Bel Dame Apocrypha #1 Originally read August 2011 – Reread August 2014 Okay, this book seriously rewards a reread. I can’t believe it has only been 3 years since I read it because I remembered so little of the plot. The opening I had no problem with recalling, but everything after that was a bit hazy. I remembered enough thatRead more
In the Archives
Part of my Sci-Fi 2014 Experience When a book opens with a death by farting, two deaths by farting actually, you know this isn’t your usual run of the mill science fiction story. The deaths mentioned occur at trade negotiations between earth and the Nidu, and the farting was designed to provoke the Nidu delegate, the fact that he diedRead more
Read for the Coursera online course, Carl’s 2012 Science Fiction Experience, the Not Just for Stormtroopers Sci-Fi challenge, & the Gender in Fantasy & Sci-Fi 2012 Genly Ai has been on Gethen for two years. He is the First Mobile, send by the Ekumen to be the first contact between them and a new world. The Ekumen is a federationRead more
First published in serial form in the 1950s The Martian Chronicles is a collection of short stories that together tell the story of humanity colonising Mars. Almost all the stories are entirely set on Mars, and deal with the effects that people have on the planet. The story opens in January 1999 with the heat of the rockets melting awayRead more
In the 1880s a young Edgar Rice Burroughs is summoned to his uncle’s home. But when he reaches it he discovers that John Carter is already dead and the body is locked away in his crypt. Ned is to inherit everything, including a journal. In this journal is the story of how John Carter found himself on Mars twenty yearsRead more
Book 1 in the Barsoom series In post-Civil War Arizona John Carter has found a gold rich mine. His partner sets out to buy machinery to let them work it properly, but as he leaves the mine site he is set upon by a party of Apaches. Carter sets out to rescue him, but is too late, he does howeverRead more
Lixia has just landed on an alien planet. Humanity have come exploring the stars, with high-minded ideals, and rules about what action should be taken depending on how advanced the peoples they meet are. Nia has grown up among the Iron People. Her mother died when she was young so she went to live with one of her mother’s sisters.Read more
The actual review
After three question and answer sessions I’m not sure how many of you want to read more about Dune, but I want to gether my thoughts after all the back and forth between peoples. Well done to Carl for coming up with this, and all the questioners for their questions which prompted all those answers.
Dune is one of those books that most people have heard of, or they have heard of the film, it is one of the classics of science fiction. I had the impression that this was a great and sprawling book, full of overly complicated ideas and strange notions. It isn’t. Well, maybe it does have some strange notions, but many of them are cool. And it certainly isn’t overly complicated, in fact it is quite a straight-forward action/adventure story. Mixed with just a hint of coming-of-age, all stirred together in a heap of sci-fi-ness.Read more
The final questions for the Dune group read are:
- What is your reaction to finally learning the identity of Princess Irulan? Do you think that her convention added to the story?
- Were you satisfied with the ending? For those reading for the first time, was it what you expected?
- On both Arrakis and Salusa Secundus, ecology plays a major role in shaping both characters and the story itself. Was this convincing? Do you think that Paul would have gone through with his threat to destroy the spice, knowing what it would mean for Arrakis?
- Both Leto and Paul made their decisions on marriage for political reasons. Do you agree with their choices?
- What was your favorite part in this section of the book?
- One of the things I noticed in the discussions last week was Herbert’s use of the word “jihad.” What do you think of Herbert’s message about religion and politics?
- Was Liet’s identity a surprise? who do you think he really works for?
- What do you think of the Fremen culture? is this a culture you think you’d enjoy spending some time with?
- What do you think of Count Fenring’s unusual verbal mannerisms?
- This is a far future empire with very little in the way of computerization. Information is often passed down orally, and schools (such as the Mentats and the Bene Gesserit) have formed to train young people in memorization and information processing. What are you thoughts on a scifi story that is very “low-tech”? Does that sound like a feasable future? a ridiculous one?
- If you found the beginning of the book tough to get into, do you find that you’re having an easier time with the middle portion, now that all the “set-up” is complete?
- The center portion of the book is still pretty dialog heavy, but what I’ve noticed is the subtlety of the dialog. Things left unsaid are often more important than things that are said. What do you think of that as a stylistic choice? does it make the dialog more interesting? less interesting?
- Dune was written in the 60’s. Does it feel dated to you? How does it compare, writing style-wise, to more contemporary science fiction you’ve read?
- If you’ve never read this book before, where do you think the storyline is headed?
A week or so ago a blog post from Carl about a Dune group read popped up in my reader. And I thought to myself, Dune, hmmm, that’s one of those classic sf books I’ve never read. Full Disclaimer I have however memories of the film. I don’t mean that I watched it, but I did somehow manage to buy the film’s picture book yoke, so I know vaguely what the story is. So, I decided that what the hell, I was going to give the group read a go. So round one’s questions are below.Read more
Embassytown is a human colony on the planet Areika, the inhaitants are known by the local humans as the Hosts, and they are unique among life-forms as they cannot lie. Their Language is so tied up with meaning that they physically cannot speak what is not true. Avice grows up on Areika, but she has the talent of immersing, which is a sort of navigation through space, and so goes off-world. but one of her platonic husbands is a linguist, and fascinated by Language, so they return to Areika. And just in time to witness the whole world go to hell with the arrival of a new Ambassador.Read more