be as accurate as
possible with very few exceptions.
The mechanics of Ringworld are perfect, for example, bu the ring itself
has to be made of something with a tensile strength on par with the
Nuclear Force, so unlikely to be possible. But everything else is very
well thought out and is honed with greater detail in the later books.
Not really. Ringworld, as originally invented, is unstable.
When this was made clear to him he wrote some sequels

Jan
lar3ryca
2021-11-27 15:58:04 UTC
The wrote The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand together, so
there's that. Footfall and Lucifer's Hammer were pretty good too.
Those on my personal favourites list.
I can't think of any Pournelle solo efforts that I've read. I mean, I
know I read a few, but what they were I have no idea as they did not
stick at all. I "met" him via voice chat several years ago (10? perhaps
a bit less) during the period he was still appearing on the occasional
twit.tv podcasts and found him to be both interesting and also pretty
hard core jackass, which was pretty much what he was like on the
podcasts too, only a little more reined in.
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire turn out to be a jackass or worse.
My wife and I attended a late-night TV talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem to recall, four guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were Gilda Radner and Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by the exit, shaking hands with the audience. I shook his hand and said that I really enjoyed his work, especially his short stories. He replied, "Name one." I named four of my favourites, turned and walked away, and muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.

Many years later I met and became friends with the son of another well-known S.F. author whose wife was a literary agent. I asked him if he had ever met Harlan Ellison. He said yes, he had, many times. I mentioned my encounter with him, and asked what he thought of the man.

I can't remember his exact reply, but it was along the line of "When you first meet him, he seems like an arrogant little prick trying to make up for his short stature by being a total asshole, but deep down inside, he IS an arrogant little prick trying to make up for his short stature by being a total asshole.
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere
near the place.
From my favourite comedian.
Tony Cooper
2021-11-27 16:04:35 UTC
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 07:58:04 -0800 (PST), lar3ryca
Post by lar3ryca
The wrote The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand together, so
there's that. Footfall and Lucifer's Hammer were pretty good too.
Those on my personal favourites list.
I can't think of any Pournelle solo efforts that I've read. I mean, I
know I read a few, but what they were I have no idea as they did not
stick at all. I "met" him via voice chat several years ago (10? perhaps
a bit less) during the period he was still appearing on the occasional
twit.tv podcasts and found him to be both interesting and also pretty
hard core jackass, which was pretty much what he was like on the
podcasts too, only a little more reined in.
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire turn out to be a jackass or worse.
My wife and I attended a late-night TV talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem to recall, four guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were Gilda Radner and Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by the exit, shaking hands with the audience. I shook his hand and said that I really enjoyed his work, especially his short stories. He replied, "Name one." I named four of my favourites, turned and walked away, and muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.

A college friend of mine worked as a page at
\
Post by lar3ryca
Many years later I met and became friends with the son of another well-known S.F. author whose wife was a literary agent. I asked him if he had ever met Harlan Ellison. He said yes, he had, many times. I mentioned my encounter with him, and asked what he thought of the man.
I can't remember his exact reply, but it was along the line of "When you first meet him, he seems like an arrogant little prick trying to make up for his short stature by being a total asshole, but deep down inside, he IS an arrogant little prick trying to make up for his short stature by being a total asshole.
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere
near the place.
From my favourite comedian.
--
Tony Cooper Orlando Florida
Tony Cooper
2021-11-27 16:16:52 UTC
On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 07:58:04 -0800 (PST), lar3ryca
Post by lar3ryca
The wrote The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand together, so
there's that. Footfall and Lucifer's Hammer were pretty good too.
Those on my personal favourites list.
I can't think of any Pournelle solo efforts that I've read. I mean, I
know I read a few, but what they were I have no idea as they did not
stick at all. I "met" him via voice chat several years ago (10? perhaps
a bit less) during the period he was still appearing on the occasional
twit.tv podcasts and found him to be both interesting and also pretty
hard core jackass, which was pretty much what he was like on the
podcasts too, only a little more reined in.
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire turn out to be a jackass or worse.
My wife and I attended a late-night TV talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem to recall, four guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were Gilda Radner and Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by the exit, shaking hands with the audience. I shook his hand and said that I really enjoyed his work, especially his short stories. He replied, "Name one." I named four of my favourites, turned and walked away, and muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.
A college friend of mine worked as a Page at NBC in the early 1960s
when Johnny Carson was the host of the "Tonight Show".

they were off screen. Some were pricks when not on camera, and some
were even more entertaining. Jonathan Winters was the favorite of all
the Pages because he would hang around and do routines for the tour
groups. Joey Bishop was one of the pricks.

BTW...your posts are usually interesting, but would be much more
--
Tony Cooper Orlando Florida
lar3ryca
2021-11-27 18:52:59 UTC
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by lar3ryca
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire turn out to be a jackass or worse.
My wife and I attended a late-night TV talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem to recall, four guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were Gilda Radner and Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by the exit, shaking hands with the audience. I shook his hand and said that I really enjoyed his work, especially his short stories. He replied, "Name one." I named four of my favourites, turned and walked away, and muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.
A college friend of mine worked as a Page at NBC in the early 1960s
when Johnny Carson was the host of the "Tonight Show".
they were off screen. Some were pricks when not on camera, and some
were even more entertaining. Jonathan Winters was the favorite of all
the Pages because he would hang around and do routines for the tour
groups. Joey Bishop was one of the pricks.
I haven't met many 'celebrities', but I can tell you that Beau Bridges
is a REAL nice guy.
Post by Tony Cooper
BTW...your posts are usually interesting, but would be much more
I'll try. I only access the group via the web. I could try using email.
Is there, by any chance, a newsreader for Linux and if so, is it usable
for this group, or in general?

This was formatted in Geany.
Richard Heathfield
2021-11-27 19:43:25 UTC
On 27/11/2021 18:52, lar3ryca wrote:

<snip>
Post by lar3ryca
Is there, by any chance, a newsreader for Linux
Thunderbird
Post by lar3ryca
and if so, is it usable
for this group, or in general?
Yes. The Eternal September newsfeed is free (registration required, but
hey, it's free).
--
Richard Heathfield
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Sig line 4 vacant - apply within
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-27 20:05:19 UTC
Post by Tony Cooper
BTW...your posts are usually interesting, but would be much more
Yes. A workaround:

Jan
lar3ryca
2021-11-27 21:14:51 UTC
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Tony Cooper
BTW...your posts are usually interesting, but would be much more
For now, I'll just use word wrap on my text editor and copy/paste to
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 08:27:58 UTC
Post by lar3ryca
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Tony Cooper
BTW...your posts are usually interesting, but would be much more
For now, I'll just use word wrap on my text editor and copy/paste to
There is a way to make Google do it,
somewhere in the prefs,

Jan
Jerry Friedman
2021-11-27 16:28:27 UTC
...
Post by lar3ryca
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire turn out to be a jackass or worse.
My wife and I attended a late-night TV talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem to recall, four guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were Gilda Radner and Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by the exit, shaking hands with the audience. I shook his hand and said that I really enjoyed his work, especially his short stories. He replied, "Name one." I named four of my favourites, turned and walked away, and muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.
...

I hope his being a jerk didn't come as a surprise.
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
...

/The Cat Who Walks Through Walls/? *shudder*
--
Jerry Friedman
lar3ryca
2021-11-27 19:09:14 UTC
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by lar3ryca
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire turn out to be a jackass or worse.
My wife and I attended a late-night TV talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem to recall, four guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were Gilda Radner and Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by the exit, shaking hands with the audience. I shook his hand and said that I really enjoyed his work, especially his short stories. He replied, "Name one." I named four of my favourites, turned and walked away, and muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.
...
I hope his being a jerk didn't come as a surprise.
Well, I knew he was opinionated, but other than that, I knew very little
about him. I certainly did not expect him to be rude.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
...
/The Cat Who Walks Through Walls/? *shudder*
Ahh.. you are right. I am at a bit of a loss as to why I said that.
I may have been thinking of Frederik Pohl's 'The Coming of the Quantum
Cats'.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-27 20:38:53 UTC
Post by lar3ryca
Post by Jerry Friedman
...
Post by lar3ryca
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire turn
out to be a jackass or worse. My wife and I attended a late-night TV
talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem to recall, four
guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were Gilda Radner and
Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by the exit, shaking
hands with the audience. I shook his hand and said that I really
enjoyed his work, especially his short stories. He replied, "Name
one." I named four of my favourites, turned and walked away, and
muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.
...
I hope his being a jerk didn't come as a surprise.
Well, I knew he was opinionated, but other than that, I knew very little
about him. I certainly did not expect him to be rude.
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
...
/The Cat Who Walks Through Walls/? *shudder*
Ahh.. you are right. I am at a bit of a loss as to why I said that.
I may have been thinking of Frederik Pohl's 'The Coming of the Quantum
Cats'.
I know a cat who knows all about 'The Door into Summer',

Jan
charles
2021-11-27 21:22:34 UTC
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by lar3ryca
...
Post by lar3ryca
It's disappointing to find out that someone whose art you admire
turn out to be a jackass or worse. My wife and I attended a
late-night TV talk show hosted by Peter Gzowski. There were, I seem
to recall, four guests, but the only ones I remember (I think) were
Gilda Radner and Harlan Ellison. After the show, Ellison stood by
the exit, shaking hands with the audience. I shook his hand and
said that I really enjoyed his work, especially his short stories.
He replied, "Name one." I named four of my favourites, turned and
walked away, and muttered "Jerk!" loud enough for him to hear.
... I hope his being a jerk didn't come as a surprise.
Well, I knew he was opinionated, but other than that, I knew very
little about him. I certainly did not expect him to be rude.
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in
science fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are
quite dated in various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
At a minimum: Stranger in a Strange Land The Moon Is a Harsh
Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
... /The Cat Who Walks Through Walls/? *shudder*
Ahh.. you are right. I am at a bit of a loss as to why I said that. I
may have been thinking of Frederik Pohl's 'The Coming of the Quantum
Cats'.
I know a cat who knows all about 'The Door into Summer',
Ah, that 's the name of that story.
--
from KT24 in Surrey, England
"I'd rather die of exhaustion than die of boredom" Thomas Carlyle
Snidely
2021-11-27 23:23:23 UTC
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
None of those are his early work.

A lot of his early work was juvenile fiction, and maybe what would be
called "Young Adult" these days, like /Rocket Ship Galileo/ and /Farmer
In The Sky/ or /Door Into Summer/. His most serious early SF grew out
of short stories, like /Methuselah's Children/.

[a 1940 short story predicted the Manhattan Project and MAD]

His politics are a mixed bag: after flirting with communism, he turned
libertarian, but he was also into racial equality and anti-segregation,
and to an extent a feminist, but not enough of one to avoid angering
the feminist movement.

/dps
--
I have always been glad we weren't killed that night. I do not know
any particular reason, but I have always been glad.
_Roughing It_, Mark Twain
lar3ryca
2021-11-28 00:36:13 UTC
Post by Snidely
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
None of those are his early work.
Hmm... just looked them up. early sixties. They look pretty early to me
from my age. It was /Friday/ that put me off him. I may have sampled a
few after that, but never read anything else of his.
Post by Snidely
A lot of his early work was juvenile fiction, and maybe what would be
called "Young Adult" these days, like /Rocket Ship Galileo/ and /Farmer
In The Sky/ or /Door Into Summer/. His most serious early SF grew out
of short stories, like /Methuselah's Children/.
[a 1940 short story predicted the Manhattan Project and MAD]
His politics are a mixed bag: after flirting with communism, he turned
libertarian, but he was also into racial equality and anti-segregation,
and to an extent a feminist, but not enough of one to avoid angering
the feminist movement.
Lewis
2021-11-28 14:11:15 UTC
Post by lar3ryca
Post by Snidely
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
None of those are his early work.
Hmm... just looked them up. early sixties. They look pretty early to me
from my age. It was /Friday/ that put me off him. I may have sampled a
few after that, but never read anything else of his.
He started writing in the 30s or early 40s. Mostly he wrote short
stories for Astounding Science Fiction, but he also was popular enough
that he appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in the 40s and had some
novels then as well. Red Planet and Rocket Ship to Mars, I think I
remember, not 100% sure on the title of the second one. Definitely in
the genre that would be called YA today.

Starship Troopers in ... 1960? is considered either the end of his
first period of writing, or the beginning of his second. Or both.
--
'You know what the greatest tragedy is in the whole world?' said
Ginger, not paying him the least attention. 'It's all the people
who never find out what it is they really want to do or what it
is they're really good at. It's all the sons who become
blacksmiths because their fathers were blacksmiths. It's all the
people who could be really fantastic flute players who grow old
and die without ever seeing a musical instrument, so they become
even find out. Maybe they are never born in a time when it is
possible to find out.'
Rich Ulrich
2021-11-28 03:52:10 UTC
Post by Snidely
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
None of those are his early work.
A lot of his early work was juvenile fiction, and maybe what would be
called "Young Adult" these days, like /Rocket Ship Galileo/ and /Farmer
In The Sky/ or /Door Into Summer/. His most serious early SF grew out
of short stories, like /Methuselah's Children/.
I recommended "any Heinlein" but I do confess that one
of his later books gave me my first, deep appreciation for

His /The Star Beast/ is juvenile fiction which is still on my shelf,
Post by Snidely
[a 1940 short story predicted the Manhattan Project and MAD]
His politics are a mixed bag: after flirting with communism, he turned
libertarian, but he was also into racial equality and anti-segregation,
and to an extent a feminist, but not enough of one to avoid angering
the feminist movement.
There's a lot of sex in some of his last novels. That upsets some
feminists (among others). And Lazarth Long ended up violating
not only the old taboo on same-sex sex, but also the taboo on incest.
--
Rich Ulrich
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 09:38:46 UTC
Post by Rich Ulrich
Post by Snidely
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
None of those are his early work.
A lot of his early work was juvenile fiction, and maybe what would be
called "Young Adult" these days, like /Rocket Ship Galileo/ and /Farmer
In The Sky/ or /Door Into Summer/. His most serious early SF grew out
of short stories, like /Methuselah's Children/.
I recommended "any Heinlein" but I do confess that one
of his later books gave me my first, deep appreciation for
His /The Star Beast/ is juvenile fiction which is still on my shelf,
The youger Heinlein also created some of the ultimate
What more can you do with it after "'-All you Zombies-'" ?

Jan
--
(and for Quinn, it has gender change too)
Lewis
2021-11-28 14:16:07 UTC
Post by Rich Ulrich
Post by Snidely
Post by lar3ryca
Heinlein wrote many books that anyone who is interested in science
fiction should definitely read. Yes, some of them are quite dated in
various ways
I like a few of his early novels, but gave up on him later on.
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
<snip>
and maybe The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
Those are the only ones I really enjoyed.
None of those are his early work.
A lot of his early work was juvenile fiction, and maybe what would be
called "Young Adult" these days, like /Rocket Ship Galileo/ and /Farmer
In The Sky/ or /Door Into Summer/. His most serious early SF grew out
of short stories, like /Methuselah's Children/.
I recommended "any Heinlein" but I do confess that one
of his later books gave me my first, deep appreciation for
Hmm. I would not recommend Friday or Number of the Beast to anyone. I
didn't hate Friday as much as many, but I can certainly see why people
Post by Rich Ulrich
His /The Star Beast/ is juvenile fiction which is still on my shelf,
Oh yes, Job, I'd forgotten that one. Read that when it came out.
--
Rent a flat above a shop, cut your hair and get a job, smoke some
fags and play some pool, pretend you never went to school and
still you'll never get it right cuz when you're lay'n in bed at
night watching roaches climb the wall if you called your dad he
could stop it all.
Anders D. Nygaard
2021-11-28 11:21:20 UTC
Post by Paul Wolff
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
Yes indeed - I did appreciate at least the /semblance/ of science in
Niven's work, and then his imaginative use of it. It was good enough to
fool me, anyway. Was Niven a scientist?
No, but he cared very much about having everything be as accurate as
possible with very few exceptions.
The mechanics of Ringworld are perfect, for example, bu the ring itself
has to be made of something with a tensile strength on par with the
Nuclear Force, so unlikely to be possible. But everything else is very
well thought out and is honed with greater detail in the later books.
He was caught out on other occasions too. One of his short stories
("Neutron star", I believe) concerns tidal forces when going close to
a degenerate mass, and the hero avoids being squashed to death by
remaining at the center of the space ship. But, as Niven later said
(from memory) "alas and dammit - the spaceship will emerge spinning".

/Anders, Denmark
Stefan Ram
2021-11-28 13:41:22 UTC
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
The mechanics of Ringworld are perfect, for example, bu the ring itself
has to be made of something with a tensile strength on par with the
Nuclear Force, so unlikely to be possible. But everything else is very
well thought out and is honed with greater detail in the later books.
He was caught out on other occasions too. One of his short stories
("Neutron star", I believe) concerns tidal forces when going close to
a degenerate mass, and the hero avoids being squashed to death by
remaining at the center of the space ship. But, as Niven later said
(from memory) "alas and dammit - the spaceship will emerge spinning".
In the case of the ringworld, there was an instability in part 1:
The ringworld could move to easily with respect to its sun.
Niven was notified of this, and added stabilizers in part 2.
Stefan Ram
2021-11-28 13:45:54 UTC
Supersedes: <ringworld-***@ram.dialup.fu-berlin.de>
["to"->"too"]
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
The mechanics of Ringworld are perfect, for example, bu the ring itself
has to be made of something with a tensile strength on par with the
Nuclear Force, so unlikely to be possible. But everything else is very
well thought out and is honed with greater detail in the later books.
He was caught out on other occasions too. One of his short stories
("Neutron star", I believe) concerns tidal forces when going close to
a degenerate mass, and the hero avoids being squashed to death by
remaining at the center of the space ship. But, as Niven later said
(from memory) "alas and dammit - the spaceship will emerge spinning".
In the case of the ringworld, there was an instability in part 1:
The ringworld could move too easily with respect to its sun.
Niven was notified of this, and added stabilizers in part 2.
Lewis
2021-11-27 11:56:41 UTC
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
It's a very short list, and it has a lousy book at #2.

However, it redeems itself a bit with the choice of The Stars My
Destination is an excellent book, and much overlooked.

I would have picked a later Iain Banks book, I think, and I would have
not included Jurassic Park, but maybe The Andromeda Strain.

There are certainly some holes, but in a list of only 29 there are going
to be many holes. In a list of 100 there would be a lot of holes.

<https://www.listchallenges.com/npr-top-100-science-fiction-and-fantasy-books>

This list 'cheats' a bit by grouping books in a series into a single
listing. I've read a whole lot of these, but certainly not all. A few I
haven't heard of. Even here I note some absences (Wrinkle in Time, Fifth
Season)
--
James Sedgwick
Anders D. Nygaard
2021-11-28 11:23:15 UTC
Post by Anders D. Nygaard
Post by occam
I hold Wired magazine in high regard, hence the reason why I am
circulating their list of "29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone
Should Read". Plus I know that there are a few S.F. readers in this group.
<https://www.wired.co.uk/article/best-sci-fi-books>
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
Much of the list is far too new for me to know, but I will add my
surprise that nothing by Larry Niven ("Ringworld", anyone?) has made
the list.
I'd also suggest "Ender's game" - if that is considered SF?

/Anders, Denmark
Stefan Ram
2021-11-27 22:53:42 UTC
Post by occam
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
As a child, I read many Science Fiction paperbacks in German
(many were translations), but I can hardly remember any title
or content. Some were collections of short stories.

A few years ago, I became aware that I have not read any SF
stories for decades, and tried to find recommendations. One
list contained: Enders Game, The Forever War, and Ringworld
(part 1) (and some other titles which I already knew or have

So, I read those three (in English). The only one the lecture
of which I really enjoyed was Ringworld (part 1), and the one
I least enjoyed was The Forever War. Then, I read part 2 and 3
of the Ringword trilogy, but they really were not as good as
part 1!

It seems I do not judge such books by their "message" but just
by the emotions they evoke in me while I read them. Not exactly
an intellectual attitude! It felt good to be in the Ringworld,
and while part 2 and 3 were not written as good as part 1, when
I read them, I still was in the Ringworld, so it still felt good!

The description of the near-fight and the dialog between Louis
and "Speaker-To-Animals" at the beginning of Part 1 alone is
delightful!
Stefan Ram
2021-11-27 23:02:29 UTC
Post by Stefan Ram
The description of the near-fight and the dialog between Louis
and "Speaker-To-Animals" at the beginning of Part 1 alone is
delightful!
It now seems to me that one part of the credibility of the
Ringworld has to do with how people at the same time
cooperate to to achieve their goals and fight each other at
the same time, where they have conflicting interests, and
are therefore constantly on guard against each other.
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 09:38:47 UTC
Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Stefan Ram
The description of the near-fight and the dialog between Louis
and "Speaker-To-Animals" at the beginning of Part 1 alone is
delightful!
It now seems to me that one part of the credibility of the
Ringworld has to do with how people at the same time
cooperate to to achieve their goals and fight each other at
the same time, where they have conflicting interests, and
are therefore constantly on guard against each other.
One of the things Ringworld tells you
is how absolutely huge the Solar system already is,
with respect to the Earth,

Jan
Lewis
2021-11-28 14:19:53 UTC
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Stefan Ram
The description of the near-fight and the dialog between Louis
and "Speaker-To-Animals" at the beginning of Part 1 alone is
delightful!
It now seems to me that one part of the credibility of the
Ringworld has to do with how people at the same time
cooperate to to achieve their goals and fight each other at
the same time, where they have conflicting interests, and
are therefore constantly on guard against each other.
One of the things Ringworld tells you
is how absolutely huge the Solar system already is,
with respect to the Earth,
The solar system is 4 planets and some debris.
--
"Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice." -
George Jackson
J. J. Lodder
2021-11-28 09:38:47 UTC
Post by Stefan Ram
Post by occam
If you were asked to add one missing book title, which would it be? And
which title would you eliminate from the list, to keep the list to 29 long?
As a child, I read many Science Fiction paperbacks in German
(many were translations), but I can hardly remember any title
or content. Some were collections of short stories.
A few years ago, I became aware that I have not read any SF
stories for decades, and tried to find recommendations. One
list contained: Enders Game, The Forever War, and Ringworld
(part 1) (and some other titles which I already knew or have
So, I read those three (in English). The only one the lecture
of which I really enjoyed was Ringworld (part 1), and the one
I least enjoyed was The Forever War. Then, I read part 2 and 3
of the Ringword trilogy, but they really were not as good as
part 1!
It seems I do not judge such books by their "message" but just
by the emotions they evoke in me while I read them. Not exactly
an intellectual attitude! It felt good to be in the Ringworld,
and while part 2 and 3 were not written as good as part 1, when
I read them, I still was in the Ringworld, so it still felt good!
The description of the near-fight and the dialog between Louis
and "Speaker-To-Animals" at the beginning of Part 1 alone is
delightful!
By contrast, the Germans have given the world
the biggest and the worst SF cycle ever.
Perry Rhodan stands at 3000+ volumes, and counting.

But there are fanatical fans,
so some people must like it,

Jan
Kerr-Mudd, John
2021-11-28 10:04:53 UTC
On 27 Nov 2021 22:53:42 GMT
***@zedat.fu-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) wrote:

[]
Post by Stefan Ram
It seems I do not judge such books by their "message" but just
by the emotions they evoke in me while I read them. Not exactly
an intellectual attitude! It felt good to be in the Ringworld,
and while part 2 and 3 were not written as good as part 1, when
not written as well as
Post by Stefan Ram
I read them, I still was in the Ringworld, so it still felt good!
--
Bah, and indeed Humbug.