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Thread: The name of a book/story, please

  1. #91
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    Chocky doesn't quite ring any bells, and seems it might be too "grown up" for the story I am thinking. Perhaps I will read it and see anyway. Thanks!

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  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Ferro View Post
    One was about some kids (brothers?) who make a homemade rocket and launch it from their yard I think.. I remember they described how the rocket engine left some melted glass on the surface of the rock they used as a launch pad. That's all I recall, though.
    Maybe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Won...ushroom_Planet ?

    Fred
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  3. #93
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    Humots, you've really got me bugged now. I looked through my SF anthologies (what's left after numerous moves) and failed to find that story. Google found a million hits for variations on the title, but most of them referred to a Johnny Cash song or books about the history of Native Americans.

    I think I've struck out, but I hope someone else tracks it down because the worm is getting deeper into my brain as we speak.

    By the way, have you considered the parallels between that story and Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God"?

  4. #94
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    A short story I read sometime back.

    There are two human interstellar groups which are in a Cold War like political situation. There is a lot of rivalry in all fields, espionage and attempts to create better weapons than the other group. A time comes, when one of the groups manages to create a computer/communication tech/AI (I forget which) which will give that group an overwhelming and unbeatable advantage. But the leaders of group are disappointed because this will mean an end of the rivalry which was what was driving the people to give their best. With the end of that, people will lose motivation and all innovation and development will drop off.

    Of course, by the end of the story the other group manages to duplicate the feat and the rivalry continues.
    Last edited by Bolasanibk; 2010-May-20 at 07:53 AM. Reason: Correcting grammer

  5. #95
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    I remember in sigh school in the '80s they made us watch some physics documentaries in black and white (so they had to be from the '50s-60s USA).

    They were so good, I'd like to watch them again on youtube...

    The presenter was a slim man with curly hair (maybe).

    Do you remember some names? (I'm too vague, I know).

    TIA

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    I remember in sigh school in the '80s they made us watch some physics documentaries in black and white (so they had to be from the '50s-60s USA).

    They were so good, I'd like to watch them again on youtube...

    The presenter was a slim man with curly hair (maybe).

    Do you remember some names? (I'm too vague, I know).

    TIA
    Most likely the PSSC films with Ivey and Hume. I remember very well their "Frames of Reference". They can be found on the net. Good stuff.

  7. #97
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    Yes, right!



    (the slim presenter with curly hair)

    Thanks!!

  8. #98
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    The GF is looking for a story but doesn't have a lot to go on.

    A boy and a girl take a walk in the middle of the night and end up in a tree. The tree may have had bees in it. She thinks it was by Ray Bradbury, but isn't positive.

    Any thoughts?
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    The GF is looking for a story but doesn't have a lot to go on.

    A boy and a girl take a walk in the middle of the night and end up in a tree. The tree may have had bees in it. She thinks it was by Ray Bradbury, but isn't positive.

    Any thoughts?
    "Hopscotch", indeed by Bradbury.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  10. #100
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    Wow, that was the one. I didn't think there would be enough to go on.

    Thanks.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tog View Post
    Wow, that was the one. I didn't think there would be enough to go on.

    Thanks.
    I've never even read it. I found it via a Google search on "Bradbury tree bees."
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  12. #102
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    Please identify if you can.

    Short story about a pair of scientists who decide they're going to make a fortune scamming the dull witted. Basically they pretend to have a television which looks into the future and they show how one door leads to a future of war and despair while another door leads to a future of prosperity and happiness. They realize at the end how they might have doomed themselves because most people have gone into the dismal future door and how they might ensure it actually comes to pass.

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by jja View Post
    Tes,

    This sounds like Magician by Raymond E. Feist.
    No, it's definitely not Feist. Thanks, though. ;-)

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humots View Post
    A friend of mine who teaches a course in Native American history is trying to locate a story. I think I recall seeing it in an anthology during the late 60's/early 70's, possibly a hard cover from the Science Fiction Book Club.

    The title of the story is something like "As Long as the Grass Shall Grow" and is a reference to the text in treaties made between the US government and Native American tribes.

    The treaty would state that the terms would hold for "as long as the sun shall rise and the grass shall grow" or something similar.

    In this story, the government broke such a treaty. As the story ends, the grass has stopped growing and the characters are still waiting for the sun rise.

    Anybody know this one?

    Thanks.
    I found the story, if anyone is still interested. It's "Or the Grasses Grow" by Avram Davidson, and it's available at Google Books in the collection "An Avram Davidson Treasury".
    "It's not the things we don't know that hurt us, It's the things we do know that aren't so.” --Artemus Ward

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  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Humots View Post
    I found the story, if anyone is still interested. It's "Or the Grasses Grow" by Avram Davidson, and it's available at Google Books in the collection "An Avram Davidson Treasury".
    I'll have to look for that one.

    Will Rogers - who was part Cherokee... he said he had just enough white blood to bring his honesty into question - addressed this once. He said the government gave the Indians* a reservation where the land would be theirs "as long as the water shall flow and the grass shall grow." Then white men decided they wanted the land, so the government moved the Indians to another reservation where the land would be theirs "as long as the water shall flow and the grass shall grow." Then white men decided they wanted that land, so the government moved the Indians again.

    They finally solved the problem by moving the Indians to Oklahoma, where "the water don't flow and the grass won't grow."
    Last edited by Jim; 2011-Jan-13 at 01:13 AM. Reason: *Native Americans were still Indians in Rogers' day
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  16. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolasanibk View Post
    A short story I read sometime back.

    There are two human interstellar groups which are in a Cold War like political situation. There is a lot of rivalry in all fields, espionage and attempts to create better weapons than the other group. A time comes, when one of the groups manages to create a computer/communication tech/AI (I forget which) which will give that group an overwhelming and unbeatable advantage. But the leaders of group are disappointed because this will mean an end of the rivalry which was what was driving the people to give their best. With the end of that, people will lose motivation and all innovation and development will drop off.

    Of course, by the end of the story the other group manages to duplicate the feat and the rivalry continues.
    I believe this was actually three or more stories published in Analog, maybe 20 or more years ago.

    In the stories, there was what I think was called the "Econo War" between two separate human groups. The war is entirely non-violent and apparently non-ideological. The leaders on both sides considered the war to be a kind of game that used human abilities as effectively as possible, by harnessing natural human competitiveness. Eeither side winning or losing would be disastrous for everyone.

    A group of explorers on one side discover a huge alien on a new planet. I think the humans called the alien something like "Mountie", because he was as big as a mountain.

    The alien was friendly and fascinated by the human visitors. Also, it has the ability to establish telepathic communications between huge numbers of humans, greatly increasing their efficiency. Since the alien cannot leave the planet, the humans move their center of operations to the alien's planet.

    In the second story, it is decades later. Due to the alien's assistance, the alien's side has effectively won. No one is motivated to compete, and human society has stagnated. The opposite human side believes that the telepathy of their opponents is due to some new technology. So they try to duplicate the technology, and succeed! And the war is on again.

    There is at least one more story which introduces a colony of "pacifists" that do not take part in the Econo War. They are far behind the rest of humanity in every way.
    "It's not the things we don't know that hurt us, It's the things we do know that aren't so.” --Artemus Ward

    “It never ceases to amaze me how utterly unintelligent a person can be and still believe they are somehow accomplishing something.” --Interdimensional Warrior

  17. #107
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    A more general question. FTL travel or communication implies problems with causality. Many authors happily ignore this, but has anyone written fiction that has FTL and also takes on the implications?

  18. #108
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    I don't think the problems are as significant as you suggest. Yes, according to our current understanding of Physics, FTL travel involves going backward in time.

    But if it turns out that FTL is possible, that understanding would have to be revised. That should be feasible. After all, we have no paradoxes about faster-than-sound travel. If FTL becomes reality, such travel would be no more problematic than flying on the Concorde.

    Of course, that's a big "if". General Relativity has withstood every test so far, and c seems to be something built in to the fabric of reality. It won't be easy to get around that.

  19. #109
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    Well, as far as science fact is concerned, not being an ATM person, I'm happy to consider FTL impossible. No, my question is that I see many authors sliding round the implications of FTL, just using some drive or other as magic.

    My question is whether anyone has made the generally accepted implications of that magic for causality integral to their story and plot.

  20. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by agingjb View Post
    A more general question. FTL travel or communication implies problems with causality. Many authors happily ignore this, but has anyone written fiction that has FTL and also takes on the implications?
    There are two I can think of, off hand.

    Charles Stross, with Singularity Sky and its sequel. There, a post singularity AI enforces causality. If anyone breaks the rules, bad things tend to happen.

    Stephen Baxter in Exultant (and some other Xeelee universe stories).

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  21. #111
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    Thanks, I'll have a look at these.

  22. #112
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    I remember Niven (I think), doing one where the consequence of the causality break was that they never get implemented because the universe always gets into a state where the implementation is prevented.
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  23. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    I remember Niven (I think), doing one where the consequence of the causality break was that they never get implemented because the universe always gets into a state where the implementation is prevented.
    Sounds like "Rotating Cylinders and the possibility of Global Causal Violation" or something like that.

  24. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    Sounds like "Rotating Cylinders and the possibility of Global Causal Violation" or something like that.
    Yes, I was thinking of mentioning that also, but it was more about time travel, and was a one-shot story anyway.

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  25. #115
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    Hi!

    Not a book or story but a CD-ROM. Back when I was in Middle School in the 90s, my school had a CD-ROM with an astronomy simulator sort of program. I spent many hours in computer class playing around with it. It let one see what things would look like if earth was closer to the sun or farther, what the sun looked like from mercury, put Arcturus in place of the sun etc. There were a lot of possibilities. The graphics weren't fantastic but good for the time. I loved it but I can't remember what it was called. I've been looking for it or something similar (better?) because I'm a very visual person.

    Anyone know it or know of a really good simulator like this? I'm especially interested in being able to picture what different stars look like from the surface of different planets.

  26. #116
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    A sf paperback my Dad brought home over
    50 years ago. One story had strange people
    gathering in some hotel overlooking a big
    city. A meteorite hits while they are in the
    observation lounge. From the future for the
    show! Another story about a robot running
    through walls screaming data data.

    Another compendium had a commuter thinking
    in terms of crosswords. Remember Nixon as
    one of the words.

  27. #117
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    The first one sounds like "Vintage Season" by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore (as "Lawrence O'Donnell")
    "It's not the things we don't know that hurt us, It's the things we do know that aren't so.” --Artemus Ward

    “It never ceases to amaze me how utterly unintelligent a person can be and still believe they are somehow accomplishing something.” --Interdimensional Warrior

  28. #118
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    Yes that looks like the first story
    all right, thanks.

    Thats another long term open question
    ticked off!

  29. #119
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    This one's a movie, at least 45 years old. I caught a quick glimpse of it on Saturday afternoon TV lo these many decades ago.

    The genre is sand-and-sandal, I think. The scene was semi desert. There's a Greek warrior type, lightly armored if at all, fighting a hideous, tentacled green/blue monster. I have an impression that it's supposed to be a Gorgon, because there is a memory of statues or petrified people standing around.

    Any ideas?

    Fred
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  30. #120
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    This scene?

    ETA Actually this one's more likely.
    Last edited by HenrikOlsen; 2011-Oct-30 at 11:19 PM. Reason: I think I found the right one this time.
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