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Last post Author Topic: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!  (Read 28014 times)

app103

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You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« on: December 14, 2011, 04:32:07 PM »
The 1973 BBC Radio broadcast of Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy is available on archive.org.

Quote
The Foundation Trilogy concists of:
1. Foundations
2. Foundation and Empire
3. Second Foundation

The Foundation Trilogy is an epic science fiction series written over a span of forty-four years by Isaac Asimov. It consists of seven volumes that are closely linked to each other, although they can be read separately. The series is highly acclaimed, winning the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966.

The premise of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept devised by Asimov and his editor John W. Campbell. Using the law of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone for anything smaller than a planet or an empire. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy). The larger the mass, the more predictable is the future. Using these techniques, Seldon foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. To shorten the period of barbarism, he creates two Foundations, small, secluded havens of art, science, and other advanced knowledge, on opposite ends of the galaxy.

The focus of the trilogy is on the Foundation of the planet Terminus. The people living there are working on an all-encompassing Encyclopedia, and are unaware of Seldon's real intentions (for if they were, the variables would become too uncontrolled). The Encyclopedia serves to preserve knowledge of the physical sciences after the collapse. The Foundation's location is chosen so that it acts as the focal point for the next empire in another thousand years (rather than the projected thirty thousand).

Audio has 8 parts

http://en.wikipedia....logy_%28BBC_Radio%29

http://www.archive.o...TheFoundationTrilogy

zridling

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 05:06:57 PM »
Wow, nice find!

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2011, 05:43:57 AM »
Ah, thankyou @app103, how nice. I had not realised this classic had been put up on archive.org
Oh dear, another time bandit...     :)
I felt sure I'd be able to put those Sony wireless headphones to good use.

I remember listening to this series on the Beeb in the '70s (I think it was). I read the trilogy later, but I think I preferred the Beeb's rendition. The books are a bit slow. I used to wonder if Asimov wasn't being paid by the word.
I remember now. The Beeb didn't do the 4th book in the trilogy (!) - Foundation's Edge.

Some moronic reviews on that website.

I had a quick search there for the Beeb's Earthsearch, but didn't turn anything up.
I also want the Beeb's HHGTTG now...(sigh). (Though I do have it on cassette tape.)


Deozaan

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2011, 01:47:02 PM »
I read the first book of Foundation years ago in my early teens.

I thought it was okay but kind of boring and pointless because IIRC the solutions to all the crises were all the same:

Spoiler
Do nothing because it was predicted to happen this way!


I started on the second book but after not getting much Sci-Fi satisfaction from the first, I didn't get very far into it before moving on to other books I was enjoying at the time. e.g. the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.


40hz

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2011, 03:30:10 PM »
Read it in my youth. Put it right up there with such classics as Stand on Zanzibar and Babel-17 for masterful world-building. Years later I still think Foundation is very good even though I'm still not much of an Asimov fan. (No knock on his talent - I just don't care for his writing style.)

It was a very frustrating series for me when I first read it however. Because I kept wanting to see some of those cool math formulas they were using.

Hadda keep reminding myself it was a work of fiction... ;D

Addendum:

A couple of other good places for free audio scifi can be found here and here.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 03:49:29 PM by 40hz »

MaxEvilTwin

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 09:31:39 AM »
I also want the Beeb's HHGTTG now...(sigh). (Though I do have it on cassette tape.)

http://www.sadena.co.../BBC-Radio/H2G2_old/

JohnFredC

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 04:03:15 PM »
Quote from: 40hz
Put it right up there with such classics as Stand on Zanzibar

Wow, a reference to Stand on Zanzibar!  That's by John Brunner.  What a book.. had a big impact on me.  Prescient.  Highly recommended.

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 05:42:31 PM »
Ahh, bliss!
Been listening to the Foundation and HHGTTG audios... (thanks again!).

Though I dislike "talking books" in general (they usually feel "too slow" for impatient me), I have sometimes enjoyed listening to books being read out loud by people/actors with good vocal projection and clear English speaking voices (I find some accents annoying/distracting).
And I have often enjoyed listening to a lot of Beeb radio plays since age 7 or so, and the above two Beeb audios are definitely examples of well-produced radio plays.

And yes, I do like SF. "Like" is probably a gross understatement in my case. I used to be addicted to SF (and I probably still am). I have enjoyed reading science fiction since first reading HG Wells' "The Time Machine" at age 8 or so.
The time and your life's context when you read these things can be quite significant in your life.
I can't recall exactly, but I think I was about 10 when I first read Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm. They were an introduction to the new ideas/possibilities of what life might be like under tyranny - whether, communist, Fascist, or state control - and they made me very thoughtful on the subject. They also helped me to make more sense of the shortwave broadcasts that I would regularly listen to on our HMV valve radio - especially:
  • the world news broadcast by the Voice of America;
  • the world news broadcast by the Chinese, in English;
  • the world news broadcast by the BBC World Service;
  • the world news broadcast by the USSR, in English.

I had asked my mother why the news slant and the words and terms used to describe the same world events were often so different in each case, and she told me that the word I needed for this was "indoctrination", and explained that each of the broadcasters wanted the listener to see the world events through their particular belief system.

Today, I was hurtled back to those times quite by coincidence when I came across a link to this recent blog post (2011-12-21): The Connection Between George Orwell and Friedrich Hayek
I found it a very interesting article, and it helped to put George Orwell's life into a fuller context that made a lot of sense - to me at any rate. I had previously just regarded him as an author, without wondering too much what his beliefs/ideologies were or where he had got his ideas from.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 07:57:01 PM by IainB »

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 09:19:26 PM »
I also want the Beeb's HHGTTG now...(sigh). (Though I do have it on cassette tape.)

http://www.sadena.co.../BBC-Radio/H2G2_old/
@MaxEvilTwin: I thought I'd already said "thankyou" for this, but I can't see it in the thread.
Thanks again anyway!
I downloaded all those HHGTTG .mp3 files.

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 04:13:13 PM »
I was reading this post: Video: How sci-fi fans put Firefly into the FIRE
I knew nothing of the Firefly TV series until I read this. Sounds like it could be intelligent SF.
What feedback do DCF SF fans have about the series? I shall get it on DVD from Amazon if you reckon it is worthwhile.

That FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) organisation sounds like a pretty useful assembly of intelligent thinking too.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 04:18:37 PM by IainB »

MilesAhead

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 04:25:46 PM »
I read the first book of Foundation years ago in my early teens.

I thought it was okay but kind of boring and pointless because IIRC the solutions to all the crises were all the same:

Spoiler
Do nothing because it was predicted to happen this way!


I started on the second book but after not getting much Sci-Fi satisfaction from the first, I didn't get very far into it before moving on to other books I was enjoying at the time. e.g. the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.

I read a lot of Asimov.  But I do have to admit by the time I got to the end of Foundation trilogy I was really tired of reading someone exclaim they had figured out where the foundation really was. It was like, yeah, alright already!! Tell me where the damn thing is and be done with it!! Arrrggghhh!!!

MilesAhead

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 04:33:26 PM »
Saw an interesting profile of Philip K. Dick on Science channel "prophets of science fiction" series. I remember liking the short story Adjustment Team much better than the Adjustment Bureau film.

For some reason I'm a sucker for time travel stories.  H. G. Welles, Dick and some others. However I don't buy the concept that whenever you get in the machine, that's the "present" and you can go to "the past" to change something, then it ripples back.  Whenever you are, obviously that's the "present" or you wouldn't be there. I think the rippling would get awfully tiresome awfully fast. :)

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 05:54:38 PM »
For some reason I'm a sucker for time travel stories.  H. G. Welles, Dick and some others. However I don't buy the concept that whenever you get in the machine, that's the "present" and you can go to "the past" to change something, then it ripples back.  Whenever you are, obviously that's the "present" or you wouldn't be there. I think the rippling would get awfully tiresome awfully fast. :)
Yes, but that - whether the "rippling" occurs, or to what extent it occurs and who it affects - that is a goldmine of ideas and is what enables such great stories to be invented!
I think the wife in The Time Traveller's Wife would have found it "awfully tiresome" too!

MilesAhead

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 06:34:25 PM »
For some reason I'm a sucker for time travel stories.  H. G. Welles, Dick and some others. However I don't buy the concept that whenever you get in the machine, that's the "present" and you can go to "the past" to change something, then it ripples back.  Whenever you are, obviously that's the "present" or you wouldn't be there. I think the rippling would get awfully tiresome awfully fast. :)
Yes, but that - whether the "rippling" occurs, or to what extent it occurs and who it affects - that is a goldmine of ideas and is what enables such great stories to be invented!
I think the wife in The Time Traveller's Wife would have found it "awfully tiresome" too!

It's convenient because people can get the idea of a domino effect.  Don't knock over the first domino and none of the history happens. But it doesn't make sense because if you can do something differently, then so can everyone else. If you came from the "future" you might have some insight what the "big picture" is.  Say you might be able to get away with buying some Cisco Systems before the internet boom.  But I don't think moving the brief case closer to Hitler necessarily eliminates WW II. People who want to profit from the war can always find another Hitler.

AndyM

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2011, 09:13:29 PM »
... Firefly TV series .... What feedback do DCF SF fans have about the series?

It's excellent!  As is the movie Serenity, which wraps up the series.

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2011, 09:48:49 PM »
But it doesn't make sense because if you can do something differently, then so can everyone else. If you came from the "future" you might have some insight what the "big picture" is.  Say you might be able to get away with buying some Cisco Systems before the internet boom.  But I don't think moving the brief case closer to Hitler necessarily eliminates WW II. People who want to profit from the war can always find another Hitler.
I agree. Of course, it doesn't make sense. That's because it's science fiction, I guess. Fiction doesn't make sense when you engage your critical thinking and reason - because it's not fact or provable/repeatable. But it does feel kinda nice to me to disengage the critical/rational thinking faculties and just let one's imagination run loose in the fictional worlds these authors invented for our entertainment. Spark the imagination with "What if...?"
That's what I always loved about SF - the imagination and escapism. But I especially enjoyed the stories that actually sometimes switched your critical/rational thinking faculties back on by obliging you to think about the worlds they invented - a good example would probably be Orwell's 1984. It was think and learn, in my case, when I read that as a boy.

Mind you, despite writing fiction, some SF writers seem almost to have been able to predict the future in their stories - or at any rate, the technology of the future - to some extent. For example, I think it was the writer Arthur C. Clarke who suggested mobile phones in one of his stories. Who knows but that "Rendevous with RAMA" might even become another prediction, one day?
Probably far less fantastic than those fictions dreamed up by the IPCC and the East Anglia CRU science fiction writers, at any rate.    ;)

40hz

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2011, 10:04:17 PM »
Mind you, despite writing fiction, some SF writers seem almost to have been able to predict the future in their stories - or at any rate, the technology of the future - to some extent.

Something that's really interesting (to me any way) is how every sci-fi author and futurist completely missed the single thing that most completely transformed our world in less than 30 years - the microprocessor.

Quote
 I think it was the writer Arthur C. Clarke who suggested mobile phones in one of his stories.

Did you know that screen actress Hedy Lamarr co-holds a patent issued in 1942 for a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum invention that is part of the basis for wi-fi and cordless phones?

Quote
Avant garde composer George Antheil, a son of German immigrants and neighbor of Lamarr, had experimented with automated control of musical instruments, including his music for Ballet Mécanique, originally written for Fernand Léger's 1924 abstract film. This score involved multiple player pianos playing simultaneously.

Lamarr took her idea to Antheil and together, Antheil and Lamarr submitted the idea of a secret communication system in June 1941. On August 11, 1942, US Patent 2,292,387
 
was granted to Antheil and "Hedy Kiesler Markey", Lamarr's married name at the time. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam. Although a presentation of the technique was soon made to the U.S. Navy, it met with opposition and was not adopted.[5]

The idea was not implemented in the USA until 1962, when it was used by U.S. military ships during a blockade of Cuba after the patent had expired. Perhaps owing to this lag in development, the patent was little-known until 1997, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Lamarr an award for this contribution.
.
.
.
Lamarr's and Antheil's frequency-hopping idea serves as a basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology, such as COFDM used in Wi-Fi network connections and CDMA used in some cordless and wireless telephones.

hlam.jpg

Pretty easy on the eyes too.

Not what most people think of when they think: 'geek' is she? ;)



40hz

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2011, 10:24:25 PM »
... Firefly TV series .... What feedback do DCF SF fans have about the series?

It's excellent!  As is the movie Serenity, which wraps up the series.

+1! An excellent series and a fun movie. Maybe a little light on hard science (like Outland) but it doesn't detract from the exploration of humanity's life in a distant solar system. Recommended.

Another good sci-fi/suspense movie I've recommeded before is an independent low-budget series called Pioneer One which is available for free viewing and download on the web. Check it out here.

Quick plot summary - Caution: contains a spoiler!
Forget about rumors of Nazis on the  moon. Did Russia succeed in launching a clandestine Mars mission back in the 70s? One which allowed them to establish a secret manned colony there?


YouTube has the first episode up if Vimeo or the torrents are a problem for you:



 8)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 10:47:02 PM by 40hz »

app103

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2011, 11:12:33 PM »
... Firefly TV series .... What feedback do DCF SF fans have about the series?

It's excellent!  As is the movie Serenity, which wraps up the series.

Oh, how I love me a good Space Western:D

Of course how we supposedly got from here to that still confuses me. Strange mix of progress and regression, in which the regression is never fully explained to my satisfaction. I can only reconcile it if I think of it as an alternate time-line in which progress followed a different more steam punk path instead of what it actually did in reality. Or I just try not to think about it too much.

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2011, 12:37:43 AM »
2AndyM and @40hz: re Firefly and Serenity.
Thanks for the recommendations. I have just returned from a walk, which happened to take me via my local video rental store, and they had Serenity and two dual disk sets of Firefly - so I took them out for a week, all for the princely sum of $3.00.
@app103 seems to reckon it is a space western. Sounds like good fun - I always enjoy westerns too! The ones with Eastwood in are my favourites. Coincidentally, I was watching Little Big Man (Dustin Hoffman) with my daughter Lily, the other night. A great movie. She loved it.

Quote
Did you know that screen actress Hedy Lamarr co-holds a patent issued in 1942 for a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum invention that is part of the basis for wi-fi and cordless phones
Yes, I happen to recall something about that. (Nice software, baby!).

Now I see that I am going to have to watch Pioneer One as well. New to me. Thanks for the link. Oh dear. Happy SF overdose time, coming up!

MilesAhead

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2011, 12:55:19 AM »
Quote
I agree. Of course, it doesn't make sense. That's because it's science fiction,
I don't think the lack of sense is due to fiction but the obsession in these stories with the start date the person initially gets in the time travel device as "the present."  In other words, in The Time Machine if it's January 1 1900 when the traveler first embarks, then that's "the present" and he can go forward, backward but comes back, maybe a few days after he left.  Maybe the number of nights slept away is added to the departure time so he doesn't return before he left.  Whatever. My point is, whenever you are, it's the present. If you go 2000 years into the "future" or the "past" you have no more control of events than anyone else. You may have some foresight since you see how the scam usually plays out.  But flipping a coin in the fountain doesn't ripple back.  That's absurd.  The present is always now. It's just relative to when you are. But enough of my harangue. :)

Speaking of sci/fi writers. I just watched another flick about Philip K. Dick. He was giving this speech in France at some Sci/Fi convention in the early 70's.  The woman who accompanied him is giving an interview about it in the documentary.  She talks about how she wanted to disappear because he was rambling this crazy stuff. But here's the funny part. He was talking about reality just being a computer program and if you get deja vu, it was because somebody changed a variable in the simulation. Everyone is wincing in discomfort at these ravings.  But I'm thinking, he thought of The Matrix 20 years before the Wachowski Brothers. Maybe they even saw the speech and got the idea from him?  :)


« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 01:02:21 AM by MilesAhead »

app103

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2011, 02:17:52 AM »
Speaking of sci/fi writers. I just watched another flick about Philip K. Dick. He was giving this speech in France at some Sci/Fi convention in the early 70's.  The woman who accompanied him is giving an interview about it in the documentary.  She talks about how she wanted to disappear because he was rambling this crazy stuff. But here's the funny part. He was talking about reality just being a computer program and if you get deja vu, it was because somebody changed a variable in the simulation. Everyone is wincing in discomfort at these ravings.  But I'm thinking, he thought of The Matrix 20 years before the Wachowski Brothers. Maybe they even saw the speech and got the idea from him?  :)

It's just another angle on the "dollhouse god" concept, where reality is manipulated by some outside force or entity, as if it were nothing more than a child's toy to be played with.

IainB

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2011, 03:18:42 AM »
Maybe the number of nights slept away is added to the departure time so he doesn't return before he left.  Whatever. My point is, whenever you are, it's the present. If you go 2000 years into the "future" or the "past" you have no more control of events than anyone else
Absolutely. This kind of relativistic phenomenon is a characteristic of miracles.

A Muslim cleric, a Roman Catholic priest, and a Jewish rabbi were discussing their individual experiences of miracles.

The Muslim cleric said, "Once I was riding a camel alone, in the middle of the Sahara desert, and suddenly a fierce sandstorm appeared from nowhere.  I truly thought that my end had come as I lay next to my camel while we were being buried deeper and deeper under the sand, but I did not lose my faith in the almighty Allah, and I prayed and prayed and recited passages from the Koran.  Suddenly, a miracle occurred, and it seemed as though for a hundred metres all around me, the storm had stopped, but I could see it still raging beyond that distance."

The Roman Catholic priest spoke up next, "My experience was very similar.  One day when I was walking down a street in Belfast in Northern Ireland, during the time of the Troubles, I was walking past this pub when people ran out screaming 'It's a bomb!'.  Well, I just stood still, put my hands together, and prayed, thinking to protect all the poor people who might get hurt if it was indeed a bomb. Sure enough, just then, a bomb went off inside the pub, and blew out the wall next to where I was standing, throwing bricks, nails and bits of glass in all directions.  When the dust settled, I was still standing unharmed, in what seemed to be circle of safety all around me in a radius of about a hundred feet.  Inside that circle, no-one had been harmed."

The Jewish rabbi said, "I too have had an experience similar to this.  It was one Sabbath (a Saturday) when I was walking down the street to my synagogue in London.  I like to walk along past the Mercedes showroom, to look at the cars.  I would have loved to buy a new 350SL - it's my favourite car - but I could never afford it unless they sold it for half the price!  As I approached the showroom, I saw a sign in the window that said 'Today only! One only!  Special offer! Brand new 350SL demonstration model at half price!'   I nearly cried!  What could I do?  It was a Saturday, and Jews are not allowed to handle money or engage in commercial transactions on the Sabbath, so I could not buy it even though I could have afforded it.  So I put my hands together and prayed and prayed.  Suddenly, in answer to my prayers, a miracle occurred - for 500 feet all around me, it was a Tuesday!"

oblivion

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2011, 04:37:46 AM »
I have also been listening to the Foundation series -- whiled away a long car journey with it, going to visit my son a couple of days ago -- and apart from some nasty contrasts between relatively quiet dialogue and some surprisingly loud electronic squeaks and whistles courtesy of the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, found it an absolute delight.

My first sf was Asimov: my dad lent me his copy of "I Robot" in, oh, probably about 1970, and I became a sf enthusiast almost instantly. (I was 8 or 9, just the age when things get lodged the deepest.) The Foundation trilogy followed soon afterwards and, probably because I lacked the critical facilities that made older commentators criticise the lack of character depth and the various other things that Asimov's been accused of, over the years, I absolutely loved it. (It's also responsible for one of the aphorisms that I still think should be a motto for every leader everywhere: "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.")

I must also declare here that I was a huge fan of the Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, loose ends and all, and can be inspired to quote chunks of it at people even now with only the tiniest incentive. (The radio series that started it all was still the definitive version, for me. The one that has the original name of the poet who was worse than the Vogons -- later changed, presumably because there was a real poet of that name, although I don't think I ever knew for sure.)

I can't listen to The Eagles' "Journey of the Sorcerer" without expecting to hear Peter Jones (The voice of the Book) to cut in at any moment...

So thanks for the pointers, App103 and MaxEvilTwin: you have made an old fart very happy.  ;D
-- bests, Tim

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oblivion

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Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2011, 05:02:21 AM »
The reminiscences I've just had has brought back another memory. This is probably ultra-obscure, but it puzzled me for ages and I find myself wondering if anyone knows anything...

My dad had a book of sf short stories. I don't remember anything much about it now, but it might have been a Readers' Digest book.

One of the pieces in it claimed to be an extract from one of Keith Laumer's Imperium books, written in the early 1960s. (Keith Laumer might be best known for a series of books featuring that most pragmatic of diplomats, Retief. I urge anyone unfamiliar to seek them out -- pure, unbridled entertainment.) The extract was a description of a sequence made by moving sideways through a series of parallel universes that started out with a gardener hoeing around a plant, gradually changed into some sort of dreadful battle between a warrior and a huge and fearsome sentient vegetable and then gradually changed back into a gardener and some sort of sprout with some sort of minor deviation from the original scene -- maybe the gardener now had horns or tentacles or something, I don't really remember.

Anyway, while the book I originally read that piece in has long disappeared, I spent ages trying to find the book in which that sequence occurred. My memory said it was "Worlds Of The Imperium" but I tracked down a copy (with the aid of a library), read it and failed to find it.

So I've always wondered if my memory was faulty. Maybe it wasn't KL. Maybe it was, but not that book. Maybe KL wrote it specifically for inclusion in that collection but it was just based in the universe(s) of the Imperium rather than actually being an extract from the book.

I think the piece might have been called "Sideways [or maybe sidewise] In Time"

Anyone recognise any aspect of the above?
-- bests, Tim

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