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Cult / Sci-Fi books and movies

Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
edited December 2011 in The bottom bracket
I have a tendency towards geekness when it comes to books and movies, favouring cult and Sci-Fi offerings. I love the Space Odyssey quadrilogy and the two movies also were well received. I just finished reading PK censored 's "A Scanner Darkly" and bought the DVD yesterday for £3.99 and cannot wait to watch it.

PK censored 's works are just about all brilliant and now I'm reading "The Man In The High Castle" which has started with much promise.

So are there any other Sci-Fi fans in the Cake Stop?
Ben

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  • Recently read a few of PKD books, 'A Scanner Darkly' was one and 'The Man in the High Castle' but his best (that I have read) is 'Ubik', if you've not read that one, put it on your list, a really excellent sci-fi book! Onto Arthur C Clarke at the moment, 'Childhood's End' was very good, 'Rendezvous with Rama' and 'The City and the Stars' are next on my list.

    A couple that stood out that I have read recently is 'The Forever War' by Joe Haldeman and 'I am Legend' by Richard Matheson.......far better than the film. Your probably onto it already but the SF Masterworks series has a great list, the one's your reading now are on it.

    Sci-fi rocks :-)
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    I'll watch out for "Ubik". "Rendezvous with Rama" is brilliant and I glanced at "Childhood's End" the other day; looked good.

    How about "Do Androids..." by censored ? Brilliant.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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  • Yea Androids was good, but not as good as Ubik, some people may say different but Ubik is one of the best sci-fi books I have read to date.

    A friend gave me Neuromancer by William Gibson a while ago but couldn't get away with the writing style! Any others that you can recommend? Can't believe I haven't read 2001 A Space Odyssey yet!
  • Frank Herbert's Dune, still one of the best books I've ever read and while people crib about films never living up to the book, the Lynch film is awesome. 8)
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    More from the SF Masterworks series Cities in Flight is excellent if you don't mind space opera.

    Nick Harkaways The Gone-away World is excellent if you want something recent though.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    Somewhat old school, but you can't beat the visionary that was John Wyndham.
  • stfc1stfc1 Posts: 505
    JG Ballard. All of it.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    Any others that you can recommend? Can't believe I haven't read 2001 A Space Odyssey yet!

    I would read at least the first two Odyssey books; 2001 and 2010. And possibly "The Simulacra" again by censored . Lots of subplots, that all come together at the end.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
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  • Frank Herbert's Dune, still one of the best books I've ever read and while people crib about films never living up to the book, the Lynch film is awesome. 8)

    Read Dune and found it quite hard going and not as good as most people make out, couldn't really see what all the fuss was about. Personal preference I guess.
  • A vote for Iain M Banks here - just finished his latest "Surface Detail". Love William Gibson too.

    Would be good to see films made of quite a few of their books...

    There's a future for you in the fire escape trade...
  • RoobsaRoobsa Posts: 37
    One film that isn't strictly sci-fi but it deals with time travel is Primer. It's quite an unknown film but it's incredibly clever. Very low budget with not particularly high production values but it's quite a plausible attempt at time travel. Much more so than any other film I've seen.

    It's quite a heavy storyline so I wouldn't recommend watching if you're tired as it'll definitely lose you. Absolutely worth watching if you're interested in that kind of thing though.
  • jim453jim453 Posts: 1,360
    Frank Herbert's Dune, still one of the best books I've ever read and while people crib about films never living up to the book, the Lynch film is awesome. 8)

    Read Dune and found it quite hard going and not as good as most people make out, couldn't really see what all the fuss was about. Personal preference I guess.

    Got to agree about Dune. Read it when I was about fifteen and it totally blew me away. I remember there being some heavy political chapters but stuck with it to get back to the next coldly scientific description of the planet and it's indigenous people. I was less pleased with the film, too much of an ask to do it justice I think.

    Strangely, I never went on to read any of the sequels. Perhaps I should do it now. After re reading the original though.
  • tebbittebbit Posts: 604
    + 1 William Gibson

    also Harry Harrison for the Stainless Steel Rat, Deathworld and Bill the Galactic Hero novels.
  • Watched "A Scanner Darkly" a couple of days ago (contains a priceless discussion about a stolen bike) I find I'm interested in the whole surveillance thing which was also one of Ballard's big themes but goes wider than sc-fi of course.
    Among films of recent years "Moon" is definitely worth looking out for.
    Enjoy your Odyssey!
    "Consider the grebe..."
  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    jim453 wrote:
    Strangely, I never went on to read any of the sequels. Perhaps I should do it now. After re reading the original though.

    Definately worth while reading the Dune sequels, also theres some prequels as well that are worth reading to IMHO. My favourite series of Sci Fi books.

    Some others that I woudl recommend

    Spares by Michael Marshall Smith
    Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan
  • gmbgmb Posts: 456
    stfc1 wrote:
    JG Ballard. All of it.

    Ballard is IMO the best writer of modern times. Pick anything, they are all pure gold.
    Trying Is The First Step Towards Failure

    De Rosa Milanino :-
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  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,675
    Watched "A Scanner Darkly" a couple of days ago (contains a priceless discussion about a stolen bike)...

    It's a great scene in the book; outlines how f***ed up the characters are - looking forward to seeing it in the film. The message of the book is a very strong one and I hope that comes across on screen. I think the style of the filming should help.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
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  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    A vote for Iain M Banks here - just finished his latest "Surface Detail". Love William Gibson too.

    Would be good to see films made of quite a few of their books...

    I agree (about the books). The Culture novels are great fun- though I particularly enjoyed "Matter", and that's unrelated to any other. Whichever- I can't imagine filming them: the casts are vast, and the scope vaster.
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    See how many you score on this list:

    http://scifilists.sffjazz.com/lists_books_rank1.html

    I managed 74 :wink:
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Meh, no ta.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Roobsa wrote:
    One film that isn't strictly sci-fi but it deals with time travel is Primer. It's quite an unknown film but it's incredibly clever. Very low budget with not particularly high production values but it's quite a plausible attempt at time travel. Much more so than any other film I've seen.

    It's quite a heavy storyline so I wouldn't recommend watching if you're tired as it'll definitely lose you. Absolutely worth watching if you're interested in that kind of thing though.

    Along similar lines, there's a Spanish film called Timecrimes that offers a "realistic" portrayal of time travel. The plot is a little easier to follow than Primer.

    I wasn't keen on either, but I'm not particularly interested in sci fi. I can see how both films would appeal to fans of the genre.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Big fan of the 'Rama' series of books, introduced to me by my dad when i was young. I also like Alan Dean Foster books, Finx in Flux and Sentanced to Prism spring to mind.
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    nmcgann wrote:
    See how many you score on this list:

    http://scifilists.sffjazz.com/lists_books_rank1.html

    I managed 74 :wink:

    A meagre 11.

    No 'This Perfect Day' (Ira Levin). Another book, like 'Brave New World' that inspired an aweful that came after it.

    But pleased to see both Startide Rising and The Uplift War in the list.
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    markos1963 wrote:
    . I also like Alan Dean Foster books, Finx in Flux and Sentanced to Prism spring to mind.

    His version of The Black Hole was beautifully worded.

    ...and I've just found a PDF of it!
    http://www.univeros.com/usenet/cache/al ... 20Hole.pdf

    I sense the works printer getting some abuse tomorrow.
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • seatalteaseataltea Posts: 594
    I've read dozens of Sci-Fi books and have found the most awe inspiring are written by Iain M Banks.

    The Algebraist, Matter and Surface Detail are incredible, all his Culture series are very good.

    For techno sci fi set in the present the WWW series of three books by Robert J Sawyer (he wrote FlashForward if you saw that on tv).

    Scott Sigler writes some interesting books of which a number can be found legally for free as podcasts.

    Z A Recht, Jonathan Mayberry J L Bourne and Max Brooks write some very good science/biotech apocalypse fiction (World War Z currently filming in Glasgow is an excellent book and a must read).

    Peter Clines two latest books Ex Heroes and Ex Patriots are way out there but worth a read.

    I have to say I cheat because I actually listen to most of my books whilst riding, got six on the go at present, not enough hours in the day to work ride and 'read'.
    'nulla tenaci invia est via'
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  • RDWRDW Posts: 1,900
    Strangely enough, just re-reading A Scanner Darkly at the moment and also have (but haven't yet watched) the DVD. If you like that one you should also give VALIS a try, maybe my favourite PKD. Both books apparently have twisted 'autobiographical' elements, which is a scary thought. For a funnier and non-SF but hardly less dark take on that sort of state of mind, Hunter S Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is well worth checking out.

    The Man in the High Castle, which I only got to quite recently, is also excellent. It's up there with my other favourite alternate history, Keith Roberts's beautifully written Pavane, where the timeline diverges several centuries earlier. Roberts also did the 'Axis victory' scenario in a chilling short story, Weihnachtsabend, and Robert Harris's more mainstream Fatherland is another fine take on this theme.

    Can't argue with Ballard or Gibson. Must pick up the complete Ballard short stories at some point. Gibson's early short stories collected in Burning Chrome are also very good, with several in the Neuromancer universe. Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash takes this sort of cyberpunk theme and turns it up to 11; also enjoyed The Diamond Age and Cryptonomicon. I tend to prefer Iain Banks's 'non-M' novels like The Bridge to the Culture stuff.

    Saw Primer just a few weeks ago - it's going to take several viewings before the plot's much clearer than this!: http://xkcd.com/657/
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Does "Back to the Future", count ?
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    Going a bit left-field:

    Distraction
    Heavy Weather
    The Zenith Angle
    - all by Bruce Sterling
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • RDWRDW Posts: 1,900
    Clank wrote:
    nmcgann wrote:
    See how many you score on this list:

    http://scifilists.sffjazz.com/lists_books_rank1.html

    I managed 74 :wink:

    A meagre 11.

    No 'This Perfect Day' (Ira Levin). Another book, like 'Brave New World' that inspired an aweful that came after it.

    But pleased to see both Startide Rising and The Uplift War in the list.

    37 for me :)

    Agree about Ira Levin, but nice to see Le Guin there 3 times (must read The Lathe of Heaven) and Alfred Bester twice. An early introduction to SF for me was a great compilation put together, bizarrely, by Marks & Spencer:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Science-F ... 0904230988

    The Demolished Man, 2001, The Day of the Triffids and I, Robot all in one book!
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