Episode 602


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The first full edition of Books Without Pictures is here, and with it Dan and Wendee debate the merits of Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's classic first-contact novel: The Mote in God's Eye! Blast Hardcheese and the He-Man Woman Haters' Club bring extreme diplomacy to the outer reaches of the galaxy! Is this the 25th greatest science fiction novel in history? Tune in to hear our hosts say "probably not." Note: Thank you to Preston Nelson for lending his dulcet tones to the proceedings. [ 2:26:31 || 70.8 MB ]

To listen, click here: http://www.earth-2.net/theshow/episodes/e2ts_602.mp3

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For anyone interested, the list (compiled by surveys, awards won, critical praise, sales, etc.) in question is at sffjazz.com. This is not, by any stretch, a definitive list, but there are a LOT of great books here and it's a very good conversation starter.

Massive thanks again to Preston for the reading. I asked him after we recorded so I couldn't credit him during the show proper. Thanks, man.

And we KNOW the mics suck. We're working on it.

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And 1984's considered a work of science fiction? Huh.

Absolutely. It took place 36 years in the future from the time of its writing, wrote of a future society utilizing technology not available to the author but which could be seen as a natural progression of what was in use, and used a dystopic society to warn of the dangers the author could see coming. It's an inarguable classic novel of the 20th century, but it's also clearly SF.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I wonder if the human characters where caricatures, to use Wendee's word, to make a point that we're no different than the Motie's and their caste system. Meaning, Sally is the "math is hard" woman because that's how society viewed (and still views) women, Blaine was meant to stand in as a snub to the "they have it easy" upperclass, the czar was the "military is always right" American attitude pre-Vietnam, and so on.

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  • 1 month later...

I've not read any Pournelle outside of this book, but I can certainly give them a look.

They are great. Every few hundred years Humans are brought to an ailen planet. Some soldiers from 1979 are taken there, and their captain, must use what he knows about military history to fight the Romans, the celts and knights from the middle ages. Then bring all the groups together.

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