Grasstains, I'm embarassed to say I have not read any of Gordon Dickson's Dorsai novels, so I cannot answer your question. Perhaps some other knowledgeable poster can. Taste in books is very individual, but my personal favorite among recent science fiction books is DOOMSDAY BOOK, by Connie Willis, a harrowing and ultimately very moving book about a student accidentally transported via time machine back to the time of the Black Death. Another book that I love is Daniel Keyes' wonderful novel, FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON. Finally, two books that integrate religious ideas with science fiction brilliantly are A CASE OF CONSCIENCE, by James Blish and A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, by Walter Miller.
[This message has been edited by Richard (edited 05-14-2004).]
I just finished Fehrenheit 451 yesterday (actually read all but the last 4 pages during my evening shift yesterday). I'm going to read Martian Chronicles next. And then go through the rest of the books I just got off ebay. The wife likes her romance/mystery books. I built a new 7-shelf bookcase in the livingroom to house her collection of Danielle Steel Maggie Shayne, my Bradburys and my Mark Twain collection.
Richard- I can't wait to get through the 80's so I can dive into the 90's. That decade had alot of great female authors, if awards are any indication, Connie Willis, Lois MacMaster Bujold, Maureen F. McHugh, Nancy Kress, Kate Wilhelm, Pat Murphy and some others I've noticed but can't think of. Bujold won 3 consecutive Nebulas or Hugos in the 90's, 4 in a 6 year span. I think only Delany and Heinlein have come close to that kind of dominance.
Can I get away with reading just one of Kim Stanley Robinson's MARS novels?
I've read the Blish and Miller novels and loved them both. Apparently Miller left a rough draft of a sequel to Leibowitz which was discovered just a couple years ago. I don't know if it's been published. I think Blish's would make a good movie, imagine the bees scene on the big screen, or Egtrvecchi and his silly entourage.(I'm sure I blew the spelling) It did take me three times to get passed that first page. I didn't understand what that theological puzzle was all about.
My Lensman copies are the Old Earth reprints which use the same cover art as the original publications. I bought a second hand copy of Gray Lensman a few years ago, not having heard of Doc Smith at the time. When I realised that it was part of a series I put it one side and kept an eye out for the others. Picked up a second hand copy of Galactic Patrol about a year later and then the second hand sources dried up. About a year after that I found out about the reprint on the Internet and recently bought the series. Started Triplanetary yesterday and am already hooked. And it's just backstory! Apparently the real story only kicks in in Galactic Patrol, the third volume. I'm looking forward to the trip.
Shane- I've never read them. I can relate to what an effort it was for you to assemble the series. How many of those bad boys are there? I've seen them here and there over the years, but never thought of attempting to track them all down. Enjoy the ride and let us know how you like it.
Grasstains, there are six books in the series:Triplanetary, First Lensman, Galactic Patrol, Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen, and Children of the Lens. Another Smith novel titled Masters of the Vortex is sometimes mistaken for a seventh Lensman novel due to its being set in the Lensman universe. The last four books were originally published in magazine form and when the series was published in book form, the Doc wrote the "first" two books to provide backstory. Apparently this upset some purists as the reader now knows the identity of the villians before the Lensmen figure it out in Children of the Lens. Some say that the books have aged badly, that the characters are cardboard and the dialogue a bit silly. The general opinion though is that it is great space opera on an epic scale.
grasstains, you can certainly read only one of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" novels without reading the rest. I suggest you read the first book, RED MARS.
Walter Miller did write a sequel to A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ, but left it unfinished at the time of his death. It was completed by author Terry Bisson, and is called SAINT LEIBOWITZ AND THE WILD HORSE WOMAN. It's a good book, but is not at the extraordinary level of the first one.
Richard, I read Doomsday Book about 8 months back and loved it. I liked Kivrin's confusion about Father Roche. Talk about the hazards of judging a book by its cover. Finch's obsession over often minor details gave the story a bit of humor that kept the overall tone from getting too dark. I still want to read Flowers for Algernon. So far I have only read the short story adaptation.
I just read a GREAT story by Simak called ALL THE TRAPS OF EARTH.
A robot has lived 600 years in the service of an aristocratic family. The law demands at 100 years a robot must be reconditioned, it's memories and life experiences wiped out. After the last of the family line dies the robot runs away and secures himself to the side of a spaceship bound for anywhere. The effect hyper-space travel has on it's barely insulated positronic brain is.....