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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Views,Life: Sick of Sci-fi

I've been reading nothing but sci-fi novels for the last hundred years. It seems to be the only type of fiction our library has and thats thanks to the huge number of sci-fi books donated by Dr. Arthur C. Clarke who was a former chancellor of our uni. Most of them are more than twenty years old. The style doesn't quite hold up to the expectations of the modern reader.
Sci-fi took a great turn for the better with the advent of Neuromancer and other cyberpunk novels released during the early 1980s. Modern sci-fi seems to capture human nature and find the perfect balance between morality and technology where as most pre-1980 s sci-fi novels seems to be chronicals of future technologies with a few humans thrown in for flavour. Not that there weren't any good sci-fi books before that (apparently Aldous Huxley's books were quite good but I found "The new world" a really tiring read) but they were quite rare. Hardly the stuff fit for someone who's mingled with the works of Iain Banks, Kingsly Amis, Le Carre, Forsyth and so forth.
I'm stuck up with reading "Architects of Hyperspace" and it's an excrutiating experience to say the least. It seems I have to be content with outdated sci-fi and a few Terry Pratchet books till I can find the time and finances to get a membership at the British council.

A dying man's message sends interstellar explorers on a search for a lost alien civilization.

"A splendid book. McDonough has created the most mind-boggling artifact since EON."
—Arthur C. Clarke

"McDonough's imagination is as daring as they come."

"The imagination and scientific know-how of Clarke. I loved it."
The Midwest Book Review

"High adventure in the classic SF tradition."
Science Fiction Chronicle

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