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View Full Version : This week, i ah been mainly reading "The Disposessed"


Qweeg
16-12-2001, 20:57:48
Written by Ursela Le Quin.

A very interesting read, especially for those of you out there who still like to debate the relative advantages and disadvantages of non-authoritarian anarcho-commnunism.

I'm not joking when i say the book reminds me of Zen and the art of Motocycle Maintenance, The Player of Games and George Orwells Nineteen Eighty Four.
Really I mean it.

The story is well crafted and takes the reader through a very well developed and plausable world, in the end- i wanted to know much more about said world. The Dispossesed was written in the seventies, but contemporary IT concepts like networks, email and PCs don't make Ursela's world seem backward, possibly becouse she's a woman she felt no need to get carried away with fantastic hardware concepts, the sci-fi elements do their job nicely without making out-dated fools of themselves, no talk of seven giant computers owned by kings for instance.

Anyway read this book if you can- its really good

Funkodrom
16-12-2001, 21:31:01
The player of games is one of my favourite Banks's

jsorense
17-12-2001, 20:37:51
I am going to read "The Left Hand of Darkness" again soon.
Wonderfully crafted "alien" world and well rounded characters.
Way cool.
:cool:

Qweeg
18-12-2001, 15:38:51
Yeah, i think i might have to give that one a go too jso, in The Dispossesed we follow the main character, Dr Sheveck, who is an anarchist from an anarchistic society on his journey to the planet and nation of A-lo, homeland of his societies idealogical enemy (classic 'propertarians', reminded me of America really) its that part of the story that reminds me strongly of The Player of Games (one of my favourate Banks too Mike).

Whats "The Left Hand of Darkness" about jso?

jsorense
18-12-2001, 17:09:56
Qweeg,
I am glad you asked. As I recall, since I haven't read the book in decades, the book starts with the fact that a human diaspora, sending waves of humans across space,has taken place a very long time ago. Earth is now trying to track down and, hopefully, intergrate the "lost" colonies into some kind confederation. The diaspora happened so long ago that some humans have actually physically adaped to their new invironments. In the case of this story the planet is in an ice age where it is cold an snowy almost all the time. The humans have evolved so that no individual is either male or female; each individual lives through periods of "maleness" and "femaleness" throughout there lives. Meaning that at times they can father a child but in the next phase they can give birth. The story is seen through the eyes of an Earth anthropologist that has been sent to introduce the idea of the association of human planets to these people who thought that they were alone in the univeres.

I know it sounds wierd but Le Guin really pulls it off. Just like she did with your anarchist planetary "government."
:)

Noisy
19-12-2001, 00:41:15
'The Left Hand of Darkness' is one of the greatest Science Fiction books of all time. I always keep a spare copy or two lying around to give to people who say that Science Fiction is crap.

Funkodrom
19-12-2001, 09:15:41
With a recommendation from you two I'll buy myself a copy when I see it.

jsor: Just reading A Fire Upon the Deep again. Excellent book.

Qweeg
19-12-2001, 14:38:19
I'm gonna have to give that book a read. Just to correct myself her name is spelt 'Ursula' Le Guin, would'nt want anyone to look for her stuff and not find it coz i gave the wrong spelling!

Noisy
19-12-2001, 15:16:48
If we have a Christmas get-together, I'll try and remember to bring you a copy, Mike.

I am just about to start the Vernor Vinge trilogy myself for the first time: people had recommended them before, so they had joined my vast pile.

Funkodrom
20-12-2001, 11:13:11
jsorense sent me that one when I had Glandular Fever last year which was pretty cool of him!

:beer: Cheers j!

Qweeg
20-12-2001, 14:01:56
Hey Noisy i wanna copy too:(

(not to mention the Mobius series that you said you'd let me have that last UKLyte meeting okay maybe you don't remember becouse you were very very drunk but hey a promise is a promise so serve up).

jsorense
20-12-2001, 19:49:09
Noisy,
You are definately a man to breeding and taste. :)

MikeH,
Yeah, that book really blew me away. I am very pleased that you like it so much. I read the prequel of it but didn't enjoy it nearly as much.

Qweeg,
Please give us your impression of "Left Hand" when you read it.
Did you know that Le Guin is the daughter of a famous anthropoiogist? It really shows in her writing.
:)

Funkodrom
21-12-2001, 09:21:58
Originally posted by jsorense
MikeH,
Yeah, that book really blew me away. I am very pleased that you like it so much. I read the prequel of it but didn't enjoy it nearly as much.


I keep meaning to look for the others but haven't seen them yet...

Qweeg
21-12-2001, 15:21:29
jso it definately does. I was really impressed with the level of observation of human society Urras and Anerres (the planet and its moon where the world of The Dispossessed takes place)
Really very advanced concepts, her world felt as complex and diverse as this world- earth, with all its different nations and histories of atrocities and suffering and political struggle and so on. There's a real feel of political friction and human social nature that only someone associated with anthrapoligists or something could begin to muster.

Mikey, read the Dispossessed next!

Noisy
21-12-2001, 15:58:56
The other two in the Vernor Vinge series are 'A Deepness in the Sky' and 'Across Realtime'. Rather than start on 'A Deepness in the Sky', I was so annoyed with the book that I had just been reading, that I had to get an antidote, so I bought 'Introducing Evolution' from the series that I mentioned before, and read that last night and this morning. Pretty lightweight, really.

Qweeg: Dream on, mate. I'll look for another copy of 'The Left Hand of Darkness', but I never get drunk enough to forget things, so you're out of luck on the Moebius front. :p

Guy
21-12-2001, 16:28:48
Grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter...you know, I really wish you guys would quit adding things to my reading list! Do you know how long it's going to take me to catch up? Geez, why can't you all just talk about books that suck, so that I can feel good about not reading them instead of just hopelessly behind? I mean, really!

Well, Ursula anyway, I've already read Vernor Vinge. I had avoided Ms. Le Guin's works just based on lack of interest in the half paragraph sysnopsis blurbs found on the backs of her books, but will take a look at them now. Vinge has some really fantastic ideas, though I find his essays more interesting than his fiction. Most people are familiar with his "Technological Singularity" writings, which are his most apocalyptic, but there are lots of real-world ideas that he's published that are just fascinating.

Believable and truly "alien" aliens are a surefire hook for me these days. The "thousand shades of human" universes that Star Trek and it's ilk put forth just bore and frustrate me to no end.

King_Ghidra
15-01-2002, 12:56:19
Originally posted by Guy


Believable and truly "alien" aliens are a surefire hook for me these days. The "thousand shades of human" universes that Star Trek and it's ilk put forth just bore and frustrate me to no end.

I totally agree - star wars, star trek don't have 'aliens' in, just 'foreigners'. They look different to humans but act completely the same.

I guess it saves having to use any real imagination. MikeH what's that book you reccomended to me with the people from mars who have a completely different perecption of things to earth people? You know, the guys who use the word 'grok'.
(hmm, that last line sounded like a monty python quote ):hmm:

Funkodrom
15-01-2002, 13:44:50
Stranger in a Strange Land. Got a copy at my current house if you want to borrow it.

Vernor Vinge is good with really different aliens in A Fire Upon the Deep. I especially like the Skroderiders. These were intelligent trees who started off in the surf of their native planet, they can only remember things once they have repeated many times (like the surf washing against them over the course of many months) to help them remember things out in the wide world they have mechanical bases which allow them to move and also provide them with some level of short term memory.

I think the main problem with TV and film aliens is that until recently with CGI etc the aliens had to be easy to model with an actor dressed up. Especially if they were going to be talking etc.

King_Ghidra
15-01-2002, 14:29:54
you mean like 'the blob' :D

Funkodrom
15-01-2002, 14:43:21
Don't see what the menstrual cycle has to do with this.

Qweeg
15-01-2002, 15:22:26
Stranger in a Strange land- is that a Robby "the rudy" Hienlen book?

Funkodrom
15-01-2002, 16:06:39
Yep.

Qweeg
15-01-2002, 16:13:37
ah.

Noisy
02-03-2002, 18:28:52
Picked up a copy of 'The dispossed'. Can't remember whether I've read it before, but there's no harm in giving it another go. It'll be a while before I get around to it, though.