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Ripper
2003-Aug-23, 05:21 PM
I guess I have started thinking about this because I have recently become a father for the first time, and I am having to relate to this creature that does not seen to follow normal human logic.

The various Star Trek series have only barely touched on this. I never got into B-5, but I remember there was a character from a race that was so alien that only a few humans could have a conversation with them. It does seem possible to me that if we ever do make contact with a space faring species we will have a hard time relating to them.

At the same time, if they are space faring they have to understand the same physics and mathematics we use.

Can anyone give me some more examples of how this issue has been dealt with in science fiction?

TriangleMan
2003-Aug-23, 05:33 PM
Aside from the cop-outs like 'Universal Language Translators', telepathy or other quick fixes? I don't think a lot of books deal with this, when aliens are predominately featured a lot of times they are part of some Federation which all have a common language or they learned to speak English before appearing before us. I can't think of any sci-fi examples off-hand that go through a painstaking process of communication with aliens.

Ripper
2003-Aug-23, 05:42 PM
Even if the aliens are logical by our standards, that does not mean they are going to comminicate vocally. They could use sign language, chromatophores, phermones... This would not rule out eventual communication, but it would make it very dificult at first.

There are a number of cop-outs in the Star Trek series. I think the universal translator is the biggest one. In Enterprise though they just accept the fact that someone with better than average linguistic skills can crack the code on any alien language in less than half an hour.

nebularain
2003-Aug-23, 05:42 PM
DS-9 did once. Unfortunately, it wasn't too impressive. It just took them a little while for the language translator to "figure out" the language.

Oh yeah, and then there was the ST:TNG episode with the aliens who spoke things like "[So-and-so] when the walls fell." The alien captain kidnapped Picard and had him transported down to a planet to be alone with him and a beast on the planet as a means of developing a bond (fighting the beast together).

Ripper
2003-Aug-23, 05:44 PM
I saw that episode. It took Piccard almost 45 minutes to figure out the alien language. Correct me if I am wrong, the UT works on the assumption that all species have basicly the same brain structure.

Roy Batty
2003-Aug-23, 05:47 PM
I never got into B-5, but I remember there was a character from a race that was so alien that only a few humans could have a conversation with them.


Possibly you're thinking of Ambassador Kosh? (http://www.midwinter.com/lurk/universe/cast-1.html) :)

TriangleMan
2003-Aug-23, 05:48 PM
Hmmm, now that I think about it, didn't Solaris (the book) deal with this to some degree? In that instance though it was an alien trying to communicate with us. Let's face it, the long and painfully slow process of trying to communicate with a new lifeform does not make for exciting reading/viewing.

Humphrey
2003-Aug-23, 06:52 PM
The author Robert Sawyer (http://www.sfwriter.com/) deals with this alot.

Several of his books have the aliens looking nuthing like a humanoid and many of them actuing nuthing like a humanoid. He does cop out with some of them slowly learning english or knowing english (throught many, many years of watching the humans).


Like take the book Starplex:

SPoilers!!!!




This book deals with 4 different species: Humans, Ib, Waldahudin, and dark matter creatures. (dolphins are another species, but play such a small part in the book they are hardly worth mentioning.)

Each of the first contact are tols second hand and in a short flashback. The first contact with the Waldahudin and the humans havd a innocent gesture killing several of each race thinking the other is acting agressively.

The Ib is a amalgamatyion of individual beiongs and thinks differently than the "individual" humans and Waldahudin. Their words and "religion" is based off of their being linked as many individual speices.


Well eventually all three cultures come upon a dark matter nebulae. or they think it is. They soon learn that it is actually made up of thousands of dark matterer spheres that reproduce and seem to niow ehat is happening around them. AS if they are being controlled throught a outside experience.

Soon someone realizes that they might actually be alive and tries to communicate with them. It takes a very long time before they even are able to say anything the dark matter creatures understand. They start this out by using math. They get the symbols for prime numbers, addition, multiply etc. They then use this to get the other words.

They then teach eachother what words mean. Like the human will say "hi" and the dark matter creacher eventually learns what the word means and the creature says its word fro Hi!.

It takes a while for this to happen and eventually they start to converse.

It seems that these creatures have been around since the begining of the universe. So time for them is no matter. They do not relate and passage of time as regular humans and the other species do. And in the book each of the species reacts differently to the evidenc eof a new intelegent creature.


A very interesting read. I feel this portrays a "first contact" event beautifully and accurately.


The author does cop out some with a super powerfull computer and force fields, but they do not detract much from the actualy first contact.

Ripper
2003-Aug-23, 08:05 PM
The hive mind has been done a few times. The plotline you mentioned sounds a lot like Ender's Game. The aliens had a hive mind, and killed the crew of an earth ship just as a precaution, not thinking that each individual was a sentient being.

You would think that it would not be that hard to make the aliens look truely alien with modern special effects. Most aliens are still just humand with funny foreheads. The Horta in STOS is one of the few exceptions I can think of. There was also the Medusan, but we never got to see it.

Just to medd with peoples heads someone can write a script with an alien that looks very human, but is totally alien in its thought patterns.

I was just thinking of the line from MIB, "Human thought is so primative that it is considered an infectious disease in some parts of the galaxy. Kind of makes you proud, doesn't it?"

Humphrey
2003-Aug-23, 08:11 PM
I thought the origonal idea of the xenomorph in the Alien seires was very good. The Alien was smart and impossible to communicate with.


They did mess it up once they started to introduce the queen into it with her controlling throught a hive mind and pheramones.

Ripper
2003-Aug-23, 08:37 PM
I agree. The thing is, I am talking about space faring species. Intelligence does not necessarily mean technology. I think to achieve space travel a species must have more than animal cunning.

There are certain things that I think all life forms are going to have. For one, self preservation. But in a hive mind that may not apply. You have to think of it in terms of a single organism instead of individuals. To achieve space travel the species must understand physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, etc. These are universal.

Humphrey
2003-Aug-23, 09:18 PM
I agree. All spacefaring species would have that knoledge. languages will eb different, and even ways of thinking would be. But math stays the same. The only problem i see is if we have physics currently wrong (which i doubt). That would make discussion difficult.

Ripper
2003-Aug-23, 09:44 PM
That would be a big upset. What if when we come up with the grand unification theory we find out that both Neutonian and Einstienian physics are wrong? I majored in Philosophy, and something that came up a few times that pre-Neutonian "physics" were often right, or at least functional in the real world, though they were not based on anything substantial.

How about a species that has never even developed fire or metal, but has managed to achieve a rather high lever of tecnology through selective breeding and biological engineering of its own and other species? The role-playing game Traveler 2300 had such a species. In any case they would not need the same understanding of chemistry and physics as we use.

doltish
2003-Aug-25, 01:10 AM
How about a species that has never even developed fire or metal, but has managed to achieve a rather high lever of tecnology through selective breeding and biological engineering of its own and other species? The role-playing game Traveler 2300 had such a species. In any case they would not need the same understanding of chemistry and physics as we use.

Wouldn't a race that biologically engineered itself to become an advanced space-faring race have a far more in-depth understanding of chemistry and biology than we do? They perhaps wouldn't learn it from petri dishes and lithmus paper but they would learn it nontheless.

Ripper
2003-Aug-25, 01:16 AM
Perhaps. They may have to come at it in a totaly different way. Humans were selectively breeding domestic animals for a long time before we even discovered DNA. If it is the focol point of all of their science they may be doing it without a full understanding of what is happening at a molecular level. Kind of like some of the guys I ride with who soup up their motorcycles. They do not know physics or engineering. They know what works, and may or may not care why.

Kizarvexis
2003-Aug-25, 02:28 AM
C.J. Cherryh's 'Chanur' series of books had various species that did not understand each other well, if at all. The oxy-breathers could communicate and trade amongst themselves, but the philosophical and cultural differences of the various races didn't come across well. The methane and oxy-breathers could barely communicate. The t'ca and the oxy-breathers have the best communications where they can trade and at least transmit navigation info back and forth. The chi are associated with the t'ca but are friends/slaves/pets or something else (the oxybreathers are not sure). The knnn are just different. The t'ca can talk to them in a limited sense, as far as the oxy-breathers can determine, but everyone else pretty much has to just avoid the knnn ships as they do not understand(? follow, who knows) navigation rules and trade by grabbing something and leaving something else with no discernable pattern.

Kizarvexis

Ripper
2003-Aug-25, 12:06 PM
I read a few of the Channur books years ago. Weren't the big space starions divided between the oxys and the meths? Taht must have been some concstuction project to coordinate.

In line with the earlier posts. Can anyone think of a plausible way for a species to make it into space using only biological means? Sci-Fi has a number of creatures that are adapted to live in space. How could an animal get out of a gravity well and into space. Bar head geese have been observed flying at almost 30,000 feet. I have heard that mold spored can drife into the upper atmosphere, and possibly into space. Baloon animals living on gas giant planets have been featured in a number of scientific and sci-fi works, and we have sent manned baloons to the edge of space (have you read about Joe Kittinger's parachute jump from a baloon at 103,000 feet?). How could an animal create thrust in a vaccum?

kucharek
2003-Aug-25, 12:13 PM
"Solaris" was already mentioned. It's a general subject of many of Lem's books that it will be nearly impossible to understand and/or communicate with alien races. Other examples are "Eden", "Fiasco", "The Invincible" or "The Man from Mars". There are also some short stories about this subject.
"Return from the Stars" is somewhat an example about how difficult it would be to even communicate with your own people after being away for some 100 years.

Ripper
2003-Aug-25, 12:27 PM
I missed the movie Solaris, and never read the book. Would you recommend them, Kucharek?

100 years? I suppose that could drive a wedge between you and someone removed by four generations. Still, I think communicating with someone from 1903 wuold not be nearly as hard as an alien who might not even have the same concept of communication as we do.

By the way. I was stationed at Panzer Kaserne back in the 80s. That is nead Boblingen. I have been to Karlsruhe many times.

kucharek
2003-Aug-25, 12:39 PM
I missed the movie Solaris, and never read the book. Would you recommend them, Kucharek?
Well, I read it once a year and always find some new aspects in it. But I think, it is very much a matter of own taste if you like it. Give it a try.


100 years? I suppose that could drive a wedge between you and someone removed by four generations. Still, I think communicating with someone from 1903 wuold not be nearly as hard as an alien who might not even have the same concept of communication as we do.
The problem lies more in changed social concepts that cause many misunderstandings.


By the way. I was stationed at Panzer Kaserne back in the 80s. That is nead Boblingen. I have been to Karlsruhe many times.
The US troops left Karlsruhe some 10 years ago. Though it gave Karlsruhe a whole new quarter, the German-American Volksfest and especially the tons of american ice cream sold there are still missed by many people here. :)

snowcelt
2003-Aug-25, 02:34 PM
I believe that kucharek, Ripper, and snowcelt all dwelt in the same area in the late 70's early 80's.
When I was in primary/ jr secondary we had to figure out what we would do if we were stuck in the situation that has been mentioned in this thread.
Great way for a kid to think outside the box , eh?
If we run into aliens they will be beyond us. Think not? Think again. Any alien who makes contact with us will be so advanced (and prepared) that they would know our language.
NaNoNaNo

Ripper
2003-Aug-25, 05:16 PM
I know. They have been watching our sitcoms for years. Mork and Mindy episodes are being watched by aliens 25 LY away. Scary huh? I just hope none of them have determined that it is all some kind of psychological attack and retaliate. On the other hand, how much worse could it be than what we are already watching?

Humphrey
2003-Aug-25, 05:59 PM
Anyone seen Galaxy Quest? :P




But seriously: In reality what is more likely: Would we be the ones to visit them, them to visit us, or the two to comminicate from homeworlds first?

doltish
2003-Aug-25, 06:32 PM
But seriously: In reality what is more likely: Would we be the ones to visit them, them to visit us, or the two to comminicate from homeworlds first?

That's assuming they have any desire to communicate with us at all. Perhaps the knowledge that there is other life in the Universe would not strike them as surprising or novel at all.

Had aliens sent a message to Gallileo I doubt the world would have received it in good light. More than likely the Vatican would cover it up or attribute the message to his communication wth Satan. It seems to me that communication between totally alien races would have to occur at just the right window of time.

Ripper
2003-Aug-25, 06:55 PM
It is a big assumption that the aliens would even care. How will we feel when we get to an inhabited planet and find out that they had known about us for years, but just didn't think were all that interesting?

First contact is likely to be a bit dodgy. I can't remember the title of a rather poor book I read years ago, but the aliens communicated telepathicly, and had a dual brail that was in contridiction with itself. To make a decision it would have one mind form a complete thaought, the other form a contradictory thought, and then decide which to act on. Mind you , not which one was correct, just which to act on. Humans trying to communicate with them tended to go insane because they were constantly bombarded with contardictory thoughts at the same time. In some ways this is like the Hegelian thesis, antithesis, synthesis thought process, and in others like the Freudian id, ego, superego.

Alex W.
2003-Aug-25, 07:17 PM
Arthur C. Clarke does a good job in his novels, although it's usually "lower" creatures- except the Monoliths...

johnwitts
2003-Aug-25, 07:33 PM
Forget trying to communicate with aliens or with people from 1903. I had a hard enough time communicating with the entire population of France a couple of summers ago...

Ripper
2003-Aug-25, 07:36 PM
I am a professional military officer. The French do not exist in my universe.

Roy Batty
2003-Aug-25, 09:18 PM
Forget trying to communicate with aliens or with people from 1903. I had a hard enough time communicating with the entire population of France a couple of summers ago...

'Driving Monsieur Witts'? :wink:


I am a professional military officer. The French do not exist in my universe.

:lol: & dont even get me started on Parisian Taxi Drivers :o
8)

Kizarvexis
2003-Aug-25, 09:50 PM
I read a few of the Channur books years ago. Weren't the big space starions divided between the oxys and the meths? Taht must have been some concstuction project to coordinate.

In line with the earlier posts. Can anyone think of a plausible way for a species to make it into space using only biological means? Sci-Fi has a number of creatures that are adapted to live in space. How could an animal get out of a gravity well and into space. Bar head geese have been observed flying at almost 30,000 feet. I have heard that mold spored can drife into the upper atmosphere, and possibly into space. Baloon animals living on gas giant planets have been featured in a number of scientific and sci-fi works, and we have sent manned baloons to the edge of space (have you read about Joe Kittinger's parachute jump from a baloon at 103,000 feet?). How could an animal create thrust in a vaccum?

Well, IIRC, she didn't say how they built the stations. :) I would bet which ever race owned the system built the whole station and left the other side with the different atmosphere to be fitted out by those that would use it. It would keep the structure homogeneous, but the interior walls and equipment would be installed by the races that would be using them. I mean what kind of TV would a knnn want?:o

Kizarvexis

Kizarvexis
2003-Aug-25, 09:54 PM
Anyone seen Galaxy Quest? :P




But seriously: In reality what is more likely: Would we be the ones to visit them, them to visit us, or the two to comminicate from homeworlds first?

Well if G'Kar was right, politics across the universe are basically the same, then there would be no funding for continous broadcasting and everyone would be listening periodically when they get the scope time and money. :) So with hardly anyone broadcasting, if at all, and everyone listening....

Kizarvexis


Kizarvexis

AGN Fuel
2003-Aug-26, 02:35 AM
I agree. The thing is, I am talking about space faring species. Intelligence does not necessarily mean technology. I think to achieve space travel a species must have more than animal cunning.

There are certain things that I think all life forms are going to have. For one, self preservation. But in a hive mind that may not apply. You have to think of it in terms of a single organism instead of individuals. To achieve space travel the species must understand physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, etc. These are universal.

Have you ever read "The Black Cloud" by Fred Hoyle? That was a space-faring creature that had no technology at all in the sense of making machinery. It too had to solve the communication problem and also tackled the issues of mobility & energy resources in space.

Mr. X
2003-Aug-26, 04:14 AM
Correct me if I am wrong but I believe the Calamarain from the TNG episode "Deja Q" was an intelligent life form with whom it was impossible to communicate at all, except for Q.

Ripper
2003-Aug-26, 11:27 AM
Didn't the Black Cloud evolve in space? My question dealt with the physics involved in a living creature getting out of a gravity well by its own power. I remember in Encounter at Farpoint, the pilot for STNG, the big jellyfish was able to rise into orbit once it had enough energy, but this looked more like magic than physics.

I vaguely remember the Calamarain episode, but not much about it.

mike alexander
2003-Aug-26, 11:19 PM
Terry Carr dealt with it in his story "The Dance of the Changer and the Three." There was no way you could be sure you had it right between you and the aliens.

Ripper
2003-Aug-26, 11:42 PM
So what you are saying is that the humans were hoping they understood what the aliens were about and vice versa. I guess that makes sense.

mike alexander
2003-Aug-26, 11:53 PM
Yeah. A lot like talking to a teenager.

Roy Batty
2003-Aug-26, 11:58 PM
Yeah. A lot like talking to a teenager.

lol! I read that story again not that long ago (changer..) weird! 8)

mbjvx
2003-Aug-27, 08:16 AM
Anyone read sphere?

Ripper
2003-Aug-27, 05:57 PM
I saw the movie. I guess that does not count. Did the book deal with the way the aliens thought? I suppose if you had a level of technology where it was like magic, and you had to just think what you want your logical processes may change over the generations. There have been a few sci-fi stories, including an episode of STNG where a highly advanced race had incredible technology and used it all the time, but no longer knew how it worked, or how to fix it when it broke.

How many of you out there have a car but don't even know how to change your own oil?

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-27, 06:00 PM
I've read it, but it was a while ago...

Colt
2003-Aug-27, 08:03 PM
I read Sphere a while back, I really liked it. :) Here's the the thread about it Sphere (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2709).

That was in the original series I think, Ripper.. There may have been a TNG one but I don't recall it. -Colt

Ripper
2003-Aug-27, 08:09 PM
I was thinking of the one where the last few members of a legendary race had kidnapped the children from the enterprise because the technology was putting out radiation that had made them sterile. I am sure I say the STOS you are thinking of. Humm a few bars for me.

Colt
2003-Aug-27, 08:39 PM
The episode I was thinking of was where they kidnap Spock and use his brain to control the equipment that they no longer know how to use. The episode you are describing sounds like [ulr=http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/library/episodes/TOS/detail/68790.html] For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky[/url].

They updated startrek.com, looks good. :) -Colt

SeanF
2003-Aug-27, 08:47 PM
The episode I was thinking of was where they kidnap Spock and use his brain to control the equipment that they no longer know how to use.
Spock's Brain (http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/library/episodes/TOS/detail/68782.html)

The episode you are describing sounds like For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/library/episodes/TOS/detail/68790.html).

When the Bough Breaks (http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/library/episodes/TNG/detail/68342.html), TNG.

Ripper
2003-Aug-27, 11:02 PM
Ah yes. I have seen both of those. Thanx.

Humphrey
2003-Aug-28, 12:48 AM
IMHO: Sphere (a amazing book! really "make you think" ending. ;-)) did not involve aliens at all. But wather what the huiman mind can do. That is all.

Ripper
2003-Aug-28, 12:54 PM
So, in the book, where did the sphere come from?

darkhunter
2003-Aug-28, 06:49 PM
So, in the book, where did the sphere come from?

The future.

Colt
2003-Aug-28, 07:12 PM
Well.. There are two possibilities. 1. The Sphere is from an alien race that sent it out to test other sentient beings. 2. It is from the future, built by man for some unknown purpose in their time.. I would go with the first possibility. It is strongly alluded to in the book and movie that it was sent to test humanity.

IMHO the book is better than the movie. :) -Colt

Ripper
2003-Aug-28, 07:17 PM
I can think of few cases where the book was not better than the movie. Usually it is when the movie was made first, and then novelized.

Unfortunately I have little time for leisure reading these days. In fact I should not be on the net right now.

Don't tell my boss.

Colt
2003-Aug-28, 07:21 PM
What were the better points in the movie you think? -Colt

informant
2003-Aug-28, 07:32 PM
Aside from the cop-outs like 'Universal Language Translators', telepathy or other quick fixes? I don't think a lot of books deal with this, when aliens are predominately featured a lot of times they are part of some Federation which all have a common language or they learned to speak English before appearing before us. I can't think of any sci-fi examples off-hand that go through a painstaking process of communication with aliens.

Rama Revealed (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553569473/qid=1062099193/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_4/103-0665567-4499839?v=glance&s=books), from Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama sequels seems like a possible candidate. (The Octospiders.)


"Solaris" was already mentioned. It's a general subject of many of Lem's books that it will be nearly impossible to understand and/or communicate with alien races. Other examples are "Eden", "Fiasco", "The Invincible" or "The Man from Mars". There are also some short stories about this subject.
"Return from the Stars" is somewhat an example about how difficult it would be to even communicate with your own people after being away for some 100 years.

Shame on you, kucharek. [-X You didn’t mention His Master’s Voice (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0810117312/qid=1062098718/sr=1-15/ref=sr_1_15/103-0665567-4499839?v=glance&s=books)!

Colt
2003-Aug-28, 07:48 PM
The Rama series of books is reallly good, Octospiders are good example. -Colt

Humphrey
2003-Aug-28, 11:46 PM
One book that was created from the movie and was better than the movie was the novelization of Spiderman by Peter David. It is actually a really good book. I reccomend it. It also explains alot of what was cut out from the movie.


Hmmm...a movie that was better than the book?

Hmm...can you give me a couple of centuries to see if one is made?

Ripper
2003-Aug-29, 01:39 PM
OK then, what was the worst atrocity commited by a movie maker when he took a book to the screen. The Postman by David Brin was an excellent book. The movie had little in common with the book. Can anyone think of a worse adaptation?

AstroSmurf
2003-Aug-29, 03:39 PM
OK then, what was the worst atrocity commited by a movie maker when he took a book to the screen. The Postman by David Brin was an excellent book. The movie had little in common with the book. Can anyone think of a worse adaptation? Starship Troopers (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0120201/)?
Johny Mnemonic (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0113481/)?
I usually repress memories of bad movies, but those two stuck in my mind...

daver
2003-Aug-29, 07:34 PM
OK then, what was the worst atrocity commited by a movie maker when he took a book to the screen. The Postman by David Brin was an excellent book. The movie had little in common with the book. Can anyone think of a worse adaptation? Starship Troopers (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0120201/)?
Johny Mnemonic (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0113481/)?
I usually repress memories of bad movies, but those two stuck in my mind...

Nightflyers, Moonraker, Damnation Alley, She, Nightfall, King Soloman's Mines (the second film). Irwin Allen did a movie from a James Blish novel; i don't remember the name of the movie now, but it's where he got the flying sub from Voyage to See What's on the Bottom. Lensman was ok, i suppose--not really an awful adaptation, just nearly completely unrelated to the books. I haven't seen Enemy Mine; i don't know how bad the adaptation was. Bladerunner was an excellent film that was almost entirely unrelated to its source. George Pal's Conquest of Space was pretty bad. I expect there are others that are so poorly adapted that a casual viewer would have no idea they were based on a real story.

Ripper
2003-Aug-29, 08:55 PM
Bad movies all. But plese limit yourself to one vote. Maybe I should start a new thread. I am sure someone has done this one before. I suppose we should break it down by, least entertaining, most bad science, least in common with the book, worst in relation to the book. I think we should do it by elimination. Start with lots of suggestions, and narrow the foild to a few that can them be voted on.

daver
2003-Aug-29, 10:30 PM
One problem with the voting from lots of suggestions idea is that few people would have sat through all the examples listed (or remember them if they did).

Hmm. Hal Clement's Eye of the Needle was turned into a movie. Maybe we can have a "most added cleavage" category.

Kizarvexis
2003-Aug-30, 01:44 AM
Starship Troopers hands down. Never was or will be a movie made that was so completely different than the book. Total 180 degree change of tone. :x The idiots who made this movie should BE TARRED AND FEATHERED AND RUN OUT OF HOLLYWOOD ON A RAIL!!! :evil: :evil: :evil: THEY SHOULD /urk

Kizarvexis will return once the meds kick in. Thank you for reading.

Ripper
2003-Aug-30, 01:55 PM
Would you like to borrow some Zoloft?

What I hated most about Starship Troopers is that I had been picturing the opening scene of the book in my head for years. You remember the raid on the Skinny world? With modern FX that could have been so awesome. The movie did not even have any good battle scenes. By the way, in my professional opinion, the tactics made no sense.

By the way, what ever hapened to the powered armor?

Kizarvexis
2003-Aug-30, 04:28 PM
Would you like to borrow some Zoloft?

What I hated most about Starship Troopers is that I had been picturing the opening scene of the book in my head for years. You remember the raid on the Skinny world? With modern FX that could have been so awesome. The movie did not even have any good battle scenes. By the way, in my professional opinion, the tactics made no sense.

By the way, what ever hapened to the powered armor?

Their idiots! :evil: That's why they didn't have the MI's in powered armor. :evil: :evil: They obviously could not envision how things worked in ST and so could not see how cool the battles would be. :evil: :evil: :evil: They should be dipped in honey and laid out on a hill of an/urk

Let's see if Kizarvexis can get out of this and bypass the meds.


it;s harf ro type wif ur nose1 :o

Ripper
2003-Aug-30, 10:32 PM
Very well, I will agree that Starship Troopers was the worst adaptation of a sci-fi novel. Now please don't hurt me.

Colt
2003-Aug-31, 02:08 AM
It would have been impractical to build realistic (if possible even) looking powered armor for a movie. This is the cop-out answer though. :P With modern CGI they could have done all of the stuff described in the book easily.

Ripper, I just think of the battles in the movie as a representation of what would happen if you gave WWI soldiers modern weapons with no idea how to use them except pull the trigger. Massed rushes with nuclear weapons and assault rifles! Hooray! I take it in stride and LMAO. 8) -Colt

Ripper
2003-Aug-31, 01:58 PM
I think even WWI soldiers would have figured out that there was no point in getting into bayonet range with an enemy that did not have projectile weapons. Frankly, a few of the "Quick firing" French 75s would have been more effective than most of the "modern weapons" shown in the movie. This is just another case of my point that there have been no major advances in weapons technonlgy in 100 years. Moreover, hollywood does not have the imagination to think of any. At least there have been major advances in fire control for artillery in the past few decades.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Aug-31, 04:39 PM
I would say 80, 85 years, not 100. Military aircraft are big advances. So is the aircraft carrier. The two combined changed naval strategy forever.

Ripper
2003-Sep-01, 03:03 AM
I should have specified small arms. We have had some significant advances in guided weapons since the first gulf war.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Sep-01, 03:33 AM
Sorry, I thought you meant all weapons...

You are right about small arms. Same old, same old...

There is hope, though: http://www.hecklerkoch-usa.com/pages/military/fwframeset.html

Not much in the way of advancement, but it's a start.

Colt
2003-Sep-01, 08:20 AM
I'd check the Weapons Talk thread before posting things about the XM29. I think most of us have stated we dislike the weapons system and the idea of it. :) On that note, we should probably take this discussion there (I'm posting something interesting I found a while back so you have to go there :P ). -Colt

Alex W.
2003-Sep-01, 11:00 AM
Regarding Rama and movie conversions, do you know that Morgan Freeman's film company is producing a movie based on Rendezvous with Rama? Of course, it's in development hell, but that's besides the point.

Mellow
2003-Sep-01, 11:13 AM
I'd urge anyone enjoying this thread to read "Evolving the Alien" by Ian Stewart and Bob Cohen.

An excellent boox exploring fundamental questions of what constitute life and how might it evolve in many different environments.

kucharek
2003-Sep-01, 11:18 AM
Regarding Rama and movie conversions, do you know that Morgan Freeman's film company is producing a movie based on Rendezvous with Rama? Of course, it's in development hell, but that's besides the point.
It's been in this state since a long time, I don't know if the movie will ever matrialize. Currently, it's due for 2006...

Ripper
2003-Sep-02, 12:12 AM
Good sci-fi books have not had a good record at the box office. Most sci-fi movies are action films, and horror set in space. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, but real sci-fi should be about exploring possibilities, and the general public is not up for that. I would be suprised if Rama ever sees a theatre.

Pity.

darkhunter
2003-Sep-02, 05:50 PM
Good sci-fi books have not had a good record at the box office. Most sci-fi movies are action films, and horror set in space. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, but real sci-fi should be about exploring possibilities, and the general public is not up for that. I would be suprised if Rama ever sees a theatre.

Pity.

If it does, we may not recognize it after Hollywood is done with it... :evil:

According to the movies they resemble:

Starship Troopers (The Movie) meets Alien: think 40km diamter cylinder, with evil alien death hiding in every shadow--and only one crew member survives... :evil:

V: Rama is the first of many come to covertly steal our water

Independence Day: Rama is the first of many come to steal the Earth's resources

I will be pleasently suprised if it make some semblance of following the book, though. :D

Ripper
2003-Sep-02, 07:24 PM
I think you have the situation pegged DH.

darkhunter
2003-Sep-02, 08:27 PM
I think you have the situation pegged DH.

I wish it wasn't that easy to peg it....Like I said, I would really like to see more movies based on good, solid science fiction books that actually follow the book, and the author's intent.

Rendevous with Rama would be good if they followed it right.

So would Larry Niven's Footfall: Realistic alien invaders, real science (the Fipth use a modified Bussard ramjet--they may have been given a way to make it useful...)

Legacy of the Heorot could be a good horror movie without deviating from the book (Grendles rock)

For a mystery--Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel and its sequals.

The Mote in God's Eye would be another good alien first contact movie.

The key to all of these would be to follow the book. The author had the things happen in the books the way they did for a reason.



(I tend to drive people crazy by meaning exactly what I say--they think I'm kidding, and find out I wasn't...so I work under the impression that everyone else doess the same [i Know they don't, but it is fun pulling their legs when I take them leterally :lol: )

Ripper
2003-Sep-02, 11:40 PM
I think David Brin's "Startide Rising" would be an excellent movie. When I first read it I thought the only way they could do it would be to animate it. Still an option, but with the CGI we have now it would not be hard to do. The thing is, after the disaster of The Postman, I do not think anyone is going to touch a David Brin story for some time.

Colt
2003-Sep-03, 12:04 AM
I would absolutely love to see Footfall made into a movie that follows the book exactly. That's the only book I can think of right now, maybe Ringworld. :D -Colt

Gremalkyn
2003-Sep-03, 12:11 AM
I forget the title, but it is a Heinlein book where a generational ark travels through space for so long, the people forget they are on a ship. A young girl finds the bridge, but the people refuse to believe her. It would make for an interesting sociological angle to space travel: we are *not* on a ship, young lady!

Humphrey
2003-Sep-03, 12:23 AM
I forget the title, but it is a Heinlein book where a generational ark travels through space for so long, the people forget they are on a ship. A young girl finds the bridge, but the people refuse to believe her. It would make for an interesting sociological angle to space travel: we are *not* on a ship, young lady!


Orphans of the sky. and if i am not mistaken, its a boy. :-) They do not find the bridge till much later. IT is more of a revolt againt authority first of all. Then a revolt against standard doctrin of the universe. The main character finds out that there really is a world beyond whayt he learns from his parents and leaders. After learning this he is made a heratic.

eburacum45
2003-Sep-03, 12:25 AM
The Mote in God's Eye would make a good movie, IMO-
It is essentially a detective story, with the Moties playing at being Keyser Soze...
if it were possible to break Hollywood out of the convention of shoot-em-ups in space (although there is plenty of fighting in Mote)
this would have to be the sort of film to make.

It also is relevant to the OP (remember that?) The Mediator Moties acted like humans because they were bred to be mimics;
everything the Moties did was consistent with their own biological nature,
and although they seemed to be friendly and open, this was deception, but again this deception was inevitable given the alien logic of their evolution.

Gremalkyn
2003-Sep-03, 12:29 AM
Sounds right. I keep picturing a young girl/woman on the cover, which is probably wrong, so I "remembered" that it was a girl in the lead role.

It was required reading when I was still in HS, probably for a Social Studies class.

captain swoop
2003-Sep-03, 08:36 AM
Would you like to borrow some Zoloft?

What I hated most about Starship Troopers is that I had been picturing the opening scene of the book in my head for years. You remember the raid on the Skinny world? With modern FX that could have been so awesome. The movie did not even have any good battle scenes. By the way, in my professional opinion, the tactics made no sense.

By the way, what ever hapened to the powered armor?

It was in the computer animated TV series, it looked good as well, ran out of power if it didn't get a recharge regularly and everything.

Ripper
2003-Sep-03, 12:14 PM
I never even heard of a TV series. Did it have a good run, or did it fizzle?

I suppose a species that has decided that the entire universe is theirs, and everyone else has to serve them or die would not be too alien to relate to. After all isn't that the way we think?

Has anyone read any of Piper's books?

captain swoop
2003-Sep-03, 01:13 PM
I never even heard of a TV series. Did it have a good run, or did it fizzle?


snip



http://www.roughneckchronicles.com/
http://www.roughneckchronicles.com/index2.html
http://www.trooperpx.com/RSTC/series.html

darkhunter
2003-Sep-03, 07:03 PM
The Mote in God's Eye would make a good movie, IMO-
It is essentially a detective story, with the Moties playing at being Keyser Soze...
if it were possible to break Hollywood out of the convention of shoot-em-ups in space (although there is plenty of fighting in Mote)
this would have to be the sort of film to make.

It also is relevant to the OP (remember that?) The Mediator Moties acted like humans because they were bred to be mimics;
everything the Moties did was consistent with their own biological nature,
and although they seemed to be friendly and open, this was deception, but again this deception was inevitable given the alien logic of their evolution.

Need a Crazy Eddie in Hollywood about now :lol:

Ripper
2003-Sep-03, 08:00 PM
I need to check that out. I may even have a copy somewhere. I would assume that if they can pass themselves off as human they have similar logic.

darkhunter
2003-Sep-03, 08:47 PM
I need to check that out. I may even have a copy somewhere. I would assume that if they can pass themselves off as human they have similar logic.

Well, they can't really pass as human--although a Mediator with human Fyunch-click (probably mispelled) could*

*Yes, I know it works the other way around....

snowcelt
2003-Sep-04, 05:47 AM
Ripper. Yes! Read all of Piper's stuff. He was ahead of his time. His concept of what society could be like was almost prescient. That is one nice thing about placing your works in one universe like H Beam did; you can explore new aspects of culture with other aspects already explained.

informant
2003-Sep-04, 05:28 PM
The movie had little in common with the book. Can anyone think of a worse adaptation?

While there are many book adaptations that turn out to be disappointing, I've read that the film adaptations of Asimov’s Nightfall – 1988 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095738/) and 2000 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0249840/) –, and of LeGuin’s The Lathe of Heaven (the most recent one, 2002 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0290230/)) are particularly atrocious.

Ripper
2003-Sep-05, 12:11 PM
I think Piper was more realistic about how space exploration would go. Despite our best intentions we would likely destroy a number of cultures. Perhaps we would introduce diseases to unsuspecting ecosystems. We would certainly look for a way to make a profit. Mind you, I am not against making space exploration profitable. I think this is a place where Enterprise missed out on an oportunity. The Prime Directive has been a feature of every ST series. In Enterprise they could have shown why they Prime Directive came into being.

snowcelt
2003-Sep-07, 10:37 AM
Indeed! Piper saw things that many dismissed or thought were 'fantasy.' Piper's works are like a series that was written today.

snowcelt
2003-Sep-07, 12:44 PM
Idid not restate. I know not what is happening!

mbjvx
2003-Sep-17, 02:10 AM
Are you guys loopy?

The Sphere WAS an alien- a sentient being capable of universal comunications with any race it might encounter. No laungage needed.

Humphrey
2003-Sep-17, 02:13 AM
Are you guys loopy?

The Sphere WAS an alien- a sentient being capable of universal comunications with any race it might encounter. No laungage needed.From my understanding of the book was that it was an alien device that gave the user the ability to make all thoughts and fears reality. Not a aline intelegence. The real alien was in the mind of the main characters fellow humans.

mbjvx
2003-Sep-17, 02:20 AM
Well, don't take crichton to seruisly- otherwise you'd be convinced that Eaters of the Dead was actaully a factual acount 8)

Ripper
2003-Sep-17, 11:10 AM
Fictional? Are you kidding? I have a couple of those guys in my unit.

I was also under the impression that it was a device that was turning their thoughts into reality. In some ways the story was just an updated version of Forbidden Planet.

Visitor
2003-Sep-17, 07:03 PM
Apart from the TNG example already mentioned, I remember a book from A.E. van Vogt containing a small scene about that.
The story was named "Ship of darkness" i think (Edit: it was "Rogue Ship". It's some 10 years since I read that stuff, so excuse my bad memory).
The Plot:
A generation ship from earth flies to alpha centauri's planets (the story was written in the 1940s or '50s) and when it arrives it encounters ships from a spacefaring race.
The ship's crew then projects several models of atoms on a big screen until the aliens respond in a similar way.
The conversations falls short, as it comes out that the alien race depends on chlorine instead of oxygen to breathe, and the terran ship heads for another destination.

Doodler
2003-Sep-17, 09:20 PM
I always thought Enemy Mine was a great example of a human and alien learning to communicate across the divide. Another one that was pretty interesting was the Human/Charonian/Adversary triangle introduced in Ring of Charon and the Shattered Sphere by Roger MacBride Allen. At no point did the three sides ever really communicate. In some cases, they existed without even being aware of the other.

Ripper
2003-Sep-20, 12:00 PM
Piper had a short story about the first people to land on Mars. They found the remains of an ancient civilization. They had been trying to decipher the written language, but could not find a Rosetta Stone. What broke things loose was when someone found a periodic table of elements. I think it was called Omnilingual.