Brian Stableford: Hooded Swan series: the Wind
To be alone is to face the world alone this is but a human fate. With “ the Wind” as your partner, you always have someone in your corner. But you can still be alone when you choose to.
the Wind & Grainger
Robert Adams: Horse Clans series: Milo Morai.
How much would human history be changed if human lives were not so ephemeral? Milo is the undying Lord of the Horse Clans people. In a post-apocalyptic world, he is rebuilding a civilisation. Far too often in history good rulers are followed by poor ones. The march towards civilisation is a stuttered one indeed, as nations rise and fall with their leaders.
Jack Vance: Demon Princes series: Kirth Gerson, Smades’s Tavern.
It is always the same. They come eager to arrive. And they leave wondering why they have come. A Buddhist friend explained this as human expectation – a picture each of us builds in our mind of our own world – unique to ourselves. When the real world intrudes upon our perceived reality, it can be a letdown indeed.
Jack Vance: Maeske Thaery: Jubal Droad: “two hands reach for every plum “
AE Van Vogt: The War Against the Rull: Trevor Jamieson:. To strive and to apply one’s knowledge in a quest to survive – the ultimate technological human – but still an ordinary human being, not a macho warrior. Someone we can identify with.
Thomas Harlan: A Wasteland of Flint, House of Reeds (Ist Sun artefacts: nanotech): Subsumed Explorer.
It is an eerie picture. An explorer flying a solar powered ultralight aircraft sets down and camps for the night. There she is “subsumed” by Runaway nano tech – alone and far from civilisation.
Captain Chu-sa Hadeishi
James Blish: Earthman Come Home:
Favourite Memorable is just the city travelling through space .
Unique aspect: (City Fathers wanting to shoot the city Manager).
Human beings are all too familiar with shades of. Machines and computers are not. The law is presented as black or white. However, in all too many circumstances, there are no right or perfect answers. Sometime success involves knowing which rules to break and when, understanding the consequences.
Alan Dean Foster: Commonwealth Series:
(Coolangatta, Brisbane, Mother Mastiff,
Meeting a Thranx Philosopher or Churchman: From the Great Hive I bring you greetings and a taste of friendship).
Coolangatta is one of my favourite places on the planet. A pace of life and an existence away from the hectic demands of work. Snack at some very ordinary cafes – but awesome just in their very homely nature.
Alan Dean Foster has made Brisbane the capital of the Commonwealth of the future – but what would you expect? Mother Mastiff – a gruff old woman with a kind heart though she would never admit it – perhaps the mother many of us would long to have.
James Blish: Surface Tension (Diatom Spaceship).
We have all heard of the quest for space. That some lifeforms face very different horizons. The inhabitants of one body of water realise that they are colonists and did not evolve there. They seek to build a ship to explore the universe and to discover their destiny.
Personally, while an intriguing story, I feel that stuffing human genes into every possible niche in the galaxy is dangerous and guaranteed to encourage the growth of malignant humanity destroying pathogens. And to what purpose should humanity and its genes be stuffed into many ecological niches throughout planets throughout the galaxy. Unfortunately, fragmentation is the path of evolution. However the success of one branch of humanity, means the failure of others. History need not trend upward. A basic intelligence, a willingness to die and a high breeding rate may well be the criteria for a species that dominates the galaxy.
Lloyd Biggle Junior: Monument (Scene playing out in final court, Who was O’Brien?)
By rules do we live and by rules do we die. But our lives are defined by our loyalties to others. The Langri determines to save his people from those who would exploit them for commercial gain.
Favourite memorable: imagining the beaches of Langri, Fornri the native – a figure of amusement to the civilised spacemen – arriving to announce to the crewmen that they are under arrest.
Jack Vance: Wyst Alastor (Jubal and Glisten by the shore catching Percebs, Hi I’m Glisten).
An interesting picture of a glimpse of Paradise even at the edge of disaster. With everything going wrong in Jubal’s life, you can appear patch of ordinary existence. I can be happy here.
Frank Herbert: Dune (Meeting of the Guild Navigator with the Emperor: the Italian movie version).
The meeting of the Guild Navigator, swimming in his tank before the Emperor is awesome, eerie and threatening. To see such a powerful mutated human and such a possible future threatens our ideas of the ascendancy of civilisation.
Isaac Asimov: Foundation Series: (meeting Hober Mallow and Onum Barr).
To live alone and to suddenly confront an alien – albeit a human one and a friendly one must be a strange experience indeed.
Donald Kingsbury: Geta (the Crèche: survivors).
Geta is a world so hostile and so threatening to human life that no food or resource can be squandered. We all quail at the thought of humans eating humans, but it has been a way of life for many civilisations on this planet for a long time. See Captain Cook ‘s journey of discovery to New Zealand and the Pacific.
Alan dean Foster: The Mocking Program.
I wish my computer could do this for me. To do all the mundane chores that I need to be done, freeing me up to do the things I want to do is awesome. And strangely enough, it does not sound that impossible or difficult as well. A natural evolutionary path perhaps for computers of the future.
Matrix (the Movie): the red pill or the blue pill.
A moment of choice, mirroring other choices we face. CENSORED "ref ...................." by order of “Frobisher” authorised by “The Commandant”.
Vernor Vinge: A Lightness Upon the Deep (Reprogramming the female ships officer to be a consort, though had killed her father and others).
The thought that human brains can be reprogrammed and turned into organic working machines is abhorrent and very threatening. To actually see a method, whereby human beings are controlled is something I never thought I would ever actually consider as a possibility. It is a prospect capable of doing much good, but capable of doing incredible evil as well.
A. E. Van Vogt: The Weapon Shops of Isher / The Weapon Makers:
The GnoMan realising that Robert Hedrock had founded both the Imperial Dynasty as well as the Weapon Shops.
The realisation that the man who the Weapon Shops are seeking is actually their founder and the founder of the Imperial Dynasty. One in the same man. How must we seem as children to a man like this – whose life spans so many lives.
Peter Hamilton: running down the path with the elves and becoming trapped on the frozen planet.
This is an intriguing picture. We have always believed in elves and pixies. The book shows elves and pixies as being the children of another spacefaring galactic species. At an early phase of their growth – childhood, they migrate through the galaxy using gates between the worlds. In human beings can travel with them as well, as partners in the travel but with no control as to where they may end up.
John Wyndham: Triffids (Help us).
The girl who tries to convince the sighted person to stay with all of them – not just with her. Help us – not help me. A very poignant and human picture.
Human warriors: Humans enslaved: bred to be cyborg soldiers, to race etc.: a chance accidental meeting with an Alien race: if only had met them just a few decades later.