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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:39 pm 
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OK - since it's Iain Banks's birthday today, we'll make it a Culture question.

In the novel Use of Weapons, Cheradenine Zakalwe is beheaded while on a mission - but thanks to the Culture's advanced medical technology (and the speed of his rescue), his life is saved and he is taken aboard the GSV Congenital Optimist where a new body can be grown for him. What does the drone Skaffen-Amtiskaw give to Zakalwe as a get-well-soon present?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:50 pm 
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A hat.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Correct! :D

Over to you, Commander_X …

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:28 pm 
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Following Iain Banks' thread here, in "The Algebraist" he is setting up a non portal fast travel method, that can only be applied to specific end points. What are these end points?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:41 pm 
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Easy - in the gravitational centre (e.g. the middle of the core) of gas giants.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Easy: true. Gas giants: true.

Your turn, sir!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:50 pm 
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A three-parter to show your mastery of SF trivia:
  1. The Master rules a world governed by the laws of 1920s fiction. Give the complete name the character is known by, and the TV series in which he appears.
  2. The Master plans to rule the world by mind control but is thwarted by a dog, in which novel by which author?
  3. The Masters have ruled the world for centuries, in which novel by which author?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:41 am 
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Hints

1: 1960s TV series
2: 1950s novel
3: 1960s novel series (sorry, I forgot they were mentioned in more than one book), name the SERIES and author.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Quote:
Hints

1: 1960s TV series
2: 1950s novel
3: 1960s novel series (sorry, I forgot they were mentioned in more than one book), name the SERIES and author.
And a little more:

1: There is another, better known Master in this series.
2: Another, better known, fantasy novel by this author has been adapted into a Disney film.
3: And this series of books was adapted as a BBC TV series in the 1980s.

And a bonus clue, 1 is a British TV series, 2 and 3 are by British authors.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:23 am 
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1. Must be The Master of the Land of Fiction, from the Doctor Who story "The Mind Robber".
2. …
3. Is this The Tripods, by John Christopher?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:06 pm 
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Quote:
1. Must be The Master of the Land of Fiction, from the Doctor Who story "The Mind Robber".
2. …
3. Is this The Tripods, by John Christopher?
Both right - given that everyone else is clueless, you have it. The missing one is The Master, from the juvenile novel The Master by TH White, 1957. White is better known for The Sword in the Stone, of course, which is the Disney connection. He's a mind-controlling megalomaniac whose master plan is derailed by (spoilers use ROT-13) Juvyr nobhg gb ynhapu uvf svraqvfu cyna'f svany fgntrf ur gevcf bire gur lbhat ureb'f qbt naq snyyf bss n pyvss.

Your turn!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Ah … I'm a fan of T. H. White's The Once and Future King, but I'd never encountered The Master.

Okay, here's the name question: name three science-fictional musical instruments, from three different sources. To make it a bit more challenging, these should be instruments with wholly fictional names, i.e. not just knockoffs of Earth instruments. So no Vulcan lutes, Venusian zithers or Martian kazoos!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:56 am 
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Some clues to locations to possible answers …

A cartoon TV series.

An epic, sprawling, and - if we're honest - frankly overlong series of SF novels. The first book is brilliant, after which it's a long, slow, and not unspectacular decline in quality. Anyway, there's a fictional musical instrument, played by a loyal supporter of the main character.

A Culture novel (you should be able to guess which one).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:58 pm 
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I have come to abhor google, so I have to rely on my increasingly dodgy memory. The 'sprawling epic' could be Dune, and I seem to recall something in Asimov's Foundation series, which may have been a musical instrument - of sorts. I should of course know the Culture one, but it escapes me.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:30 pm 
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I was thinking Dune as well.
Totally from memory, isn't the instrument a Balisat? No idea what it was (stringed?) or how it was played. Was it Gurney Hallek?
Probably best to ignore this array of wild guesses really :P

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