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g99
2003-Jan-22, 10:50 PM
What sci-fi or fiction book portrays Aliens in the most reasistic and entertaining fashion? Just wondering and looking for a good book to read...

_________________
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"It takes Thousands to fight a battle for a mile, Millions to hold an election for a nation, but it only takes One to change the world." - Dan Sandler 2002

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-01-22 17:51 ]</font>

Colt
2003-Jan-23, 12:28 AM
Ringworld. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif -Colt

Chuck
2003-Jan-23, 12:31 AM
Illegal Alien (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0441005926//002-4616802-7551207?v=glance&s=books) by Robert J Sawyer.

What happens when when alien make first contact with earth and one of their party is accused of murdering a human being? I thought the aliens were totally believable.

g99
2003-Jan-23, 01:27 AM
On 2003-01-22 19:31, Chuck wrote:
Illegal Alien (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0441005926//002-4616802-7551207?v=glance&s=books) by Robert J Sawyer.

What happens when when alien make first contact with earth and one of their party is accused of murdering a human being? I thought the aliens were totally believable.




Read it. A very good book. I have also read several others of his books. Great author.

g99
2003-Jan-23, 01:27 AM
On 2003-01-22 19:28, Colt wrote:
Ringworld. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif -Colt



I have heard about it, what is it about?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-01-22 20:27 ]</font>

Rodina
2003-Jan-23, 01:53 AM
A couple of my favorite aliens in science fiction are the Fithp from Niven/Pournelle's Footfall, the Moties from Niven/Pournelle's Mote in God's Eye and the William H. Keith's Kafer which he contributed to the Traveller 2300 role playing game.

The cool thing with the Kafer were that they weren't particularly bright, unless threatened, and then a hormone was released (like we would release adrenalyne) that massively upped their intelligence. Kinda of a cool thing.

daver
2003-Jan-23, 02:17 AM
On 2003-01-22 20:53, Rodina wrote:

A couple of my favorite aliens in science fiction are the Fithp from Niven/Pournelle's Footfall, the Moties from Niven/Pournelle's Mote in God's Eye and the William H. Keith's Kafer which he contributed to the Traveller 2300 role playing game.



The Footfall aliens reminded me of an A.C. Clarke proposal for breeding new pet/servants. Start with an elephant (prehensile trunk), breed down in size and up in intelligence. Say we did, then decided to go to the next plane of existence, and left the neoelephants our spaceships.




The cool thing with the Kafer were that they weren't particularly bright, unless threatened, and then a hormone was released (like we would release adrenalyne) that massively upped their intelligence. Kinda of a cool thing.



Haven't played the game; seems to me to be kind of a limited utility. From my standpoint (sitting in front of a computer) intelligence works best when it's had a few thousand years to build upon itself. Maybe the Professor could build a fusion torch out of bamboo, coconuts and rocks; but i'm not sure the concept is believeable outside of a half-hour sitcom.

Dickenmeyer
2003-Jan-23, 03:37 AM
I thought the alien culture portrayed in John Brunner's "The Crucible of Time" was very well realized. I also like the vast scale and enormous variety of aliens in David Brin's Uplift novels, althought I think that some of the alien races seem a little too human and not as, well, ALIEN as they should. But I guess you've got to give the readership something they can relate to.

Rodina
2003-Jan-23, 04:21 AM
On 2003-01-22 21:17, daver wrote:


On 2003-01-22 20:53, Rodina wrote:

A couple of my favorite aliens in science fiction are the Fithp from Niven/Pournelle's Footfall, the Moties from Niven/Pournelle's Mote in God's Eye and the William H. Keith's Kafer which he contributed to the Traveller 2300 role playing game.



The Footfall aliens reminded me of an A.C. Clarke proposal for breeding new pet/servants. Start with an elephant (prehensile trunk), breed down in size and up in intelligence. Say we did, then decided to go to the next plane of existence, and left the neoelephants our spaceships.




The cool thing with the Kafer were that they weren't particularly bright, unless threatened, and then a hormone was released (like we would release adrenalyne) that massively upped their intelligence. Kinda of a cool thing.



Haven't played the game; seems to me to be kind of a limited utility. From my standpoint (sitting in front of a computer) intelligence works best when it's had a few thousand years to build upon itself. Maybe the Professor could build a fusion torch out of bamboo, coconuts and rocks; but i'm not sure the concept is believeable outside of a half-hour sitcom.


Except, of course, that the Kafer society developed ritual violence in order to keep themselves as intelligent as possible. It was meant as being good for game play, but I think the alien was no less implausible than most others I've read about.

Colt
2003-Jan-23, 04:22 AM
A ringworld (http://www.homoexcelsior.com/omega.db/datum/megascale_engineering/ringworld/8536). Now, imagine a story set on one of those things (a very good story).. The Ringworld, Larry Niven. There are two sequels, The Ringworld Engineers and The Ringworld Throne.

I haven't been able to get my hands on the third one but from what everyone said in this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=3470&forum=4&26), you need to decide wether you want to read it for completion or else.

Right now I am on the fifth Man-Kzin Wars novel (excellent series) which is part of the same universe as The Ringworld. -Colt

g99
2003-Jan-23, 05:40 AM
One series that probobly everyone on this board has read is the World War and Colonization novels by turtledove. I think that he displays another culture very well and their dificulties in dealing with humans.

Also one set of aliens (truely i don't know if they are aliens or no. In a relative sense humans are the aliens.) that are portaryed in a very entertaining series is the lost regiment series by william forschen.

It is about a lost set of civil war soldiers and many historic cultures set on a alien world with a bunch of evil aliens who eat people for food. The alien's culture, and history is well thought out. A very good read.

And thanks you everyone so far. Much apreciated.

David Hall
2003-Jan-23, 09:37 PM
Absolutely the best alien civilization I have ever read is the one in The Mote in God's Eye. There are very few that even come close to that one. The Puppeteers and Pak in Niven's universe are next on my list.

tracer
2003-Jan-24, 05:37 PM
The best aliens I've seen described in SF are the alien life they discovered in Ben Bova's Mars.

They were little orange-tinted one-celled bacteria-like critters, living on the edge of the permafrost in Mariner Canyon. They didn't have a civilization or a technology base or anything so esoteric. They. Were. Just. Bacteria.


The first aliens we meet will probably be like them!

g99
2003-Jan-24, 08:43 PM
On 2003-01-24 12:37, tracer wrote:
The best aliens I've seen described in SF are the alien life they discovered in Ben Bova's Mars.

They were little orange-tinted one-celled bacteria-like critters, living on the edge of the permafrost in Mariner Canyon. They didn't have a civilization or a technology base or anything so esoteric. They. Were. Just. Bacteria.


The first aliens we meet will probably be like them!


Well there goes my patent for a universal translator. No point in talking to bacterium. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

TriangleMan
2003-Jan-24, 08:59 PM
Works by H.P. Lovecraft (and his contemporaries) have some great aliens.

Waarthog
2003-Jan-24, 11:43 PM
Truth to tell, I think this is a hard one to write. The difficulty in writing truly Alien beings is that there has to be some form of reference and common ground or the reader won't understand them. That being said though, assuming a similar biology to known lifeforms, intelligent creatures will have at least one common charachteristic with humans and that is a need/want for resources. I actually don't think that they will be so alien as to not be able to understand us and we them since we will have to go through the same basic challenges of conquering the environment of the origin planet then of space. The differences will be more in the HOW category and be near identical in the WHY.

Chuck
2003-Jan-25, 12:04 AM
StarStrike (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0886774276/qid=1043453088/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-4616802-7551207?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) by W Michael Gear is a book I almost skipped because its title made it sound like yet another interstellar war theme. It has some aliens that are billions of years old that I found interesting.

g99
2003-Jan-25, 12:16 AM
hmmm..Very thoughtful Waarthog. I agree with you. Our belief is all relative. Imagine how we would feel if aliens visited us or we visited aliens and they were several million years ahaued of us in evolution and technology.

In most Sci-Fi we are able to overcum the Aliens no matter what. Most of the time we are not as advanced technologically, but find some way to kill them. But i doubt that would happen. If a alien civ. crossed light years to invade our planet they would of thought everything out to the smallest minutae.

They would of thougth of what to do if we had deadly viruses, Nukes, or just bows and arrows. We would be dead or enslaved nomatter what.

We always have been superior to anything in our environment. Nuthiung can beat us or even hurt us badly (not counting plagues). So when something comes by that could and will kick our patoots we will all be screwed. No will smith, no Jeff Gouldbloom, no amount of cool special effects will save us.

All of our images of aliens are of them as small, weak, easily beaten physically and hide behind their technology. Out Mivies, and books make them seem weak. Nerd hiding behind their monitors. But in reality they would be very similar to us. Physically strong enougth to build their technology and mentaly able to overcome new situations. Our equals. The best their planet has to offer.

I know this sounds very pestimistic, but it is the truth. I am going to go in my bunker now to hide form E.T. and watch the skies.....

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 12:20 AM
On 2003-01-24 18:43, Waarthog wrote:
Truth to tell, I think this is a hard one to write. The difficulty in writing truly Alien beings is that there has to be some form of reference and common ground or the reader won't understand them. That being said though, assuming a similar biology to known lifeforms, intelligent creatures will have at least one common charachteristic with humans and that is a need/want for resources. I actually don't think that they will be so alien as to not be able to understand us and we them since we will have to go through the same basic challenges of conquering the environment of the origin planet then of space. The differences will be more in the HOW category and be near identical in the WHY.


I think that will be true in some cases and untrue in others. "See, the thing about Aliens is, the're alien."

g99
2003-Jan-25, 12:22 AM
I can't remeber the name of this book, see if any of you can help. I read it many years ago as a kid. It deals witht the big bang and the future of the universe.

It is about a woman who is in the future. She is at a uuniversity and is studying something. She joins or is recruited onto a spaceship that will circle the solar system for a certain amount if time. But something goes wrong and it keeps on accelerating. Eventually she [bad word deleted]e the speed of llight and time dilation occurs. She lives therougth the end of the human race, the expansion of the sun, and the eventual collapse of the universe and then the big bang again. She then sees the planets reform and human civilization start over again. She then returns to the same time period where the new her was about to leave and tries to warn herself not to go.

Can anyone remember the name or was i the only one to read it.

No aliens in it (well not really) but it stuck with be.

Thank you very much..../phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 12:25 AM
On 2003-01-24 19:16, g99 wrote:
hmmm..Very thoughtful Waarthog. I agree with you. Our belief is all relative. Imagine how we would feel if aliens visited us or we visited aliens and they were several million years ahaued of us in evolution and technology.

In most Sci-Fi we are able to overcum the Aliens no matter what. Most of the time we are not as advanced technologically, but find some way to kill them. But i doubt that would happen. If a alien civ. crossed light years to invade our planet they would of thought everything out to the smallest minutae.

They would of thougth of what to do if we had deadly viruses, Nukes, or just bows and arrows. We would be dead or enslaved nomatter what.

We always have been superior to anything in our environment. Nuthiung can beat us or even hurt us badly (not counting plagues). So when something comes by that could and will kick our patoots we will all be screwed. No will smith, no Jeff Gouldbloom, no amount of cool special effects will save us.

All of our images of aliens are of them as small, weak, easily beaten physically and hide behind their technology. Out Mivies, and books make them seem weak. Nerd hiding behind their monitors. But in reality they would be very similar to us. Physically strong enougth to build their technology and mentaly able to overcome new situations. Our equals. The best their planet has to offer.

I know this sounds very pestimistic, but it is the truth. I am going to go in my bunker now to hide form E.T. and watch the skies.....



Why is this pessimistic? I don't see it that way at all. We would be in deep trouble. Im not saying we would roll over and give up if we were faced with technologically advanced alien concourers (oh, man), just that its not gonna be as easy as Hollywood makes it out to be to resist.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 12:28 AM
You need to get Barlowes Guide to exterrestrials. Its a large book that takes aliens from many popular Sci-Fi novels and goes into major detail on them with full color drawings and descriptions. Awesome book.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 12:38 AM
Another book that I highly recomend is called "Marrow." Don't remeber the authors name and can't look as I gave it to my brother but simply awesome book, reminds me of Niven's early stuff.

It's about a huge spherical starship almost as big as a planet that travels around the galaxy and what some of the crew find at the center of it. Great for the science, aliens and augmented humans.

For instance the "Captains" who are in charge live thousands of years and there are some aliens who live only on the ouside of the ship and make repairs and whatnot. Now I have to buy it again because I want to read it again.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: James_Digriz on 2003-01-24 19:44 ]</font>

(Edited because I accidently hit enter and posted an empty post then went back and edited the empty post with the above and the preceeding.)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: james_digriz on 2003-01-24 20:31 ]</font>

VanBurenVandal
2003-Jan-25, 01:34 AM
On 2003-01-24 19:16, g99 wrote:
I know this sounds very pestimistic, but it is the truth. I am going to go in my bunker now to hide form E.T. and watch the skies.....


Look what happened when the Spanish met the Aztecs. Not only were the invaders just as big and strong as the Aztec warriors, they hid behind technology that could A) Kill you with a bullet way before you could do any damage with thrown projectiles and B) Deflect your spears with some plate mail armor. Sometimes technology is just too much to overcome…

There is another question that I’ve been thinking about. We assume there is something more advanced than us out there (which is probably a safe assumption). However, somebody has to be the most advanced. What if we’re it? What if SETI hasn’t picked up other radio signals because we’re the first civilization to figure it out? Would we be a benevolent alien race, or would we shove other civilizations around when we find them? Look what happened to the New World…

After all, them aliens could be tasty…

g99
2003-Jan-25, 02:36 AM
On 2003-01-24 19:28, James_Digriz wrote:
You need to get Barlowes Guide to exterrestrials. Its a large book that takes aliens from many popular Sci-Fi novels and goes into major detail on them with full color drawings and descriptions. Awesome book.


really? cool sounds like a good read. I put it on my list. Thanks

g99
2003-Jan-25, 02:40 AM
On 2003-01-24 20:34, VanBurenVandal wrote:
There is another question that I’ve been thinking about. We assume there is something more advanced than us out there (which is probably a safe assumption). However, somebody has to be the most advanced. What if we’re it? What if SETI hasn’t picked up other radio signals because we’re the first civilization to figure it out? Would we be a benevolent alien race, or would we shove other civilizations around when we find them? Look what happened to the New World…

After all, them aliens could be tasty…




In my opinion it matters who gets there first. If it is a unified world, we would probobly be peaceful by then. I mean if we can pacify the entire world, why do we need war anymore? We would go there, acess the situation, and deal with it as it comes.

But if it is a certain country, who knows.

Personally i think it would be 50/50. 50% killing them for prevention from them attacking and killing us. 50% "lets be friends"

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 03:55 AM
On 2003-01-24 19:38, James_Digriz wrote:
Another book that I highly recomend is called "Marrow." Don't remeber the authors name and can't look as I gave it to my brother but simply awesome book, reminds me of Niven's early stuff.

It's about a huge spherical starship almost as big as a planet that travels around the galaxy and what some of the crew find at the center of it. Great for the science, aliens and augmented humans.

For instance the "Captains" who are in charge live thousands of years and there are some aliens who live only on the ouside of the ship and make repairs and whatnot. Now I have to buy it again because I want to read it again.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: James_Digriz on 2003-01-24 19:44 ]</font>

(Edited because I accidently hit enter and posted an empty post then went back and edited the empty post with the above and the preceeding.)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: james_digriz on 2003-01-24 20:31 ]</font>


Went out tonight and bought another copy. The crew are nearly imortal and the ship was designed and built millions of yeays ago. Thats why no one on board knows whats at the center. Its big enough to hold millions of humans and aliens of many different races.

Good read. One of my favorite books.

g99
2003-Jan-25, 04:07 AM
On 2003-01-24 22:55, James_Digriz wrote:

Went out tonight and bought another copy. The crew are nearly imortal and the ship was designed and built millions of yeays ago. Thats why no one on board knows whats at the center. Its big enough to hold millions of humans and aliens of many different races.

Good read. One of my favorite books.


Reminds me of Heinlen's "Orphans of the Sky" Weird book. Basically a huge generation ship on its way to a star system (can't remember which one. Probably alpha centauri.) And it deals with the fact that the ship got lost and hundreds or thousands of generations later a new society has evolved.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0671318454/qid=1043467892/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-7652499-5828028?v=glance&s=books

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 04:14 AM
Sounds very similar. Have to pick it up.

Waarthog
2003-Jan-25, 09:16 AM
In most Sci-Fi we are able to overcum the Aliens no matter what...
In a literary sense this is a true statement insofar as few people like to read about humanity being conquered and enslaved unless that is the lead in for the rebellion movement al la (I'm sorry about this) Battlefield Earth, and the Gordon Dickson "Pilgrim" series. Thus a way can be found.
By and large I agree that we are toast once they get here unless they are too advanced. I wrote a story for a college course in creative writing that this was the case. Two assumptions were made:
1. They wanted the biosphere as intact as possible so no asteroids dropped or WMD cooked off.
2. They hadn't fought anyone of lesser technology level in 1000 years and hadn't fought anyone who was really able to put up a fight against them.

All of their weapons and armor were configured against laser weapons and laser reflective armor. So our best experimental lasers were useless but 5.56mm lead (and other slugthrowers) worked just fine as the armor was only a few mm thick. Conversely, their weapons were tuned to penetrate reflective armor only a few mm thick. They had a tough time with flak jackets and tanks.

Farfetched I know, but we could get lucky that way. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

However, somebody has to be the most advanced. What if we’re it?
Depends on what you mean by advanced. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif Harry Turtledove wrote a very funny and thought provoking short story called "The Road not Taken" with a preposterous plot device that antigravity and hyperspace travel is within the technological capability of any civilization that is at the Pre-Industrial Revolution Stage say 1700's or so. Earth never figured it out. Everyone else who did more or less arrested their technological development at that point. This is the situation when an alien craft larger than an aircraft carrier filled with intelligent bears armed with flintlocks and boarding cutlasses lands in mid 21st century Los Angeles...

informant
2003-Jan-25, 05:19 PM
On 2003-01-22 17:50, g99 wrote:
What sci-fi or fiction book portrays Aliens in the most reasistic and entertaining fashion? Just wondering and looking for a good book to read...


LOL! And how are we supposed to know that?... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

g99
2003-Jan-25, 05:34 PM
Well you mean you havn't met a alien yet? Boy you are behind the times. Everyone else on this board has met one!! It is part of the initiation rites.

Heck i made good friends with one of them. They say they are going to take me up into their ship to go to their planet. They even wrote a book about how to serve us best!!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

informant
2003-Jan-25, 05:55 PM
You mean about how you can serve them better -- in the gold mines... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: informant on 2003-01-25 12:56 ]</font>

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 06:00 PM
[quote]Depends on what you mean by advanced. Harry Turtledove wrote a very funny and thought provoking short story called "The Road not Taken" with a preposterous plot device that antigravity and hyperspace travel is within the technological capability of any civilization that is at the Pre-Industrial Revolution Stage say 1700's or so. Earth never figured it out. Everyone else who did more or less arrested their technological development at that point. This is the situation when an alien craft larger than an aircraft carrier filled with intelligent bears armed with flintlocks and boarding cutlasses lands in mid 21st century Los Angeles...[quote]

Good story idea but technological development couldn't have stopped if they have starships.

g99
2003-Jan-25, 06:14 PM
Nah they asked me to be a slave but i declined. I don't work to well under hard labour. I gave them my little bro instead. He is useless anyways. Only 16. What good are 16 years old brothers except to act like morons? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Back on topic...

Since many of you are evidently avid Sci-Fi readers, if you could decide on a alien for a new book by your favorite author what would it look like? How would it act? What technological level would it have?

Personally i would like to see soemthing that looks nuthing like us. I am tired of tow legs, two arms, and big heads. I want to see creatures that we have never imagined to be real. Maybe something like huge winged smart marsupial or a very, very smart colony of bacterium or viruses. They would have technology on the same level as us. Eirther they come to us or we go to them.

The bacteria or viruses could have something like a common mind likned together. To build things they gather together and form rudimentary limbs by clinging together like cells. They have rudimentary brains, but with billions of the cells linked together they had become very smart. They have tanks, planes, lasers, and other tech. They conscript armies of genetically grown warriors who are specifically bred from their version of cattle to fight for them.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 07:01 PM
I include anything that looks like an animal in the humanoid category. Aniaml aliens like a winged marsupial abound in Sci-Fi while the more rare ones are, well, rare.

There out there. I do agree most are humanoid but I have been reading Sci-Fi for 20 years and have come across a being shaped like a giant sausage (Voyage of the Space Beagle), A society living as magnetic patterns in a gas giant, small super strong/intelligent machines and intelligent microbes (The Demons at Rainbow Bridge) and of coure Larry Niven's Puppeteers and Bandersnatch.

Theres also intelligent microbes in Dave Wolverton's Beyond the Gate. (second in the trilogy, read em all, one of my favorite series)

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 07:11 PM
Stephen Baxter wrote a book about submicroscopic humans who were genitically engineered to live in the superfluid mantle of a neutron star.

Humanoid again true but one heck of a location!

g99
2003-Jan-25, 07:25 PM
Live on a star? That is a new one. What purpose did it serve?

informant
2003-Jan-25, 07:30 PM
I must mention the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (1961).

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 07:43 PM
On 2003-01-25 14:25, g99 wrote:
Live on a star? That is a new one. What purpose did it serve?


Sorry, just one of the many books I havn't got around to yet. Says on back that the superbeings who designed them come back so I imagine all is explained inside. I almost have as many books that need reading as books that I have read.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 07:45 PM
On 2003-01-25 14:30, informant wrote:
I must mention the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (1961).


Saw the movie. Really enjoyed it. Looking for the book.

[quote] Sorry, just one of the many books I havn't got around to yet. Says on back that the superbeings who designed them come back so I imagine all is explained inside. I almost have as many books that need reading as books that I have read. [quote]


See what I mean?

Kaptain K
2003-Jan-25, 07:47 PM
In "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L. Forward, humans studying a neutron star find intelligent life there. Of course, since they are "nucleonic" rather than chemical energy powered, they live a million times faster than the humans. When the humans arrive, the "Cheela" are "primitive" - equivalent to Middle Ages feudal Europe. By the end, by building on what they have learned from the humans, they are interstellar and have far outstripped their tutors.

_________________
"There's a whole lotta things I've never done, but I ain't never had too much fun."
Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2003-01-25 14:49 ]</font>

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 07:50 PM
On 2003-01-25 14:47, Kaptain K wrote:
In "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L. Forward, humans studying a neutron star find intelligent life there. Of course, since they are "nucleonic" rather than chemical energy powered, they live a million times faster than the humans. When the humans arrive, the "Cheela" are "primitive" - equivalent to Middle Ages feudal Europe. By the end, by building on what they have learned from the humans, they are interstellar and have far outstripped their tutors.

Stop! Stop! Do you guys think Im made of money or something!

informant
2003-Jan-25, 08:07 PM
On 2003-01-25 14:45, James_Digriz wrote:


On 2003-01-25 14:30, informant wrote:
I must mention the sentient ocean in Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (1961).


Saw the movie. Really enjoyed it. Looking for the book.


Soderbergh's version, or Tarkovsky's?

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-25, 08:12 PM
The new one with George Clooney. Forgot it had been done earlier.

informant
2003-Jan-25, 08:24 PM
Thank you James, I was just curious.

Back to g99's request of aliens, there's another one that I think no one has mentioned yet: the alien Gaea, in John Varley's Gaea trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon).

[Fixed spelling.]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: informant on 2003-01-25 15:25 ]</font>

g99
2003-Jan-25, 10:45 PM
On 2003-01-25 14:50, James_Digriz wrote:


Stop! Stop! Do you guys think Im made of money or something!


I know how you feel /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

g99
2003-Jan-25, 11:20 PM
On 2003-01-25 15:24, informant wrote:
Thank you James, I was just curious.

Back to g99's request of aliens, there's another one that I think no one has mentioned yet: the alien Gaea, in John Varley's Gaea trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon).

[Fixed spelling.]

Never heard of it. What is so special?

I am a very uniinformed reader. I only started to read avidly (like one or two books a month, sometimes one a week if it is really good) since junior year of high school. (about 6 or so years ago now.) I am glad i can finally read alot now. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

[spelling +last sentance]



_________________
"Hi!!" - Some person, somewere, at some time.
"It takes Thousands to fight a battle for a mile, Millions to hold an election for a nation, but it only takes One to change the world." - Dan Sandler 2002

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-01-25 18:22 ]</font>

Waarthog
2003-Jan-25, 11:26 PM
Good story idea but technological development couldn't have stopped if they have starships.

It might not stop, but it may slow down considerably. I refer to the science realated TV series Connections and The Day the universe changed by James Burke. The root cause of technological development over the whole of written human history boils down to one thing... Money. In the context of the story as written by Turtledove is that the prime technology to earn the greatest amount of money is trivial to posess. There is no NEED for technology to proceed at the pace ours has since ours was and still is driven by a limited resource set. In Turtledoves example, resources and living space are hyperubundant to anyone who wishes to scoop them up. Now the corallary here is that OK, now that they have all these resources, what do they do with them. Deveolpment will not stop, but the impetus for the industrial revolution is not quite as powerful as it is here.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-26, 04:14 AM
On 2003-01-25 18:26, Waarthog wrote:
Good story idea but technological development couldn't have stopped if they have starships.

It might not stop, but it may slow down considerably. I refer to the science realated TV series Connections and The Day the universe changed by James Burke. The root cause of technological development over the whole of written human history boils down to one thing... Money. In the context of the story as written by Turtledove is that the prime technology to earn the greatest amount of money is trivial to posess. There is no NEED for technology to proceed at the pace ours has since ours was and still is driven by a limited resource set. In Turtledoves example, resources and living space are hyperubundant to anyone who wishes to scoop them up. Now the corallary here is that OK, now that they have all these resources, what do they do with them. Deveolpment will not stop, but the impetus for the industrial revolution is not quite as powerful as it is here.


Hmmmmm, I stand by my earlier assertion. You said they were able to discover antigravity and hyperspace travel around the 1700's or so. Granted, this is just a story, but if they had the tech to make all the parts that go into making an intersteller starship (drives, lifesupport, hydroponics, navigation, electronics, hydrualics, recycling, ect) then a laser gun would be no problem.

Nightfall
2003-Jan-26, 04:44 AM
On 2003-01-24 20:34, VanBurenVandal wrote:
Look what happened when the Spanish met the Aztecs. Not only were the invaders just as big and strong as the Aztec warriors, they hid behind technology that could A) Kill you with a bullet way before you could do any damage with thrown projectiles and B) Deflect your spears with some plate mail armor. Sometimes technology is just too much to overcome…



I would like to point out that at Cortez's time they were still using smooth bore muskets. A skilled soldier could possibly fire off about two rounds per minute because there are about thirty actions required just to reload a musket. Muskets only were only accurate to, iirc, about twenty yards and at that distance a combatant does not have to march fast close that space between them. The reason for Cortez's conquest is not that they had superior weaponry, but because the Aztec's feared him and his men. So if aliens were to attack, I think we should learn from this and first not fear them simply because they are aliens. History has also soon us, with the Roman conquest of Ireland and the conquest of the Americas, that we will have to unite into a coalition inorder to fight invasions.

Back to the original topic, I would suggest Poul Anderson's novel Starfarers. I thought it did a good job at giving a realistic look at aliens and at space travel.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Nightfall on 2003-01-25 23:45 ]</font>

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-26, 04:59 AM
Muskets only were only accurate to, iirc, about twenty yards and at that distance a combatant does not have to march fast close that space between them.

I thought they stood in rows with those weapons so one row could fire while the other row reloaded. Plus, if they were smart they would lure a large force within range of the ships guns. I think the guns, although primitive by our standards would be a distinct advantage.

g99
2003-Jan-26, 05:26 AM
The spanish ships were thousand of miles away at the time on the other side of the continent. Plus they were busy being refitted and carrying supplies to other ports. Cortrez and other spaniards enlisted many native tribes that were enemies of the aztecs to help them fight when they were driven out of the city in 1519. He had lost about half of his men fighting to get out. Then the smallpox plague hit and destroyed much of the Aztec populace and weakened their army. It was then easy for Cortez to retake the city.

O.k. When the Aliens hit, what disease would they bring with them. All one of them would reallhy have to do it caugth on one of our people and we are screwed. byby humans.

Then again, we could do the same to them. This was discussed some time ago. Would a bacterium or virus even be able to interact with our cells?

[added last paragraph]

_________________
"Hi!!" - Some person, somewere, at some time.
"It takes Thousands to fight a battle for a mile, Millions to hold an election for a nation, but it only takes One to change the world." - Dan Sandler 2002

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2003-01-26 00:27 ]</font>

Waarthog
2003-Jan-26, 06:24 AM
Hmmmmm, I stand by my earlier assertion. You said they were able to discover antigravity and hyperspace travel around the 1700's or so. Granted, this is just a story, but if they had the tech to make all the parts that go into making an intersteller starship (drives, lifesupport, hydroponics, navigation, electronics, hydrualics, recycling, ect) then a laser gun would be no problem.

OK my fault then. HT specifically spells out that the tech is pure 1700's and that is all that is needed. The ships are made of wood, covered with pitch to keep the air in (hence the size of the ship vs crew in it), lighting is by fireflies, recycling is done by chamber pots, the air can (and sometimes does) run out navigation is point and go.The aliens even tell the interrogating Earthfolk than when the tech is discovered the progress in most arts stops as they "go travelling" In the confines of the premise, this works. What makes it NOT work is that the premise is so farfetched.

informant
2003-Jan-26, 01:26 PM
On 2003-01-25 18:20, g99 wrote:


On 2003-01-25 15:24, informant wrote:
Thank you James, I was just curious.

Back to g99's request of aliens, there's another one that I think no one has mentioned yet: the alien Gaea, in John Varley's Gaea trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon).

[Fixed spelling.]

Never heard of it. What is so special?



Gaea is essentially a living moon, inhabited by a myriad of exotic aliens. I thought of posting the book summary from the back cover, but I didn’t know if the BA would like that. Take a look, and see if it interests you:

Titan (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0441813046/ref=lib_rd_ss_TBCV/002-6850284-2799256?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader&img=8#reader-link)

Wizard (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0425072835/qid=1043587382/sr=1-18/ref=sr_1_18/002-6850284-2799256?v=glance&s=books)

Demon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0441142672/qid=1043587074/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/002-6850284-2799256?v=glance&s=books)

This is 70s science fiction, so there are some bold sex scenes here and there; I don’t know if this bothers you…

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-26, 04:31 PM
OK my fault then. HT specifiually spells out that the tech is pure 1700's and that is all that is needed. The ships are made of wood, covered with pitch to keep the air in (hence the size of the ship vs crew in it), lighting is by fireflies, recycling is done by chamber pots, the air can (and sometimes does) run out navigation is point and go.The aliens even tell the interrogating Earthfolk than when the tech is discovered the progress in most arts stops as they "go travelling" In the confines of the premise, this works. What makes it NOT work is that the premise is so farfetched.


Oh, that makes more sense now if there starships were made of wood also. I misunderstood.

James_Digriz
2003-Jan-26, 04:41 PM
[quote] This is 70s science fiction, so there are some bold sex scenes here and there; I don’t know if this bothers you… [quote]

Hey, I have the first book. Gonna have to bump it up on the "to read" list now.


[quote] Gaea is essentially a living moon, inhabited by a myriad of exotic aliens. I thought of posting the book summary from the back cover, but I didn’t know if the BA would like that. Take a look, and see if it interests you: [quote]

Theres a gaean being mentenioned in Marrow by Robert Reed also. It starts as a small humanoid but can cover a planet with itself when it finds a planet. Thought that was a good idea as it could travel by starship.

tracer
2003-Jan-28, 01:17 AM
On 2003-01-26 08:26, informant wrote:
[John Varley's] Gaea is essentially a living moon, inhabited by a myriad of exotic aliens.
SPOILER for Demon (the 3rd Gaea book) below

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The neatest thing about this alien-cum-world, at least from the standpoint of an adolescent reader with dreams of unlimited power, was that Gaea was not always the same "person." Gaea is a moon-sized shell that can contain a living mind which will control it. The last "person" who was Gaea became Gaea about 50,000 years ago, and was probably neither human nor a member of whichever species had built the Gaea shell in the first place.

Of course, fifty thousand years of confinement inside an alien mind receptacle is enough to drive anybody insane....

dan-o2
2003-Jan-29, 03:51 AM
At the mountains of madness.