Search found 380 matches

by Windwalker
Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:52 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 171671

Re: Kushiel's Trilogy

I love the colorful backgrounds of stories which include thriving worlds, historical genealogies and absorbing plots. Add a few maps to the pages and I am one happy reader. I thought the first book was the slowest -- although it had to establish a lot of ground. The other two truly gallop along, an...
by Windwalker
Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:27 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 171671

Fitting that you should mention that now--I'm actually in the middle of the Kushiel's Trilogy! :) Interesting synchronicity, indeed! I agree that the main narrator grows wiser and more interesting as she goes. When I read the trilogy, two years ago, it was the first time that I saw truly "unorthodo...
by Windwalker
Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:16 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 4
Replies: 5
Views: 45047

There is an additional point to ponder regarding "bouncing back" of civilizations. If a Kardashev level I culture regresses below a certain point in terms of loss of technology, it may be unable to recover for a simple reason: exhaustion of raw materials. When humans started using metals, coal and o...
by Windwalker
Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:00 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 2
Replies: 1
Views: 25151

It's great to have all four parts of this essay in one place, so that it can be read in one fell swoop. The quest for extra-terrestrial life is an endeavor that captures the human imagination very powerfully, especially the possibility of intelligence.
by Windwalker
Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:20 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Fantasy universes and worlds
Replies: 40
Views: 171671

Jacqueline Carey

For those who are interested in an alternative world that is both lush and literate, I recommend Jacqueline Carey's trilogy, Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen and Kushiel's Avatar. The trilogy unfolds in an alternative Renaissance-era earth, in which interesting cultures like the Celtic and the Minoa...
by Windwalker
Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:56 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 4
Replies: 5
Views: 45047

I will reply more extensively after I return from my trip to Washington, but I wanted to mention that one SF writer wrote a set of four stories based on the destruction scenario. In the first and best of the series, The Engines of God , Jack McDevitt postulates that destruction waves created by a ol...
by Windwalker
Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:50 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 3
Replies: 15
Views: 85078

Silicon-based life

Chris, I agree that the temporal problem is the key. Indeed, if life arises in Europa, Titan or Enceladus when the sun has entered the red giant phase, they won't know of our existence unless we have left orbiting artifacts (black monoliths, anyone?). In reply to your question: There are several pro...
by Windwalker
Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:10 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Where Have All the Spacemen Gone? Part 3
Replies: 15
Views: 85078

I think one really feasible explanation for why we haven't heard from other intelligences is that we aren't worth exploiting to them. Agreed. There are no unique minerals or energy sources on earth and the gravity well makes their extraction and transportation expensive. It's far cheaper and more e...
by Windwalker
Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:30 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Book recommendations: The Balkans -- history and culture
Replies: 4
Views: 34067

Good non-fiction is an excellent resource for fiction as well. Gets lots of ideas going. I agree! The two greatest helpmeets to fiction are history (often much more exotic than fiction) and first-hand knowledge of a place or experience. Not everything in fiction can -- or must -- be filtered throug...
by Windwalker
Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:57 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Book recommendations: The Balkans -- history and culture
Replies: 4
Views: 34067

Mark Mazower

Speaking of non-fiction page turners, I recommend two books by renowned contemporary historian Mark Mazower, who specializes on Balkan history: Inside Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44 Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950 Mazower is not only a fluid, ...
by Windwalker
Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:25 pm
Forum: The Art of Science, Fantasy and Science Fiction
Topic: Additions to the Gallery albums
Replies: 16
Views: 88557

A note on avatars

Eloise, Heather, Kathryn -- your avatars are stunning, and all so different! It a pleasure to just look at them!
by Windwalker
Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:51 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: The Curse of the Golden Flower
Replies: 11
Views: 57357

This one came and went so fast in Boston that I missed it! I intend to catch it if they bring it back -- and if not, get the DVD. I agree with you that Gong Li is absolutely ravishing and Chou Yun Fat has presence and charisma. And, of course, Zhang Yimou is (literally) a spectacular director. Every...
by Windwalker
Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:42 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: The Courtier and the Heretic
Replies: 4
Views: 34097

This book is totally free of equations though it goes through some heavy-duty philosophical definitions. As for a math book that is both informative and accessible, I can't think of one off the top of my head that includes all branches of math (calculus, statistics, topology...). Larry Gonick did a ...
by Windwalker
Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:37 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: A comforting thought
Replies: 3
Views: 27194

A comforting thought

In my wanderings I bumped into the story of an Irish musician who plays what is loosely called "world music" (the kind made popular by Peter Gabriel). His name is Ross Daly, and he is an virtuoso in bowed string instruments. After meandering around the world for a while, he settled on Crete and has ...
by Windwalker
Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:11 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: The Courtier and the Heretic
Replies: 4
Views: 34097

The Courtier and the Heretic

I rarely read philosophy, primary or meta -- but I made an exception for a recent book, and I'm glad I did. It is The Courtier and the Heretic, by Matthew Stewart. Stewart tells the story of the (literally) earth-shaking confrontation between Spinoza and Leibniz . Spinoza, a double exile, set the fo...