Science Fiction Trivia

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Disembodied
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

Michael Swanwick's "Darger and Surplus" stories feature Aubrey Darger and Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Precieux (AKA Surplus), two conmen (well, one con-man and one con-genetically enhanced dog), and are set in a postutopian future. One of the stories, "The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport", is online here:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-little-cat- ... rt-5802446
There was a season in Paris when Darger and Surplus, those two canny rogues, lived very well indeed. That was the year when the Seine shone a gentle green at night with the pillars of the stone bridges fading up into a pure and ghostly blue, for the city engineers, in obedience to the latest fashions, had made the algae and mosses bioluminescent.

Paris, unlike lesser cities, reveled in her flaws. The molds and funguses that attacked her substance had been redesigned for beauty. The rats had been displaced by a breed of particularly engaging mice. A depleted revenant of the Plague Wars yet lingered in her brothels in the form of a sexual fever that lasted but twenty-four hours before dying away, leaving one with only memories and pleasant regrets. The health service, needless to say, made no serious effort to eradicate it.

Small wonder that Darger and Surplus were as happy as two such men could be.

One such man, actually. Surplus was, genetically, a dog, though he had been remade into anthropomorphic form and intellect. But neither that nor his American origins was held against him, for it was widely believed that he was enormously wealthy.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

RockDoctor wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:08 am
OK, I'll try to rule out another biggie. One of the dominant characters throughout the Known Space stories (Larry Niven, as if I needed to add it) is Beowulf Schaeffer, who is introduced to us as a fraudster, living way beyond his means, plans a career in piracy/ spaceship theft/ illicit arms dealing before being forced back onto the straight and narrow(-ish) by a cop acting considerably beyond his powers. That story ends with an incipient career in blackmail ("One million Credits? I'd be fascinated!"). (EDIT: Neutron Star, if anyone needed it.) Later stories detail various other dubious acts including Grand Theft Techno, a wide slew of immigration and emigration crimes and ... (EDIT: The "Crashlander" anthology and it's framing story, "Procrustes")
Long enough rap sheet?
And we haven't even started on the crimes of the three-legged one with a name almost suspiciously unrelated to "Jake the Peg". Who's he trying to kid?
Good one - four to go.
cbr wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:13 am
Those pesky icestealers called The Ice Pirates...

Image
Well, technically they're rebels, but I don't think they're actually terrorists so I think this one is OK. Two down, three to go.
Disembodied wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:28 am
Michael Swanwick's "Darger and Surplus" stories feature Aubrey Darger and Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Precieux (AKA Surplus), two conmen (well, one con-man and one con-genetically enhanced dog), and are set in a postutopian future. One of the stories, "The Little Cat Laughed to See Such Sport", is online here:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-little-cat- ... rt-5802446
There was a season in Paris when Darger and Surplus, those two canny rogues, lived very well indeed. That was the year when the Seine shone a gentle green at night with the pillars of the stone bridges fading up into a pure and ghostly blue, for the city engineers, in obedience to the latest fashions, had made the algae and mosses bioluminescent.

Paris, unlike lesser cities, reveled in her flaws. The molds and funguses that attacked her substance had been redesigned for beauty. The rats had been displaced by a breed of particularly engaging mice. A depleted revenant of the Plague Wars yet lingered in her brothels in the form of a sexual fever that lasted but twenty-four hours before dying away, leaving one with only memories and pleasant regrets. The health service, needless to say, made no serious effort to eradicate it.

Small wonder that Darger and Surplus were as happy as two such men could be.

One such man, actually. Surplus was, genetically, a dog, though he had been remade into anthropomorphic form and intellect. But neither that nor his American origins was held against him, for it was widely believed that he was enormously wealthy.
OK, yes, judging by that story they definitely qualify. Three down, two to go!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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In William Gibson’s Neuromancer the protagonists have to hack the Tessier-Ashpool cores and break the Turing locks on the company AIs - which is definitely a crime. Although Molly deals out a bit of violence, it's essentially a heist story.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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for your consideration.... Marion Zimmer Bradley The colours of Space. the main character Bart Steele breaks the law and goes into space as a Lhari to prove that humans dont die in hyperspace.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:33 am
In William Gibson’s Neuromancer the protagonists have to hack the Tessier-Ashpool cores and break the Turing locks on the company AIs - which is definitely a crime. Although Molly deals out a bit of violence, it's essentially a heist story.
That's a good one, I don't think the violence is bad enough to disqualify it - one to go.
spud42 wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 1:48 pm
for your consideration.... Marion Zimmer Bradley The colours of Space. the main character Bart Steele breaks the law and goes into space as a Lhari to prove that humans dont die in hyperspace.
And that's another - Spud, the metaphorical ball is in your proverbial court.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

ok this should be a quick one for the genius ' in this forum

im searching for a book i read many moons ago. i dont know the name or author.
All i remember is children needing to eat something special/rare and probably expensive . the children who didnt eat were mentally disadvantaged and i think died young..... not a lot to go on i know but 25 years ago i wouldnt have forgotten any book i read...
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

spud42 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:00 am
ok this should be a quick one for the genius ' in this forum

im searching for a book i read many moons ago. i dont know the name or author.
All i remember is children needing to eat something special/rare and probably expensive . the children who didnt eat were mentally disadvantaged and i think died young..... not a lot to go on i know but 25 years ago i wouldnt have forgotten any book i read...
Not a clue, but I'll ask a friend who collects juvenile SF.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Possibly "Larry Niven's Destiny's Road (1997, so nearly 25 years), set on a colony world where potassium -- lack of which causes the stated problems -- is rare but expensively obtainable as "speckles" from rapacious dealers who know where to find the plant that concentrates the element."

I feel reluctant to claim credit if this is the right answer because I had to ask several friends, eventually getting this as the answer.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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spud42 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:00 am
ok this should be a quick one for the genius ' in this forum

im searching for a book i read many moons ago. i dont know the name or author.
All i remember is children needing to eat something special/rare and probably expensive . the children who didnt eat were mentally disadvantaged and i think died young..... not a lot to go on i know but 25 years ago i wouldnt have forgotten any book i read...
Hmmm. There's a Piers Anthony short - "On the Farm" (with a sequel) which is somewhere down those lines. I'll let you find it, because it's one of the rare breed of stories not included in "Dangerous Visions" because it was too brutal. (If you believe PA's author's notes, and my memory.)
It also reminds me somewhat of a very early Niven one - something like "the Beginners" - where Humankind's first interstellar colony is established by STL travel (so, no help from home) ... but all the children born there are "simple". "Retarded". Specifically, reverting to Homo erectus or Paranthropus or some other 1960s-era human ancestor. Niven later re-worked the idea to give the Pak and "Protector" (and later a lot of other elements of his Known Space, which I won't spoiler), so this story must have been very early in his career - mid-60s if not earlier.

I made an effort at reading Huxley's "Brave New World" not long ago - didn't finish it, left it on the bus or something - but didn't that have an element of feeding special food supplements (or poisons) to foetuses in order to start the differentiation into Alphas, Betas, Morlocks, etc?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by spud42 »

thanks Ffutures, doesnt matter how you found.. ask a friend ask google... same thing.

and yes turns out its Destiny road. For some reason i thought it might have been Richard Cowper but no it is definitely Larry Niven.

your turn again ... once more through the 8.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

OK, I'm in a musical mood, so let's have five SF stories / films / TV episodes / whatever which have the NAME of a musical instrument in the title. Meaningless bonus points if it is actually about music.

Only one title per musical instrument. And the usual rules - authors / universes can only be used once, and only one entry per post, please don't make multiple posts too often to give others a chance.

e.g., if Fiddler on the Roof was SF and set in the Marvel universe you couldn't use any other Marvel comic, film, TV show, etc. It's also a bit of a fudge since it refers to a musician rather than the actual instrument, but you'd get a meaningless bonus point.

e.g. if the old TV series Triangle was SF (it isn't) it would be acceptable, but triangles couldn't be used again, and no meaningless bonus point since it isn't actually about music.


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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

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ffutures wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:13 pm
OK, I'm in a musical mood, so let's have five SF stories / films / TV episodes / whatever which have the NAME of a musical instrument in the title. Meaningless bonus points if it is actually about music.

Only one title per musical instrument. And the usual rules -
I'll try to take the Good Doctor off the table. You mention stories and episodes on an even par, so ... one of the chapters in "Foundation and Empire" (was it one of the original serialisation episodes, way back in the late 40s?) related the Mule's undermining of morale at the Foundation, using an instrument called a "VisiSonar" - gaving the chapter it's title.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by cbr »

I think i stretch the use of the word musical instrument by presenting,

from ST voyager, the singing hologram in 'Virtuoso' ...

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:22 pm
The Doctor Who episode "The Sound of Drums".
That's one, and one I didn't think of, so have a meaningless bonus point for that reason, as well as one for actually relating to music! And Doctor Who and all derivatives are now off the table.

https://youtu.be/4h8NmjpiY1M
RockDoctor wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:57 pm
I'll try to take the Good Doctor off the table. You mention stories and episodes on an even par, so ... one of the chapters in "Foundation and Empire" (was it one of the original serialisation episodes, way back in the late 40s?) related the Mule's undermining of morale at the Foundation, using an instrument called a "VisiSonar" - gaving the chapter it's title.
OK, that's a good one - also gets a meaningless bonus point. Can't find any of it on line though. apart from this the brief description linked to below. Incidentally, it's Visi-Sonar in the UK edition I have, not that it matters. Asimov is now off the table.

http://johnsbooks.co.uk/Books/Glossary/ ... sonar.html
cbr wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:21 pm
I think i stretch the use of the word musical instrument by presenting,

from ST voyager, the singing hologram in 'Virtuoso' ...
Nice try, but I think I'm going to have to say no - not really an instrument, he's basically a performer despite being a hologram, and it's a lot vaguer than "fiddler". Have a meaningless bonus point anyway, for making me think about it. I won't take the Trek universe off the table, so if you can think of something else go for it.

https://youtu.be/aHxqPg2CsJI

OK, two down, three to go.

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