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RedFred
31-03-2004, 22:58:30
Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon (1990)

Thumbnail review: This is of the military science fiction genre. The tall, yet slender female protagonist has an ambition of captaining her own ship. First she must fight her way through the military academy where the wealthy, influential and often corrupt privileged families hold a lot of influence. In one of her many misadventures she fights off a rape attempt from a son from one of these families gaining a major enemy in the process. She is befriended by the psychic Wefts, in order to provide lots of future plot possibilities. For some reason that is not apparent to me it is heavily emphasised that Sassinak dislikes coffee but injoys chocolate as a substitute. Her ruthlessness in dealing with the bad guys, often at great cost to the crew of her own ship, is also emphasized.

On Basilisk Station by David Weber (1993)

Thumbnail review: This is of the military science fiction genre. The tall, yet slender female protagonist has an ambition of captaining her own ship. First she must fight her way through the military academy where the wealthy, influential and often corrupt privileged families hold a lot of influence. In one of her many misadventures she fights off a rape attempt from a son from one of these families gaining a major enemy in the process. She is befriended by the psychic tree cat, in order to provide lots of future plot possibilities. For some reason that is not apparent to me it is heavily emphasised that Harrington dislikes coffee but injoys hot chocolate as a substitute. Her ruthlessness in dealing with the bad guys, often at great cost to the crew of her own ship, is also emphasized.

By now you probably see where I am going with this. There is an extremely pejorative word that starts with 'pla' and ends in 'ism'. The surprising thing to me is that the choice of material to be... uh... "inspired by"... is not exactly Hugo or Nebula award material. The plots are different enough that Weber is probably not going to get sued but still... he is getting rich off "borrowing" a bunch of ideas that weren't even all that brilliant or original to begin with.

If anyone has read both books or at least Sassinak and one of the many of the Honor Harrington series I'd be interested in your opinion. Mind you, if you are about to read Sassinak you may want to skip 'Book 4' of the single volume novel. You are given a few different snapshots of Sassinak from her youth through to her late thirties which individually read like semi independent short stories which are worth the read. But instead of building to a climax the final short story/novella crashes and burns. Way too many new characters, concepts and plot inconsistancies appear. It is almost like it was written by a different author. Mind you with two authors credited for writing this novel, this could very well be the case.

chagarra
01-04-2004, 02:39:25
I agree, there are "SOME" similarities....
But.
More to the point there are "MANY" major differences. However It is more than likely, Weber took an idea, and did a better job of it than the original.
Since these are not the only like stories around, I believe it was a case of the female warrior captain was due.

If you want a 'better' Elizabeth Moon novel, try The Deed of Paksenarion. Much more suited to her style of writing.

Immortal Wombat
01-04-2004, 02:49:50
I think I read Sassinak. I don't think it impressed me.

BigGameHunter
01-04-2004, 16:46:50
You guys read too much pulp SF.
Stick to the "classics" and avoid anything with "time" "shadows" "game" or "fire" in the titles.
Also, there needs to be more sex in sci fi...name one really good sex filled sci fi novel.

RedFred
01-04-2004, 18:58:14
If I stopped reading SF novels without those four words in the title I'd go nuts because my reading intake would be reduced by at least 50%. But I agree that time travel novels are particularly lame.

As far as the good sex filled sci fi novel goes, that would be difficult. But there are an incredible number of bad sex filled SF novels. Much of that genre is aimed at the sex-starved adolescent market.

Mind you the second book in the Gameplayers of Zan by M.A. Foster was pretty good. Nothing graphic though. I always thought ol' "M. A." was underrated. Too bad her/his books all seem to be out of print now.

chagarra
02-04-2004, 00:28:54
BGH

If you want to read gratuitous sex filled, slightly science, fiction..
Just read the 'Earth Children Series' by Jean M Auel
Four at the moment, with more to come.
Starting with 'Clan of the Cave Bear'.

Make that five.... Forgot the latest,'Shelters of Stone'..

BigGameHunter
02-04-2004, 16:24:56
Lots of doggy style cave man stuff, eh?
Hmmmm..... :)

You'd think there would be more sex in Sci Fi, considering the demographic it is targeted at.

Darkstar
02-04-2004, 18:26:59
There is. But that is generally "trash" or just plain bad SF.

There are tons of NC-17 SF series out there... Most run along the lines of either serious man hating Angel Horns is captain of an all Girl Hello Kitty style crew, chasing down the only man that ever bothered to get their permission before fucking them silly. Having "tricked" them by actually getting their permission (unlike all the 5 billion other men that just beat them at everything and turn them upside afterward), they intend to torture the adventuring scamp pirate Porthos until the universe dies. They eventually catch up with him (after many Xplotative adventures with many oddly structured aliens that always have some form of mind control that make them loving, obediant, compliant little nyphos who only exist to pleasure anything with some form of male anatomy and are repeatily saved by the only scamp that ever bothers to ask them first, who always leaves just before the drugs/mind control completes leaves the mad nyphs minds without enjoying their offers) when his old nemisis (evil twin brother/big bad emporer dad vader) has in in a death trap. The girls always realize that they are then desperately in love with him and only mad cause he won't treat them like women are supposed to be treated, save his ass, kick his ass, and settle down for five to ten years of free fall orgy back in their combined ships.

It's a staple of really bad Sex Fantasy in Space.

The other is the hateful female captain, out for revenge across all things male. Which she takes out by screwing everything that can sort of fit between her legs... she eventually falls in love with whatever is her current arch nemisis, and screws him into boredom. Then he gets murdered, as do half or more of the slave playmates she's acquired for him, and the killer is invariably her new arch nemesis and repeat cycle.

Very boring stuff.

You get some staples in the Romance/Science Fiction as well. They just swap out being in space for earth.

None of it is stuff that real SF readers would bother recommending to other real SF readers. For straight out sex, there's plenty of offerings better on the newstands and in the book stores. For SF, there's plenty better for actual SF. For manga purely in text form, it's typical... which means it sucks. And that's what most of the hard sex stuff is... American and British average hentai/manga... only without pictures. So they just don't generate any real buzz because there's nothing interesting there.

RedFred
02-04-2004, 20:03:12
Hmm... Sounds like Darkstar is an expert on the subject. ;)

But it all depends what floats your boat. For me Ondaatje's The Skin of the Lion is far more erotic than some of the more graphic novels out there.

Darkstar
02-04-2004, 20:38:20
When I was young, I used to summer with my Dad. Back then, he had a very extensive collection of SF. He'd used to go down to his local used book store and just by boxes of the stuff. Worked out to be cheaper then buying from retail book shops, and more of the old classics would turn up that way. But there was a lot of garbage as well. It was difficult to tell by the cover art and back cover what was just bad manga and what was classic pulp or opera. About page 20 though, when they'd break into the first serious hentai, I'd figure it out. In the beginning, I used to skip through to back to the plot, as I didn't care about how many peni like appendages an alien had to stick all the drugged and in heat characters.

Besides, it was like reading a lot of Heinlien or Scott novels... lots of screwing, screwing, and more screwing. To a young kid, you don't recognize the difference. I just knew enough about things to know that it was just beyond implausible. After all, if the space adventurers had little super arm bracers that protected them from 10 Megaton nuclear explosions and created all sorts of nice environment for them out of nothing but the ambient universal background radition, then there was no way that the aliens could drug them with some poison that would just happen to make the heroines be mindless breeding animals while it poisoned their brains and stole all their knowledge and thoughts. Big plot hole... then there's the whole problem of each character of the crew can and has defeated a galaxy's worth of invading super super super teched amazonians (who want to conquer the galaxy just to steal all the men cause their science accidentally did away with their men while curing the mega-disaster created by wild, out of control middle eastern fem-nazis determined to make all other living things pay for living in a more elegatarian world and not helping them kill off their wacko culture), but that one lone weak sack of plant matter resembling an Arizona cactus with 15 dicks on tentacles can defeat the whole crew by just slapping them... tons of plot wholes. (but that was the point... I just was too young to understand that)

Of course, I skipped over all the romance and snuggly stuff as well in Andre Norton's writings.

These days, I generally don't bother to read past those sorts of things. Unless I've heard from someone I know (and book tastes I trust) that it's a good read.

I do enjoy the odd romance now and then, but I don't think I've read a single straight manga/hentai pure text that was interesting in the slightest. Now when it's presented as straight graphics/comic, sometimes I can appreciate the artwork, styling, and level of work, but I wonder just how long the artists of such things can stand to keep drawing the same thing, over and over and over again. And then I hit the delete key... wasn't the pics I was after. ;)

BigGameHunter
02-04-2004, 21:52:04
Uh huh. Suuuuuuuuuuure.

chagarra
03-04-2004, 01:07:48
To add to my last post.
If you, as suggested by Darkstar, just skip the bouncy parts, the 'Earth Children' series is quite an entertaining read.
I have kept them, in my limited space library, and have reread and enjoyed them a couple of times.

Noisy
03-04-2004, 22:59:35
Not come across a great deal of sex in my science fiction reading. Only Heinlein really. And then - of course - there is my favourite book of all time: 'The Left Hand of Darkness' by Ursula K. LeGuin. But that's quite a different take ...

TCO
07-03-2006, 01:25:25
Avoid anything that is a series or has a female warrior protagonist. But I repeat myself.