Discussion:
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have On Their Shelves
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James Nicoll
2017-07-06 14:27:10 UTC
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Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves

http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
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Peter Trei
2017-07-06 15:20:41 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
James once again shows that he has his own personal definition of 'core' which
is shared by no one else on the planet.

Of these, I've read just one - the Clement. This isn't too surprising:
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?

pt
James Nicoll
2017-07-06 15:41:51 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
James once again shows that he has his own personal definition of 'core' which
is shared by no one else on the planet.
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I am hesitent to revisit the Lord Darcy stuff for fear I will discover
it's as awful as some of the other Garrett crap I have revisited.
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David Duffy
2017-07-07 00:20:33 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
I am hesitent to revisit the Lord Darcy stuff for fear I will discover
it's as awful as some of the other Garrett crap I have revisited.
Nah, they hold up well.
Carl Fink
2017-07-06 16:15:56 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read two (also the Bujold). This actually surprised me because I like
several of the writers mentioned (Tanith Lee, Jo Walton, Lee Killough) and
have never heard of these specific stories.

What, no Niven Gil the Arm stories?
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Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read my blog at blog.nitpicking.com. Reviews! Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!
James Nicoll
2017-07-06 16:38:51 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
Post by Peter Trei
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read two (also the Bujold). This actually surprised me because I like
several of the writers mentioned (Tanith Lee, Jo Walton, Lee Killough) and
have never heard of these specific stories.
What, no Niven Gil the Arm stories?
NO IMPLICATION IS INTENDED THAT THESE ARE THE ONLY TWENTY BOOKS YOU
SHOULD CONSIDER.
--
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Carl Fink
2017-07-06 17:39:05 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Peter Trei
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read two (also the Bujold). This actually surprised me because I like
several of the writers mentioned (Tanith Lee, Jo Walton, Lee Killough) and
have never heard of these specific stories.
What, no Niven Gil the Arm stories?
NO IMPLICATION IS INTENDED THAT THESE ARE THE ONLY TWENTY BOOKS YOU
SHOULD CONSIDER.
Sure. I was going with Mr. Trei's thought of listing some more (in the form
of questions).
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read my blog at blog.nitpicking.com. Reviews! Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!
James Nicoll
2017-07-06 19:59:47 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Peter Trei
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read two (also the Bujold). This actually surprised me because I like
several of the writers mentioned (Tanith Lee, Jo Walton, Lee Killough) and
have never heard of these specific stories.
What, no Niven Gil the Arm stories?
NO IMPLICATION IS INTENDED THAT THESE ARE THE ONLY TWENTY BOOKS YOU
SHOULD CONSIDER.
Sure. I was going with Mr. Trei's thought of listing some more (in the form
of questions).
I have not reread them in 40 years so not sure how they hold up.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Torbjorn Lindgren
2017-07-06 22:00:14 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Peter Trei
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read two (also the Bujold). This actually surprised me because I like
several of the writers mentioned (Tanith Lee, Jo Walton, Lee Killough) and
have never heard of these specific stories.
What, no Niven Gil the Arm stories?
NO IMPLICATION IS INTENDED THAT THESE ARE THE ONLY TWENTY BOOKS YOU
SHOULD CONSIDER.
To be fair you *are* the one calling them "CORE".

Now, Core definitely doesn't mean "only these" but pretty much any
dictionary definition is going to include something like "central and
often foundational part".

However, your lists usually nothing like that definition of "core" and
this includes this one which making the criticism fair despite
attempts to engage an unrelated strawman instead :-)


I'd argue that for most (all?) of your "core" list would probably be
better described as "a good exploration list once you've already read
many of the core works of X".

The lists themselves often contain interesting and/or useful work but
the intentional mislabeling (close to an inversion of "core")
unfortunately makes them much easier to ignore.

These kinds of "I say X but mean Y" can work in closed groups but when
posting to wider groups (and in this case Usetnet is outside your
"closed group") tends to cause entirely valid criticism. Yes, it's
just "headline" but boy, does the headline matter.


Also, on a more general note, please *don't* just post an article with
just a link, if it's worth posting on Usenet it's worth paste in the
text version of the content!

I don't want to discourage you from including the link *too* because
it clearly hás value, but so does actually including the text.
William Hyde
2017-07-06 20:00:26 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
Post by Peter Trei
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read two (also the Bujold). This actually surprised me because I like
several of the writers mentioned (Tanith Lee, Jo Walton, Lee Killough) and
have never heard of these specific stories.
I liked Farthing enough to read it twice. The later novels in the sequence were well received.
Post by Carl Fink
What, no Niven Gil the Arm stories?
Based on previous lists, I'd have happily bet 10-1 against any Asimov or Niven. That's just not the nature of this project.

William Hyde
D B Davis
2017-07-07 01:27:29 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
Post by Peter Trei
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read two (also the Bujold). This actually surprised me because I like
several of the writers mentioned (Tanith Lee, Jo Walton, Lee Killough) and
have never heard of these specific stories.
What, no Niven Gil the Arm stories?
More authors and stories for the list:

Robin Cook
_Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep_ (PKD)
Solar Pons shorts
"Role Model" (Anderson)

Thank you,

--
Don
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-06 16:43:13 UTC
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On Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10:27:15 AM UTC-4, James Nicoll
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan
Should Have On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction
-mysteries
James once again shows that he has his own personal definition
of 'core' which is shared by no one else on the planet.
I'm pretty sure that at this point, he's just trolling you.
Successfully.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Greg Goss
2017-07-09 19:33:24 UTC
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Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
On Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10:27:15 AM UTC-4, James Nicoll
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan
Should Have On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction
-mysteries
James once again shows that he has his own personal definition
of 'core' which is shared by no one else on the planet.
I'm pretty sure that at this point, he's just trolling you.
Successfully.
But the trolling is good-natured, on-topic and leads to worthwhile
conversations.

Quite unlike the nothingburgers you and I traded for a while till you
got bored.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-10 02:35:58 UTC
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Post by Greg Goss
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
On Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10:27:15 AM UTC-4, James Nicoll
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan
Should Have On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-ficti
on -mysteries
James once again shows that he has his own personal definition
of 'core' which is shared by no one else on the planet.
I'm pretty sure that at this point, he's just trolling you.
Successfully.
But the trolling is good-natured, on-topic and leads to
worthwhile conversations.
Mostly about what a prick James is. Yeah, that's on topic.
Post by Greg Goss
Quite unlike the nothingburgers you and I traded for a while
till you
won.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Greg Goss
2017-07-09 19:31:32 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
James once again shows that he has his own personal definition of 'core' which
is shared by no one else on the planet.
mysteries have never been my genre. But no Lord Darcy stories? No Asimov
mysteries?
I've read the Clement. And I read the Bujold as part of an extended
series. I like SF mysteries, but at a quick glance only recognized a
very few of these.

You're right - Caves of Steel should have been on the list.

Was there more than one Darcy novel? Or were they almost all short
items?
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Robert Woodward
2017-07-06 15:28:28 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Read seven. What about _You've Got Murder_ by Donna Andrews? There
aren't that many stories written from the viewpoint of a self-aware
computer (actually computer program since Turning Hopper can shift to
different hardware).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
-------------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
James Nicoll
2017-07-06 15:42:31 UTC
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Post by Robert Woodward
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Read seven. What about _You've Got Murder_ by Donna Andrews? There
aren't that many stories written from the viewpoint of a self-aware
computer (actually computer program since Turning Hopper can shift to
different hardware).
Have not read it. Also never read the Nora Roberts books.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
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Lynn McGuire
2017-07-06 17:59:15 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
I've read one of these, the Bujold.

Lynn
Lynn McGuire
2017-07-06 18:00:37 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
What, no Asimov ?
https://www.amazon.com/Caves-Steel-Daneel-Olivaw-Book/dp/0553293400/

Lynn
Default User
2017-07-06 19:28:59 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
Not familiar with most of them. Read two:

Needle
Polar City Blues

I see that there is a sequel to the latter, Polar City Nightmare, which I should try to look into.


Brian
Moriarty
2017-07-06 22:18:00 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
I don't know whether or not anyone would consider it "core" or not but the best in the genre that I've ever read is China Mieville's "The City & the City". It's a police procedural set against twin cities occupying the same geographical space, with the possibility that there's also a third.

-Moriarty
Titus G
2017-07-07 03:50:42 UTC
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Post by Moriarty
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
I don't know whether or not anyone would consider it "core" or not but the best in the genre that I've ever read is China Mieville's "The City & the City". It's a police procedural set against twin cities occupying the same geographical space, with the possibility that there's also a third.
Yes. A complex concept executed so well, my non-physicist's brain could
visualise it. Thanks for reminding me.
Robert Bannister
2017-07-07 00:27:09 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Well, I've read the Bujold and I might have read the Clement. I haven't
even heard of the others. I doubt my life is seriously impaired by this
lack.
--
Robert B. born England a long time ago;
Western Australia since 1972
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2017-07-07 00:50:08 UTC
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Post by Robert Bannister
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Well, I've read the Bujold and I might have read the Clement. I haven't
even heard of the others. I doubt my life is seriously impaired by this
lack.
The Clement, which I read as a short format, coverless paperback bought
at a used furniture store in Fernandina Beach Fl, and titled _From Outer
Space_ was one of my favorites. Must have read it 20 times.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Carl Fink
2017-07-07 11:48:30 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
The Clement, which I read as a short format, coverless paperback bought
at a used furniture store in Fernandina Beach Fl, and titled _From Outer
Space_ was one of my favorites. Must have read it 20 times.
Have you read the sequel?
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read my blog at blog.nitpicking.com. Reviews! Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2017-07-07 15:00:16 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
The Clement, which I read as a short format, coverless paperback bought
at a used furniture store in Fernandina Beach Fl, and titled _From Outer
Space_ was one of my favorites. Must have read it 20 times.
Have you read the sequel?
--
Yes, but only once. I didn't think it was as good, and there were some
whiffs of retcon. Of course, I could have just moved out of my Golden Age
by then..
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Ahasuerus
2017-07-08 01:03:05 UTC
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On Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 8:50:12 PM UTC-4, Ted Nolan <tednolan> wrote:
[snip]
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
The Clement, which I read as a short format, coverless paperback bought
at a used furniture store in Fernandina Beach Fl, and titled _From Outer
Space_ was one of my favorites. Must have read it 20 times.
Oh yes, it was great. More recently, Timothy Zahn's _The Icarus Hunt_
(1999) was a nice little SF mystery. Kind of a meta-mystery as well.
Chris Buckley
2017-07-07 01:08:53 UTC
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Post by Robert Bannister
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Well, I've read the Bujold and I might have read the Clement. I haven't
even heard of the others. I doubt my life is seriously impaired by this
lack.
I've read 8-9 of them (9 if you count the the manga version of _Pluto_
rather than the novel). I don't think you're missing any great works.
The two you haven't read that I would recommend as being better than
the others are the Walton and the Jemisin - though the Jemisin doesn't
fit the genre nearly as well as most of the others.

The most surprising non-appearence to me are the _Elantra_ books
(_Cast in ..._) by Michelle Sagara. Several are mysteries and all
are recommended.

Another author we've been talking about could have been included: Wen
Spencer writing _Eight Million Gods_. I prefer that book to her
Tinker series.

Chris
Stephen Graham
2017-07-07 17:57:19 UTC
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Post by Robert Bannister
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Well, I've read the Bujold and I might have read the Clement. I haven't
even heard of the others. I doubt my life is seriously impaired by this
lack.
Only by the degree your life is ever impaired by missing good books.
Walton's Small Change series is a high point in the field. I'm very fond
of Killough's Brill & Maxwell series. I've quite admired what I've read
by Aliette de Bodard and Servant of the Underworld has been well spoken
of by people I trust.
Michael F. Stemper
2017-07-11 17:33:04 UTC
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Post by Robert Bannister
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Well, I've read the Bujold and I might have read the Clement. I haven't
even heard of the others.
Of the books on the list, I've read Bujold, Clement, and Killough.
(I don't remember anything about the Killough.)

I've read one other work by each of Hambly and Vinge.

Of the other authors on the list, I've heard of: Cadigan, Huff,
Kerr, and Walton.

So, I'll join in the hordes who are asking what idiosyncratic
definition of "core" is implied here.

I'll also point out that a list of core SF mysteries that leaves
off _The Caves of Steel_ (arguably the first SF mystery) is
questionable.

Some recent (relative to the Assimov) SF mysteries that I feel
are noteworthy include:

David Brin: _Sundiver_. Classic "who-dunnit" with all of the
clues laid out for the reader. Except that it involves multiple
species and Galatic politics.

Randall Garrett: _Too Many Magicians_. Murder at an academic
conference with some international politics thrown in.

Vernor Vinge: _Marooned in Realtime_. The victim is killed
over a century, and needs to tip off the investigator that
she knows will come, but not let the killer see that she's
doing so.
--
Michael F. Stemper
Nostalgia just ain't what it used to be.
Wolffan
2017-07-07 01:01:30 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
‘Core’? Really?

I’ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven’t heard of at least four. I haven’t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn’t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Moriarty
2017-07-07 03:07:08 UTC
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Post by Wolffan
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
‘Core’? Really?
I’ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven’t heard of at least four. I haven’t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn’t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Published in 1950 and the author died in 2003, when does that public domain? Not for decades, I'm sure.

In any case, there are plenty of copies available at bookfinder.com.

-Moriarty
James Nicoll
2017-07-07 03:32:13 UTC
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Post by Moriarty
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
‘Core’? Really?
I’ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven’t heard of at least four. I haven’t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn’t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Published in 1950 and the author died in 2003, when does that public
domain? Not for decades, I'm sure.
In any case, there are plenty of copies available at bookfinder.com.
It's in The Essential Hal Clement, Volume. 1: Trio for Slide Rule. It's
not recent but it is available from NESFA.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Wolffan
2017-07-07 23:43:32 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
Post by Moriarty
Post by Wolffan
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
‘Core’? Really?
I’ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven’t heard of at least four. I haven’t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn’t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Published in 1950 and the author died in 2003, when does that public
domain? Not for decades, I'm sure.
In any case, there are plenty of copies available at bookfinder.com.
It's in The Essential Hal Clement, Volume. 1: Trio for Slide Rule. It's
not recent but it is available from NESFA.
thanks. I’ll see if I can dig it up.
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2017-07-07 03:41:56 UTC
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Post by Moriarty
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
‘Core’? Really?
I’ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven’t heard of at least four. I haven’t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn’t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Published in 1950 and the author died in 2003, when does that public
domain? Not for decades, I'm sure.
In any case, there are plenty of copies available at bookfinder.com.
-Moriarty
Or google this:

EVEN ON THE earth shadows are frequently good places to
hide. They may show up, of course, against lighted surroundings,
but if there is not too much light from the side, one can
step into a shadow and become remarkably hard to see.

Not saying it's right, or safe..
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Lawrence Watt-Evans
2017-07-07 05:50:27 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 6 Jul 2017 20:07:08 -0700 (PDT), Moriarty
Post by Moriarty
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
‘Core’? Really?
I’ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven’t heard of at least four. I haven’t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn’t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Published in 1950 and the author died in 2003, when does that public domain? Not for decades, I'm sure.
2045. In the U.S. author's date of death doesn't matter on works
published before Jan. 1, 1978.

In Europe it won't be PD until 2073.
--
My webpage is at http://www.watt-evans.com
J. Clarke
2017-07-08 05:54:43 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
On Thu, 6 Jul 2017 20:07:08 -0700 (PDT), Moriarty
Post by Moriarty
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
?Core?? Really?
I?ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven?t heard of at least four. I haven?t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn?t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven?t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn?t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Published in 1950 and the author died in 2003, when does that public domain? Not for decades, I'm sure.
2045. In the U.S. author's date of death doesn't matter on works
published before Jan. 1, 1978.
In Europe it won't be PD until 2073.
However on works published before 1978 the copyright had to be renewed on
the 28th year after the initial copyright. If it wasn't renewed the
copyright would be lost.

The "Needle" copyright however appears to have been renewed--the UK
publisher has it for sale in ebook form, but not to the US. In a bizarre
turn, Amazon UK has a kindle edition that is not available in the US, but
Amazon US has an audiobook.
James Nicoll
2017-07-08 13:51:15 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
On Thu, 6 Jul 2017 20:07:08 -0700 (PDT), Moriarty
Post by Moriarty
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
Post by Moriarty
?Core?? Really?
I?ve read four (the Clement, the Vinge, the Killough, and the Bujold) and
haven?t heard of at least four. I haven?t heard of three of the authors,
much less. At least one (the Bujold) wasn?t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven?t read are. This does not
motivate me to seek them out. Assuming that I could find them, that is; I
know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in print and doesn?t seem to
be available at Project Gutenberg.
Published in 1950 and the author died in 2003, when does that public
domain? Not for decades, I'm sure.
Post by Lawrence Watt-Evans
2045. In the U.S. author's date of death doesn't matter on works
published before Jan. 1, 1978.
In Europe it won't be PD until 2073.
However on works published before 1978 the copyright had to be renewed on
the 28th year after the initial copyright. If it wasn't renewed the
copyright would be lost.
The "Needle" copyright however appears to have been renewed--the UK
publisher has it for sale in ebook form, but not to the US. In a bizarre
turn, Amazon UK has a kindle edition that is not available in the US, but
Amazon US has an audiobook.
SF Gateway in the UK has an impressively large catalog of books but
for rights reasons those ebooks are not available to NorAm customers.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Stephen Graham
2017-07-07 17:09:39 UTC
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Post by Wolffan
At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. T
"The Mountains of Mourning" falls solidly into the procedural class.
Wolffan
2017-07-07 23:43:03 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Stephen Graham
Post by Wolffan
At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. T
"The Mountains of Mourning" falls solidly into the procedural class.
yeah, but... there was very little mystery to it. There was an extremely
limited set of possible suspects and rather a bit of telegraphing. I guessed
who it had to be well before the Big Reveal. It’s not that it wasn’t an
excellent story; it is. It’s just not all that great of a _mystery_. It’s
certainly not up to the level of a ‘core’ mystery.

Perhaps I’ve just read too many of the adventures of Hercule and Nero and
their friends.
Jack Bohn
2017-07-08 11:08:44 UTC
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Post by Wolffan
yeah, but... there was very little mystery to it. There was an extremely
limited set of possible suspects and rather a bit of telegraphing. I guessed
who it had to be well before the Big Reveal. It’s not that it wasn’t an
excellent story; it is. It’s just not all that great of a _mystery_. It’s
certainly not up to the level of a ‘core’ mystery.
Perhaps I’ve just read too many of the adventures of Hercule and Nero and
their friends.
A quick search on the names I don't recognize finds two of them as much or more involved in mystery as sf. I wonder what a list of "Core Mysteries in an sf Vein" would look like.
--
-Jack
Wolffan
2017-07-08 11:51:28 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Jack Bohn
Post by Wolffan
yeah, but... there was very little mystery to it. There was an extremely
limited set of possible suspects and rather a bit of telegraphing. I guessed
who it had to be well before the Big Reveal. It’s not that it wasn’t an
excellent story; it is. It’s just not all that great of a _mystery_. It’s
certainly not up to the level of a ‘core’ mystery.
Perhaps I’ve just read too many of the adventures of Hercule and Nero and
their friends.
A quick search on the names I don't recognize finds two of them as much or
more involved in mystery as sf. I wonder what a list of "Core Mysteries in an
sf Vein" would look like.
It would include people like Darcy and Argyros and Bailey and Dresden and
Rajasthan and Urth. Mad Miles Vorkositgan would make the cut, but not for
“The Mountains of Morning”.
James Nicoll
2017-07-08 14:11:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jack Bohn
A quick search on the names I don't recognize finds two of them as much
or more involved in mystery as sf. I wonder what a list of "Core
Mysteries in an sf Vein" would look like.
You mean stuff published as mysteries that have sf overtones? PASSENGER
TO FRANKFURT probably would qualify if it was any good (it's not).

There's an 87th Precinct book that has a ghost in it.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Jack Bohn
2017-07-08 14:52:59 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Jack Bohn
A quick search on the names I don't recognize finds two of them as much
or more involved in mystery as sf. I wonder what a list of "Core
Mysteries in an sf Vein" would look like.
You mean stuff published as mysteries that have sf overtones? PASSENGER
TO FRANKFURT probably would qualify if it was any good (it's not).
There's an 87th Precinct book that has a ghost in it.
That's what I mean. Because I'm woefully behind on mysteries, all I could come up with was Holmes and "The Susse Vampire" and that _Busman's Honeymoon_ was once made into a movie called "Haunted Honeymoon," and neither of those quite fit.
--
-Jack
James Nicoll
2017-07-08 18:41:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Jack Bohn
A quick search on the names I don't recognize finds two of them as much
or more involved in mystery as sf. I wonder what a list of "Core
Mysteries in an sf Vein" would look like.
You mean stuff published as mysteries that have sf overtones? PASSENGER
TO FRANKFURT probably would qualify if it was any good (it's not).
There's an 87th Precinct book that has a ghost in it.
That's what I mean. Because I'm woefully behind on mysteries, all I
could come up with was Holmes and "The Susse Vampire" and that _Busman's
Honeymoon_ was once made into a movie called "Haunted Honeymoon," and
neither of those quite fit.
It's been ages since I watched it but the old tv show Hec Ramsey had for
me SFnal overtones, in the sense it was about an old lawman using cutting
edge 19th century science to solve crimes. For that matter, Murdoch
Mysteries veers between "OK, let's make the date of the introduction of
moose to Newfoundland a plot point" and "sure, let's give Edwardian Canada
orbital rockets, why not."
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
James Nicoll
2017-07-08 19:55:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Jack Bohn
A quick search on the names I don't recognize finds two of them as much
or more involved in mystery as sf. I wonder what a list of "Core
Mysteries in an sf Vein" would look like.
You mean stuff published as mysteries that have sf overtones? PASSENGER
TO FRANKFURT probably would qualify if it was any good (it's not).
There's an 87th Precinct book that has a ghost in it.
That's what I mean. Because I'm woefully behind on mysteries, all I
could come up with was Holmes and "The Susse Vampire" and that _Busman's
Honeymoon_ was once made into a movie called "Haunted Honeymoon," and
neither of those quite fit.
It's been ages since I watched it but the old tv show Hec Ramsey had for
me SFnal overtones, in the sense it was about an old lawman using cutting
edge 19th century science to solve crimes. For that matter, Murdoch
Mysteries veers between "OK, let's make the date of the introduction of
moose to Newfoundland a plot point" and "sure, let's give Edwardian Canada
orbital rockets, why not."
Some of George Chesbro's books live on the edge of mundane and fantasy
while others are outright SF.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Robert Carnegie
2017-07-08 19:47:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Nicoll
Post by Jack Bohn
A quick search on the names I don't recognize finds two of them as much
or more involved in mystery as sf. I wonder what a list of "Core
Mysteries in an sf Vein" would look like.
You mean stuff published as mysteries that have sf overtones? PASSENGER
TO FRANKFURT probably would qualify if it was any good (it's not).
There's an 87th Precinct book that has a ghost in it.
I think Dick Francis has at least a telepathic
jockey, or a jockey with a telepathic girlfriend,
which is much the same thing except from the
horse's point of view. (I don't think it goes
Anne McCaffrey-wards.)
Titus G
2017-07-08 21:48:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Wolffan
Post by Stephen Graham
Post by Wolffan
At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. T
"The Mountains of Mourning" falls solidly into the procedural class.
yeah, but... there was very little mystery to it. There was an extremely
limited set of possible suspects and rather a bit of telegraphing. I guessed
who it had to be well before the Big Reveal. It’s not that it wasn’t an
excellent story; it is. It’s just not all that great of a _mystery_. It’s
certainly not up to the level of a ‘core’ mystery.
Perhaps I’ve just read too many of the adventures of Hercule and Nero and
their friends.
Perhaps not. The mystery was interesting but a minor part, more a
framework for the portrayal of different attitudes between past and
future, impoverished and privileged as Miles develops an adult
understanding of others. I thought it was brilliant from that
perspective rather than a whodunnit.
Michael F. Stemper
2017-07-11 16:57:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Wolffan
Post by Stephen Graham
Post by Wolffan
At least one (the Bujold) wasn’t much of a mystery, so I must
wonder just how mysterious the ones I haven’t read are. T
"The Mountains of Mourning" falls solidly into the procedural class.
yeah, but... there was very little mystery to it. There was an extremely
limited set of possible suspects and rather a bit of telegraphing. I guessed
who it had to be well before the Big Reveal. It’s not that it wasn’t an
excellent story; it is. It’s just not all that great of a _mystery_. It’s
certainly not up to the level of a ‘core’ mystery.
Perhaps I’ve just read too many of the adventures of Hercule and Nero and
their friends.
I don't know much about mystery as a genre, but don't those fall into
the sub-genre of "cozy" rather than "procedural"? In fact, as I
understand it, procedurals don't focus on "who dunnit?" so much as
"how to prove it."

Although I must admit that the first time that I read "The Mountains of
Mourning", I didn't know who dunnit until the Big Reveal.
--
Michael F. Stemper
Exodus 22:21
Butch Malahide
2017-07-08 02:07:17 UTC
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Raw Message
[. . .] I know that the Clement, for one, is no longer in
print and doesn’t seem to be available at Project Gutenberg.
The magazine-serial version of _Needle_ is available at the
Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v43n03_1949-05_cape1736

https://archive.org/details/Astounding_v43n04_1949-06_cape1736

I guess that's probably a shorter version of the novel.
Butch Malahide
2017-07-07 04:37:27 UTC
Permalink
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Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Wilson Tucker, "To the Tombaugh Station"
Ted Nolan
2017-07-07 04:54:31 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Butch Malahide
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/post/twenty-core-speculative-fiction-mysteries
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Wilson Tucker, "To the Tombaugh Station"
Phil Foglio: Buck Godot
David Goldfarb
2017-07-07 10:12:10 UTC
Permalink
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Post by Ted Nolan
Phil Foglio: Buck Godot
I assume you're talking about the "Gallimaufrey" story arc? (The prior
short stories really don't have any mystery element.) While fast-moving
and fun, I think the mystery plot really falls apart with just a little
bit of thought. Just for starters, we have to believe that for several
thousand years, nobody (not one person!) on a starship approaching the
station ever looked out a window.
--
David Goldfarb |"We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and
***@gmail.com | uncertainty!"
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | -- Douglas Adams, _The Hitchhiker's
| Guide to the Galaxy_
D B Davis
2017-07-07 12:19:54 UTC
Permalink
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Post by David Goldfarb
Post by Ted Nolan
Phil Foglio: Buck Godot
I assume you're talking about the "Gallimaufrey" story arc? (The prior
short stories really don't have any mystery element.) While fast-moving
and fun, I think the mystery plot really falls apart with just a little
bit of thought. Just for starters, we have to believe that for several
thousand years, nobody (not one person!) on a starship approaching the
station ever looked out a window.
Robin Cook writes excellent sfnal whodunits. Each story contains enough
potential perpetrators to stretch the reader's mind whilst they ruminate
on whodunit.

Thank you,

--
Don
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2017-07-07 14:58:52 UTC
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Post by David Goldfarb
Post by Ted Nolan
Phil Foglio: Buck Godot
I assume you're talking about the "Gallimaufrey" story arc? (The prior
short stories really don't have any mystery element.) While fast-moving
and fun, I think the mystery plot really falls apart with just a little
bit of thought. Just for starters, we have to believe that for several
thousand years, nobody (not one person!) on a starship approaching the
station ever looked out a window.
It's been a while, but I seem to recall Buck figuring out something
and depending on the fact that for some reason nobody believed he
had professional standards to leverage the information back on his
trecherous client without actually betraying him. Something like that.
At this remove Idunno.. I could be wrong about it being much of a
mystery.

OTOH, PI tales are generally considered "mysteries" whether much real
sleuthing gets done or not.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Default User
2017-07-08 20:22:27 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
OTOH, PI tales are generally considered "mysteries" whether much real
sleuthing gets done or not.
A reasonably common trope is that the PI crashes about investigating and not really learning anything. However, the Bad Guy figures the PI must be figuring it out, so makes moves that provide clues or at least that there is something to investigate.


Brian
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-07-08 22:46:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Default User
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
OTOH, PI tales are generally considered "mysteries" whether much real
sleuthing gets done or not.
A reasonably common trope is that the PI crashes about investigating and not really learning anything. However, the Bad Guy figures the PI must be figuring it out, so makes moves that provide clues or at least that there is something to investigate.
The Harry Dresden series is about half that and half actual
investigating. Though it's a sometimes a bit of "and the author lets you
know there's an important clue here, but you probably don't have enough
info to solve it yourself".
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.dreamwidth.org
David Goldfarb
2017-07-09 07:52:43 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
It's been a while, but I seem to recall Buck figuring out something
and depending on the fact that for some reason nobody believed he
had professional standards to leverage the information back on his
trecherous client without actually betraying him.
It wasn't information, it was a mysterious, powerful artifact
that he had been hired to guard. He had a copy made (very hard
to distinguish from the original, although a great deal less
powerful). Then there was the question of which one -- copy or
original? -- he gave to the artifact's rightful owner, when
that entity turned up.

Certainly there was some crime story stuff going on there, but I
think calling it a mystery would be stretching things.
--
David Goldfarb |"Federico Fellini brought his own security to
***@gmail.com | tonight's show...and they were six of the
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | toughest clown midgets I've ever seen."
| -- Billy Crystal
Carl Fink
2017-07-09 10:07:18 UTC
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Post by David Goldfarb
It wasn't information, it was a mysterious, powerful artifact
that he had been hired to guard. He had a copy made (very hard
to distinguish from the original, although a great deal less
powerful). Then there was the question of which one -- copy or
original? -- he gave to the artifact's rightful owner, when
that entity turned up.
Certainly there was some crime story stuff going on there, but I
think calling it a mystery would be stretching things.
It had a lot of stylistic similarity, in my opinion (brain-vs.-brain
conflict and criminals defeated by same) but not a mystery story's *plot*.
That's just my off-the-cuff memory and I haven't read it in decades, of
course.
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read my blog at blog.nitpicking.com. Reviews! Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!
Quadibloc
2017-07-09 16:35:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.

"Their" is plural.

Clearly even the title of your post, therefore, proves that you are a
brainwashed slave of the forces of political correctness!

So perhaps I should reconsider my past position that your harsher critics
are going too far.

John Savard
David Johnston
2017-07-09 17:10:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.\
"Every" isn't.
Quadibloc
2017-07-09 17:55:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Johnston
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.\
"Every" isn't.
Yes. So?

Gramatically, "every" in a phrase like this is equivalent to "each".

"Their" would be correct in this phrase:

Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries All True SF Fans Should Have on Their Shelves

By using "all", which takes the plural "fans", the matching "their" can now be used.

The distinction appears also in complete sentences, where it can be made more clear.

All homeowners should have an emergency kit in their kitchens.

Every homeowner should have an emergency kit in his or her kitchen.

Here it is clear that the noun which is the subject of the sentence is
"homeowner" or "homeowners", and "All" and "Every" are modifier words.
Modifier words do not change the number of a noun. The sentences above
are not, at least for the issue under discussion, gramatically
different from these:

Presbyterian homeowners should have a Bible in their living rooms.

A Presbyterian homeowner should have a Bible in his or her living
room.

John Savard
Gene Wirchenko
2017-07-10 05:27:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David Johnston
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.\
"Every" isn't.
Yes. So?
Gramatically, "every" in a phrase like this is equivalent to "each".
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries All True SF Fans Should Have on Their Shelves
By using "all", which takes the plural "fans", the matching "their" can now be used.
The distinction appears also in complete sentences, where it can be made more clear.
All homeowners should have an emergency kit in their kitchens.
What about homeowners who have only one kitchen?
Post by Quadibloc
Every homeowner should have an emergency kit in his or her kitchen.
Here it is clear that the noun which is the subject of the sentence is
"homeowner" or "homeowners", and "All" and "Every" are modifier words.
Modifier words do not change the number of a noun. The sentences above
are not, at least for the issue under discussion, gramatically
Presbyterian homeowners should have a Bible in their living rooms.
A Presbyterian homeowner should have a Bible in his or her living
room.
Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Quadibloc
2017-07-10 06:07:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Gene Wirchenko
Post by Quadibloc
All homeowners should have an emergency kit in their kitchens.
What about homeowners who have only one kitchen?
As long as there is more than one homeowner of that kind, there will be more
than one kitchen involved.

John Savard
k***@gmail.com
2017-07-10 23:16:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here and stay away from my threads.
Quadibloc
2017-07-11 00:01:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by k***@gmail.com
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here and stay
away from my threads.
People here are invited to look at his threads in sci.astro.amateur for
themselves, and make their own judgments.

Essentially, this poster feels that astronomy took a terrible wrong turn when
Newton came up with the inverse square law of gravitation. We need to experience
the Solar System intuitively, not with mathematics and empiricism, he feels.

At least he believes Copernicus was right - in fact, he is enthusiastic in his
praise of Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. In my view, he fails to realize that
Newton crowned the work of Kepler with completion, and finally made it no longer
possible to dispute the correctness of Copernicus.

And some of the views he advances appear to me to imply a view of the Solar
System like that of Tycho Brahe instead of the Copernican one. The notion that
the "sidereal day" of 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 4 seconds should be recognized
as Earth's physical rotation period is particularly offensive to him.

John Savard
Cryptoengineer
2017-07-11 00:47:27 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by k***@gmail.com
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here
and stay away from my threads.
People here are invited to look at his threads in sci.astro.amateur
for themselves, and make their own judgments.
Essentially, this poster feels that astronomy took a terrible wrong
turn when Newton came up with the inverse square law of gravitation.
We need to experience the Solar System intuitively, not with
mathematics and empiricism, he feels.
At least he believes Copernicus was right - in fact, he is
enthusiastic in his praise of Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. In my
view, he fails to realize that Newton crowned the work of Kepler with
completion, and finally made it no longer possible to dispute the
correctness of Copernicus.
And some of the views he advances appear to me to imply a view of the
Solar System like that of Tycho Brahe instead of the Copernican one.
The notion that the "sidereal day" of 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 4
seconds should be recognized as Earth's physical rotation period is
particularly offensive to him.
John Savard
Impressive. I didn't know Shawn Wilson had a brother.

pt
David Goldfarb
2017-07-11 03:40:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by k***@gmail.com
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here
and stay
Post by k***@gmail.com
away from my threads.
People here are invited to look at his threads in sci.astro.amateur for
themselves, and make their own judgments.
Essentially, this poster feels that astronomy took a terrible wrong turn when
Newton came up with the inverse square law of gravitation. We need to experience
the Solar System intuitively, not with mathematics and empiricism, he feels.
I used to read sci.astro.amateur for a while, and, for those who didn't
read or don't remember the last time Gerald Kelleher made it over here
to rasfw, I can indeed attest that he makes John Savard look like a
paragon of reason and logic.
--
David Goldfarb |"Actually, I just enjoy bursting into flames...
***@gmail.com | You should try it sometime...relieves a lot
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | of stress."
| -- Jen Hill on rec.arts.tv.mst3k
Wolffan
2017-07-11 08:56:22 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Goldfarb
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by k***@gmail.com
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here
and stay
Post by k***@gmail.com
away from my threads.
People here are invited to look at his threads in sci.astro.amateur for
themselves, and make their own judgments.
Essentially, this poster feels that astronomy took a terrible wrong turn when
Newton came up with the inverse square law of gravitation. We need to experience
the Solar System intuitively, not with mathematics and empiricism, he feels.
I used to read sci.astro.amateur for a while, and, for those who didn't
read or don't remember the last time Gerald Kelleher made it over here
to rasfw, I can indeed attest that he makes John Savard look like a
paragon of reason and logic.
Oh, just the one post I’ve seen of his was quite sufficient to make that
very clear.
Jack Bohn
2017-07-11 12:46:04 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Among the things Quadibloc wrote:

[About someone I'm too lazy to follow the threading to find out who]
Post by Quadibloc
Essentially, this poster feels that astronomy took a terrible wrong turn when
Newton came up with the inverse square law of gravitation. We need to experience
the Solar System intuitively, not with mathematics and empiricism, he feels.
What would be needed to get and intuitive feel for the inverse square law? Gravity has the problem that we're starting some 6.4 thousand km from the center, and it doesn't fall off fast enough. Magnetism -- at least, that generally available -- is fairly weak; by the time it increases over friction or our ability to feel it, we're so close that it rises dramatically: it seems to "snap" on. Light, now that we have constant point sources of it, might do, except we've designed lampshades, reflectors, even bright colors on our walls, to hide it, and our irises also conspire to hide the difference.

If we could get a ball of neutronium to stand on to directly experience inverse square, how much difference would we need. Doubling in weight over the 2 meters of our height, or could it be less? As Einstein said about common sense and the layers of prejudice gained before 18, should it double (or whatever) over the 1 m height of children?

(I experimented for a while with a generator of images for ringed planets. I began wondering how some just didn't seem "right," I began wondering if it was some form of "Golden Ration," or how our eyes had an understanding of the Roche Limit. Then it struck me that even cartoon drawings of ringed planets probably used photos of Saturn for reference.)
--
-Jack
Post by Quadibloc
At least he believes Copernicus was right - in fact, he is enthusiastic in his
praise of Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler. In my view, he fails to realize that
Newton crowned the work of Kepler with completion, and finally made it no longer
possible to dispute the correctness of Copernicus.
And some of the views he advances appear to me to imply a view of the Solar
System like that of Tycho Brahe instead of the Copernican one. The notion that
the "sidereal day" of 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 4 seconds should be recognized
as Earth's physical rotation period is particularly offensive to him.
John Savard
Wolffan
2017-07-11 08:53:03 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here and
stay away from my threads.
Most intriguing. I was unaware that threads on Usenet _had_ owners, and if
they did, I would have thought that the ‘owners’ would be either the
moderator or the OP. To my knowledge this particular newsgroup is not
moderated. A quick look at the first post in the thread indicates that you
are not the OP. As the newsgroup is not moderated, and as you are not the OP,
could you please elaborate on why, exactly, you think that this thread
belongs to you? While you’re at it, you might want to make clear exactly
how a non-moderator (even the OP, which personage you are not) would go about
enforcing his/her/its will on anyone except themselves in a non-moderated
group. Pray use words with as few syllables as possible so that those of us
trapped in the science fiction bubble may be able to understand.
Peter Trei
2017-07-11 13:35:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Wolffan
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here and
stay away from my threads.
Most intriguing. I was unaware that threads on Usenet _had_ owners, and if
they did, I would have thought that the ‘owners’ would be either the
moderator or the OP. To my knowledge this particular newsgroup is not
moderated. A quick look at the first post in the thread indicates that you
are not the OP. As the newsgroup is not moderated, and as you are not the OP,
could you please elaborate on why, exactly, you think that this thread
belongs to you? While you’re at it, you might want to make clear exactly
how a non-moderator (even the OP, which personage you are not) would go about
enforcing his/her/its will on anyone except themselves in a non-moderated
group. Pray use words with as few syllables as possible so that those of us
trapped in the science fiction bubble may be able to understand.
As a courtesy, could you knock rec.arts.sf.written off the Newsgroups list?
Over here, we *know* when we're making shit up, and we prefer that that shit
be at least internally consistent.

pt
Wolffan
2017-07-11 16:25:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here and
stay away from my threads.
Most intriguing. I was unaware that threads on Usenet _had_ owners, and if
they did, I would have thought that the ‘owners’ would be either the
moderator or the OP. To my knowledge this particular newsgroup is not
moderated. A quick look at the first post in the thread indicates that you
are not the OP. As the newsgroup is not moderated, and as you are not the OP,
could you please elaborate on why, exactly, you think that this thread
belongs to you? While you’re at it, you might want to make clear exactly
how a non-moderator (even the OP, which personage you are not) would go about
enforcing his/her/its will on anyone except themselves in a non-moderated
group. Pray use words with as few syllables as possible so that those of us
trapped in the science fiction bubble may be able to understand.
As a courtesy, could you knock rec.arts.sf.written off the Newsgroups list?
Over here, we *know* when we're making shit up, and we prefer that that shit
be at least internally consistent.
pt
err... r.a.sf.w is the _only_ newsgroup on newsgroups list...
k***@gmail.com
2017-07-11 16:35:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless graffiti in my
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction bubble here and
stay away from my threads.
Most intriguing. I was unaware that threads on Usenet _had_ owners, and if
they did, I would have thought that the ‘owners’ would be either the
moderator or the OP. To my knowledge this particular newsgroup is not
moderated. A quick look at the first post in the thread indicates that you
are not the OP. As the newsgroup is not moderated, and as you are not the OP,
could you please elaborate on why, exactly, you think that this thread
belongs to you? While you’re at it, you might want to make clear exactly
how a non-moderator (even the OP, which personage you are not) would go about
enforcing his/her/its will on anyone except themselves in a non-moderated
group. Pray use words with as few syllables as possible so that those of us
trapped in the science fiction bubble may be able to understand.
As a courtesy, could you knock rec.arts.sf.written off the Newsgroups list?
Over here, we *know* when we're making shit up, and we prefer that that shit
be at least internally consistent.
pt
How sweet, the academics of Oxford and Cambridge filled the world with mindless Royal Society bobbleheads who live in a bubble of wordplays that can't be rendered into actual observations. Science fiction was once great until they decided to create a formal science version of a novel that could be found on any book store shelf in the late 19th century -

" ‘Now, it is very remarkable that this is so extensively overlooked,’ continued the Time Traveller, with a slight accession of cheerfulness. ‘Really this is what is meant by the Fourth Dimension, though some people who talk about the Fourth Dimension do not know they mean it. It is only another way of looking at Time. There is no difference between time and any of the three dimensions of space .. " The Time Machine

http://www.bartleby.com/1000/13.html

How to transform science fiction into educational material taken as fact is a forensics journey worth taking as long as the individual knows that the outcome is not so good for those who exploited Newton's absolute/relative 'definitions' nor even followers of Newton themselves, either way it is all science fiction at the expense of astronomy.
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-11 17:14:59 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Wolffan
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
(in
On Monday, July 10, 2017 at 8:07:21 AM UTC+2, Quadibloc
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless
graffiti i
n my
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
threads for long enough so stick with the science fiction
bubble here
and
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
stay away from my threads.
Most intriguing. I was unaware that threads on Usenet _had_
owners, and
if
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
they did, I would have thought that the ‘owners’ would
be either the
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
moderator or the OP. To my knowledge this particular
newsgroup is not
moderated. A quick look at the first post in the thread
indicates that
you
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
are not the OP. As the newsgroup is not moderated, and as you
are not t
he OP,
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
could you please elaborate on why, exactly, you think that
this thread
belongs to you? While you’re at it, you might want to make
clea
r exactly
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
how a non-moderator (even the OP, which personage you are
not) would go
about
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
enforcing his/her/its will on anyone except themselves in a
non-moderat
ed
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
group. Pray use words with as few syllables as possible so
that those o
f us
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Wolffan
trapped in the science fiction bubble may be able to
understand.
As a courtesy, could you knock rec.arts.sf.written off the
Newsgroups lis
t?
Post by Peter Trei
Over here, we *know* when we're making shit up, and we prefer
that that s
hit
Post by Peter Trei
be at least internally consistent.
pt
How sweet, the academics of Oxford and Cambridge filled the
world with mindless Royal Society bobbleheads who live in a
bubble of wordplays that can't be rendered into actual
observations. Science fiction was once great until they decided
to create a formal science version of a novel that could be
found on any book store shelf in the late 19th century -
You masturbated while you typed that, didn't you?
Post by Wolffan
" ‘Now,
Andy ou're too fucking stupid to edit the retarded Microsoft "smart
quotes" crap, too. You're the gift that keeps on giving. Like
herpes.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-11 17:16:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by k***@gmail.com
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless
graffiti in my threads for long enough so stick with the
science fiction bubble here and stay away from my threads.
Make me, pussy. I think I'll add a tag to your posts so that I can
devote extra attention to pointing out your deficiencies. And those
of your posts, too.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Quadibloc
2017-07-11 18:12:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by k***@gmail.com
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless
graffiti in my threads for long enough so stick with the
science fiction bubble here and stay away from my threads.
Make me, pussy. I think I'll add a tag to your posts so that I can
devote extra attention to pointing out your deficiencies. And those
of your posts, too.
I think he was talking to me, as I reply to posts of his in sci.astro.amateur.

John Savard
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-11 18:27:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by k***@gmail.com
Too mediocre to be dishonorable ,you have sprayed mindless
graffiti in my threads for long enough so stick with the
science fiction bubble here and stay away from my threads.
Make me, pussy. I think I'll add a tag to your posts so that I
can devote extra attention to pointing out your deficiencies.
And those of your posts, too.
I think he was talking to me, as I reply to posts of his in
sci.astro.amateur.
And? You think I'm going to let this tasy a fish dangle on someone
else's hook?
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Butch Malahide
2017-07-09 21:40:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Johnston
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.\
"Every" isn't.
"Every good boy does fine." Every is singular.
Greg Goss
2017-07-11 13:13:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Johnston
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.\
"Every" isn't.
Yes it is. But "their" isn't necessarily plural in modern English.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Peter Trei
2017-07-09 20:59:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Clearly even the title of your post, therefore, proves that you are a
brainwashed slave of the forces of political correctness!
So perhaps I should reconsider my past position that your harsher critics
are going too far.
John Savard
'Their' is a widely used substitute for 'his or her',
And that
Peter Trei
2017-07-09 21:00:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Clearly even the title of your post, therefore, proves that you are a
brainwashed slave of the forces of political correctness!
So perhaps I should reconsider my past position that your harsher critics
are going too far.
John Savard
'Their' is a widely used substitute for 'his or her',
And that
...and that's how I read it, even if I hit 'Post' by accident.

Pt
h***@gmail.com
2017-07-10 00:04:49 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Clearly even the title of your post, therefore, proves that you are a
brainwashed slave of the forces of political correctness!
So perhaps I should reconsider my past position that your harsher critics
are going too far.
We already know you're a moron, you don't have to keep putting out evidence every spare second
Robert Bannister
2017-07-10 01:33:55 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Singular "they" and "their" have been accepted by all but the most
pedantic since the end of the 20th century.
--
Robert B. born England a long time ago;
Western Australia since 1972
Quadibloc
2017-07-10 06:20:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Robert Bannister
Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Singular "they" and "their" have been accepted by all but the most
pedantic since the end of the 20th century.
The *end of the 20th Century*? You're trying to say that the rules of English
grammar can change - not in the mists of antiquity, say between now and the time
of Shakespeare - but in *living memory*? Like during *my* lifetime, between now
and when I went to school?

How _dare_ you attempt to suggest such nonsense!!!

Or, to put the facetiousness aside, and get serious...

Languages do change over time. That is indeed something we know to be true from
historical evidence.

However, this same evidence shows that natural change in the basic grammatical
rules of a language is a very slow process. This is why, for example, it is
possible to identify Romanian as a Romance language rather than a Slavic
language, despite the large number of words it has borrowed from the Slavic
stock of words.

The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not something that
arose organically as a change in the English language. It didn't spring up, say,
in the Bronx or Harlem, and gradually get adopted in other cities due to the
popularity of rock and roll music, and then end up being seen even in the
language spoken in that great reservoir of the true authentic language, the
nation's rural farmlands.

You know, like where they got Nynorsk from.

No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is *traceable* as a
conscious process - certain people on certain college campuses started calling
for it in the name of equality for women, and professors started deciding that
such language was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he" was not.

So there _is_ an issue here, and I shall state it explicitly so that it might
not be mistaken.

Languages change. Even their rules of grammar change.

But they change naturally.

They are not changed by _fiat_.

And anyone who *tries* to change the grammatical rules of English by fiat should
not only fail, but fail so signally that such a perversion shall not be
attempted again.

Pedantry, or a preference for prescriptive over descriptive grammars, is not
involved.

John Savard
h***@gmail.com
2017-07-10 13:17:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Robert Bannister
Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Singular "they" and "their" have been accepted by all but the most
pedantic since the end of the 20th century.
The *end of the 20th Century*? You're trying to say that the rules of English
grammar can change - not in the mists of antiquity, say between now and the time
of Shakespeare - but in *living memory*? Like during *my* lifetime, between now
and when I went to school?
How _dare_ you attempt to suggest such nonsense!!!
Or, to put the facetiousness aside, and get serious...
Languages do change over time. That is indeed something we know to be true from
historical evidence.
However, this same evidence shows that natural change in the basic grammatical
rules of a language is a very slow process. This is why, for example, it is
possible to identify Romanian as a Romance language rather than a Slavic
language, despite the large number of words it has borrowed from the Slavic
stock of words.
The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not something that
arose organically as a change in the English language. It didn't spring up, say,
in the Bronx or Harlem, and gradually get adopted in other cities due to the
popularity of rock and roll music, and then end up being seen even in the
language spoken in that great reservoir of the true authentic language, the
nation's rural farmlands.
You know, like where they got Nynorsk from.
No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is *traceable* as a
conscious process - certain people on certain college campuses started calling
for it in the name of equality for women, and professors started deciding that
such language was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he" was not.
So there _is_ an issue here, and I shall state it explicitly so that it might
not be mistaken.
Languages change. Even their rules of grammar change.
But they change naturally.
They are not changed by _fiat_.
And anyone who *tries* to change the grammatical rules of English by fiat should
not only fail, but fail so signally that such a perversion shall not be
attempted again.
Pedantry, or a preference for prescriptive over descriptive grammars, is not
involved.
Hurry up and die on one of your pointless hills.
Default User
2017-07-10 16:04:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
The *end of the 20th Century*? You're trying to say that the rules of English
grammar can change - not in the mists of antiquity, say between now and the time
of Shakespeare - but in *living memory*? Like during *my* lifetime, between now
and when I went to school?
Certainly. English is a living and evolving language. New vocabulary and changes to grammatical "rules", which considering that there is no central authority were always by set more or less by opinion.

However, in this case, the singular "their" has been used for a lot longer than that. It's become more prominent recently as a way to supplant the other poor method, which was to use masculine pronouns in all cases.


Brian
Robert Bannister
2017-07-11 00:47:58 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Default User
Post by Quadibloc
The *end of the 20th Century*? You're trying to say that the rules of English
grammar can change - not in the mists of antiquity, say between now and the time
of Shakespeare - but in *living memory*? Like during *my* lifetime, between now
and when I went to school?
Certainly. English is a living and evolving language. New vocabulary and changes to grammatical "rules", which considering that there is no central authority were always by set more or less by opinion.
However, in this case, the singular "their" has been used for a lot longer than that. It's become more prominent recently as a way to supplant the other poor method, which was to use masculine pronouns in all cases.
And if we were really going to debate the merits of what is grammatical
and what is not, I am far more upset about the way "you and I" is now
used not only after prepositions but even as the object of verbs, plus
the total confusion by people who should know better over "lie" and
"lay". Singular "they" bothers me about as much as "Aren't I?", in other
words not at all.
--
Robert B. born England a long time ago;
Western Australia since 1972
Greg Goss
2017-07-11 13:22:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Default User
Certainly. English is a living and evolving language. New vocabulary and changes to grammatical "rules", which considering that there is no central authority were always by set more or less by opinion.
However, in this case, the singular "their" has been used for a lot longer than that. It's become more prominent recently as a way to supplant the other poor method, which was to use masculine pronouns in all cases.
The change is still incomplete. "Their" is a normal singular in this
context. "They" is in the process of being adopted. But "them"
hasn't arrived yet at all.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Juho Julkunen
2017-07-10 17:28:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not something that
arose organically as a change in the English language.
No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is *traceable* as a
conscious process - certain people on certain college campuses started calling
for it in the name of equality for women, and professors started deciding that
such language was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he" was not.
"Some people assume that the singular they is a modern invention,
perhaps a contrivance to replace the outdated rule that writers should
use he/him/his as the generic singular third-person pronoun. But, in
fact, the singular they has a long, established history as a standard
construction. Merriam-Webster cites examples from Chaucer, Shakespeare,
Byron, Swift, Austen, and even the King James Bible."

Because, you know, it is useful, and English lacked a word to do the
job.
Post by Quadibloc
So there _is_ an issue here, and I shall state it explicitly so that it might
not be mistaken.
Languages change. Even their rules of grammar change.
But they change naturally.
It's something of a two-way street, actually. It is mostly through the
work of authorities that evolution of language is slowed down. Indeed,
the usage of 'he' for generic singular was a grammatical rule.

But perhaps maintaining pointelss outdated rules by fiat is acceptable?
--
Juho Julkunen
Dimensional Traveler
2017-07-10 18:35:22 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Quadibloc
The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not something that
arose organically as a change in the English language.
No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is *traceable* as a
conscious process - certain people on certain college campuses started calling
for it in the name of equality for women, and professors started deciding that
such language was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he"
was not.
"Some people assume that the singular they is a modern invention,
perhaps a contrivance to replace the outdated rule that writers should
use he/him/his as the generic singular third-person pronoun. But, in
fact, the singular they has a long, established history as a standard
construction. Merriam-Webster cites examples from Chaucer, Shakespeare,
Byron, Swift, Austen, and even the King James Bible."
Because, you know, it is useful, and English lacked a word to do the
job.
Post by Quadibloc
So there _is_ an issue here, and I shall state it explicitly so that it might
not be mistaken.
Languages change. Even their rules of grammar change.
But they change naturally.
It's something of a two-way street, actually. It is mostly through the
work of authorities that evolution of language is slowed down. Indeed,
the usage of 'he' for generic singular was a grammatical rule.
But perhaps maintaining pointelss outdated rules by fiat is acceptable?
The French certainly think so.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Peter Trei
2017-07-10 18:53:23 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by Quadibloc
The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not something that
arose organically as a change in the English language.
No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is *traceable* as a
conscious process - certain people on certain college campuses started calling
for it in the name of equality for women, and professors started deciding that
such language was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he"
was not.
"Some people assume that the singular they is a modern invention,
perhaps a contrivance to replace the outdated rule that writers should
use he/him/his as the generic singular third-person pronoun. But, in
fact, the singular they has a long, established history as a standard
construction. Merriam-Webster cites examples from Chaucer, Shakespeare,
Byron, Swift, Austen, and even the King James Bible."
Because, you know, it is useful, and English lacked a word to do the
job.
Post by Quadibloc
So there _is_ an issue here, and I shall state it explicitly so that it might
not be mistaken.
Languages change. Even their rules of grammar change.
But they change naturally.
Plenty of examples here, dating back to the 15th C.:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they#Older_usage

pt
Quadibloc
2017-07-11 12:15:50 UTC
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Post by Peter Trei
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they#Older_usage
But the language changed naturally to make this older use ungrammatical. Since
about 1800, when we gave up using Caslon for Scotch Roman, leading to the long s
being dropped, there haven't really been any fundamental changes to the English
language, just added vocabulary.

John Savard
Default User
2017-07-11 15:55:41 UTC
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Post by Juho Julkunen
It's something of a two-way street, actually. It is mostly through the
work of authorities that evolution of language is slowed down. Indeed,
the usage of 'he' for generic singular was a grammatical rule.
But perhaps maintaining pointelss outdated rules by fiat is acceptable?
But there is no "authority", and therefore no "authorities". The closest you really get are dictionary compilers, who are answerable only to their publishers and users. Those tend to be more "descriptive" than "prescriptive". Any other "authorities" tend to be either self-appointed or are in position of influence for other reasons, such as scholars or editors. They have opinions and people will sometimes listen to those, unless it's something they don't want to hear.

There have been many battles, large and small, over elements of the English language through the years. We could haul out James Nicoll's "purity speech".

My box of " marks is empty, so I will stop.


Brian
Dimensional Traveler
2017-07-11 17:11:41 UTC
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Post by Default User
Post by Juho Julkunen
It's something of a two-way street, actually. It is mostly through the
work of authorities that evolution of language is slowed down. Indeed,
the usage of 'he' for generic singular was a grammatical rule.
But perhaps maintaining pointelss outdated rules by fiat is acceptable?
But there is no "authority", and therefore no "authorities". The closest you really get are dictionary compilers, who are answerable only to their publishers and users. Those tend to be more "descriptive" than "prescriptive". Any other "authorities" tend to be either self-appointed or are in position of influence for other reasons, such as scholars or editors. They have opinions and people will sometimes listen to those, unless it's something they don't want to hear.
There have been many battles, large and small, over elements of the English language through the years. We could haul out James Nicoll's "purity speech".
Here you go: "The problem with defending the purity of the English
language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down
alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new
vocabulary." - James Nicoll
Post by Default User
My box of " marks is empty, so I will stop.
You're on your own refilling that.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Juho Julkunen
2017-07-11 18:25:50 UTC
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Post by Default User
Post by Juho Julkunen
It's something of a two-way street, actually. It is mostly through the
work of authorities that evolution of language is slowed down. Indeed,
the usage of 'he' for generic singular was a grammatical rule.
But perhaps maintaining pointelss outdated rules by fiat is acceptable?
But there is no "authority", and therefore no "authorities".
I was thinking along the line of influental experts rather than legal
authority.

The point, of course, was to wonder aloud why an effort by such people
or institutions to establish "he" over "they" is virtuous while the
opposite is not.

But one suspects the reason is misogyny.
--
Juho Julkunen
Greg Goss
2017-07-11 13:19:03 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
However, this same evidence shows that natural change in the basic grammatical
rules of a language is a very slow process. This is why, for example, it is
possible to identify Romanian as a Romance language rather than a Slavic
language, despite the large number of words it has borrowed from the Slavic
stock of words.
The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not something that
arose organically as a change in the English language. It didn't spring up, say,
in the Bronx or Harlem, and gradually get adopted in other cities due to the
popularity of rock and roll music, and then end up being seen even in the
language spoken in that great reservoir of the true authentic language, the
nation's rural farmlands.
You know, like where they got Nynorsk from.
No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is *traceable* as a
conscious process - certain people on certain college campuses started calling
for it in the name of equality for women, and professors started deciding that
such language was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he" was not.
So there _is_ an issue here, and I shall state it explicitly so that it might
not be mistaken.
Languages change. Even their rules of grammar change.
But they change naturally.
They are not changed by _fiat_.
And anyone who *tries* to change the grammatical rules of English by fiat should
not only fail, but fail so signally that such a perversion shall not be
attempted again.
Pedantry, or a preference for prescriptive over descriptive grammars, is not
involved.
Regardless of who launched the change, the change HAS happened. In
our lifetimes. (Though I'm sure some can find early usages - it
wasn't normal in 1990, and was completely routine by 2005).

At this point, you ARE being pedantic. And wrong.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Michael F. Stemper
2017-07-11 17:08:29 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by Robert Bannister
Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Singular "they" and "their" have been accepted by all but the most
pedantic since the end of the 20th century.
The *end of the 20th Century*? You're trying to say that the rules of English
grammar can change - not in the mists of antiquity, say between now and the time
of Shakespeare - but in *living memory*? Like during *my* lifetime, between now
and when I went to school?
How _dare_ you attempt to suggest such nonsense!!!
Or, to put the facetiousness aside, and get serious...
Languages do change over time. That is indeed something we know to be true from
historical evidence.
However, this same evidence shows that natural change in the basic grammatical
rules of a language is a very slow process. This is why, for example, it is
possible to identify Romanian as a Romance language rather than a Slavic
language, despite the large number of words it has borrowed from the Slavic
stock of words.
The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not something that
arose organically as a change in the English language. It didn't spring up, say,
in the Bronx or Harlem, and gradually get adopted in other cities due to the
popularity of rock and roll music, and then end up being seen even in the
language spoken in that great reservoir of the true authentic language, the
nation's rural farmlands.
You know, like where they got Nynorsk from.
No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is *traceable* as a
conscious process - certain people on certain college campuses started calling
for it in the name of equality for women, and professors started deciding that
such language was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he" was not.
You are, as is so often the case, full of shit:
<http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/austheir.html>
--
Michael F. Stemper
Exodus 22:21
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-11 17:19:41 UTC
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Post by Michael F. Stemper
On Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 7:34:03 PM UTC-6, Robert Bannister
Post by Robert Bannister
On Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 8:27:15 AM UTC-6, James Nicoll
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan
Should Have On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
Singular "they" and "their" have been accepted by all but the
most pedantic since the end of the 20th century.
The *end of the 20th Century*? You're trying to say that the
rules of English grammar can change - not in the mists of
antiquity, say between now and the time of Shakespeare - but in
*living memory*? Like during *my* lifetime, between now and
when I went to school?
How _dare_ you attempt to suggest such nonsense!!!
Or, to put the facetiousness aside, and get serious...
Languages do change over time. That is indeed something we know
to be true from historical evidence.
However, this same evidence shows that natural change in the
basic grammatical rules of a language is a very slow process.
This is why, for example, it is possible to identify Romanian
as a Romance language rather than a Slavic language, despite
the large number of words it has borrowed from the Slavic stock
of words.
The use of "their" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun is not
something that arose organically as a change in the English
language. It didn't spring up, say, in the Bronx or Harlem, and
gradually get adopted in other cities due to the popularity of
rock and roll music, and then end up being seen even in the
language spoken in that great reservoir of the true authentic
language, the nation's rural farmlands.
You know, like where they got Nynorsk from.
No. Instead, the use of "their" as a gender-neutral pronoun is
*traceable* as a conscious process - certain people on certain
college campuses started calling for it in the name of equality
for women, and professors started deciding that such language
was acceptable in coursework, and the inclusive "he" was not.
<http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/austheir.html>
Is he ever not? I mean, he's not as full of shit as, say Shawn
Wilson, and not as mentally ill as Starmaker[1], but when does
Quaddie ever say anything that isn't full of shit?


[1]But with a double dose of racism and a triple dose of misogyny.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Greg Goss
2017-07-11 13:13:04 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by James Nicoll
Twenty Core Speculative Fiction Mysteries Every True SF Fan Should Have
On Their Shelves
"Fan" is singular.
"Their" is plural.
The language has moved on. Languages grow and shift around. There is
nothing odd about using "their" as a gender-unknown singular.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
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