Sunday, July 11, 2010

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I've always been a Sci-Fi buff. My dad used to watch the early Twilight Zones on TV, and it may have been that series that engaged my mind, or the early King Kong movie that scared the life out of me, or going to see my first SF/monster movie The Blob (which was a double bill at the time with the movie: I Married A Monster From Outer Space, another classic), which also scared the life out of me. But no matter what the influence, it has stuck with me throughout my life, and I accept it, rejoice that I have that interest, and indulge in the hobby and genre. It branches out from there also and laps over into horror at times, mysteries, and other genres.

I once had on-going discussion with a guy on a web site over the matter of the abbreviation of the two words, Sci-Fi. He said that it should be SF, so I'll sometimes default to that brevity instead so not to offend anyone's frail sensibilities... I think his whole premise that sci-fi is offensive is a wee minutia detail that boarders on the anal retentive, but let's move on...

So I've ran across a pretty neat web site, that discusses books, and you can find that over at: www.SFFaudio.com I was over there last week listening to their discussion of the book The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. I plan on returning to the site to see what else they discuss, but just haven't had the time yet. I read The Stars My Destination some time back, so it was fun to hear their take on the book. Three guys (one a Brit) and one woman were discussing it. It starts off on a slight false step as the woman (really pretty astute in her comments) makes a remark to the British dude (I believe in jest), but I'm guessing these people didn't know each other formally, probably meeting over the computer, phone etc., the Brit didn't know how to take her remark. Things though quickly right themselves, and they get on with the book discussion, which made for an interesting listen.

One other thing, which I find a bit odd these days is in the case of the Brit, he didn't actually read the book, he read some of beginning, but listened to it thru an audio book. I've heard a lot of comments from people that listen to these audio books and they remark how they listened to the book and really enjoyed "reading" it. To me that's an odd remark. I don't mean to split hairs, but listening isn't reading--it's listening. I have no facts to back this up, but I think they are digested by the mind differently and, I think, comprehension is better when read. (End of soapbox sermon/commentary.)

At any rate, The Stars My Destination imo, is a classic in SF literature. If you haven't read it, you might enjoy it. It's about a mechanic named Gulliver Foyle, who has been aboard a drifting, wrecked space ship. He sends out a distress alert, and just when he think someone has come to his rescue, they pass him by, and ignore his S.O.S. flares. This one act of inhumanity galvanizes Foyle, and turns him into an angel of revenge. It gives him the drive to survive, escape, and hunt down the owners and crew of the Vorga (the ship that has ignored him). What I liked about the book is that Alfred Bester is a quick writer, shifting scenes quickly, full of creativity and the novel has many ideas roaming around in its pages. He doesn't bother too much in details before you're thrown into another scene, idea, or a look into the future.

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