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Ahira's Hangar • View topic - Masterwork

Masterwork

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Masterwork

Postby jacobRaver » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:13 pm

Fantasy has many titles considered Masterworks: LOTR, Ourboros, Narnia, the Chrons, Ice and Fire. Yet Scifi has only two: Dune and Foundation.

So whycum the lack of epic scifi Masterworks?
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Re: Masterwork

Postby Avatar » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:33 pm

Depends what you mean by "epic." I think the Gap qualifies, but it's not that well known. Asimov's Robots series, (Naked Sun etc) probably counts. Hubbards Mission Earth, maybe even Battlefield Earth (the book, not the movie). Maybe sci-fi tends more to the stand-alone, at least classically, so it's hard to consider them "epic" if you mean in terms of a series. (Stranger for example, I consider epic.)

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Re: Masterwork

Postby jacobRaver » Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:43 pm

K. Not necessarily 'epic', but considered on that level.
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Re: Masterwork

Postby danlo » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:12 am

Maybe not recognized yet but I would say that Zindell's Neverness/Requiem for Homo Sapiens, Daniel's Metaplanetary/Superluminal, Brin's original Uplift trilogy and of course Simmon's Hyperion Cantos join the Gap and New Sun.
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Re: Masterwork

Postby jacobRaver » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:50 am

The Uplift trilogy was really good-Sundiver was okay, Startide Rising was awesome, and Uplift War was very good. However, I always felt that the writing was a little ruff and the ending to UW didn't answer all the questions at hand. I tried reading the second trilogy, but it just didn't grab me...I probably stopped reading the first novel about a third through.
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Re: Masterwork

Postby danlo » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:18 pm

I loved the last book of the 2nd Uplift-but you do have to slog through a lot. It was no where near as good as the first trilogy, overall. But at least you do get to
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Re: Masterwork

Postby jacobRaver » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:09 am

What about the
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Re: Masterwork

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:22 am

You learn more about them, too.

I wasn't sure about that second trilogy, either - it did not capture my attention at all until
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Re: Masterwork

Postby Avatar » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:20 pm

Guess I should read them huh? :lol:

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Re: Masterwork

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:15 pm

You should -
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Re: Masterwork

Postby aliantha » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:33 pm

I think typical (stereotypical?) sci-fi has been more interested in gee-whiz gadgetry than in world-building, which might explain the lack of series.

Or not. That thought occurred to me as a possible explanation, tho.
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Re: Masterwork

Postby Avatar » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:29 pm

Well, I can think of some good sci-fi world building too. Hubbard, (Mission Earth & Battlefield Earth...if we can count something set on earth as world-building...hmmm...still, in ME he basically rewrote history...was a great (if terrible) world), Hamilton's Nights Dawn, Anderson's still ongoing Saga of Seven Suns (which I was enjoying as far as I've gotten. Bk 4 IIRC.) Dune obviously, even Weiss' Star of the Guardians, although doubtless some call it derivative.

(Off the top of my head. :D )

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Re: Masterwork

Postby Duchess of Malfi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:36 pm

Well, there is the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. Has won a bunch a Hugos - space opera involving a small empire founded by the ruling family of a planet named Barayar which has a bit of a Russian taste. I find it to be an up and down series, but when it is at its best there is little out there that is as good (and at its worst it merely sinks to just mediocre). 8)
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Re: Masterwork

Postby aliantha » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:24 pm

So there have been a few. I also thought of McCaffrey's "The Ship Who" series. But I wouldn't call those books masterworks....

So what makes a masterwork? A richly invented setting; well-rounded characters; resonant themes; anything else?
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Re: Masterwork

Postby jacobRaver » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:44 pm

Popularity, mirroring/shadowing, pacing, character depth...

It doesn't have to be a series - Dune is the one, the others aren't considered on the same level, usually. I think it's mostly the tech - fiction/literature and some fantasy bring out our emotions and reflect something that can resonate within us, whereas scifi tends to 'copy' those elements while consentrating on an 'event'.
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