Author Topic: Science Fiction / Fantasy  (Read 179822 times)

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2880 on: May 04, 2017, 03:53:09 PM »
heading

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2881 on: May 04, 2017, 03:53:47 PM »
Goodness, I'm falling behind; haven't read Alliance of Equals yet.  I wonder where they're going to go with Theo now.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2882 on: May 12, 2017, 05:44:40 PM »
Andy Weir has a new book coming out in November and the movie rights have already been sold. The story seems a bit less interesting to me, but it is sure to appeal to the younger set. http://www.unboundworlds.com/2017/05/film-rights-already-sold-martian-author-andy-weirs-artemis/?cdi=13F0CB1F062E09D7E0534FD66B0A73BA&ref=PRH2028E2388CC9

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2883 on: May 12, 2017, 07:06:15 PM »
Hmm.  This one is more character and plot driven than science driven.  Those were the weaker sides of The Martian, but Weir is an evolving writer--seemed to me he improved as The Martian went on--so I don't know what to expect, but I'll certainly give it a chance.  It's not too surprising the movie rights were snapped up.  You could coast some on the first one no matter what it was like.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2884 on: May 25, 2017, 01:34:05 PM »
I just picked up two Poul Anderson books from the Friends of the Library Bookstore - The Van Rijn Method and it's sequel, Star Trader. I am sure I've read some of his short stories, "High Treason" is one I particularly liked, but never a full length book.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2885 on: May 28, 2017, 02:23:44 PM »
Now reading: Jack Campbell's Vanguard: This is starting with Robert Geary and a new colony without means to defend itself because the Colony Counsel didn't think they would have to. Hah! A colony in a neighboring star system is already empire building.

Also: Lost Time: Part 1 [SECOND SKYN] by Damien Boyes. This is an interesting story about a guy who had his memories, etc. transplanted into a synthetic human body at his death. He and his wife were given an insurance contract for which gives the holder a form of immortality with their process (Second Skyn is the name of the company). Unfortunately, he would rather not have had it and to make matters worse, his wife didn't live long enough for rescue workers to secure her for the transplant (such that it is). What started out as a search for the guy who caused the hit and run accident is turning into so much more. I am enjoying this one. Five book series.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2886 on: May 28, 2017, 02:57:06 PM »
I looked for High Treason for the s-f stories discussion, but couldn't find it online.  I found others, though, and will try to pick one.  some are too long.

It's been decades since I read anything of his.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2887 on: May 28, 2017, 04:30:48 PM »
oops! I misremembered. The one I read was "The Highest Treason" by Randall Garrett which was published in Analog Science Fact & Fiction, January, 1961. I think that one is a little too long for here. I can't believe I've never read any of Poul Anderson's works. I am going to have to take a closer look at the two books I got; it appears they are omnibus reprints of his Nicholas van Rijn stories within the Technic Civilization Saga.

Project Gutenberg has only a few of his stories listed and they all look long. I recognized the illustrations in two of them so I must have at least attempted to read them. They must not have made a great impression.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2888 on: May 31, 2017, 07:31:51 AM »
I stayed up late last night to finish Jack Campbell's book. It reads more like the Lost Stars series than Lost Fleet.

This first book is mostly a get acquainted with the characters and the new colonies  - world and character building. I had expected the new series to start at the beginnings of the war with the Syndics, but it begins far earlier, to the events that will eventually lead up to the star systems and planets that form the Syndic and the Alliance empires.

It's a good start and a good read.




 

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2889 on: May 31, 2017, 10:22:36 AM »
That's good to hear.  I was afraid it might be just ho hum fill-in.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2890 on: June 07, 2017, 02:28:43 PM »
Right now I am beginning the third of the Crimson Worlds: Refugees series. As with his original Crimson Worlds series, the story and characters are interesting - up to a point. The author, Jay Allan, insists on padding out his material with constant repetitious ruminations by his characters over memories and decisions made (past and present), etc. Very annoying, made all the more annoying by the grossly poor editing on this series. I saw such things as doubled words not removed, past tense where present tense was needed, missing words, comments in conversations that are attributed to one character when it was obviously the other party making the comment, and word misuse like 'they'll' where it should have been 'there will'. There was even an instance of failure of logic (unless I badly misread a bit, which is possible) in the story line, but I no longer remember what exactly.

The library is ordering Daniel H. Wilson's Clockwork Dynasty at my recommendation. I have high hopes that it will attract the attention of alternative history, steampunk, and scifi fans alike. This one is a little different than his usual robot/AI books. This one centers on human form mechanical characters. Think all those wonderful mechanical birds, trolleys and such of the Renaissance. https://www.fantasticfiction.com/w/daniel-h-wilson/clockwork-dynasty.htm



Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2891 on: June 08, 2017, 02:32:13 PM »
I decided to try Alastair Reynolds, so I picked up his The Prefect at the library. I'll start that after I finish the ebook I am reading (which will be shortly). The library has all of his books except for Galactic Nbioorth which is a collection of his short stories. Maybe I can find that on at the Free Library of Phila.

Interesting biographical info. Reynolds is Welsh and for about 14 or 15 years he worked at the European Space Research and Technology Center (part of ESA) before he turned to writing full time.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2892 on: June 08, 2017, 05:48:57 PM »
I see The Prefect is the last of the Revelation series.  I read one of the others, not sure if it was the first or not.  It was OK, but I didn't end up reading more.  I'll be interested to learn what you think of it.

Interesting career move; I wonder about the reasons.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2893 on: June 09, 2017, 06:15:09 AM »
Pat, from what I gathered the first three of the Revelation series are a trilogy. The others, while set in the Revelation universe can be read as stand-alones.

I also got Ben Bova's The Hittite, which is a tale wrapped up in the events of the Iliad. I always thought of Bova as a Science Fiction writer and editor, but it looks like he has written some others.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2894 on: June 10, 2017, 06:54:41 AM »
Spaceships, Black Holes and Welsh mythology? I might just have to look into this trilogy.
http://www.unboundworlds.com/2017/06/listen-c-a-higgins-on-black-holes-spaceships-and-welsh-mythology/?cdi=13F0CB1F062E09D7E0534FD66B0A73BA&ref=PRH2028E2388CC9 The podcast is interesting. The author has a background in physics and what inspired her to write the trilogy.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2895 on: June 10, 2017, 10:04:53 AM »
I am getting overloaded with reading again. This morning I discovered that Tolkien's Silmarillion is free to read with my Amazon Prime Reading, so I downloaded it. My hard copy is nowhere to be found so I think it got purged with my other already read Lord of the Rings and Tolkien Reader.

Our library system has the first of C. A. Higgin's trilogy, Lightless, so I ordered it.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2896 on: June 10, 2017, 10:59:34 AM »
I found Silmarillion pretty heavy going.  good luck with it.

I just finished Dragon in Exile, the next in line (for me; there's an even later one out) of Lee and Miller's Liaden series.  It's a bridge, carrying on the problems of Clan Korval on Surebleak, settling one or two things, starting some more things, and carrying on middle sections of most of the issues.  It wouldn't make much sense if read out of order, but it's welcome for anyone following the series.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2897 on: June 10, 2017, 07:22:32 PM »
Here is the updated reading order list for the Laiden Universe.
http://sharonleewriter.com/correct-reading-order/

So far I have read Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, Carpe Diem, Plan B, and I Dare. What I have on hand to read are: Crystal Soldier, Crystal Dragon, Balance of Trade, Local Custom, Scout's Progress and Fledgling.

Hah! If I don't quit borrowing books from the libraries, I'll never get back to them.

I've started reading The Prefect. It is going to be a long read. The library sent me a mass paperback which is around 560 pages of small print "tightly packed". I need good light and no pesty cats to get through it. It is a kind of space detective, crime procedural story.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2898 on: June 11, 2017, 11:36:44 AM »
That's a remarkably useful listing, Frybabe.  I see I've read all but the last three (Alliance of Equals, The Gathering Edge, and Neogenesis).  The five you've read are the best, but many of the others are almost as good.

Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon tell the story of Cantra yos Phelium and  Jela, ancestors of Clan Korval, their fight against the menace attempting to destroy the universe, the successful flight led by Cantra to a parallel universe and the founding of Liad.   They're good, except for the chunks of Crystal Soldier that are taken up with an intolerable description of the forming of powerful entities eventually leading to the dramliz.

Balance of Trade stands by itself, taking place sort of halfway between the original migration and the main body of stories.

I Dare ends with the appearance of young pilot Theo Waitley, asking help for a complicated problem just as Clan Korval is packing up to leave Liad, and Fledgling and its sequels are her story, a fiesty woman, with a talent for getting into complicated situations.

Local Custom is the weakest of the lot, but fills in the meeting of Anne Davis and Er Thom.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2899 on: June 16, 2017, 07:01:58 AM »
I ran across Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire while working at the Library yesterday, and here this morning I find a review in my latest Unbound Worlds newsletter: http://www.unboundworlds.com/2017/06/excerpt-among-sticks-bones-seanan-mcguire/?cdi=13F0CB1F062E09D7E0534FD66B0A73BA&ref=PRH2028E2388CC9 I am not much interested in Gothic/Horror/Fantasy, but oh my, do I love the cover and title of this book.

Unbound Worlds
also has a review of The Women of Soleri by Michael Johnston. Again, I was attracted by the title. Amazon lists it as an Historical Fantasy. OOoookay. This is not something that particularly attracts me except that the reviewer said of the novel, that the author used "Ancient Egyptian mythology and the Shakespeare play King Lear" as the basis for the novel.  http://www.unboundworlds.com/2017/06/the-women-of-soleri-inside-look-at-michael-johnston-new-novel/?cdi=13F0CB1F062E09D7E0534FD66B0A73BA&ref=PRH2028E2388CC9

These new fantasy offerings brought to mind our former Senior Learn friend, Steph. I wonder if anyone had kept in contact with her and wonder how she is doing.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2900 on: June 16, 2017, 07:10:41 AM »
I thought of Steph too, when we were talking about the Liaden series--a favorite if hers.  I miss her, but haven't kept in touch.

Those two links didn't work for me--rejected by my system.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2901 on: June 16, 2017, 11:07:30 AM »
Try this Pat. http://www.unboundworlds.com/category/books/ You can scroll down to find the reviews (and an excerpt from Women of Soleri on the two books I mentions as well as others.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2902 on: June 16, 2017, 11:34:00 AM »
The Prefect is strange, or more precisely,  the environments and the "people" are often surreal.

I am also in the middle of Outsystem by M. D. Cooper which has its own version of bizarre in places. This is also primarily an investigative story centered around incidents which are meant to slow down or stop a colony ship from being completed. The main character is a security officer who was hired to stop the perpetrators. The incidents include an attempt to blow up the ship, viral attacks on ships AI, cargo being stolen or destroyed, and attempted kidnapping or assassination.

Both books are okay enough to keep reading.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2903 on: June 24, 2017, 01:11:01 PM »
Elizabeth Moon's Speed of Dark is much more engaging than I thought it would be. I already expected some exceptional talent from the main character, but to find out that he takes fencing lessons kind of clinched it for me.

The characters pose some interesting questions about how much you might change and how much relationships might change if you could be cured. I am guessing this is similar to some of the questions raised by those who were born blind or deaf. Then there is the question of whether or not dark has a speed like light. Is is faster, or is it static? I think of the book of Genesis and how God created the light and then separated it from the dark. It is an interesting philosophical question. But I think, with quantum math/physics and the mysterious nature of dark matter, it may be a question for science too.

At one point, I was startled to see the same comment about saying you are sorry regarding some event/problem you had no hand in that George used to say to me. In fact, I stopped telling him I was sorry that he was not feeling well, for example; he would ask why I was sorry because I didn't make him sick. He isn't been a smart***; he is serious. I don't even say I am sorry to "hear" there is a problem, lest he think I don't want to hear about the problem.

The book also includes vignettes of the possible problems that arise for autistics in coping with prejudice, talking to strangers, interpreting imprecise wording or slang we often use when we engage in conversation, and so on.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2904 on: June 30, 2017, 11:53:01 AM »
New move to be released July 28, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It is based on the French comic created by writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières with Evelyn Tran-Lé doing the color work. It was published in Pilote magazine from 1967 to 2010. It certainly is colorful and looks like a lot of fun. Hear what Luc Besson has to say about his movie creation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwsFbShTPDg I think I am going to have to go see this on the big screen.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2905 on: July 01, 2017, 06:43:30 AM »
My latest lending library pick for the month, accidentally, is Quantum Lace ~ Book One by Leigh (Bella) St John. Amazon's blurb says it is based on real science, real people and real events. So, do we call this Historical SciFi? Looks interesting but is short at only 105 pages.

My intended pick was Noa's Ark, by C. Gockel, which is the second of the Archangel Down series. Amazon mixes the Lending Library picks in with the Prime Reading offerings. Since Quantum Lace is apparently listed in both, downloading it keeps me from downloading this one. Some of the Prime Reading books are not in the Lending Library so I can still download those if I want. Strange set-up if you ask me, but hey, I already have more reading than I have time for now. Noa will have to wait for next month.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2906 on: July 01, 2017, 07:37:20 AM »
There is a new genre category - LitRPG,  Literature Role Playing Game. Well, kind of new, it apparently has been around for about seven or ten years. This seems to be mostly a subgenre of SciFi but it probably includes a few others, perhaps mysteries and adventures.

According to Wikipedia, the criteria for being a LitRPG book is that it at least one character must be aware that they are playing a game, that there is a real world and a gaming world. If that is the case, I wonder why I don't see Ender's Game listed. Maybe because they only thought they were playing a game?

So far, the only books I ever heard of to be listed in this genre are Ernest Cline's Ready, Player, One and Daemon by Daniel Suarez. I have had Daemon for several years but haven't read it yet. I just downloaded one called Awaken Online Book 1: Catharsis It is about some guy who starts playing a video game and discovers that he is being guided towards being the villain in the game.


PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2907 on: July 01, 2017, 06:37:37 PM »
I've read Ready Player One.  It's pretty good.  The stakes of the game are high--winner becomer the heir to someone with a big powerbase in the dysfunctional world.  The games are all throwbacks, demanding obscure knowledge of early computer and arcade games.

I agree about Ender's game.  Ender and the others didn'know what they were doing was real.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2908 on: July 01, 2017, 06:50:41 PM »
Valerian and the City of the Thousand Planets does look promising.  I liked Besson's work in The Fifth Element.

From the trailer, it looks like the movie owes a lot to Star Wars.

I can surely get my SIL to see it with me when it comes out.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2909 on: July 01, 2017, 09:35:48 PM »
The Fifth Element is one of my favorite movies; I lost count of how many times I've seen it. Another favorite, also seen lots of times, is The Chronicles of Riddick.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2910 on: July 04, 2017, 04:46:55 PM »
Downbelow Station by C. J.  (Carolyn Janice) Cherryh should be waiting for me at the library on Thursday. I didn't realize until just now that it was published way back in 1981. It won a Hugo Award in 1982.

All these books that project corporate exploration and ownership in space remind me of the novel I just read involving trapper/hunters and Indians near the end of the war between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company over hunting and trading territories.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2911 on: July 08, 2017, 08:53:44 AM »
All these books that project corporate exploration and ownership in space remind me of the novel I just read involving trapper/hunters and Indians near the end of the war between the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company over hunting and trading territories.
That's a really interesting observation, Frybabe.  Of course you're right, and I never thought of it.  I'll have to read up on Hudson's Bay Company; my knowledge of it is somewhat dim.  Those corporate ownership sci-fi novels kind of depress me--an only too likely scenario.

I started Downbelow Station some time ago, but got sidetracked.  It's good, though, and some day I'll get back to it and enjoy it.  She has written many books, which my daughter and SIL like a lot.


Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2912 on: July 08, 2017, 11:09:03 AM »
Hudson's Bay is the only company I remember hearing/reading about in school. That North West and HBC were on fighting terms let alone forced to merger, and that both companies still exist today, albeit in greatly evolved forms surprised me.

I am glad to hear that Downbelow Station is good. I've barely started it. While reading it, I can almost hear the voice of the narrator of some of those old films that began with a voice over narration of sorts or maybe some of those old science programs with the narrator sounding kind newsy, kind of dramatic, in an almost but not quite monotone/straight voice. Wish I could think of an example right now.

Are you getting settled into your new abode okay?

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2913 on: July 09, 2017, 10:06:08 PM »
I'm not even close to getting settled.  What I've done so far is finally decontaminated the apartment of the paint smells that were bad actors for the chemical sensitivities I acquired from working in the lab.  Next stage is to get some minimal furnishings in and see if I can tolerate longer exposure without getting breathing problems.  Then I have to clear out here and move whatever is left.

I did have a good session in Powell's Books.  I found a used paperback of some hard to come by short stories in Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series, and the woman who was also going through her books recommended another book by Bujold, out of series.  It's The Spirit Ring, and it's not my usual sort of thing, wizardry, not sci-fi.  But it's pretty good.  It's an action story, taking place in 16th century Italy, in the midst of the complicated political infighting between the Guelphs and the Ghibelines.  Fortunately you don't have to keep any of that straight, since I've never been able to make any sense of it.  The father of the heroine is strongly based on Benvenuto Cellini, but with some magical abilities.  In the courtyard of his house, we see a massive clay mold of a statue of Perseus, waiting to be cast.  So I was waiting to see what she would do with the casting, which was pretty dramatic in real life.  She didn't disappoint.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2914 on: July 10, 2017, 05:40:30 PM »
PatH, I just found Downbelow Station on YouTube, the full audiobook.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8ViFnHTd_I
This is going to be a lot easier than trying to read the small, dark, dense print on yellowed pages that are hard to read in all but the best of light. 

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2915 on: July 13, 2017, 01:51:06 PM »
One of the gals on Seniors and Friends posted this article from the NYT. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/science/film-clip-stored-in-dna.html?_r=0 Wonder where this will lead in the future.

BTW, I saw some print articles about the proposed creation of a US Space Corps. This one happens to be from CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/07/politics/space-corps-bill-trnd/index.html Hmmmm! Jumping the gun a bit or do they know something we don't. I've seen a bunch of stuff out there via the UFO bunch about "Space Warden", a super hush-hush government program that has been around a while. In fact, some of the newer ones said the government would be making a big announcement soon. Well, this isn't a big announcement, but it is something.

PatH

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2916 on: July 15, 2017, 12:02:21 PM »
Wow.  Information storage of that size in DNA.  Science progresses amazingly fast.  I wonder how stable that information is.

Frybabe, I think you and I are in agreement about how crucial rapid development of space travel is for mankind's survival.  A space corps seems a little premature, but it's fun to watch the turf war for it between different service branches.

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2917 on: July 15, 2017, 06:05:03 PM »
Defense News had a more recent article about the Space Corps. It appears that the Chinese and Russians have already reorganized their military to accommodate a space corp. Also, it was pointed out by some in the House that the Air Force has been pilfering the budget for their Space Command to pay for other things. So, perhaps instead of thinking ahead this time we are actually behind the 8-ball again.

One of the reader's commented that he thought the US Space Corps should be under the Navy's wing, not the Air Force. His reasons included that the Navy and Marines already work together and that Navy pilots are more highly trained than AF pilots, and that the majority of NASA astronauts are Naval or Marine pilots. Personally, I wouldn't want to go against all thoseSe SciFi writers who have their space fleets under Naval command.

I am not sure that just because the bill will allow for the creation of a new corps, means necessarily that the must create it. And, if they do create the new corps, it doesn't necessarily mean it will be funded or well funded. Things I have to look up, oh, and who I need to write to in support of this endeavor.

Here is the subcommittee's Press Release: https://armedservices.house.gov/news/press-releases/mark-release-subcommittee-strategic-forces

Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2918 on: July 15, 2017, 06:54:38 PM »
Two more links for anyone interested in following the bill:

https://armedservices.house.gov/news/press-releases/mark-release-subcommittee-strategic-forces

If you want to watch the subcommittee report, it is up on YouTube. Or, you can watch it here: https://armedservices.house.gov/legislation/markups/hr-2810-national-defense-authorization-act-fiscal-year-2018-0

You can probably tell, I am pretty excited by the prospect of a space corps.


Frybabe

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Re: Science Fiction / Fantasy
« Reply #2919 on: July 19, 2017, 07:21:46 AM »
Pat, Downbelow Station is slow going. I am having trouble keeping characters on Pell and Downbelow straight at times; new ones keep popping up. Cherryh's writing sytle is interesting. It is very matter-of-fact, and I would almost say compact. She doesn't seem to pad or waste words though the book itself is long.  I am half way through now. What I found works best for me with this book is to listen to the audiobook while reading the book.