This would make an amazing movie!
Seriously I’m tempted to end the post there, but conditions and standards apply, so: the science is a whopper. After reading it for a bit I knew it was in the classic genre (my personal dates being abt 1950s – to the ’70s) and also why I have so few sci-fi posts, because I’ve read everything I like long before creating the blog, it’s all ancient book history by now.
If you are not familiar with classic sci-fi, aka: actual science in book, some of it might be a bit of a headache. There’s none of this ‘and then they landed’. No it’s HOW they landed and how LONG it took who thought what, and everything in between which isn’t everyone’s type of sandwich. If that isn’t a used metaphor, it is now.
I’ll be totally honest. I squint my eyes and try to keep up, then let the rest of the paragraph whoosh over my head. If I am missing something in the next few pages then I know I have to read that bit again. (This is a rarely admitted truth of mine). It’s kind of like watching Interstellar and wondering what the crap all this time/technical stuff is, but wow the effects are great!
But it isn’t a bad bit of science, just some stuff that made me want to break a chalkboard filled with equations over my head and run down a hallway screaming like a maniac. Heh. If you can consider getting through reading small bits like that then I continue to heartily encourage you to read this book. Plus, there’s no dragging of the story it will hook you right away with curiosity.
If you can resist sentences like: “A baby blue ribbon stretched across the stars; and man had met superior beings- again.” Then I heartily congratulate you and you are clearly not cut out for science fiction. If the description of a 200 year old human man, bored and looking for adventure (plus the human race might be extinguished in 20k years and that’s of middling interest); a ‘puppeteer’, a race long since thought vanished due to extreme cowardice who is masterminding the whole she-bang; a towering 8 foot tall wall of orange fur who has his honor challenged every other hour but is forced to keep his claws in, eventually becoming a great source of humor (think Worf as a tiger); and a bit of a bimbo of a human girl- gorgeous of course- who initially seems like an afterthought but is the wild card to the whole show sounds interesting- read it. It will keep you guessing to the end, and as far as movies go guess what? THERE’S A SEQUEL TO THE BOOK. TWO!!
If you are considering commenting what a nerd I am, save the keystrokes, I know it;)
I loved the idea of the Ring World, unique and original, but Nivens prose is what I didnt like so much, also the characters sim a bit dull to me, in the sense that I like my characters to be serious in a hard SF novel, and its not the case here. I liked more the book that came later on by Clarke “Rendezvous with Rama”, the characters for me were more to my liking, but the story to me even though better written since it was no longer an original idea then it was a certain disapointment, and because of that I like more Nivens Ring World than Clarke’s Rama.
And I did recomend Revelation Space, but its not Hard SF, as you mentioned before Hard SF is practically a dead thing, the newest books I have read that are of that sort are from Charless Sheffiled, I would stongly recomend McArthurs stories:
The Compleat McAndrew, (Baen April 2000); a collection of linked stories:
Introduction, (in) *; Read online
“Killing Vector,” (ss) Galaxy March 1978; Read online
“Moment of Inertia,” (nv) Analog Oct. 1980; Read online
“All the Colors of the Vacuum,” (nv) Analog 2 February 1981
“Manna Hunt,” (nv) Analog Sep. 1982
“The Hidden Matter of McAndrew,” (nv) Analog June 1992
“The Invariants of Nature,” (nv) Analog April 1993
“Rogueworld,” (na) F&SF May 1983
“With McAndrew, Out of Focus,” (ss) Science Fiction Age March 1999
“McAndrew and the Fifth Commandment,” (nv) Analog Sep. 1999
Appendix: Science & Science Fiction, (ar)
In my eyes thats the best Hard SF that I have ever read. Let me know if you do go out and read Sheffield.