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R.I.P. Arthur C. Clarke

Discussion in 'The PatsFans.com Pub' started by Pats Fanatic, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Pats Fanatic

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  2. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    90 wow. I just read Childhood's End last summer. Coincidently I read Slaughterhouse Five the previous summer and Kurt Vonnegut died shortly after. I have to stop reading old guys books. I'm killing them off. Come to think of it I read The Martian Chronicles last summer too. Ray Bradbury please see a doctor immediately.
     
  3. QuiGon

    QuiGon Banned

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  4. PatsWickedPissah

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    Clarke, Heinlein and Asimov were the Big Three of SF. Gotta admit other than Benford and Reynolds I don't find much hard SF these days. You pussies probably prefer 'soft' SF. :)
     
  5. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OK, I did not know there was "hard" SF and "soft" SF. What's the difference? Someone gave me the Foundation trilogy but, every time I start reading it I lose interest. I'll give it another shot this summer.
     
  6. PatsWickedPissah

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    Mostly kidding, but 'hard SF' is based on science, albeit speculative. Limited license can be taken violating the Laws of Physics. An 'explanation' is required, usually extrapolating quantum physics or something to advance the story. At the extreme its more about the science and big ideas than about the particular characters, e.g. 'Childhood's End" "The City And The Stars".

    Soft SF is close to fantasy. Not much attention paid whether the precepts of the story ore ever technically plausable. Examples include 'what if' alternate history, sociological SF (if this trend goes on) and character based stories.

    Like the difference between drinking single malt whiskey straigt up (hard SF) or being a Nancy boy and drinking some trendy club scene mixed concoction (soft SF).

    I never could read 'Foundation', way too dry and boring. This from someone currently (@ page 370) reading an 800 page history of the French & Indian War preceding the American Revolution.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2008
  7. ctpatsfan77

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    Michael--everything he wrote is correct, but I know a fair number of SF fans who see it as more of a continuum (i.e., "harder" or "softer"), or who make a bigger distinction between "good SF/F" and "bad SF/F," regardless of its nature. (It's saying something when, at a SF convention, you have trouble giving books away.)

    I don't know how much of that was by design. Personally, I loved Clarke's short fiction, but found his novels, 2001 excepted, to be sub-par.
     

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