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post #302 of Old 08-06-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

I did, a long time ago. Good example of what I consider boring. No new ideas. Same old astronaut stereotypes. Bova wrote some interesting stuff decades ago (what was the title of his move-the-Earth novel?) but "Mars" was dishwater dull - Robinson's Mars series not much better. No real drama. Heinlein understood how to combine human drama with a unique setting and imaginary culture - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the best example. Heinlein's Luna busted the old stereotypes - he did not write about an Air Force base on the moon, which everyone else was doing, but a penal colony, populated by a culture developed uniquely for Mars. That's not what I'm doing, but it's a fine example of a true imaginative work and a fascinating read that transports you outside of your normal realm. Nowadays, writers can't seem to do that unless they evoke the paranormal. There seem to be two choices: If you're going to write about Mars, there better be alien-ghost thingies there to take over your brain, OR if you want to do "realistic" sic-fi, your technology and characters must be cribbed from NASA and the ISS. In fact, just transport the whole damn ISS to Mars, make sure you have your stock characters (the arrogant ex-fighter pilot, the beautiful lady physicist who is self-assured and womanly at the same time, etc) and have them say "mission control" at least every other page. Ugh!
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