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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:55 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
GKC wrote:
Hit on anything suggesting homosexuality?

The only book of Clarke's I can think of with an explicit reference to homosexuality (and it's easy to miss) is Glide Path, which isn't even science fiction.



In the bio I mentioned above, there is a mention of something along the lines of an adolescent affair of some sort, in IMPERIAL EARTH, which got it banned at some local levels in this country, and a reference to something similar in RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA. I have not read IMPERIAL EARTH and remember nothing like that in RAMA. Clarke said, in the interview under discussion in the bio, that he got more daring, in his expressions, as he got older. And that he had to keep up certain standards, or pretend to, so as not to shock people.

I never enjoyed Clarke's work, beyond his short stories (a little) and ISLANDS IN THE SKY, which fit the template of the Winston series it appeared in, which greatly shaped my early fondness for SF. That and A FALL OF MOONDUST, primarily because my father gave it to me as a Christmas present. IMO, Clarke was vastly overrated. Big Three, indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:48 pm 
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That's right, there is a reference to that in Imperial Earth* - a love triangle sort of thing with two young men and a girl. I had forgotten about that.

*A book that probably shouldn't ever have been published. Talk about nothing happening!

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:56 pm 
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I'm now reading 'I, Robot' by Isaac Asimov. I find it hilarious that all of the specific dates he mentions are now in our past, and we don't have technology anything like what he describes. Why do science fiction authors do that, put their stories in a specific future year, which only guarantees that in time it will become dated as that year comes and goes and nothing like what they describe takes place? Isn't it better to be vague about whatever year so that it will always seem to take place in the future no matter how many generations pass? I noticed the same thing with Ray Bradbury's 'Martian Chronicles', which took place in his future, but in our past.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I'm now reading 'I, Robot' by Isaac Asimov. I find it hilarious that all of the specific dates he mentions are now in our past, and we don't have technology anything like what he describes. Why do science fiction authors do that, put their stories in a specific future year, which only guarantees that in time it will become dated as that year comes and goes and nothing like what they describe takes place? Isn't it better to be vague about whatever year so that it will always seem to take place in the future no matter how many generations pass? I noticed the same thing with Ray Bradbury's 'Martian Chronicles', which took place in his future, but in our past.



What!? No Big Brother in 1984? The book is ruined for me. Of course, Chesterton got 1984 wrong too.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:48 pm 
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GKC wrote:
[


What!? No Big Brother in 1984? The book is ruined for me. Of course, Chesterton got 1984 wrong too.


1984 doesn't take place in the future, it is a book which describes the way things actually were in the Soviet Union at the time the book was written. 1984 is 1948, with the numbers reversed, the year the book was written. If you draw the face that is described in the opening chapters, it becomes clear Big Brother is Joseph Stalin, he clearly describes Stalin's face as the face of Big Brother.


However, literally in the first paragraph in the book, it says that he thinks the year is 1984, but he doesn't know for sure, because no one really knows what year it is, and no one knows how long Big Brother has been around.

So, despite the title, Orwell deliberately left it vague when exactly the story takes place. It could be the present or the future. And according to the appendix at the end of the book, it happened long ago and is already in the past.


By the way, this reminds me, I need to read 1984 again. It is a truly great book, and I'm sure I haven't even come close to completely deciphering it.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I'm now reading 'I, Robot' by Isaac Asimov. I find it hilarious that all of the specific dates he mentions are now in our past, and we don't have technology anything like what he describes. Why do science fiction authors do that, put their stories in a specific future year, which only guarantees that in time it will become dated as that year comes and goes and nothing like what they describe takes place? Isn't it better to be vague about whatever year so that it will always seem to take place in the future no matter how many generations pass? I noticed the same thing with Ray Bradbury's 'Martian Chronicles', which took place in his future, but in our past.

Recent editions of The Martian Chronicles have had the dates moved out 31 years but this makes things even weirder -- the racial attitudes on display in the story "Way Up in the Air" were outdated even in the year in which the story was originally set (2003).

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:11 pm 
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Doom wrote:
GKC wrote:
[


What!? No Big Brother in 1984? The book is ruined for me. Of course, Chesterton got 1984 wrong too.


1984 doesn't take place in the future, it is a book which describes the way things actually were in the Soviet Union at the time the book was written. 1984 is 1948, with the numbers reversed, the year the book was written. If you draw the face that is described in the opening chapters, it becomes clear Big Brother is Joseph Stalin, he clearly describes Stalin's face as the face of Big Brother.


However, literally in the first paragraph in the book, it says that he thinks the year is 1984, but he doesn't know for sure, because no one really knows what year it is, and no one knows how long Big Brother has been around.

So, despite the title, Orwell deliberately left it vague when exactly the story takes place. It could be the present or the future. And according to the appendix at the end of the book, it happened long ago and is already in the past.


But you picked the wrong audience to kvetch about dates in SF. I greatly enjoy SF series with established timeliness, either as given by the author, or extrapolated (or rationalized by someone else), exemplified by Heinlein's Future History (Or the time lines in Niven's Known Space/Anderson's Polesotechnic & Flandry stuff/Pournelle's Future History & Empire of Man/stuff like that. Won't catch me griping that Nehemiah Scudder didn't become President in 2012, no matter what it said in "If This Goes On...".

A good timeline for an established or growing SF series is like a good map or sketch of the mansion in which the murder took place in a Golden Age mystery. Love it.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:34 pm 
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You can have a strong timeline without ever specifying a specific year. This was the point of the 'Star Dates' in Star Trek, so you could have a consistent timeline but without ever actually saying what year it took place in. 'Star Dates' make sense because after all, how do you keep track of time in space? Clearly, you can't connect the date to the length of time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun if you are thousands of light years away from Earth, so it makes sense that there would be a different way of keeping track of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Doom wrote:
You can have a strong timeline without ever specifying a specific year. This was the point of the 'Star Dates' in Star Trek, so you could have a consistent timeline but without ever actually saying what year it took place in. 'Star Dates' make sense because after all, how do you keep track of time in space? Clearly, you can't connect the date to the length of time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun if you are thousands of light years away from Earth, so it makes sense that there would be a different way of keeping track of time.


I like timelines. With years. I rarely think that the timeline dates that are prior to contemporary dates reflect something that actually happened, but something that happened in the fictional universe on that date. Fun.

And you can translate "years" in a given spot in the universe with Terrestrial years. David Weber does it in the Honorverse.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:52 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Clearly, you can't connect the date to the length of time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun if you are thousands of light years away from Earth

Why not?

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Clearly, you can't connect the date to the length of time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun if you are thousands of light years away from Earth

Why not?


Ever heard of special relativity? If you're traveling at 90% the speed of light for two years (your time) hundreds of years will have passed on Earth.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:03 pm 
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GKC wrote:
And you can translate "years" in a given spot in the universe with Terrestrial years. David Weber does it in the Honorverse.

Jerry Pournelle (as I'm sure you know) does this as well in the "Co-Dominium/Empire of Man" books, so we know (for example) that men made first contact with the Moties in 3017 A.D.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:03 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Clearly, you can't connect the date to the length of time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun if you are thousands of light years away from Earth

Why not?


Ever heard of special relativity? If you're traveling at 90% the speed of light for two years (your time) hundreds of years will have passed on Earth.

If only they had the technology to keep track of the passage of time at relativistic speeds!

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
GKC wrote:
And you can translate "years" in a given spot in the universe with Terrestrial years. David Weber does it in the Honorverse.

Jerry Pournelle (as I'm sure you know) does this as well in the "Co-Dominium/Empire of Man" books, so we know (for example) that men made first contact with the Moties in 3017 A.D.


Yep. But all the magic goes away when you consider that the Alderson Drive was not perfected in 2008.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:55 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:58 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
That you know of.


It better have been. Else how are we going to get the Great Exodus and the first interstellar colonies in the next two years. I can hardly wait.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:11 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Clearly, you can't connect the date to the length of time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun if you are thousands of light years away from Earth

Why not?


Ever heard of special relativity? If you're traveling at 90% the speed of light for two years (your time) hundreds of years will have passed on Earth.

If only they had the technology to keep track of the passage of time at relativistic speeds!

It's not a question of 'keeping track', and it doesn't require any 'technology' it's easy enough to find out just by looking the relativity equations it's the fact that the passage of time on Earth is completely IRRELEVANT when you're traveling at Relativistic speed.

I mean, it isn't at all difficult to determine what year it is on the Roman calendar, all you have to do is add 753 years to the date on the Christian calendar, but WHO CARES? Who cares that in Ancient Rome they would say that we are living in the year 2771? Or that according to the ancient Greek calendar we are living in the second year of the 698th Olympiad? It is interesting trivia but it has no actual meaning or relevance to our life. In the same way, if you are traveling at relativistic speed, the year it is on the Earth calendar would be interesting trivia, but it wouldn't be meaningful or relevant in any way.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Peregrinator wrote:
Doom wrote:
Clearly, you can't connect the date to the length of time it takes for the Earth to go around the sun if you are thousands of light years away from Earth

Why not?


Ever heard of special relativity? If you're traveling at 90% the speed of light for two years (your time) hundreds of years will have passed on Earth.

If only they had the technology to keep track of the passage of time at relativistic speeds!

It's not a question of 'keeping track', and it doesn't require any 'technology' it's easy enough to find out just by looking the relativity equations it's the fact that the passage of time on Earth is completely IRRELEVANT when you're traveling at Relativistic speed.

I mean, it isn't at all difficult to determine what year it is on the Roman calendar, all you have to do is add 753 years to the date on the Christian calendar, but WHO CARES? Who cares that in Ancient Rome they would say that we are living in the year 2771? Or that according to the ancient Greek calendar we are living in the second year of the 698th Olympiad? It is interesting trivia but it has no actual meaning or relevance to our life. In the same way, if you are traveling at relativistic speed, the year it is on the Earth calendar would be interesting trivia, but it wouldn't be meaningful or relevant in any way.


What you really have to grasp is the difference between N-Space and Hyper-Space, Hyper-Space bands Alpha through Iota (can't use Iota yet) the function of worm-holes and worm-hole junctions, and really get behind Warshawski sails.

IOW, I doubt you are really going to get deep into science fiction.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:06 am 
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Doom wrote:
It's not a question of 'keeping track', and it doesn't require any 'technology' it's easy enough to find out just by looking the relativity equations it's the fact that the passage of time on Earth is completely IRRELEVANT when you're traveling at Relativistic speed.

It's not irrelevant for those long stretches during which one isn't traveling. I expect that having a standard calendar will be important to humanity, just as it is now, especially if one is traveling between planets that have their own local calendars.

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 Post subject: Re: Science Fictionn Yes or No
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:09 am 
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GKC wrote:
What you really have to grasp is the difference between N-Space and Hyper-Space, Hyper-Space bands Alpha through Iota (can't use Iota yet) the function of worm-holes and worm-hole junctions, and really get behind Warshawski sails.

IOW, I doubt you are really going to get deep into science fiction.

I can't think of a sci-fi author who does a better job of working out how interstellar travel works and all its implications than Weber. Maybe Pournelle.

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