Science Fiction Trivia

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

ffutures wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:15 pm
OK - The Entropy Tango by Michael Moorcock (1981) - the sixth book of the Jerry Cornelius series
That's four, plus one shiny MBP to ffutures for naming a specific type of dance. It also takes Moorcock's The Winds of Limbo (geddit?) and his Dancers at the Ends of Time series off the table too. One more for the win.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

A clue … there's an alternate-history novel, set in a 20th century where Europe is still dominated by the Catholic Church.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

Disembodied wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:00 am
A clue … there's an alternate-history novel, set in a 20th century where Europe is still dominated by the Catholic Church.
That universe sounds like Phillip Pullman's "Magesterium/Dust" universe (from "Golden Compass"/ "Subtle Knife"/ "Amber Spyglass" and the "Book of Dust" trilogy of which only v1, "La Belle Suavage" has been released so far. Which would be appropriate, if the people who describe my dancing as "Savage" had actually been using a dance's name, but somehow, I think not.

More generally, and to throw a hobbled pigeon amongst the ravenous Elite of cats, would Pullman's "Dustiverse" classify as SF or fantasy?

Did I hear a recent Pullman rumour suggesting that the next book is written, edited and slated for the Xmas market - if there is an Xmas this year.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

No, not Pullman … older than that (1960s, I think). A one-word title that's the name of a kind of dance.
RockDoctor wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:59 pm
More generally, and to throw a hobbled pigeon amongst the ravenous Elite of cats, would Pullman's "Dustiverse" classify as SF or fantasy?
Even though Pullman dabbles with alternate realities, and has some scientificking going on in the background, personally I'd say it has too many fantasy elements (dæmons, witches, etc.) to be able to pass as SF.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

OK, since nobody else seems to be getting there:

Mirror Dance (1994) by Lois McMaster Bujold

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_Dance

Image

A mirror dance, incidentally, is a real dance style - one dancer mirrors the other's movements e.g. if one raises their left hand the other raises their right hand etc.

And the other one you mentioned is Pavane (1968) by Keith Roberts, which is more or less SF with slight fantasy elements.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavane_(novel)

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

And another MBP and the task of setting the next question goes to ffutures!

There's also the DS9 episode, "Waltz".

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

OK, I don't recall this one coming up recently. Let's have five aliens which canonically are bigger than planets - the two living planets mentioned in a recent round (from the Marvel and DC universes) are not eligible because they're not bigger than planets. No two from the same canon and/or author. And have a meaningless bonus point if you spot one of the ones I've already thought of!

Note - Marvin the Paranoid Android ("Here I am, brain the size of a planet") does not count - he was exaggerating.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by RockDoctor »

ffutures wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:15 pm
OK, I don't recall this one coming up recently. Let's have five aliens which canonically are bigger than planets -
Ian M. Banks, in the Culture series has objects the size of large planets with multiple shells (as for Dyson spheres, but multiple of them), onion-like. Remnants of some previously Sublimed culture, a Shellworld called Sursamen seems an artefact, but ...
Oh, hang on, I'm getting confused. I thought the Shellworld was sentient to a self-aware level, so "alive" for some meanings of "alive" ... but checking the Wiki page, there are lots of players, but Sursamen doesn't seem to be one of them. But I did have that impression for some part of the time I was reading it.
=========

Charlie Stross's Accelerando universe has a Matrioshka Brain, containing Minds "inconceivably more advanced and complex than naturally evolved intelligences such as human beings", built from the contents of the Solar system. So that's pretty much bigger than any planet not larger than two Jupiters. It's also a normal part of development for an inhabited star system.
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Commander_X »

ffutures wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:15 pm
OK, I don't recall this one coming up recently. Let's have five aliens which canonically are bigger than planets [...]
C'mon ffutures, it's not that old (last year's November) (I must admit, jumping almost page to page in the thread back there, was not an easy exercise :) )

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

RockDoctor wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:17 pm
ffutures wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:15 pm
OK, I don't recall this one coming up recently. Let's have five aliens which canonically are bigger than planets -
Ian M. Banks, in the Culture series has objects the size of large planets with multiple shells (as for Dyson spheres, but multiple of them), onion-like. Remnants of some previously Sublimed culture, a Shellworld called Sursamen seems an artefact, but ...
Oh, hang on, I'm getting confused. I thought the Shellworld was sentient to a self-aware level, so "alive" for some meanings of "alive" ... but checking the Wiki page, there are lots of players, but Sursamen doesn't seem to be one of them. But I did have that impression for some part of the time I was reading it.
=========

Charlie Stross's Accelerando universe has a Matrioshka Brain, containing Minds "inconceivably more advanced and complex than naturally evolved intelligences such as human beings", built from the contents of the Solar system. So that's pretty much bigger than any planet not larger than two Jupiters. It's also a normal part of development for an inhabited star system.
Matrioshka Brain is a definite yes - no meaningless bonus point because it wasn't one of the ones I thought of. Which is actually a bit silly, come to think of it, because you should be praised for originality. So have some meaningless praise instead!
Commander_X wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:08 am
ffutures wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:15 pm
OK, I don't recall this one coming up recently. Let's have five aliens which canonically are bigger than planets [...]
C'mon ffutures, it's not that old (last year's November) (I must admit, jumping almost page to page in the thread back there, was not an easy exercise :) )
I have a lousy memory. And I'm going to retroactively ban any of those for this round! But have some meaningless praise for reminding me!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Commander_X »

ffutures wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:37 am
[...]
I have a lousy memory. [...]
Don't we all? :-D
ffutures wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:37 am
[...]
[...] But have some meaningless praise for reminding me!
Olde Ferengi (?!) saying:
Meaningless is good! Better than nothing!

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Disembodied »

There are the Janitors, from the Alan Moore Future Shock "They Sweep the Spaceways" in 2000AD. They replace burnt-out suns, plaster over black holes, disinfect any planets they find infested with civilisation, etc.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by Cholmondely »

A most impressive nose.

Would it be Carter's Snout, by any chance?
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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Disembodied wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:57 am
There are the Janitors, from the Alan Moore Future Shock "They Sweep the Spaceways" in 2000AD. They replace burnt-out suns, plaster over black holes, disinfect any planets they find infested with civilisation, etc.
That's number 2, and you get a meaningless bonus point for remembering the first story I thought of when I set the question!

Two down, three to go.

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Re: Science Fiction Trivia

Post by ffutures »

Cholmondely wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:19 am
A most impressive nose.

Would it be Carter's Snout, by any chance?
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Not actually an answer, I assume...

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