A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Intelligent SF can you name some?

Post 1

Still Incognitas, Still Chairthingy, Still lurking, Still invisible, unnoticeable, missable, unseen, just haunting h2g2

By intellegent I mean an interesting story/film where the SFX doesn't dominate and the science has some basis in reality but the real story lies with the people and their beliefs,dreams and emotions.The two most intelligent SF films I saw recently that fit this were the Andromeda Strain and Gattica.I particularly found Gattica gripping as about the same time The DNA mapping of the human genome became a reality with all the implications of insurance companies likely to use such information to decide who would get health insurance.What a depressing thought.


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 2

Craig

As a matter of fact, there is plenty of intelligent SF, and some Fantasy, out there if you know where too look and you have a lot of time on your hands. I suggest you read Isaac Asimov's "Foundation Series". It is more than worth your time. He began the series when robots were uncontrollable monsters, and story lines like 'Space Vikings' and intersteller war were common place. He examines the story line of the Intergalactic Empire and how such a thing comes into existence, how it will eventually fall and all the implications thereof - but also how it can be maniplated and shaped into something where science and history do not suffer. Anyway, Asimov's Foundation Series is in no way formulaic or predicable and is exactly what your looking for.


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 3

Still Incognitas, Still Chairthingy, Still lurking, Still invisible, unnoticeable, missable, unseen, just haunting h2g2

I'm already rereading the Foundation series at the present moment.It's not always easy to get ones hands on classic SF these days however due to so much space being given over to the syndicated stuff like Star Trek etc.Even the library lets me down and when I order books it's a bit like a lucky dip if a book turns up from another branch of the library.


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 4

26199

The Dune series... now that's what I call science fiction...

Add to that anything by R A Heinlein...

If you want films, though, the choice is considerably more limited... however, the Dune film is excellent, for one...

26199


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 5

Xanatic(phenomena phreak)

Actually the movie is named Gattaca. And in case you haven´t noticed many names in the movie are made by the letters GTAC, which is of course the amino acids DNA is made of.

Insurance companies _could_ check your DNA before they give you an insurance. Then only ppl who would never be sick would be able to get an insurance. And the question then arises, _why_ would they want an insurance? If you know you´ll never be sick why get an insurance against it? DNA-samples wouldn´t be financially smart.


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 6

Phil

Certainly Azimov and also Clarke are exponents of Hard SF. Heinlein seems less interested in the science side of things, but darn good stories anyway. You could also try the likes of Philip K Dick (Do Androids Dream etc), Joe Haldeman (The Forever War) or Larry Niven (Ringworld).
I tend to find that the best places for classic SF are either the big chains and specialist stores (Forbidden Planet and the like) or secondhand bookshops (much better value for money smiley - smiley)


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 7

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

How about John Brunner (Shockwave Rider; Stand on Zanzibar)?


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 8

Wonko

Greg Bear, Philipp Jose Farmer, Stanilaw Lem


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 9

Dirk Doubtful (a certain Scottish dagger feel to it)

Banls, Gibson, Hamilton


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 10

Dirk Doubtful (a certain Scottish dagger feel to it)

Banks....I meant Banks not Banis....duh!


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 11

james

battlefield earth was a good read,one that i wished could have gone on .havevt seen agood review of the movie,nor seen it.dont think it did all that well at the boxoffice.i think a four hour anime version could have become a classic.it might be a bit much for two hours


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 12

james

battlefield earth was a good read,one that i wished could have gone on .havevt seen agood review of the movie,nor seen it.dont think it did all that well at the boxoffice.i think a four hour anime version could have become a classic.it might be a bit much for two hours


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 13

Craig

I thought Dune was pretty good myself, and Ringworld is an excellent suggestion. Battlefield Earth is an excellent one but DO NOT see the movie. It was horrible. No, it was worse than horrible - think of a word ten times worse than horrible, multiply it by Infinity and you have how bad it was. Thw movie left out just about every interesting part, and didn't even touch the Political/Social implications of the entire conflict. But the book is excellent.


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 14

Andy

If you like the idea of space travel, Stephen Baxter is a good bet. He really knows his NASA stuff (he tried to become an astronaut once). Titan is a good start.
Heinlein is a bit of a facist. Starship Troppers was a film of his book, but in the book all the militarism (which was played with satirical edge in the film) is played for real. His treatment of women is appalling.
Ian M Banks is also good, as is and Ken McCleod (something like The Cassini Division).


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 15

NYC Student - The innocent looking one =P

'Red Mars', 'Green Mars', & 'Blue Mars' by Kim Stanley Robinson...


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 16

Dirk Doubtful (a certain Scottish dagger feel to it)

I wouldn't agree with an assessment of Heinlein as a fascist....he might well have made such statements elsewhere, I don't know, but i see none of this in his books.. I certainly don't agree that his attitude to women is bad..read "Friday" and "The cat who walks through walls" where the women are strong independant pivotal characters.

Even in Starship troopers the women are valued for their piloting abilities in an arena in which the men cannot compete.

His political views I feel are certainly of the extreme ultra-capatalist sort but I would not describe them as fascist...he certainly envisages a future including all sorts of races and creeds.

If I have a negative comment it is that his lead charcters wether male or female always feel like the same character.... he does succeeed, however, in playing wityh some interesting social and science ideas.

Someone will of course now cite a book of his that I haven't read...

off subject I know but hey...sue me
smiley - smiley


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 17

AllA

Agree Heinlein is worth a read, but how What about Micheal Moorcock "Hawkwind" and Mick Farren "Social Deviants" - Song of Phaid the Gambler -


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 18

Phil

The thing with Heinlein is that he was in the USAF and from reading some of his books it seems like he liked things to be nice and ordered - bit like when you're in the military.
Wouldn't have thought Moorcock fitted the original question (intelligent SF) but is damn fine reading. The main Eternal Champion series is a good start, but some of his other books can make for hard reading - non linear, more than one set of seemingly non interacting stories coming together into a single narative.
Both Morrcock and Heinlein get into multiple realities and moving between them. Not sure where Heinlein got his ideas about it from but I've read an interview with Moorcock where he says his were from the various drugs he consumed in the 60's.


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 19

Percy von Wurzel

Roger Zelazny - A Rose for Eclesiastes, To Die in Italbar .. or almost anything else by this genius. The Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven. Possibly best of all, C.J.Cherryh - Chanur's Pride, Downbelow Station, Merchanter's Luck etc.


Intellegent SF can you name some?

Post 20

Munchkin

OK then. Canticle for Liebowitz, can't remember who by at the moment but superb look at religion, politics etc and the general inevitability of mans self destructiveness.
For the Fantasy Fans, Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake is a great look at social orders and tradition. It is also gorgeously written.
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman. I've just finished this and it is great. Has an interesting slant on religion and intelligence and, while being written for the Harry Potter audience, introduces so many clever ideas to work the kiddies brains, and mine for that matter.


Key: Complain about this post