Daily Archives: May 26th, 2007

Weekly Sci-Fi Review

As always, I try to bring in posts that are contemperary and classic for ‘Net purusal. Classic hard sci-fi is hard to come by now-a-days that hasn’t already been hashed and rehashed again, but Allen Steele’s Spindrift is a refreshing hard science sci-fi tale because Steele’s use of the tech is so believable according to reviewer Lois H. Gresh:

Spindrift is clearly in the domain of classic hard science fiction. Abundant details about ships and shuttles fill its pages. The technical descriptions of Spindrift are so clear that one wonders if Steele hired alien engineers to construct it for him. It is assumed that readers already know that telomerase manipulation could extend life; that readers are familiar with tropes such as hyperspace travel and biostatis; and that they have heard of astrobiology. While the human characters have love affairs—straight as well as gay—the romance is primarily offstage. But always center stage is the science.

Spindrift is clearly a non-Singularity novel which clearly fits in with one of Vernor Vinge’s scenarios without a technological Singularity.

I have read some of Steele’s Coyote trilogy and the series stands out as a political statement for the state of the US condition now as it extrapolates 70 years into the future. Also the human story is excellent. In short, I recommend Spindrift due to my past experience reading Allen Steele.

Modern sci-fi author/college professor Cory Doctorow is my kind of kook and a person I would aspire to be if I had to start life over again. Not only is he a Singularity writer, but he does it in such a way that you would’ve thought you were reading tomorrow’s newspaper. On his website Doctorow has everything you could want concerning sci-fi, tech links, bio, news, articles, pretty much all of the standard fare, but most of all, you can download free short stories from his latest anthology Overclocked.

I love it when the younger authors born in the Information Age post downloadable stories on their sites. It helps introduce the authors to an audience that may just happen to buy a novel when one comes out, to hell with the copyright bullsh*t. And this guy even has podcasts of his stories!

Jerry Pournelle is another of my regular classic authors I have read in years gone by. His stories were militaristic in nature and probably wouldn’t be too popular right now, but if a person looked past that, his characters he developed were three dimensional, not cardboard cutouts.

The first story I read was King David’s Spaceship, only when I read it, it was serialized in  Analog Science Fiction/Fact as “A Spaceship For The King”. The story was one of the first in a line of stories set in a future history called the  CoDominium Series. Pournelle reminds me of Robert Heinlein in a way because of his love of future military, but that doesn’t diminish his talent. But truth to tell, I would find some of these stories a bit “juvenile” now since my interests are in other areas of science and fiction.

Here’s the Amazon.com link to purchase King David’s Spaceship and other Pournelle stories: http://www.amazon.com/King-Davids-Spaceship-Jerry-Pournelle/dp/B000ERTSSO/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-3968640-0844943?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180209576&sr=1-1

And now it’s time for me to kick back and watch the Phillies and Braves game since the Yanks are getting rained out. Ciao.