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I just finished the second story Slow Sculpture. It was awesome! He writes in a truly original psychological style that is simultaneously about feelings and relationships, and the outside world at large, very unique. I really dug the whole bonzai angle and how he interacted with the girl, his patient. By his curing of her, she was able to cure him also. Plus, I was very surprised at the sheer propheticness of certain parts of the story. Specifically all that about his inventions where he made oodles of money off his inventions not for the benefit of mankind, but paid off by the very companies he was trying to save the world from and who felt threatened and wanted to bury or stifle them so that they could keep making billions even at the cost of the death of humanity. Particulary poignant was that part about how mankind would rather fight it out to the death in some desert even though we have the capability to change that desert green with moisture. Plus all that about the pollutants in the atmosphere. How could he be that prophetic given when it was written. I loved the ending too. Sorry to go on and on about a short story, I can't wait to read the remaining stories, you were right!


Onward to Mars!
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Louisville, KY United States | Registered: 27 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Grassy, having read OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET and PERELANDRA, you MUST read THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH ! I would also suggest reading the first two first, if it's been awhile; though the third (as Lewis himself says) can be read independently of the first two.
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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B-II,

My favorite fantasy getaway is the spongy floating islands of Venus/Perelandra. And Weston may just be the most detestable villain of all-time. I love PERELANDRA. I seem to be in the minority in liking it better than OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET, but that book just whisked me away like few others ever have. I have the third book also, but haven't read it because I haven't heard a single good word about. Care to change that?
================================================================

Robo,

It would probably be around the end of September before I could finish the book and mail it to you. Sounds like a good plan. My copy is the first edition paperback and kinda worn. It's OLD!!! I freaked when I found it about five years ago at a thrift store because I'd been searching for it for quite some time as well.
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Sacratomato, Cauliflower | Registered: 29 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Awesome, Grass. Just let me know when. Meantime, I'll read Davy next. I'm halfway through Sturgeon but its a smallish book. I love it though.


Onward to Mars!
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Louisville, KY United States | Registered: 27 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Grassy, There's a lot to say that's good about "That Hideous Strength". The characters are wonderful, the overall creepy atmosphere is intense, Lewis' insight into government control, human nature, and his sense of humour are evident, and even Merlin himself makes an appearance!
Here's a summary: http://www.literaryencyclopedia.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12308
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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B-II,

Alright, that's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to see. I knew there was a reason for hanging on to the book, other than acute hoardism.
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Sacratomato, Cauliflower | Registered: 29 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Started Davy this morning, appears promising. I finished Sturgeon Is Alive And Well as well this morning. I enjoyed it a lot especially Slow Sculpture and It's You, but they were all mind blowing. Just curious to know how this book changed your life Grass? Next on my list is to try reading some Simak as I have quite a few of his books and have never tried any yet.


Onward to Mars!
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Louisville, KY United States | Registered: 27 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The story "Suicide" has prolonged my life, because there's been times... you know. It's the little things that keep me going--perhaps a ninety-nine cent Jumbo Jack will give me cause to be grateful, maybe fantasizing about the opposite sex will serve as a distraction, a cool looking stone will give me something to appreciate, or a squirrel deftly climbing a tree will give me a reason to celebrate all that is good in this life... and all of that outweighs my silly little problems. Uhh, what were my problems again?

The story "Jorry's Gap" hit me hardest of all, about as hard as his father's fist hit him. That story taught me to listen, and TRY not to have planned responses, or knee-jerk responses either. Just listen, and tell the truth, and always be loving and understanding when you do resond. We never know what's going on in the minds of others.

"Slow Sculpture", "The Girl Who Knew What They Meant", and "It's You" taught me that we can't mold other people. "The bonzai shapes the man." But "Uncle Fremmis" taught me that sometimes we all need a swift kick in the pants.

"The Crate" taught me to appreciate other people because you never know when even your worst enemy might be helpful, or if circumstances were a little different they could be your best friend. I think of this story a lot at work.

I think the two main themes in the book are acceptance and appreciation. It might be that I read the book at precisely the right time in my life. I read it often. It's like my I CHING, but I don't consult it daily. Sometimes I just need to visit old Uncle Fremmis, and he sets me right. Or make that agonizing climb up the cliff to see the sunrise. To me, the book is priceless.

[This message has been edited by grasstains (edited 08-30-2006).]
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Sacratomato, Cauliflower | Registered: 29 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did like Suicide a lot too. I sometimes feel that way, I mean going from depression to seeing the sun rise. He never gave up that guy, even when he had to dig for hours at the very end to get past that overhang. And, its like you said the small things, like a butterfly frittering across your yard or the certain look in your childs eyes called love, many others during the course of the day. When I quite "using" I realized just how many "little" highs I missed during every day because it was obscured by my constant state of muddlement. The Girl Who Knew What They Meant was disturbing in its cold clinical accuracy and reality of what people are capable of. I could liturally see/feel her pain and the sacrifice she made for him in the end, then what he did just almost sickened me(probably because deep inside me, I know I might be capable to do the same thing)by walking away, which of course she knew he would. I think a main theme for me is Sturgeons ability to grasp emotionally what people would do given certain circumstances, in other words, he is very in tuned to what's inside and the psychological aspects of people. I did very much like the book, you may have been going through a crucible at the time that you picked it up. I find that frequently that the books you most need to read find you. Thanks for sharing that.


Onward to Mars!
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Louisville, KY United States | Registered: 27 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well put, Robo. You've got a way with words. Sturgeon's writing just seems to ring true, somehow. I've also noticed he seems to be fascinated with idiot savants. Remember the guy in MORE THAN HUMAN? He's had characters like that in other stories, too. Syzygy or syzergy was another thing he was big on. I can't find it in my dictionaries, but it's the word for the way earthworms mate or reproduce or something. Basically, it's "bleshing". And the thing about a mechanism being greater than the sum of its parts was another Sturgeon fascination. Bleshing again.

My favorite Simak story is "All The Traps Of Earth". It's a great adventure loaded with action and that seems to be a rarity for Simak. Some people refer to him as being a "one trick pony" who does that one trick better than anyone else. His pacing is slow and poetic, his images beautiful, and his people are folksy, country bumpkin types. I've seen him referred to as "science fiction's pastoral poet" and you'll immediately understand why they would call him that. The typical Simak story begins with a guy sitting on his porch with his dog... and something weird happens, or a guy is fishing... and something weird happens, and there really isn't anyone to hate in the typical Simak story.

Bradbury, Simak, and Sturgeon are my three favorite authors. They are similar. Yet each one definately has his own thing going on. I think Sturgeon was the most versatile of the three, but Bradbury is the best, with Simak falling somewhere in between--not very versatile and not the best. Simak is the straightest of the three (a lifelong newspaper journalist and editor) but he has the ability to come up with the most psychadelic and bizzare images and ideas of the three. In one story he has a robot observing ants utilizing a tiny wheelbarrow. There's some other weird things which I could never do justice in attempting to describe, you'll just have to read it.

[This message has been edited by grasstains (edited 08-30-2006).]
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Sacratomato, Cauliflower | Registered: 29 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Grass, your very adept with words as well. Book people usually are and I sense a kindred spirit in your writing who has tread similiar paths. It was at your recommendations on this board and thread that led me to try Sturgeon and Simak among others and you have not steered me wrong yet. I love to read so much and sometimes too much I know. Its my addictive nature, but there is worse things to be addicted to. Davy is really good so far, although it is saucy! It reminds me sort of A Canticle For Leibowitz. The next few days are going to be very busy at Half Price Books. We are having a Labor Day sale. My friends at work say it will be like Christmas, great! Bring it on!!!


Onward to Mars!
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Louisville, KY United States | Registered: 27 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow!!! Sounds like you better put your skates on. Are you still painting?

By the way, I don't agree with those who refer to Simak as a one trick pony. I just can't see how a writer could write as many novels, and write as many stories, and write for as many years as Simak did and continue to find a publisher willing to buy the same thing over and over again, or an audience willing to buy it. It doesn't make sense. He definately did have his favorite subjects, plots, and themes but he did do some branching out as well. I think the misconception comes from most of his best or well-known works all being very similar. Come to think of it, all three of these guys have a lot of sister stories.
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Sacratomato, Cauliflower | Registered: 29 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Grass, I thought I could still do some painting on the side. I have had a few calls lately to do that, but I find it so repugnant after fourteen years that I just can't. Not to mention my knees are shot, back pain, and I had some problems with my eyes twitching either due to the spray and abrasive environment or stress, take your pick. Have not experienced any of that since quitting over three month ago. We have rental properties as well(partly whats keeping this boat afloat)and I don't know what I'm going to do because I'm not going to do it anymore, probably hire somebody. Maybe with time, it will fade a little. Sorry to go on, but when you feel stuck after many years and finally you make that decision, you realize that you could have should have done it years ago. I got my van cleaned out and it is ready to be sold, of course no one is in the market for a green prison looking huge van these days. Oh well, nuthin left to do but smile, smile, smile... Plus I love working in the bookstore but it can be tiring too.

[This message has been edited by Robot Lincoln (edited 08-31-2006).]


Onward to Mars!
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Louisville, KY United States | Registered: 27 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Has the real estate market hit the skids where you live?

I'll be inheriting a condo someday and I'd always planned to sell it and buy a smaller or midsize RV, you know like one of the larger hightop van conversion type thingies they're making nowadays, and spend the rest of my time here venturing about and witnessing some of God's more brilliant handiwork. But, alas, the past year the real estate market has crashed around here. It may rebound, probably will in about 6-8 years, and then I'll have to hold out as long as I can afford to before cashing out. That deal is pretty much a no-brainer, but there's another condo for the kids' education, and given the four years my oldest has of high school ahead of him plus 2 years of community college, that puts us right at that 6 year mark. I hope the market rebounds by then. If not, I'll be playing landlord for a while longer and my son may have to put off his plans of attending Cal Berkely for a while. I don't think the rental income alone will pay for college.
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Sacratomato, Cauliflower | Registered: 29 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't think the bottom has fallen out yet here but it is slumping pretty bad. It depends on which end your on, its actually not a bad thing if you are in it for long term investment and you need tenants. We have two single family homes that we rent out and a two bedroom units four-plex. I want to get another four-plex but we can't swing it unless we use our own house that we are living in for collateral. So, we'll probably settle for a cracker box house. The other two houses are pretty nice three bedrooms. Thats what we're looking for now.


Onward to Mars!
 
Posts: 318 | Location: Louisville, KY United States | Registered: 27 February 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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