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  #51  
Old 09-08-2008, 09:45 AM
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OK, I'll play. Two related stories by the same author. These were probably in one of the SF mags in the mid-80's or earlier, which is about when I stopped reading. Basic premise is that there's a race of women that can travel in parallel dimensions. They're fairly possessive of this ability.

The first story opens up with a woman (belonging to this group, though she doesn't know it) who comes in to work with a bunch of roses given to her by a nice old gardener. The roses are wet with rain although it's not currently raining.
That's pretty much all I remember from the first story.

The second story concerns a character who has the ability to make entropy run backwards. He gets in a wrecked car and it starts running better. Eventually he meets (the character from the first story?) and saves her from or helps her defeat the parallel-world travelling women/priestesses.

As I recall, the stories weren't written all that coherently, but the concept was interesting enough so that I've wondered if there were more stories set in that universe.
  #52  
Old 09-08-2008, 10:00 AM
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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.

Story was that the world had gone through a nuclear war and this city retreated far under a mountain to escape radiation; and it was a very long time they'd been there, perhaps for generations. Whenever someone in their society rebelled, they were exiled to "outside", presumably to die from radiation sickness. No one ever came back. There was some old tunnel they'd use to get the bad guys outside.

Well, of course this wouldn't be youth fiction if it didn't have a curious youth in it. This boy decides to venture outside to see how bad it is. He finds out that the earth and all life had recovered and the world was clear, pristine, and teeming with plants and all kinds of animals. Rather Eden-ish, if I'm remembering it correctly.

I'd love to read it again. Those images of his first view of the renewed earth are still in my head after all these years.

Thanks!
This sounds like a story I read by Phillip K. Dick. There were robots involved. I'm looking through my books now to see if I still have the one that included this story.
  #53  
Old 09-08-2008, 10:46 AM
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There is a book (two actually) I have trying to find for over a decade now.

The book was about 2 guys trying to run a independent trade ship, one of whom had been modified "before it became illegal" in a way that allowed him to grow teeth and claws. While modified he could move extremely fast and had increased strength. I am pretty sure the first book was about him rescuing the daughter of some rich guy who was planning to overthrow the local government.

At some point he finds an ancient ring that allows him to heal fast, which in one scene kill all the grass he was lying on. One of the books has an ancient alien spaceship hidden underground. Also I remember something about firing weapons while in warp to be extremely dangerous for boh parties.

I think the protagonists friends name was Kohn. I have never managed to get a hit on this even on dedicated book finding websites.
  #54  
Old 09-08-2008, 11:12 AM
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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.

Story was that the world had gone through a nuclear war and this city retreated far under a mountain to escape radiation; and it was a very long time they'd been there, perhaps for generations. Whenever someone in their society rebelled, they were exiled to "outside", presumably to die from radiation sickness. No one ever came back. There was some old tunnel they'd use to get the bad guys outside.

Well, of course this wouldn't be youth fiction if it didn't have a curious youth in it. This boy decides to venture outside to see how bad it is. He finds out that the earth and all life had recovered and the world was clear, pristine, and teeming with plants and all kinds of animals. Rather Eden-ish, if I'm remembering it correctly.

I'd love to read it again. Those images of his first view of the renewed earth are still in my head after all these years.

Thanks!
Okay, I found what I was looking for. The short story is called (WARNING! SPOILERS IN LINK!) The Defenders and you can find it in this collection.

This might not be the story you're looking for, but if it's not it was almost certainly either ripped off by (or a ripoff of) the story in the link.

Last edited by Mosier; 09-08-2008 at 11:13 AM.
  #55  
Old 09-08-2008, 01:02 PM
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Okay, I found what I was looking for. The short story is called (WARNING! SPOILERS IN LINK!) The Defenders and you can find it in this collection.

This might not be the story you're looking for, but if it's not it was almost certainly either ripped off by (or a ripoff of) the story in the link.
Thank you so much! I will check it out and let you know!
  #56  
Old 09-08-2008, 02:09 PM
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The answer to post #10 is "Press Enter", by John Varley.
  #57  
Old 09-08-2008, 02:58 PM
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I remember finding a book in the seatback of a plane I was on, so I thumbed through it (reading bits & pieces amounting to about 60% or so). Cheap paperback, at least a decade ago (though I got the sense the book was even older by the look of it), in the 200-300 page neighborhood. Don't remember the author, but the name definitely didn't ring a bell at the time.

Protagonist is Tour Guide who works for Time Travel Agency. He takes people back to different periods of time to indulge in period-style adventures, including decadent/erotic behavior. Don't remember all the setpieces, but ancient Rome (orgies, debauchery, etc.) was a prominent setting. There is quite a lot of fairly explicit sexual descriptions throughout the book.

Don't remember any of the plot elements, but I think he ends up falling for this woman (perhaps a redhead?) and sleeping with her, only to discover that she is his ancient ancestor (from the Arthurian age, maybe?). Although there seem to be more liberal provisions involving the interference/undue influencing of time, I believe the Time Travel protocols still involve a couple big DON'Ts, and this is one of them. He becomes a pariah or outcast or fugitive or non-entity or something, but can't remember anything more (including how it ended).

Didn't take the book off the plane, but always wondered about it and always meant to post the inquiry here, so....There you Go!
  #58  
Old 09-08-2008, 03:29 PM
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A guy had two brains and he could do all kinds of neat things with one of them. The only thing I can remember, though, is if he memorized a place to a bunch of decimal places he could magically transport there.
  #59  
Old 09-08-2008, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ring View Post
A guy had two brains and he could do all kinds of neat things with one of them. The only thing I can remember, though, is if he memorized a place to a bunch of decimal places he could magically transport there.
A. E. Van Vogt's "Null-A" series - Gilbert Gosseyn is the hero
  #60  
Old 09-08-2008, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Finagle View Post
OK, I'll play. Two related stories by the same author. These were probably in one of the SF mags in the mid-80's or earlier, which is about when I stopped reading. Basic premise is that there's a race of women that can travel in parallel dimensions. They're fairly possessive of this ability.

The first story opens up with a woman (belonging to this group, though she doesn't know it) who comes in to work with a bunch of roses given to her by a nice old gardener. The roses are wet with rain although it's not currently raining.
That's pretty much all I remember from the first story.

The second story concerns a character who has the ability to make entropy run backwards. He gets in a wrecked car and it starts running better. Eventually he meets (the character from the first story?) and saves her from or helps her defeat the parallel-world travelling women/priestesses.

As I recall, the stories weren't written all that coherently, but the concept was interesting enough so that I've wondered if there were more stories set in that universe.
The second story sounds quite a bit like "All the Time in the World" by Daniel Keys Moran (not to be confused with Daniel Keyes (the author of "Flowers for Algernon"). The guy who can run entropy backwards is named Georges (not a typo - the french name), and he lives in the present - the girl he mets is from a future after an atomic war. It was published in Asimov's in 1982, and according to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Keys_Moran it is part of a series.

Andy
  #61  
Old 09-08-2008, 03:40 PM
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[QUOTE=AHunter3;10166925]You left out "Bottommos" for the low-slung 3rd moon of Mars.

QUOTE]

The one with Bottomos is "The Holes Around Mars" by Jerome Bixby, not Asimov, though it was collected by Asimov in a great anthology called "Where Do We Go From Here?"
  #62  
Old 09-08-2008, 03:48 PM
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Distinguishing "The Dead Past" from "I See You" (spoilers!)


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Originally Posted by Naturally Oblivious View Post

Another one, which I think is a short story, has this guy who invents a telescope that lets him see through anything, including back and fowards in time. This eventually leads the main character to realize that everyone is being watched by someone, always.

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I remember right now.
I'm pretty sure (as someone else has suggested) that this is Damon Knight's "I See You" but as someone else points out it also is similar to Asimov's "The Dead Past".

In The Dead Past, an archaeologist builds his own time viewer because the agency that controls the one and only such device keeps rejecting his proposals; the archaelogist discovers that a) time viewers are easy to make, and b) they won't show anything further than 100 years or so ago. The government is covering this up to prevent people from realizing that anyone can easily spy and anyone else. The main character is obsessed with Carthage and haunted by the death of his daughter in a house fire that he fears he caused.

In I See You, we have two plotlines - the life story of someone who grew up after timeviewers were universal, told in the second person, and the story of the guy who invented the device and how people reacted immediately after the invention. This story ends with "you" realizing as "you" review your past (on a 40th or 50th birthday) that even when you were hiding as a child, someone was watching you and someone will be always watching you.
  #63  
Old 09-08-2008, 03:52 PM
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You really think that's worse than

"Give my big hearts to Maude, Dwayne. Dismember me for Harold's choir. Tell all the Foys on Sortibackenstrete that I will soon be there --"

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=BdPDEcUWu3s
They're both pretty bad, but in Loint of Paw, Asimov came up with a situation where it was fairly plausible that a puckish judge could write "A niche in time saves Stein," while the "Death of a Foy" relied on some made-up names and a less plausible buildup - but your mileage may vary of course
  #64  
Old 09-08-2008, 04:16 PM
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I remember finding a book in the seatback of a plane I was on, so I thumbed through it (reading bits & pieces amounting to about 60% or so). Cheap paperback, at least a decade ago (though I got the sense the book was even older by the look of it), in the 200-300 page neighborhood. Don't remember the author, but the name definitely didn't ring a bell at the time.

Protagonist is Tour Guide who works for Time Travel Agency. He takes people back to different periods of time to indulge in period-style adventures, including decadent/erotic behavior. Don't remember all the setpieces, but ancient Rome (orgies, debauchery, etc.) was a prominent setting. There is quite a lot of fairly explicit sexual descriptions throughout the book.

Don't remember any of the plot elements, but I think he ends up falling for this woman (perhaps a redhead?) and sleeping with her, only to discover that she is his ancient ancestor (from the Arthurian age, maybe?). Although there seem to be more liberal provisions involving the interference/undue influencing of time, I believe the Time Travel protocols still involve a couple big DON'Ts, and this is one of them. He becomes a pariah or outcast or fugitive or non-entity or something, but can't remember anything more (including how it ended).

Didn't take the book off the plane, but always wondered about it and always meant to post the inquiry here, so....There you Go!

Up the Line,
by Robert Silverberg (ever heard of him? He's written a couple of books). Byzantium, not Rome, but you've pretty much remembered the plot - except for the fact that he gets into trouble, not for sleeping with an ancestor, but for losing a tourist somewhere in time.

As for the ending, what happens is that
  #65  
Old 09-08-2008, 04:18 PM
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Did you ever read the one about a society where you needed a license to talk?
  #66  
Old 09-08-2008, 04:29 PM
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Up the Line,
by Robert Silverberg (ever heard of him? He's written a couple of books). Byzantium, not Rome, but you've pretty much remembered the plot - except for the fact that he gets into trouble, not for sleeping with an ancestor, but for losing a tourist somewhere in time.
Thanks! Some of the descriptive stuff is ringing more of a bell, and there were obviously chunks I skipped over altogether. I didn't recognize Silverberg then, though I've read some of his short fiction since. I see the book's OOP but now I'm curious enough that I may go ahead and order it.
  #67  
Old 09-08-2008, 06:14 PM
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Did you ever read the one about a society where you needed a license to talk?
Yes. "The Man Who Had No Idea" by Tom Disch. It's collected in one of the Best of F&SF collections (which is where I saw it)
  #68  
Old 09-08-2008, 09:13 PM
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Found it. It's Velvet Fields from "The Girl Who Heard Dragons".

I remembered this story right off the bat because it, quite frankly, really disturbed me. It's told from the perspective of one of the colonists, who is proud to say (though he no longer has a tongue) that they did what was right to make up for their accidental crime.

Thank you! I never would have guessed McCaffrey.

Yes, it was extremely disturbing to me as well
SPOILER:
especially an offhand comment about cutting off a little boy's arm or something similar

and yet, for some reason, I feel like I need to read it a second time.
  #69  
Old 09-08-2008, 09:49 PM
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I think I've asked about this book on this board before. I'll give it another shot here. It was a paperback novel, written probably about the mid-80s. I doubt the author was all that well-known. I remember very bright colors on the cover, which had some kind of standard fantasy scene depicted, but with more neon-ish colors than usual.

The story involves an online fantasy world created by the main character and some partners when they were in college. The guy is middle-aged now, with some health problems, and is brought in as a consultant by the company or the government because some important people have not been able to jack out; they're stuck online, and no one can track them down in the virtual world either. They've also brought in a Russian woman who ends up to have a bit of a hero-worship/crush on the protagonist.

He's upset at the changes in the world that have made it more commercial. I remember him remarking that the chainmail bikini look the female NPCs usually sport now was not part of the original setting, and that it's highly impractical. He is a proficient fencer and kendo practitioner who created his own sword style based on a blending of the two. In the virtual world, he tracks down some of his old stuff including his swords, one of which was called, I believe, Crystal Caliburn or something like that. The sword was a short sword made of actual crystal. (Googling that name turns up a pinball game.)

The AI who was overseeing the world has a crush on him also, and the problems might have been a way for it to meet him. In the virtual world, it created a character and took a female persona. I think she may have caused some problems for the Russian woman out of jealousy. He has hints of what the AI is along the journey. She met up with them early on in the guise of an NPC. He figures it out close to the end of the story.

I don't remember the actual ending, but I think he successfully found the Russian Premiere or somebody like that who was the reason they recruited him, and he regains regular access to the network. Can't remember what happened with the AI.

Hopefully, one of you guys can ID this story. It's bugged me for about 15 years that I can't find it again to re-read it. No idea if it stands up as a good story, but it's probably one of the earliest virtual-world-with-a-fantasy-setting books I can remember.
  #70  
Old 09-09-2008, 02:05 AM
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I think I've asked about this book on this board before. I'll give it another shot here. It was a paperback novel, written probably about the mid-80s. I doubt the author was all that well-known. I remember very bright colors on the cover, which had some kind of standard fantasy scene depicted, but with more neon-ish colors than usual.
I have this somewhere. It's got at least two novels in it.

Wm. Mark Simmons.
When Dreams Collide, In The Net of Dreams. Reprinted as the Dreamland Chronicles.

I like his One Foot In The Grave / Dead On My Feet, too. Didn't know it was the same guy.

http://www.amazon.com/Dreamland-Chro...0943833&sr=8-6
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:34 AM
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Ok, here's two. One scifi, one more fantasy. Keep in mind I haven't read a lot of either, so obvious stories might work. Also haven't read the whole thread.

Scifi: A group of schoolchildren, maybe on a starship, who've never seen the "Sun", but it's coming out soon for the first and probably only time in their lives. There's one girl they lock up in a closet during some schoolchild bullying, she misses the sunrise/sunview, and she maybe falls out of the closet when they come to get her (after all of them go see the light) and that's the end?

Fantasy: A witch steals beautiful children at puberty, but only if she can say their name. So the village tries to name their kids complicated things, but it doesn't work. A boy is born who is ugly so they name him Dan. He becomes friends with a beautiful girl (with a complex name) and when the witch inevitably takes her he gains access to the castle and rescues her. I can't remember how.

If you could give me the names of these, I would love it.
  #72  
Old 09-09-2008, 03:37 AM
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Scifi: A group of schoolchildren, maybe on a starship, who've never seen the "Sun", but it's coming out soon for the first and probably only time in their lives. There's one girl they lock up in a closet during some schoolchild bullying, she misses the sunrise/sunview, and she maybe falls out of the closet when they come to get her (after all of them go see the light) and that's the end?
Ray Bradbury, "All Summer In a Day" (I swear, we should just have a sticky for this one--it seems to be *the* most common "identify this story" request of all)

ETA: The parenthetical comment is not intended as snark toward MerryMagdalen; it's just that that story seems to be the one that everybody vaguely remembers but can't identify. Was it reprinted in textbooks or something, so it got wider exposure?

Last edited by Hunter Hawk; 09-09-2008 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:46 AM
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E-Sabbath, thanks! I had to look up the constituent books to get a synopsis, but I think the first one, In the Net of Dreams, was the book I read. I thought I was a few years younger when I read it, but it was apparently published in 1990 when I was a teen.
  #74  
Old 09-09-2008, 10:34 AM
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There was a children's story about an alien name Jon who can read minds. He has a golden dagger, and is arrested for some reason.

Another children's story about, astronauts on another planet who meet aliens who communicate with them via telepathy. Unfortunatly, the aliens look like plants and the astronauts unwittlingly kill a few of them. The astronauts who communicate with the aliens all receive th same mesages but the words are slightly different to each astronaut.
  #75  
Old 09-09-2008, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MerryMagdalen View Post
Ok, here's two. One scifi, one more fantasy. Keep in mind I haven't read a lot of either, so obvious stories might work. Also haven't read the whole thread.

Scifi: A group of schoolchildren, maybe on a starship, who've never seen the "Sun", but it's coming out soon for the first and probably only time in their lives. There's one girl they lock up in a closet during some schoolchild bullying, she misses the sunrise/sunview, and she maybe falls out of the closet when they come to get her (after all of them go see the light) and that's the end?
This one was asked and answered (by me) on the first page of this thread!
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:10 PM
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Ray Bradbury, "All Summer In a Day" (I swear, we should just have a sticky for this one--it seems to be *the* most common "identify this story" request of all)

ETA: The parenthetical comment is not intended as snark toward MerryMagdalen; it's just that that story seems to be the one that everybody vaguely remembers but can't identify. Was it reprinted in textbooks or something, so it got wider exposure?
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.

All that being said, I'm tempted to list a few of the classic story IDs pre-emptively
  #77  
Old 09-09-2008, 05:25 PM
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There was a children's story about an alien name Jon who can read minds. He has a golden dagger, and is arrested for some reason.

Another children's story about, astronauts on another planet who meet aliens who communicate with them via telepathy. Unfortunatly, the aliens look like plants and the astronauts unwittlingly kill a few of them. The astronauts who communicate with the aliens all receive th same mesages but the words are slightly different to each astronaut.
These don't ring a bell unfortunately (luckily I called myself "the guy who is pretty good at SF story identification," not "the guy who is terrific..."). The second one reminds me of John Christopher's "The Lotus Caves" about kids on the moon who discover a cave with an intelligent (somewhat hypnotic) plant.
  #78  
Old 09-09-2008, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
There was a children's story about an alien name Jon who can read minds. He has a golden dagger, and is arrested for some reason.

Another children's story about, astronauts on another planet who meet aliens who communicate with them via telepathy. Unfortunatly, the aliens look like plants and the astronauts unwittlingly kill a few of them. The astronauts who communicate with the aliens all receive th same mesages but the words are slightly different to each astronaut.
The Forgotten Door was one of my favorite childhood books. It's by Alexander Key, and readily available at Amazon.

I don't recognize your second story.
  #79  
Old 09-09-2008, 07:18 PM
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The Forgotten Door was one of my favorite childhood books. It's by Alexander Key, and readily available at Amazon.

I don't recognize your second story.
I'm embarrassed - I read "The Forgotten Door" when I was a kid, and didn't recognize the description (I'm pretty sure I have a copy of it somewhere too). Alexander Key wrote "Escape to Witch Mountain" too
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:44 PM
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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?
  #81  
Old 09-09-2008, 07:50 PM
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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?
Yeah--it's "Those Who Walk Away From Omelas", by Ursula K. LeGuin.
  #82  
Old 09-09-2008, 08:07 PM
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A woman flies a spaceship around the universe. She is nude all the time. She discovers an alien on a planet that is a kind of amorphous furry blob. Story ends with the alien either psychically sensing her love or transmitting it's love to her, can't remember for sure, and with her wearing the alien as a sort of living, snuggly garment. There was a lot more to the story, but I can't remember it.
Sounds a little like Vonda McIntyre, though the blob isn't furry and she wears it as a space-sailing aid.

How about this one, probably a Heinlein juvenile and painfully easy:

Boys are dropped into some sort of survival test/rite of passage, but their pick-up doesn't arrive at the end of the exercise and they must survive as best they can?
  #83  
Old 09-09-2008, 08:26 PM
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Sounds a little like Vonda McIntyre, though the blob isn't furry and she wears it as a space-sailing aid.

How about this one, probably a Heinlein juvenile and painfully easy:

Boys are dropped into some sort of survival test/rite of passage, but their pick-up doesn't arrive at the end of the exercise and they must survive as best they can?
That one is indeed Heinlein - it's "Tunnel in the Sky" (beware of stobor!).
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
That one is indeed Heinlein - it's "Tunnel in the Sky" (beware of stobor!).
Thanks. I had an urge to re-read it after reading a different rite of passage story and hadn't quite reconciled myself to pulling all that Heinlein off the shelf to find it.

As to my ID, I retract Vonda and suggest Varley, "Equinoctial" from Picnic on Nearside.
  #85  
Old 09-09-2008, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by susan View Post
Thanks. I had an urge to re-read it after reading a different rite of passage story and hadn't quite reconciled myself to pulling all that Heinlein off the shelf to find it.

As to my ID, I retract Vonda and suggest Varley, "Equinoctial" from Picnic on Nearside.
That could be - isn't that one about the human-alien composite beings that live in space (in vacuum), near Saturn?

I looked up some MacIntyre too - "Metaphase" http://www.amazon.com/Metaphase-Vond...1010745&sr=1-4 might fit the original description better.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:46 PM
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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.

Itís not Luciferís Hammer and I know it would be impossible.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:50 PM
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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.

Itís not Luciferís Hammer and I know it would be impossible.

Sounds like "Thrice Upon a Time" by James Hogan - if you remember backwards communication through time and a highly infectious plague, it's definitely this one.

Or it could be David Brin's "Earth" - if you remember global environmental problems, that's probably the one.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:51 PM
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Short story, if I recall correctly; gist of story is a time traveler who misconstrued the direction in which probabilities diverge, was trying to travel forward in time and went backwards instead, time machine only goes in one direction so he can't come back. He is "Merlin" circa King Arthur and the "wand" is a Colt 45 or some such. Something happens to make it necessary for him to escape Arthurian times and he ends up in distant past and creates Stonehenge for the express purpose of finding out when the hell he ended up.
Book: The Creatures of Man by Howard L. Myers
Story in book: The Other Way Around

You can get the book free in electronic format.
http://www.baen.com/library/

The book has a number of great stories in it.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:54 PM
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I'm very pleased at all the people joining in to identify the works that I've drawn a blank on.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:58 PM
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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.

Itís not Luciferís Hammer and I know it would be impossible.
Possibly The Doomsday Effect, by Thomas Wren.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:12 PM
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I looked up some MacIntyre too - "Metaphase" http://www.amazon.com/Metaphase-Vond...1010745&sr=1-4 might fit the original description better.
Agreed. Couldn't find a copy to check.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:28 PM
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The one that has bugged me for years isn't a single story, but an anthology. It looked like it was printed in the 70s. I remember it having:

"First Law", by Isaac Asimov

"A Pail of Air", by Fritz Leiber

"Blood", by Fredric Brown. This one was accompanied by a black and white photo of a turnip, with facial features and a goatee.

There was a fourth story, and the only thing I remember about that is that it's British, uses the word "quid" (first time I ever heard of the word), and might have something to do with a school.

I've compared lists of books that have these stories, and still haven't found it. It is my ultimate (okay, current) book quest.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:04 PM
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Sounds like "Thrice Upon a Time" by James Hogan - if you remember backwards communication through time and a highly infectious plague, it's definitely this one.

Or it could be David Brin's "Earth" - if you remember global environmental problems, that's probably the one.
I think it's either "Earth" or "The Doomsday Effect". pinkfreud, Amazon didn't have any reviews on the TDE. Do you remember if it's any good? If so I'll probably buy them both.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ring View Post
I think it's either "Earth" or "The Doomsday Effect". pinkfreud, Amazon didn't have any reviews on the TDE. Do you remember if it's any good? If so I'll probably buy them both.
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.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:43 PM
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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.

Itís not Luciferís Hammer and I know it would be impossible.
I think it's a short story by Larry Niven, though I could be wrong.
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:48 PM
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The Forgotten Door was one of my favorite childhood books. It's by Alexander Key, and readily available at Amazon.
I came within a gnat's eyelasy of posting The Forgotten Door but I did not remember anything about a golden dagger. But you are right, he did have a special knife. (not golden) Did not do anything spectacular and was not a major plot device, so I dismissed it as a possibility, dammit!
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:54 PM
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I think it's either "Earth" or "The Doomsday Effect". pinkfreud, Amazon didn't have any reviews on the TDE. Do you remember if it's any good? If so I'll probably buy them both.
It's not great, but it's certainly readable and entertaining. The Doomsday Effect was the first novel written by SF author Thomas T. Thomas. I've heard that he used the pseudonym "Thomas Wren" because the publisher thought that "Thomas T. Thomas" sounded a bit comical, even though it's the guy's real name. The middle initial does not stand for yet another "Thomas." His middle name is "Thurston."
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:44 AM
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I thought of one that's bugged me on and off for years. I think it was a novel. In it the Earth moves out of some sort of galactic field that depresses brain function, and everyone suddenly gains a hundred or so IQ points. Most people become super geniuses, of course, but now all of the mentally disabled people find themselves with what we'd consider normal intelligence. I think it was told from the perspective of one of those people.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:58 AM
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Risha, that's Brain Wave by Poul Anderson:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_Wave
  #100  
Old 09-10-2008, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
I think it's a short story by Larry Niven, though I could be wrong.
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)
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