1. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Your favorite type of Science Fiction

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Uberwatch, Apr 9, 2014.

    What kind of sci-fi stories do you tend to like?

    I'm attracted to most types of science fiction but I have been so intrigued in almost anything with planet colonization. I like thinking about the development of human civilizations on other worlds isolated from Earth and how new cultures would develop kind of like how new cultures and nations were made when the Europeans began to colonize the American continents in human history.

    Other than that, cyberpunk is another interest. I think I need to read some of William Gibson's works such as Neuromancer. I also think a cyberpunk future is a very plausible one and elements of it actually exist today. Look how much the information and computer technology is developing in reality.
     
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  2. AJC
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    AJC Active Member

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    I find the classics from the middle of the last century to be the most enjoyable. The authors back then weren't as pessimistic about technology as we are today. Most of the new science fiction I've read is what I would consider dystopian in nature. There are great things about technology, and more authors should write about that. Like you, I enjoy reading about anything having to do with space exploration and planet colonization.

    I haven't read much cyberpunk, but I see cyberpunk books all the time on people's lists of the best science fiction novels. I'm going to have to branch out more and read some of the subgenres of science fiction.
     
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  3. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Heinlein is probably my favorite. As AJC said, his take on the future of tech was not dark, it was hopeful. It had a bit of dystopia, but it was other races.

    I've been trying to read "Neuromancer" but I get bored.
     
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  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My favorite is the kind that remembers that the science is only a tool with which to say a particular thing. Brand me a Heretic(s of Dune), but I like my Science Fiction to be just on the cusp of polemic. I like for an author (be it Science Fiction or anything else) to have the balls to have something to say. I don't have to agree with that something, because agreement is beside the point. This is not to say that I don't enjoy a mindless techno-romp through an imagined future, but I take that for what it is: a literary Happy MealĀ® with fries. Tasty, but not really nourishing.
     
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  5. Smoke Z
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    Smoke Z Active Member

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    I've never really thought about what genre I like. I'm one to hit a library or see what's free on Kindle a particular day and just grab.

    I like Caves of Steel, Dragon Riders of Pern, Rats Bats and Vats, Time Machine...

    For types of stories, I'm into so far after the apocalypse that our descendants don't know what a can opener is. I'm not sure how many of those get dumped into Scifi.
     
  6. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Primarily Military SF. The "Bolo" novels, "Hammer's Slammers", the "Sten" series, and the "Prince Roger" books are favourites. Many people assume that they are mindless violence, but most are actually quite anti-war or at least anti stupid political war, and deal with how people (and even robots) deal with war.

    But then I like quirky novels like "Wailing Asteroid", "The Stainless Steel Rat", "The Exiles" series by Julian May, James White's "Sector General" novels, and Larry Niven's "Dream Park" series.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I gravitate toward science fiction with well thought out science elements without glaringly obvious violations of physical laws. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy a rip-roaring space opera, but I treat them as techno-fantasy. But even there, I like to see the "world rules" applied consistently.

    What I hate to read is things like an orbiting craft ship spiraling into the atmosphere because the engines failed, or accelerating to just over lightspeed by souping up the engines. Slightly less deplorable but still annoying are weird planetary orbits that bring a temperate planet into lethal environmental shifts every ten thousand years, and then back to normal. Then there is the Space: 1999 kind of fractured science that makes me want to vomit.

    The best science fiction writing is the kind that makes you think. Ringworld, for example, is a beautiful, mind-bending concept. So was the all-too-accurate extrapolation of organlegging, a black market in human organs for transplants. Both were products of the mind of Larry Niven, and the latter when transplants were uncommon and relatively new.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Like others in this thread, I like stories that deal with planet exploration and colonization. I like imagining how non-Earthlike features of these planets would be dealt with by humans attempting to live there. I don't really like the concept of terraforming; from a storytelling standpoint, it tends to eliminate what makes the planets interesting in the first place.

    I'm a little conflicted about levels of technology in sci-fi, though. I need to get my characters to planets many light years away, so I'm forced to postulate a FTL drive technology and a corresponding communication technology. But I don't want to advance all human technology to that kind of level - I don't want to make us all gods. Just because we can travel faster than light doesn't mean we can heal people from any kind of injury or cure all diseases, for example. On the other hand, I don't want to hold our other technologies back. I used to laugh when I'd read stories about characters flying starships to other solar systems and still doing their navigation calculations with slide rules (some sci-fi written in the thirties and forties actually did that).

    I guess one thing that fascinates me is how the environmental characteristics of other planets would affect humans who are trying to live there. I usually don't write about the first explorers to a planet - they're humans from Earth and bring Earth-originated ideas and prejudices with them. I'm more interested in the second or third generation - humans who have grown up on that planet and have no memory of Earth. How does their environment affect them psychologically? Spiritually? How do their values change? How do they deal with their grandparents who are from Earth and still have the Earth mindset?
     
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  9. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I like the ones which include science.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That's an interesting point. :) A bit like my fascination with the way in which the children that come from the meeting of two cultures with two languages take the broken and cobbled together pidgin their disparate parents created to communicate with each other, and without a single thought to the complexities of linguistics as a studied and described phenomenon, take the broken pidgin and fill in all the missing and damaged bits and create a creole language that is complete, whole and sound.

    I feel a short story in there... Human and alien children growing up together on a colony, speaking a creole, the lineage of which spans a galaxy, not just oceans....
     
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  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love sci fi that has a fascinating story to tell. I'm not too interested in mechanisms and how things work. I like the world to be consistent and to explore more esoteric concepts such as FTL, mysterious alien species, immortality, how people evolve under certain conditions. I love imagining a world where some of the things we are working on are possible, and explore how that changes human relationships, politics etc. And I love me a mystery and some action, so I too am not a stranger to enjoying a space opera here and there.
     
  12. fmmarcy
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    fmmarcy Member

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    Space opera is what got me into the genre. As a kid, the big battles of Star Wars and Zahn's Conquerors' Trilogy were some of my favorites. I've moved more into the philosophical/ideological sci-fi areas though, with Asimov, Heinlein and Orson Scott Card. I still love my epic space battles, laser fights and action, but I generally value the more philosophical explorations long term. I love venturing into space and coming back down to Earth with a new way of looking at my own ideas, thus, stories that take society and change it technologically or environmentally speaking, thereby creating new social ideas and contexts to explore, are my current favorites to go into. Nightfall, for instance, by Asimov completely changed the way I look at the contrast between natural light and darkness.
     
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  13. daydreams
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    I think I got into the genre when I read Arthur C Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I prefer hard SF with good science, and I prefer a brighter future over a dystopian one. Maybe because that is what I really would like to see in reality?
     
  14. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Do you know any books that involve human colonists evolving and adapting over generations because of the alien environment and conditions on an alien world?
     
  15. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Deathworld" by Harry Harrison?
     
  16. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    I took a look at a quick synopsis and it sounds like it's about humans surviving on an alien planet. While I am interested in thoe stories, I'm talking about human beings making biological changes because of living in a harsh environment. Such as evolving into a new species of human.
     
  17. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Most of the reviews miss the point. The colonists of the heavy gravity world of Pyrrus have adapted by physically changing. They are shorter, heavier boned, stronger, but most importantly, their reflexes have had to speed up to match to rate of acceleration on that planet, so they move incredibly fast.
     
  18. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Because adaptation takes so long, it is unlikely that human colonists would survive a very non-Earthlike planet long enough to mutate. Most SF dealing with this subject propose a deliberate tampering with the colonists using advanced genetics to make them "fit".
     
  19. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Interesting, I thought of this once. I had a short story in mind where a colonist had a biological implant that regulated normal bone density while on a low-gravity world. I thought the idea was silly at the time but I may explore it later.
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Some of the short stories I've been working on use this idea. My characters are biologically modified to suit the planet they're exploring/colonizing.

    The first writer I remember using this idea was James Blish. Check out his The Seedling Stars. It's actually brilliant for its time. :)
     
  21. PeterC
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    PeterC Active Member

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    I like science fiction that is reasonably scientifically accurate. I don't mind speculation, of course, and I'm fine with FTL drives as device to get people where they need to be quickly, but overall I like my science fiction to be educational too. I like to read about worlds that might actually exist and what they might actually be like.

    I also prefer stories that are upbeat and inspirational. The future may be scary in some ways but at the end of the day I want to feel optimistic and I like stories that end the same way. I don't like too much fixation on technology. A good story should be about the characters. Futuristic technology is only a backdrop against which the characters play out their concerns.
     
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  22. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    This is pretty how much how I like my favorite science fiction. The characters aren't overly aware of the advanced technology in their time. It's just part of everyday life to them. Kinda like today. We're not going to be overly amazed by a television set and say "they didn't have those in the 19th century!".
     
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  23. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    I like amazing adventures, so pulp sci-fi writing is usually my favorite. The clarity and cinematic quality of the writing is very enjoyable, but it also tends to be heavily shaded with personal affectations and biases. You learn a lot about the writers themselves that writers of more densely styled prose work to hide through the density.
     
  24. Larissa Redeker
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    Larissa Redeker Active Member

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    I like Space Opera.

    Ok, a lot of people even consider Space Opera as science-fiction. But why we need to be so boring all the time saying what is right and what isn't? Why not only have fun with an innocent futuristic tale sometimes?
     
  25. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    I like science fiction stories with good action adventures, mysteries, and new discoveries. If it is fun, I will read it.
     

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