Science Fiction Trivia

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Malacandra
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra »

Cody wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:35 pm
<grins> They're all too easy if you've read them. Of the five, I've only read four - and 1984 was a long time ago.

2. Helliconia Spring
The opening of Nineteen Eighty-Four is unforgettable, but I'd forgotten Helliconia (it's twenty years plus change since I read it, and I read it only the once... which is darned unusual for me).

And I'm still waiting on my chance to don the fancy footwear. 4 is ringing zero bells here.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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You're actually quite close with the zero comment. In fact you're halfway there! :lol:
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Malacandra
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra »

DredgerMan wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:48 pm
You're actually quite close with the zero comment. In fact you're halfway there! :lol:
Count Zero, William Gibson. I'll win dirty if I can't get there any other way! :lol:
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Malacandra wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:29 pm
Cody wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:35 pm
<grins> They're all too easy if you've read them. Of the five, I've only read four - and 1984 was a long time ago.

2. Helliconia Spring
The opening of Nineteen Eighty-Four is unforgettable, but I'd forgotten Helliconia (it's twenty years plus change since I read it, and I read it only the once... which is darned unusual for me).

And I'm still waiting on my chance to don the fancy footwear. 4 is ringing zero bells here.
same here , been many moons since i read the helliconia series... but i knew it was familiar.... never read #4
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Malacandra wrote:Count Zero, William Gibson. I'll win dirty if I can't get there any other way! :lol:
Malacandra takes the boots!

The opening line to the first book in that series, Neuromancer, is much more famous, and regularly appears in "best first line" lists:

"The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel."

A brilliant opener, even if it's been slightly deflated by modern technology. He means, of course, that the sky was flat and bright and white and jittery like static, and hard to look at, with the added association of something being broken, somewhere. Now, of course, it might be mistaken for meaning a flat blue. But the other opening lines are great, too, and the first sentence of Count Zero really helps to set the scene. Immediately, there's an unknown "They", and an even more unknown thing called a "Slamhound" - which, although we don't know what it is, doesn't sound good at all. "New Delhi" combined with a name like "Turner" internationalises the setting. The use of "slotted" instead of something like "keyed" or "tuned" or "set" pushes the strangeness, and along with the conversational tone makes you realise that whoever is telling the story is deeply familiar with things you have never heard of. All in less than two dozen words …

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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"The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel."
Something of DA in that, methinks. Cyberpunk passed me by - not sure why.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Cody wrote:Something of DA in that, methinks. Cyberpunk passed me by - not sure why.
There is a common element of the strange in the similies and metaphors, and used for the same purpose - to kick the reader out of comfortable assumptions and to make it clear that they're in a world they don't understand. Adams did it for comic effect, because Arthur Dent was well and truly lost, but with Gibson it's the reader who's the newbie stranger.

Gibson is a terrific writer, and well worth picking up - even though some of his near-future stuff has dated a bit (payphones, for example). But who reads SF for accurate predictions of the future? As works of literature, they're great.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cody »

My favourite opening line is not from sci-fi:
"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold."

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra »

[boots on]

Towards the end of the story...

A snob answers the telephone to be told to "Go out into your back garden". What is hanging over the garden wall?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Malacandra wrote:What is hanging over the garden wall?
Is it "a great Darsh face" (in an … unusual location, to say the least)? From Jack Vance's The Face, from the Demon Princes series.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Malacandra »

Disembodied wrote:
Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:19 pm
Malacandra wrote:What is hanging over the garden wall?
Is it "a great Darsh face" (in an … unusual location, to say the least)? From Jack Vance's The Face, from the Demon Princes series.
The exact phrase I was after sir - the boots are yours!
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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Thank you … a three-part question:

Who was the Deliverator?
What was his cargo?
Who did he work for?

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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The Deliverator has a gun, but doesn't use it - he favours a matched pair of samurai swords, instead.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

Image
Arthur: OK. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.
OR i could go with
Arthur Dent: I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe.
or simply
42

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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spud42 takes it! The Deliverator is, of course, the job title held by Hiro Protagonist, the main character of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, at the start of the novel, where he's a pizza delivery boy for the Mafia. There's an extract from chapter one online here.

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