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TCF book club #2

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Post by Toaster on Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:25 pm

I went ahead and did the poll for next round, so that we might try and get ahead on things. It will run for 4 days.

And here the discussion begins for 'Starship Troopers.'

Here's the deal. The book is about 260 pages. So, we will be dividing it into 50-page sections:

Section 1: chapters 1-3, to be discussed on Friday night, June 5th

Section 2: chapters 4-6, to be discussed Sunday night, June 7th

Section 3: chapters 7-11, to be discussed Tuesday night, June 8th

Section 4: chapter 12, to be discussed Thursday night, June 10th

Section 5: finish the book, to be discussed Thursday


Make note that chapters listed on a given day should all be read. In other words, for section one, read all the way through chapters one, two, and three.

This seems like a good pace. This is about 8 days for 260 pages. If there are complaints, I will change it up for next time.

BOOK DESCRIPTIONS:

Dune

This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence.

The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privilege, though, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.

Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting.

Sphere

the focus of this science adventure tale is humankind's encounter with an alien life form. Within a space ship lying on the sea bottom is a mysterious sphere that promises each of the main characters some personal reward: military might, professional prestige, power, understanding. Trapped underwater with the sphere, the humans confront eerie and increasingly dangerous threats after communication with the alien object has been achieved. The story is exciting and loaded with scientific and psychological speculations that add interest at no cost to the action, including an intriguing sequence in which human and computer attempt to decode the alien communication. As the story races to an end, suspicions of evil-doing fall as many ways as in a detective novel. Young adults should find this book both accessible and satisfying.
Da Vinci Code

A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu's grandfather's murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown (Angels and Demons) has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown's hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries--from the nature of the Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown's conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought.

Shawshank Redemption

When you realize the King of Horror has written a work that would catapult most authors into the galaxy of writers' stardom, and that it is just one of his many, many works, you just have to appreciate what a great WRITER King is. Sound silly? Well, as we all know, there are best-selling authors out there who are not particularly good writers. King sets this story down with a writing skill so superior that it is difficult to imagine something more perfectly written.

Of course I saw the movie, and it was fairly true to the book. But not until you let the actual words of this story envelope you and enthrall you do you get the full-tilt emotional fulfillment of reading a thoroughly engrossing story.

King does a beautiful job of giving us the substance of the characters, both in the realm of the facade a prisoner must maintain to survive, and of the inner anguish a prisoner struggles against to stay whole. We get to know the two main characters -- Andy and Red -- inside and out, and this is what makes the book so very compelling.

And I have never, ever, read a story in which the last sentence takes my breath away, causes my heart to beat faster, and makes my eyes tear, as this story does.

Some of the scenes are hard to take--particularly the prison rape scenes--but they are necessary for us to understand just what makes the wrongly-incarcerated Andy Dufresne so unique. And if he were not so unique, if his character were not so brilliantly disected in King's writing, there would be no story at all. Events happen around Andy, but what happens inside Andy is what gives this story wings.

I hope you will read this tale. I hope you will be inspired by it. I hope you will be as enthralled by the writing as I am. I hope you will love it, for your own sake.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Join Douglas Adams's hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc. Dent is grabbed from Earth moments before a cosmic construction team obliterates the planet to build a freeway. You'll never read funnier science fiction; Adams is a master of intelligent satire, barbed wit, and comedic dialogue. The Hitchhiker's Guide is rich in comedic detail and thought-provoking situations and stands up to multiple reads. Required reading for science fiction fans, this book (and its follow-ups) is also sure to please fans of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, and British sitcoms.

Rendezvous With Rama

An all-time science fiction classic, Rendezvous with Rama is also one of Clarke's best novels--it won the Campbell, Hugo, Jupiter, and Nebula Awards. A huge, mysterious, cylindrical object appears in space, swooping in toward the sun. The citizens of the solar system send a ship to investigate before the enigmatic craft, called Rama, disappears. The astronauts given the task of exploring the hollow cylindrical ship are able to decipher some, but definitely not all, of the extraterrestrial vehicle's puzzles. From the ubiquitous trilateral symmetry of its structures to its cylindrical sea and machine-island, Rama's secrets are strange evidence of an advanced civilization. But who, and where, are the Ramans, and what do they want with humans? Perhaps the answer lies with the busily working biots, or the sealed-off buildings, or the inaccessible "southern" half of the enormous cylinder. Rama's unsolved mysteries are tantalizing indeed. Rendezvous with Rama is fast moving, fascinating, and a must-read for science fiction fans.


*note The 'Shawshank Redemption' review was taken from the Amazon user reviews section, as most of the reviews I found elsewhere were for the movie, which is a GREAT movie by the way.


Last edited by ReconToaster on Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by KrAzY on Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:30 pm

dune
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Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:21 am

Dune too.
BUT, if we read Shawshank, we must read Apt Pupil. Together, they are about half the length of Dune.
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Post by Cheese on Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:27 am

Dammit Rasq! You were the one person I thought I could count on Hitch-hikers! Razz

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Post by Angatar on Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:23 pm

I want to read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
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Post by Nocbl2 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:47 pm

I never read starship yet... lolololol ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFLROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL ROFL


Last edited by Nocbl2 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Cheese on Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:48 pm

Bought it today. Should be here by sat, which means I'll be sitting out round one.

Good luck!

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Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:51 pm

Cheese wrote:Dammit Rasq! You were the one person I thought I could count on Hitch-hikers! Razz
After Dune.
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Post by Onyxknight on Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:58 pm

Dune is a good book i watched the movie after i read the book and it was ammazing but Sphere both the book and movie are in second for me.
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Post by Cheese on Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:57 am

Book came today.

I just realised if you're doing it at night I'm gonna be long tucked away in bed. Any chance of a late afternoon affair? Sixish maybe?

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Post by Cheese on Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:55 am

We need a time!! I see you, Toaster!

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Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:11 pm

Well, I won't be around tonight because I'm graduating and going to the Senior Frolic. So here's my two cents on the novel so far (I got it yesterday and was up to chapter five an hour later.)

Having finished reading "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" yesterday, another Heinlein novel, I am astounded at how little his writing style had changed. For example, this story is narrated in the first person perspective, which I find extremely weird to write. Also, the protagonist is an everyman who explains things the way he sees it.

The technology, as he explains it, is classic 1950s 'hard sci-fi'. Whereas hypnosis and ESP is passe now, it is taken seriously in this book, dating it somewhat. On the other hand, I would like to point out that Starship Troopers features an all-volunteer army, a pipe dream back in the 1950s.

I'm not sure if anybody has reached the explanation behind the government and why we fight, so I'll leave that for others.

Discuss. I'll be back.
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Post by Toaster on Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:14 pm

I've read the first fours chapters. I'll admit that first person has never been my favorite perspective, but when it's done right (like Prey) it can be the most gripping writing style available.

The main bits of the book are pretty good so far. I can't say Johnny's perspective is the greatest. He does seem a bit too innocent, like he has been raised is a very suburban, closely nit society... which I suppose he has been.

Still, there have already been moments in the book that have really surprised me. The writing of monologues seems to be one of Heinlein's strong points. The segments from Johnny's government class, and the discussion with the recruitment officer were great I thought.

I do like the perspective it gives you on the military of the future. It is one consisting of specialists, rather than large armies of what are essentially canon fodder. It makes infantry out to be just a 'specialist' a unit as something like a ship, or tank.

It didn't say much about how his parents reacted to the whole thing... which seemed kind of... odd.

Anyways, I'm liking it so far.

----- Sorry Cheese. There really is no solid time slot. If your posting it in what you think might be a tad early for us, just put it in spoiler brackets. It shouldn't be a problem though.
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Post by Toaster on Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:47 pm

Oh well this is just sad
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Post by BBJynne on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:03 pm

I read it

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Post by Toaster on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:04 pm

the point of a book club is active discussion, Not selecting a book for everyone to read completely separately.
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Post by BBJynne on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:09 pm

well, okay


I think that it was a lot different than the movie, and I was surprised by the lack of a federal news network

the suits were really cool I thought, especially the way a few guys could hold such a large area and bring a different kind of warfare than later sci-fi has in it

Training camp was my favorite part of the book though, it has some generic training camp parts that are basically obligational, but also some parts I've never seen before, like him overhearing the officers talking and how that shook him up

overall though, my main problem was that having watched the movie first, the book was very different than I thought it would be, but better

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Post by TNine on Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:17 am

I would love to discuss, can we just throw away the schedule and have everybody discuss?
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Post by Cheese on Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:27 am

The schedule is to avoid spoilers.

I'll have something by the end of the day. I've got a bit on my plate atm.

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Post by capn qwerty on Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:19 am

ReconToaster wrote:Oh well this is just sad
I'm sorry! The book still isn't here yet! IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!! *hyperventalates*



































Lol. But seriously the book isn't here yet.
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Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:01 pm

Hmm, I thought this was dead.

ReconToaster wrote:I've read the first fours chapters. I'll admit that first person has never been my favorite perspective, but when it's done right (like Prey) it can be the most gripping writing style available.
I don't know. I think it can be good, but it's always something I've had trouble writing.

Who is the main character addressing? When it he addressing it? Recalling it from a long time afterwards? Writing it down in a journal?

I also like the flexibility and creativity that third/omnipotent offers.

ReconToaster wrote:Still, there have already been moments in the book that have really surprised me. The writing of monologues seems to be one of Heinlein's strong points. The segments from Johnny's government class, and the discussion with the recruitment officer were great I thought.
That is where Heinlein is his best. When he just lets go and has a character explain government, politics, tech, or society. Did you get to the part with the nukes and the 'slow planet?'

ReconToaster wrote:I do like the perspective it gives you on the military of the future. It is one consisting of specialists, rather than large armies of what are essentially canon fodder. It makes infantry out to be just a 'specialist' a unit as something like a ship, or tank.
And he did that twenty years before the US government started to listen.

ReconToaster wrote:It didn't say much about how his parents reacted to the whole thing... which seemed kind of... odd.
You get to that later in the book.

ReconToaster wrote:Anyways, I'm liking it so far.
So am I.
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Post by TNine on Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:23 pm

Rasq'uire'laskar wrote:
That is where Heinlein is his best. When he just lets go and has a character explain government, politics, tech, or society. Did you get to the part with the nukes and the 'slow planet?'
He read the first four chapters. That comes in way later, if i remember correctly.
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Post by capn qwerty on Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:03 pm

Well, I finaly got the book, and so far it's a good read. I'm on chapter 4 atm.

Anyone else notice some similarities between it and the Haloverse? Namely that the MI seems a hell of a lot like ODST's and that there are "Sergant Johnson" and "Jenkins" characters.
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Post by Rasq'uire'laskar on Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:10 pm

capn qwerty wrote:Well, I finaly got the book, and so far it's a good read. I'm on chapter 4 atm.

Anyone else notice some similarities between it and the Haloverse? Namely that the MI seems a hell of a lot like ODST's and that there are "Sergant Johnson" and "Jenkins" characters.
That's how influential that book, and Heinlein in general, is.
Hell, you'd be surprised at the influence it's had on StarCraft. The Marines were originally called "Marauders".

And Heinlein was the first science fiction author to develop the idea of the exoskeleton.
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Post by capn qwerty on Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:10 pm

Well, I finished it.
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