Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 09-10-2008, 03:23 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by A shameful cracka... View Post
I don't remember the black hole in "Earth" actually coming out through the surface of the Earth, but I don't think I ever finished that one. I think it mostly orbitted around under the surface and caused earthquakes and such.
True - the black hole in Earth stays belong the surface, but the efforts to remove/control it cause increasingly bizarre surface effects.
  #102  
Old 09-10-2008, 07:46 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
It's been published many times (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?58363 just lists some of the times - I'm sure it's been in textbooks too), and it is really memorable for children, since it deals with bullying, and being an outsider, and being unbelieved.
I googled "All Summer in a Day" Textbook, and found a lot of examples of teachers using this story in the classroom, as we suspected.
  #103  
Old 09-10-2008, 09:06 PM
Sleel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Japan
Posts: 2,818
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ring View Post
Somehow or other a primordial black hole is dropped about 100 feet above the ground and then orbits through the center of the Earth. As the globe turns it keeps popping up in different places. About the only other thing I remember is it regularly pokes through various people, buildings etc. And finally something real bad happens.
It also sounds a bit like The Forge of God by Greg Bear. In that, the small black hole is created and released by aliens, it oscillates back and forth for a while, and eventually destroys the Earth. There's a lot more, of course, but that's the part that sounds like it might fit your recollection.
  #104  
Old 09-10-2008, 09:13 PM
A shameful cracka... is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
Niven has a short story about a black hole released into Mars (The Hole Man), and in another story (Wrong Way Street) the main character accidentally (!) destroys the Moon, but I don't think he's every dropped a black hole on the Earth (Asteroids, yes; black holes, no)
This guy is right. I used to be a huge Larry Niven fan and have read about everything he's written except for what he's written in the last 5 years or so.
  #105  
Old 09-10-2008, 10:48 PM
Ring is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Carolina USA
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleel View Post
It also sounds a bit like The Forge of God by Greg Bear. In that, the small black hole is created and released by aliens, it oscillates back and forth for a while, and eventually destroys the Earth. There's a lot more, of course, but that's the part that sounds like it might fit your recollection.
No, it's not the "Forge of God." In fact I just reread that one a couple of months ago. In my first post I said it wasn't "Lucifer's Hammer" - I actually should have said it wasn't the "Forge of God."

I'm absolutely sure the BH continuously exited the Earth's crust, because that's what caused a bunch of somebodies to start wondering why all these people and structures were getting holes in them. It's just one of those burned in memories that will be with me till I croak.

It's probably a terrible book, but nonetheless I'd love to read it again.
  #106  
Old 09-11-2008, 12:06 AM
Risha is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 1,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
Risha, that's Brain Wave by Poul Anderson:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_Wave
That's definitely the one. Thanks!
  #107  
Old 09-11-2008, 09:24 AM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ring View Post
No, it's not the "Forge of God." In fact I just reread that one a couple of months ago. In my first post I said it wasn't "Lucifer's Hammer" - I actually should have said it wasn't the "Forge of God."

I'm absolutely sure the BH continuously exited the Earth's crust, because that's what caused a bunch of somebodies to start wondering why all these people and structures were getting holes in them. It's just one of those burned in memories that will be with me till I croak.

It's probably a terrible book, but nonetheless I'd love to read it again.
This does sound a lot like "Thrice Upon a Time" (but I'm not familiar with "The Doomsday Effect" so it might fit that too) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrice_Upon_A_Time . In this book there were several million primoridial black holes released, some of which exited the earth and caused havoc (people called them bug-o-phants before they figured out what they were, because the effects were like a microbe with the mass of an elephant going through people and other objects)
  #108  
Old 09-11-2008, 10:07 AM
Tom Tildrum is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 14,004
This may be from a horror anthology rather than sci-fi, but I recall a story about a 19th-century mariner on a sailing ship, following up on an earlier expedition that has gone missing, who discovers a mysterious island covered in thick mold. He anchors offshore, and in the night, the two survivors of the previous expedition row a boat out to the ship to beg for supplies, but refuse to come aboard or to allow themselves to be seen in the light.

The man on the rowboat tells the story of the failure of the previous expedition, and how he and his wife were eventually starving for lack of supplies. They finally resorted to eating the mold on the island, which was grotesque but shamefully delicious. He warns the mariner against coming ashore.

This goes on for a few nights until the mariner is finally preparing to leave. At the end of their final meeting, he dares to shine a light into the rowboat and see that the man and his wife have become nothing more than shambling, vaguely human-shaped piles of mold.

Anyone?
  #109  
Old 09-11-2008, 10:50 AM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
This may be from a horror anthology rather than sci-fi, but I recall a story about a 19th-century mariner on a sailing ship, following up on an earlier expedition that has gone missing, who discovers a mysterious island covered in thick mold. He anchors offshore, and in the night, the two survivors of the previous expedition row a boat out to the ship to beg for supplies, but refuse to come aboard or to allow themselves to be seen in the light.

The man on the rowboat tells the story of the failure of the previous expedition, and how he and his wife were eventually starving for lack of supplies. They finally resorted to eating the mold on the island, which was grotesque but shamefully delicious. He warns the mariner against coming ashore.

This goes on for a few nights until the mariner is finally preparing to leave. At the end of their final meeting, he dares to shine a light into the rowboat and see that the man and his wife have become nothing more than shambling, vaguely human-shaped piles of mold.

Anyone?
This is "Voice In the Night" by William Hope Hodgson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voice_in_the_Night
  #110  
Old 09-11-2008, 11:05 AM
Harmonious Discord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Wisconsin USA
Posts: 16,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
This is "Voice In the Night" by William Hope Hodgson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voice_in_the_Night
It is. I recognized the story and was going say what it was.
  #111  
Old 09-11-2008, 10:51 PM
Myrrajh is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 275
I love this thread...now I have to go read every single one of these...
  #112  
Old 09-12-2008, 09:38 AM
The Scrivener is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Iselin, NJ
Posts: 4,790
I'm pretty sure I read this in a sci-fi or speculative fiction-type compilation, despite its religious theme:

A guy dies and goes to Heaven, where the souls of the saved live only as long as they wish to. The angel or guide explaining the situation points out that most people can only stomach Paradise for a century or so, before the novelty wears out and they lose the will to continue experiencing [generally sensual] pleasures [like eating, skiing, etc.] Those of a more esthetic bent often persist longer, with the longest-persisting souls generally being those of great scholars and philosophers, who enjoy endless reading, ruminating, discussion, and writing. The guide explains that there used to be a great many more "Old Testament-era types," but most of them became exhausted long ago.

When someone has had enough of Heaven, they can request [or wish for, I'm not sure of this detail] non-existence -- and if they are sincere and sober about it, it's granted. (Thus in the long, long run, bliss for most people amounts to Nirvana.)

I'm not positive if the following is a part of this story or a different one altogether, but I think it's the continuation of the same:

Heaven is not the destination of the morally good or theologically correct, so to speak. Rather, it's an unapologetic collection of the best and brightest of all religions (and none) by God, to solve a heretofore unsolved dilemma. The problem is that God has become exhausted and wants out, but can't figure out how to annihilate Himself. [I don't recall if the story addresses whether universal annihilation would be concommitant with God's cessation, or not.] The man who has just arrived in Heaven is assigned to a committee or task force of minds to address this problem...


I can rule out one candidate: it's not Stanley Elkin's The Living End, a religious satire in which
SPOILER:
God at the end declares he has not found his audience and annihilates all existence.
  #113  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:00 AM
Peter Morris's Avatar
Peter Morris is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The far canal
Posts: 12,433
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Scrivener View Post
I'm not positive if the following is a part of this story or a different one altogether, but I think it's the continuation of the same:
I've got a candidate for the second part. It doesn't match the first part, though, so I think it's two different stories

Quote:
Heaven is not the destination of the morally good or theologically correct, so to speak. Rather, it's an unapologetic collection of the best and brightest of all religions (and none) by God, to solve a heretofore unsolved dilemma. The problem is that God has become exhausted and wants out, but can't figure out how to annihilate Himself.
Asimov's The Last Answer.

(not to be confused with Asimov's The Last Question)
  #114  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:20 AM
The Scrivener is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Iselin, NJ
Posts: 4,790
I think that's it. Thanks!
  #115  
Old 09-12-2008, 10:56 AM
A shameful cracka... is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 421
I have another one I just thought of. I think I read this in Isaac Asimov's Magazine of Science Fiction in the early 90s, but I got a bunch of those magazines in a garage sale and it could have been in a much older collection.

The story is told as a flashback/letter from a man to his daughter, who is being kept in a hidden room on life support devices. This guy is investigating a planet where an alien race had, tens of thousands of years before, genetically engineered a new sentient species, and not long after that built a huge fortress and the entire population disappeared into it. Some kind of gangsters were involved in his investigation, but I can't remember exactly how.

He talks to the enigmatic created alien race that was left behind, and finds out from them that they were specifically designed by their creators to have no souls, because their creators were investigating the existence of an afterlife and they needed a soulless race to help with their experiments.

The main character somehow breaks into this fortress, I believe with the assistance of the gangsters who are somehow forcing him to investigate further, and they find that the disappeared race has put every member of their species in a state of stasis inside the fortress. They manage to wake one up, and the alien says nothing and puts himself back in stasis. They force him out of stasis a second time, and the alien does something that causes all the humans present to feel an intense agony for a couple of seconds, that is so powerful it causes one of the gangsters to drop dead. It then explains that their research discovered that there is a God, and he has high standards that, so far, nothing in the universe lives up to. There is an afterlife, and it is eternal unimaginable suffering (a second of which caused one of the tough guys to die of a heart attack), and everybody (except for the soulless aliens) goes there when they die.

The main character realizes that if this information got out it would mean the collapse of civilization as everybody takes whatever measures they can to minimize their risk of dying - nobody would risk travelling or even going outside. He has a daughter (which he deeply regrets having after making this discovery) and he sets her up with the hidden room with her kept on life-preserving machinery to make sure she lives as long as possible, and devotes his life to keeping others from finding out the secret because the collapse of society could result in the machines keeping his daughter alive no longer working, and he wants to delay her going to Hell as long as possible.
  #116  
Old 09-12-2008, 07:13 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Scrivener View Post
I'm pretty sure I read this in a sci-fi or speculative fiction-type compilation, despite its religious theme:

A guy dies and goes to Heaven, where the souls of the saved live only as long as they wish to. The angel or guide explaining the situation points out that most people can only stomach Paradise for a century or so, before the novelty wears out and they lose the will to continue experiencing [generally sensual] pleasures [like eating, skiing, etc.] Those of a more esthetic bent often persist longer, with the longest-persisting souls generally being those of great scholars and philosophers, who enjoy endless reading, ruminating, discussion, and writing. The guide explains that there used to be a great many more "Old Testament-era types," but most of them became exhausted long ago.

When someone has had enough of Heaven, they can request [or wish for, I'm not sure of this detail] non-existence -- and if they are sincere and sober about it, it's granted. (Thus in the long, long run, bliss for most people amounts to Nirvana.)

I wish I could help you with this one - it sounds something like Twain's "Captain Stormfield's Visit To Heaven" but not quite (that story is online btw http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext97/cptsf10h.htm). If you think that it's in the same collection as the Asimov story that Peter identified, the Asimov story is collected in a book called "Microcosmic Tales" (table of contents here http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?MCRCSMCTLS191980) which seems to have a number of stories about God and Heaven (it has Fred Brown's "Answer" in which
SPOILER:
The Computer says "Now there is a God"

Last edited by Andy L; 09-12-2008 at 07:14 PM.
  #117  
Old 09-12-2008, 07:18 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by A shameful cracka... View Post
I have another one I just thought of. I think I read this in Isaac Asimov's Magazine of Science Fiction in the early 90s, but I got a bunch of those magazines in a garage sale and it could have been in a much older collection.

The story is told as a flashback/letter from a man to his daughter, who is being kept in a hidden room on life support devices. This guy is investigating a planet where an alien race had, tens of thousands of years before, genetically engineered a new sentient species, and not long after that built a huge fortress and the entire population disappeared into it. Some kind of gangsters were involved in his investigation, but I can't remember exactly how.

He talks to the enigmatic created alien race that was left behind, and finds out from them that they were specifically designed by their creators to have no souls, because their creators were investigating the existence of an afterlife and they needed a soulless race to help with their experiments.

The main character somehow breaks into this fortress, I believe with the assistance of the gangsters who are somehow forcing him to investigate further, and they find that the disappeared race has put every member of their species in a state of stasis inside the fortress. They manage to wake one up, and the alien says nothing and puts himself back in stasis. They force him out of stasis a second time, and the alien does something that causes all the humans present to feel an intense agony for a couple of seconds, that is so powerful it causes one of the gangsters to drop dead. It then explains that their research discovered that there is a God, and he has high standards that, so far, nothing in the universe lives up to. There is an afterlife, and it is eternal unimaginable suffering (a second of which caused one of the tough guys to die of a heart attack), and everybody (except for the soulless aliens) goes there when they die.

The main character realizes that if this information got out it would mean the collapse of civilization as everybody takes whatever measures they can to minimize their risk of dying - nobody would risk travelling or even going outside. He has a daughter (which he deeply regrets having after making this discovery) and he sets her up with the hidden room with her kept on life-preserving machinery to make sure she lives as long as possible, and devotes his life to keeping others from finding out the secret because the collapse of society could result in the machines keeping his daughter alive no longer working, and he wants to delay her going to Hell as long as possible.
With such a detailed description I ought to be able to do something with this - let me take a look through my collection of Asimov's issues, and see what I come up with. I will note that the basic idea is similar to an idea in Niven's "The Subject is Closed"
SPOILER:
in which aliens discover something about Heaven that makes them all want to kill themselves
  #118  
Old 09-12-2008, 08:12 PM
A shameful cracka... is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
With such a detailed description I ought to be able to do something with this - let me take a look through my collection of Asimov's issues, and see what I come up with. I will note that the basic idea is similar to an idea in Niven's "The Subject is Closed"
SPOILER:
in which aliens discover something about Heaven that makes them all want to kill themselves
That was one of the Draco Tavern stories, wasn't it? I think in that one it was that the afterlife got worse the longer you were alive, but it's definitely not the one I'm thinking about.

I remembered another couple of details about the story I described above. The created soulless aliens were birdlike in some way, I think. The story also seemed odd to me because it was set tens of thousands of years in the future, yet human society didn't seem to have changed much and the names were fairly normal.
  #119  
Old 09-12-2008, 08:45 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by A shameful cracka... View Post
That was one of the Draco Tavern stories, wasn't it? I think in that one it was that the afterlife got worse the longer you were alive, but it's definitely not the one I'm thinking about.
Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of - one hypothesis was that that the afterlife got worse the older you were, but no one was really sure, and they were afraid to find out for sure).

Quote:
I remembered another couple of details about the story I described above. The created soulless aliens were birdlike in some way, I think. The story also seemed odd to me because it was set tens of thousands of years in the future, yet human society didn't seem to have changed much and the names were fairly normal.
Thanks.
  #120  
Old 09-15-2008, 07:27 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
With such a detailed description I ought to be able to do something with this - let me take a look through my collection of Asimov's issues, and see what I come up with.
I haven't forgotten you - so far no luck, though - I looked at a dozen or so issues on Saturday; I'll look at more later, until I find your story.

Last edited by Andy L; 09-15-2008 at 07:29 PM.
  #121  
Old 09-15-2008, 09:00 PM
Springtime for Spacers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrrajh View Post
Okay, that dredged up bad memories of when I first heard that in elementary school. Talk about depressing. I remember it that the teacher said this was going to be the only time in 100 years or something that they would see the sun. And she missed it. Absolute wahhh.

It's even worse than that. The kid is a recent immigrant form Earth so she's the only one who actually remembers what sunshine looks like and she really yearns for the sun and they make her miss it.
  #122  
Old 09-15-2008, 11:06 PM
Wile E is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 11,853
This story had to do with a Black Hole. There was a group of people on a spaceship, a guy (main character) and his girlfriend and two other guys. Somehow the main character gets off the ship just before it gets sucked into the event horizon of the black hole. The only other thing I remember about this is the fact that the girlfriend insisted on having some asparagus in her food rations and the other guys complained all the time because in close quarters the asparagus pee smell was obnoxious.

I want to say it's a Pohl Gateway novel but I may be mixing that up with another story I read about the same time.
  #123  
Old 09-15-2008, 11:23 PM
pinkfreud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,565
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E View Post
This story had to do with a Black Hole. There was a group of people on a spaceship, a guy (main character) and his girlfriend and two other guys. Somehow the main character gets off the ship just before it gets sucked into the event horizon of the black hole. The only other thing I remember about this is the fact that the girlfriend insisted on having some asparagus in her food rations and the other guys complained all the time because in close quarters the asparagus pee smell was obnoxious.

I want to say it's a Pohl Gateway novel but I may be mixing that up with another story I read about the same time.
Yep, that's the first book of the Gateway Heechee series, named (wait for it...) Gateway.

An excerpt:

"Klara had this bad habit. She liked asparagus. She had brought four kilos of dehydrated foods with her, just for variety and for something to do; and although she shared them with me, and sometimes with the others, she insisted on eating asparagus now and then all by herself. Asparagus makes your urine smell funny. It is not a romantic thing to know when your darling has been eating asparagus by the change in air quality in the common toilet."

Last edited by pinkfreud; 09-15-2008 at 11:25 PM.
  #124  
Old 09-16-2008, 09:53 AM
Wile E is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 11,853
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkfreud View Post
Yep, that's the first book of the Gateway Heechee series, named (wait for it...) Gateway.

An excerpt:

"Klara had this bad habit. She liked asparagus. She had brought four kilos of dehydrated foods with her, just for variety and for something to do; and although she shared them with me, and sometimes with the others, she insisted on eating asparagus now and then all by herself. Asparagus makes your urine smell funny. It is not a romantic thing to know when your darling has been eating asparagus by the change in air quality in the common toilet."
So I was remembering it right. Odd that the only thing I remember from it is the asparagus pee.
  #125  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:09 AM
Elendil's Heir is online now
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 82,857
Hey, great thread! Two SF books I've been looking for since I read them as a kid, and no one else seems to know them:

1. A bad guy uses a time machine to go back a little in time and kill the President with a laser rifle... Camp David, I think. A group of young people figure out what's going on. They go far forward in time to find that humanity was nearly destroyed in a terrible disaster as a result of the President's death. Then they go back in time to stop the Chinese (I think it was) from detonating a superbomb which will kill nearly all of humanity. A bald girl who'd come back with them from the distant future now has hair, so they know they've succeeded. I know, I know: but it was better than I've described it.

2. A teenager goes along on the first mission to explore Pluto, aboard a new superfast ship called (I'm almost certain) the Lodestar. The ship leaves from a big space station orbiting Earth.

Googling and asking in used bookstores have left me frustrated.
  #126  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:18 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 28,162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
This is not one I've read but one I've just heard about and wanted to read, even though I know the ending:

There's an idyllic community (don't know if it's a city or a country) where everybody has wonderful happy lives, except that some leave. At a certain age everyone is taken into a (temple? palace? storm shelter? guest house?) and shown a horribly tortured child who is in complete agony and made to know that the beauty of the town requires his suffering. Some remain and keep the secret, others choose to leave. (Occasionally somebody will say "Cool... hey, if I kick the kid in the nuts really hard, can I have an I-Phone?")

Does anybody recognize this outline?
"Those Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. LeGuin
  #127  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:32 AM
Elendil's Heir is online now
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 82,857
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrrajh View Post
Okay, this is pretty cool! Hope you can find this one for me. I read it probably around 1979. There was an underground city and the people would stand in cubicles and be gassed to sleep for the night. They had no sunlight to know when it was day or night, so they relied on the gas....
I think I know that book, but damned if I can remember the title. Something with the word "tunnel" in it, mebbe? I read it when I was in elementary school in the mid-Seventies. The cover showed the bald boy from the hidden arcology crouching in a tunnel, looking in wonderment at the the trees and birds overhead. This was a Scholastic book, IIRC, which we could order from the book sale that set up now and then in our school's gym. The other thing I remember from the book was the boy's delight in tasting real maple syrup; the underground colony's synthetic syrup was not nearly as good.
  #128  
Old 09-16-2008, 10:41 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 28,162
Here's my Very Obscure Story I can't find again, whose plot I only vaguely remember because its been so long:

A man is stranded on some sort of airless moon or moon with a non-oxygen providing atmosphere. Somehow, he's out on the surface when his air supply runs out, and he trips and falls face-first into a flower which supplies him with oxygen and keeps him alive. Somehow, this flower causes him to grow an air storage sack on one side of his face, which disfigures him but keeps him alive so he can store up oxygen and go wondering about the moon/planetoid. By the time rescue shows up, he's enjoying his abode and way of life. The rescuers express horror/disgust at what's happened to his face, but because for him the change is beneficial he likes the third lung hanging off his cheek.

Yeah, weird. Can't remember name, author, or where I read it. I think it might have been from a hardbound collection of short stories I checked out of the library.
  #129  
Old 09-16-2008, 11:23 AM
Peter Morris's Avatar
Peter Morris is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The far canal
Posts: 12,433
Quote:
A man is stranded on some sort of airless moon or moon with a non-oxygen providing atmosphere. Somehow, he's out on the surface when his air supply runs out, and he trips and falls face-first into a flower which supplies him with oxygen and keeps him alive.
Possibly The Lotus Caves by John Christopher.

Plot: Two boys living in a Moon colony steal a buggy and the colony behind to go exploring. They find a famous person (I think the colony's founder) living in a cave and being kept alive by a plant. I don't remember the air sac on his face, though.
  #130  
Old 09-16-2008, 11:46 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 28,162
No, no, not the Lotus Caves - I distinctly remember the Lotus Caves and the story I'm looking for is most emphatically NOT that one - it's not on Earth's moon, and there's only one person through most of the story.
  #131  
Old 09-16-2008, 11:39 PM
Ichini Sanshigo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Onion Town
Posts: 1,047
I've got one. Well two, actually. These are going to be really vague, so...

1. A story about a cyborg who just wants to be left alone in the peaceful wilderness and a woman who has distanced herself from humanity and surrounds herself with robots. I think she may have been divorced or widowed. The cyborg is a veteran of some war. For some reason, a shadowy conspiracy group is trying to assassinate him. In one attempt they try to kill him when he visits the dentist, but the machinery refuses to hurt him. Oh, and I think there were also these people who acted as priests for machines/AI. In the end it all turned out to be some plot to start a war so that the shadowy cabal could make mad profit.

2. To raise public interest in the space program, the government/future equivalent of NASA agrees to film a movie on some planet (I think it was Mars. It usually is). There's a stowaway who breaks her arm and a misanthropic cosmetic surgeon who is recruited to act as the team's doctor. And the pretty actress lady grows a beard during their non-cryogenic sleep.
  #132  
Old 09-17-2008, 02:44 PM
pinkfreud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,565
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ichini Sanshigo View Post
2. To raise public interest in the space program, the government/future equivalent of NASA agrees to film a movie on some planet (I think it was Mars. It usually is). There's a stowaway who breaks her arm and a misanthropic cosmetic surgeon who is recruited to act as the team's doctor. And the pretty actress lady grows a beard during their non-cryogenic sleep.
That's Voyage to the Red Planet, by Terry Bisson.
  #133  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:07 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Hey, great thread! Two SF books I've been looking for since I read them as a kid, and no one else seems to know them:

1. A bad guy uses a time machine to go back a little in time and kill the President with a laser rifle... Camp David, I think. A group of young people figure out what's going on. They go far forward in time to find that humanity was nearly destroyed in a terrible disaster as a result of the President's death. Then they go back in time to stop the Chinese (I think it was) from detonating a superbomb which will kill nearly all of humanity. A bald girl who'd come back with them from the distant future now has hair, so they know they've succeeded. I know, I know: but it was better than I've described it.
I think this is "Time Gate" by John Jakes; the description from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Time-Gate-John...1768150&sr=8-1) sounds about right (I skimmed the book in a school library back in 1981 or so, so you're tickling some very vague memories of mine). Yes, this is the same John Jakes who made a mint writing potboiler historical novels in the 1980s ("North and South" , "The Bastard" etc).
  #134  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:36 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Hey, great thread! Two SF books I've been looking for since I read them as a kid, and no one else seems to know them:


2. A teenager goes along on the first mission to explore Pluto, aboard a new superfast ship called (I'm almost certain) the Lodestar. The ship leaves from a big space station orbiting Earth.

Googling and asking in used bookstores have left me frustrated.
This might be Donald Wollheim's "Secret of the Ninth Planet"
  #135  
Old 09-18-2008, 07:19 PM
Elendil's Heir is online now
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 82,857
Thank you, Andy L, for your two suggestions. I'll look into 'em.

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 09-18-2008 at 07:20 PM.
  #136  
Old 09-18-2008, 08:19 PM
Ponderoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Off the Deep End
Posts: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
2. A teenager goes along on the first mission to explore Pluto, aboard a new superfast ship called (I'm almost certain) the Lodestar. The ship leaves from a big space station orbiting Earth.
That sounds like Robert Silverberg's World's Fair 1992 but I don't remember the name of the ship in that novel. The first half of the novel concerned the teenager working at the World's Fair Space Station, and then he gets assigned to the Pluto trip because he wrote an insightful essay about what life on Pluto might be like.

*** Ponder
  #137  
Old 09-18-2008, 08:28 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderoid View Post
That sounds like Robert Silverberg's World's Fair 1992 but I don't remember the name of the ship in that novel. The first half of the novel concerned the teenager working at the World's Fair Space Station, and then he gets assigned to the Pluto trip because he wrote an insightful essay about what life on Pluto might be like.

*** Ponder
That does sound like a good fit - here's a description of the book http://www.majipoor.com/work.php?id=1312
  #138  
Old 09-18-2008, 11:17 PM
Elendil's Heir is online now
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 82,857
Hmmm. Could be. Too bad they don't mention the ship's name... I'm pretty sure it was Lodestar.
  #139  
Old 09-19-2008, 05:36 AM
Tusculan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lost in thought
Posts: 1,777
Nice thread. Hope you can help me with a few which have been bothering me for a while.

1. Time-travel plot very much like A Sound of Thunder, but it is not the same. Time travellers go to past and accidentally kill a butterfly or so, thereby changing the present (future) slightly. They return several times to try to undo the damage, but only end up making it worse (without knowing it, as their memory ends up being changed as well). In the end society has changed to a bug society.

2. A set of grand space opera books about cities that managed to leave earth in bubbles which travel through space like giant space ships. I think the book centres around Chicago. The final volume is about the end of the universe when increasing entropy means energy runs out. I tried googling it, but 'cities space' provides far too many other results.

Last edited by Tusculan; 09-19-2008 at 05:37 AM. Reason: Added more details to plot
  #140  
Old 09-19-2008, 07:20 AM
Wendell Wagner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 14,246
Tusculan writes:

> 2. A set of grand space opera books about cities that managed to leave earth
> in bubbles which travel through space like giant space ships. I think the book
> centres around Chicago. The final volume is about the end of the universe when
> increasing entropy means energy runs out. I tried googling it, but 'cities space'
> provides far too many other results.


Cities in Flight by James Blish.
  #141  
Old 09-19-2008, 10:49 AM
pinkfreud is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,565
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusculan View Post
1. Time-travel plot very much like A Sound of Thunder, but it is not the same. Time travellers go to past and accidentally kill a butterfly or so, thereby changing the present (future) slightly. They return several times to try to undo the damage, but only end up making it worse (without knowing it, as their memory ends up being changed as well). In the end society has changed to a bug society.
This might be Brooklyn Project, by William Tenn.

Last edited by pinkfreud; 09-19-2008 at 10:50 AM.
  #142  
Old 09-19-2008, 07:12 PM
Ichini Sanshigo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Onion Town
Posts: 1,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkfreud View Post
That's Voyage to the Red Planet, by Terry Bisson.
Ah-hah! Thanks pinkfreud.
  #143  
Old 09-19-2008, 08:02 PM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkfreud View Post
This might be Brooklyn Project, by William Tenn.

I agreed - it sounds a lot like "Brooklyn Project" - this story starts with a very sharp satire on paranoid security practices during the Cold War, then introduces the experiment that sends a ball of metal back in time first to a few billion years in the past, and then to times successively closer to the present day; each time the ball changes the past, but the characters in the present don't notice that they've become slug-like creatures.
  #144  
Old 09-19-2008, 10:57 PM
Angel of Doubt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 508
Okay, here's on for ya, seeing as how the thread is still going.

Aliens lland on Earth and proceed to teach us lessons...in one instance a bullfight is taking place, and suddenly every spectator feels the pain of the bull as it is speared. I believe it dates from the '70s, and may have been a short story. I've been wondering about it since.
  #145  
Old 09-20-2008, 12:06 AM
Ponderoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Off the Deep End
Posts: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of Doubt View Post
Aliens lland on Earth and proceed to teach us lessons...in one instance a bullfight is taking place, and suddenly every spectator feels the pain of the bull as it is speared.
That one's definitely Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke.

*** Ponder
  #146  
Old 09-20-2008, 06:06 AM
Meurglys is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 2,333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponderoid View Post
That one's definitely Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke.

*** Ponder
Damon Knight has a similar story called Rule Golden, btw. 1954, but it's been reprinted a few times.
  #147  
Old 09-20-2008, 06:11 AM
Tusculan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lost in thought
Posts: 1,777
Wendell Wagner, yes, that's it.

pinkfreud and Andy Al, I guess that must be it, although the name didn't sound familiar, what I've found through googling seems to confirm it. Thanks, I'd never have found it on my own.

Another two then:
3. a series of short stories about a spaceship controlled by an in built human brain taken from a girl who was born severely handicapped. The girl is quite happy to be given the chance to actually do something instead of being stuck in her original body.

4. a series of short stories about a man with a telekinetic third arm. He lost his arm through an accident and then developed telekinetic ability which worked just like his original arm, then retained the ability after getting a new transplant arm. I think these were detective stories, but am not sure.
  #148  
Old 09-20-2008, 06:28 AM
Andy L is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusculan View Post

Another two then:
3. a series of short stories about a spaceship controlled by an in built human brain taken from a girl who was born severely handicapped. The girl is quite happy to be given the chance to actually do something instead of being stuck in her original body.

4. a series of short stories about a man with a telekinetic third arm. He lost his arm through an accident and then developed telekinetic ability which worked just like his original arm, then retained the ability after getting a new transplant arm. I think these were detective stories, but am not sure.

3. sounds like Anne McCaffery's "Ship Who Sang" series.

4. is definitely Larry Niven's Gil the ARM series
  #149  
Old 09-20-2008, 08:03 AM
Wendell Wagner is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Posts: 14,246
Angel of Doubt writes:

> Aliens lland on Earth and proceed to teach us lessons...in one instance a
> bullfight is taking place, and suddenly every spectator feels the pain of the bull
> as it is speared. I believe it dates from the '70s, and may have been a short
> story. I've been wondering about it since.

Angel of Doubt, the question here has already been answered, but I'd like to know something. How could you only remember this particular piece of the novel? It's only one page in a 186-page novel. It was published in 1953, not in the 1970's. It's not a short story. I'm not asking out of any criticism of you. I've read a lot of these sort of "What was this novel or movie?" threads, and I'm fascinated by how things are changed in people's memories.
  #150  
Old 09-20-2008, 11:52 AM
Angel of Doubt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 508
At the time I read that portion, I was about 11 years old, and perused bits and pieces of my folks' SF collection, most of which was contemporary '70s SF. If I was even able to read the whole thing, that scene was the only one that stuck out.

But, yeah, it's embarrassing not to recognize such a well-known story.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017