Discussion:
[Because My Tears Are Delicious To You] The Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven
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James Nicoll
2018-08-19 13:50:48 UTC
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The Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven

https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/moments
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
D B Davis
2018-08-20 15:16:24 UTC
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Post by James Nicoll
The Flight of the Horse by Larry Niven
https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/moments
That MMPB's missing from my Niven collection. So a copy with a cover [1]
that matches the rest of my Niven collection is now on its way to me.

Note.

1. Loading Image...



Thank you,
--
Don
Jack Bohn
2018-08-21 16:46:20 UTC
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Post by D B Davis
That MMPB's missing from my Niven collection. So a copy with a cover [1]
that matches the rest of my Niven collection is now on its way to me.
Note.
1. http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/jamesdavisnicoll/Images/_medium/flight-of-the-horse.jpg
I'm all for uniform editions, (am I? No, I guess I'm actually not,) but that is *so* not the mood for these stories. Did _The Magic Goes Away_ ever come out in an edition in that typeface?
--
-Jack
James Nicoll
2018-08-21 17:07:09 UTC
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Post by D B Davis
Post by D B Davis
That MMPB's missing from my Niven collection. So a copy with a cover [1]
that matches the rest of my Niven collection is now on its way to me.
Note.
1.
http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/jamesdavisnicoll/Images/_medium/flight-of-the-horse.jpg
I'm all for uniform editions, (am I? No, I guess I'm actually not,) but
that is *so* not the mood for these stories. Did _The Magic Goes Away_
ever come out in an edition in that typeface?
Wasn't The Magic Goes Away Ace? Not Del Rey?
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
Jack Bohn
2018-08-21 18:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Nicoll
Post by D B Davis
Post by D B Davis
That MMPB's missing from my Niven collection. So a copy with a cover [1]
that matches the rest of my Niven collection is now on its way to me.
Note.
1.
http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/jamesdavisnicoll/Images/_medium/flight-of-the-horse.jpg
I'm all for uniform editions, (am I? No, I guess I'm actually not,) but
that is *so* not the mood for these stories. Did _The Magic Goes Away_
ever come out in an edition in that typeface?
Wasn't The Magic Goes Away Ace? Not Del Rey?
I will believe you if you tell me it is so.
--
-Jack
James Nicoll
2018-08-21 19:34:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by D B Davis
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by D B Davis
That MMPB's missing from my Niven collection. So a copy with a cover [1]
that matches the rest of my Niven collection is now on its way to me.
Note.
1.
http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/jamesdavisnicoll/Images/_medium/flight-of-the-horse.jpg
Post by Jack Bohn
I'm all for uniform editions, (am I? No, I guess I'm actually not,) but
that is *so* not the mood for these stories. Did _The Magic Goes Away_
ever come out in an edition in that typeface?
Wasn't The Magic Goes Away Ace? Not Del Rey?
I will believe you if you tell me it is so.
I double-checked and yeah, it was. Same cover artist as The Flight of
the Horse, though.
--
My reviews can be found at http://jamesdavisnicoll.com/
My Dreamwidth at https://james-davis-nicoll.dreamwidth.org/
My patreon is at https://www.patreon.com/jamesdnicoll
D B Davis
2018-08-21 20:08:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jack Bohn
Post by D B Davis
That MMPB's missing from my Niven collection. So a copy with a cover [1]
that matches the rest of my Niven collection is now on its way to me.
Note.
1. http://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/jamesdavisnicoll/Images/_medium/flight-of-the-horse.jpg
I'm all for uniform editions, (am I? No, I guess I'm actually not,)
but that is *so* not the mood for these stories. Did _The Magic Goes Away_
ever come out in an edition in that typeface?
Design language [1] is an important part of the story, to me. Take these
two Schantz sfnal stories, for instance:

Loading Image...
Loading Image...

Their common motif makes them readily recognizable as Schantz eye
catchers. They specifically scream "Schantz" when they're inadvertently
left behind in a nook-or-cranny. The only bugaboo is that they're too
big. They need to be the size of a MMPB.

Note.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_language




Thank you,
--
Don
Carl Fink
2018-08-27 01:58:04 UTC
Permalink
The central conceit, not mentioned in your review that I noticed, is that
time travel is *impossible* and therefore a "working" time machine would go
to fantasy worlds, not the real past.
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read John Grant's book, Corrupted Science: http://a.co/9UsUoGu
Dedicated to ... Carl Fink!
D B Davis
2018-08-27 15:26:24 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
The central conceit, not mentioned in your review that I noticed, is that
time travel is *impossible* and therefore a "working" time machine would go
to fantasy worlds, not the real past.
That's a darn good point. My MMPB copy of _The Flight of the Horse_ (in
teal with unicorn cover art by Boris Vallejo) arrived about a week ago.
After a couple of stories were read by me it dawned on me that the
_Flight_'s a time travel collection.
"The Theory and Practice of Time Travel" (Niven) led me to believe
that time travel's impossible. So an entire Niven book with nothing but
time travel short stories seems either hypocritical, cognitive
dissonant, or something equally unsavory. Fortunately, Niven clears up
everything in his collection's /Afterword/:

I had been claiming that time travel is fantasy as opposed
to science fiction; [1] that is, time travel is clearly impossible
on any level. One morning it hit me that if time travel is fantasy,
then a working time machine would . . . and the result was
"Get a Horse!", retitled, "The Flight of the Horse."



Thank you,
--
Don
Michael F. Stemper
2018-08-29 13:02:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
"The Theory and Practice of Time Travel" (Niven) led me to believe
that time travel's impossible. So an entire Niven book with nothing but
time travel short stories seems either hypocritical, cognitive
dissonant, or something equally unsavory.
To each their own, I suppose. But, why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible? After all, this is *fiction*.

Science fiction is (in one view) exploration of "how might things work
out if X was true?" X doesn't need to be true to explore its potential
consequences.
--
Michael F. Stemper
This sentence no verb.
D B Davis
2018-08-29 13:40:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael F. Stemper
why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible?
Isn't it literally unsavory for authors to "play the Devil's advocate?"



Thank you,
--
Don
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-29 14:41:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by Michael F. Stemper
why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible?
Isn't it literally unsavory for authors to "play the Devil's advocate?"
Is it unsavory if the Devil acts as his own advocate?
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
D B Davis
2018-08-29 16:02:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by D B Davis
Post by Michael F. Stemper
why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible?
Isn't it literally unsavory for authors to "play the Devil's advocate?"
Is it unsavory if the Devil acts as his own advocate?
Does the Devil believe what he advocates?



Thank you,
--
Don
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-29 16:27:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by D B Davis
Post by Michael F. Stemper
why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible?
Isn't it literally unsavory for authors to "play the Devil's advocate?"
Is it unsavory if the Devil acts as his own advocate?
Does the Devil believe what he advocates?
Of course he does. As his own advocate he earns an extra 15% of the take!
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Kevrob
2018-08-29 18:38:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by D B Davis
Post by Michael F. Stemper
why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible?
Isn't it literally unsavory for authors to "play the Devil's advocate?"
Is it unsavory if the Devil acts as his own advocate?
Does the Devil believe what he advocates?
Of course he does. As his own advocate he earns an extra 15% of the take!
Don't the canons of the bar suggest it is unwise to be one's
own advocate? Surely Lucifer can call on very experienced
outside counsel, except that they'd be "in house" to him!

Assuming one "impossible thing" to be true to make an SF story
is fair, but I always thought it a cheat if there wan't at least
an attempt made to justify it by speculative science that had not
already been disproved, for values of disprove that mean: "This
was once an interesting idea, but it hasn't held up to scrutiny by
experimentation or further observation of the phenomenon." Forex,
your "cold fusion" would have to work differently than the way
Fleischmann and Pons said it would, or you use the F-P experiment,
but refer to what was going on other than "cold fusion."

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/its-not-cold-fusion-but-its-something/

OR https://outline.com/568agL

Otherwise, it is fantasy, or at best an "alternate universe"
story, in a universe with different physical rules, if one
writes based on a "disproved" theory, as originally proposed.

Kevin R
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-29 19:49:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by D B Davis
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by D B Davis
Post by Michael F. Stemper
why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible?
Isn't it literally unsavory for authors to "play the Devil's advocate?"
Is it unsavory if the Devil acts as his own advocate?
Does the Devil believe what he advocates?
Of course he does. As his own advocate he earns an extra 15% of the take!
Don't the canons of the bar suggest it is unwise to be one's
own advocate? Surely Lucifer can call on very experienced
outside counsel, except that they'd be "in house" to him!
Maybe that's why Lucifer keeps losing to God? :P
Post by Kevrob
Assuming one "impossible thing" to be true to make an SF story
is fair, but I always thought it a cheat if there wan't at least
an attempt made to justify it by speculative science that had not
already been disproved, for values of disprove that mean: "This
was once an interesting idea, but it hasn't held up to scrutiny by
experimentation or further observation of the phenomenon." Forex,
your "cold fusion" would have to work differently than the way
Fleischmann and Pons said it would, or you use the F-P experiment,
but refer to what was going on other than "cold fusion."
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/its-not-cold-fusion-but-its-something/
OR https://outline.com/568agL
Otherwise, it is fantasy, or at best an "alternate universe"
story, in a universe with different physical rules, if one
writes based on a "disproved" theory, as originally proposed.
Alternate universes is a well trod sci-fi trope.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Kevrob
2018-08-29 20:15:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Kevrob
Otherwise, it is fantasy, or at best an "alternate universe"
story, in a universe with different physical rules, if one
writes based on a "disproved" theory, as originally proposed.
Alternate universes is a well trod sci-fi trope.
Right, which will "collapse," as the quantum theoreticians say, into
fantasy, rather than stf, once the "many worlds" interpretation is
sufficiently deprecated, at least going forward, in my schema.

YMMV, of course.

Kevin R
Dimensional Traveler
2018-08-29 22:14:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Kevrob
Otherwise, it is fantasy, or at best an "alternate universe"
story, in a universe with different physical rules, if one
writes based on a "disproved" theory, as originally proposed.
Alternate universes is a well trod sci-fi trope.
Right, which will "collapse," as the quantum theoreticians say, into
fantasy, rather than stf, once the "many worlds" interpretation is
sufficiently deprecated, at least going forward, in my schema.
YMMV, of course.
I live in a different schema.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Michael F. Stemper
2018-08-31 17:39:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Kevrob
Otherwise, it is fantasy, or at best an "alternate universe"
story, in a universe with different physical rules, if one
writes based on a "disproved" theory, as originally proposed.
Alternate universes is a well trod sci-fi trope.
Right, which will "collapse," as the quantum theoreticians say, into
fantasy, rather than stf, once the "many worlds" interpretation is
sufficiently deprecated, at least going forward, in my schema.
As David Johnston said in the "Top 50 Fantasy [...]" thread:

'[...] Here's the thing. "Fantasy" is a genre in its own right.
It's not just a waste bin for science fiction in which the science
is bad.'
Post by Kevrob
YMMV, of course.
Mine certainly does.
--
Michael F. Stemper
Exodus 22:21
d***@gmail.com
2018-08-29 13:44:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by D B Davis
"The Theory and Practice of Time Travel" (Niven) led me to believe
that time travel's impossible. So an entire Niven book with nothing but
time travel short stories seems either hypocritical, cognitive
dissonant, or something equally unsavory.
To each their own, I suppose. But, why would it be "unsavory" to write
stories about something that the author (and almost everybody else)
considers impossible? After all, this is *fiction*.
Science fiction is (in one view) exploration of "how might things work
out if X was true?" X doesn't need to be true to explore its potential
consequences.
--
Michael F. Stemper
This sentence no verb.
I must agree. Even admittedly or arguably impossible premises (some would put FTL in that category) are (or can be) a proper basis for science fiction, in my view.

However, Niven seems to have thought that time travel was so se3lf-contradictory that he did not take it serious;ly, but only as a subject for, in effect, extended jokes. I enjoyed the stories in _Flight of the Horse_ at first, but the joke began to wear out before I was doen with the series.

-DES
Greg Goss
2018-08-31 09:13:16 UTC
Permalink
I enjoyed the stories in _Flight of the Horse_ at first, but the joke began to wear out before I was done with the series.
I reread it late last year and found the whole thing pretty tiresome.
Did you read Rainbow Mars, which came out fifteen or twenty years
after the rest of the series?
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Michael F. Stemper
2018-08-31 12:32:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg Goss
I enjoyed the stories in _Flight of the Horse_ at first, but the joke began to wear out before I was done with the series.
I reread it late last year and found the whole thing pretty tiresome.
Did you read Rainbow Mars, which came out fifteen or twenty years
after the rest of the series?
Nope. In fact, when I sat down for breakfast this morning, I thought
that it was one of the KSR things.

The ISFDB showed me my error.

If I mildly enjoyed _The Flight of the Horse_ when I picked it up in the
early '90s and found it tiresome last year, am I likely to like _Rainbow
Mars_ now?
--
Michael F. Stemper
Deuteronomy 10:18-19
Steve Dodds
2018-08-31 17:58:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Greg Goss
I enjoyed the stories in _Flight of the Horse_ at first, but the joke began to wear out before I was done with the series.
I reread it late last year and found the whole thing pretty tiresome.
Did you read Rainbow Mars, which came out fifteen or twenty years
after the rest of the series?
Nope. In fact, when I sat down for breakfast this morning, I thought
that it was one of the KSR things.
The ISFDB showed me my error.
If I mildly enjoyed _The Flight of the Horse_ when I picked it up in the
early '90s and found it tiresome last year, am I likely to like _Rainbow
Mars_ now?
No it's kinda more of the same, fleshed out to a whole book.
Michael F. Stemper
2018-08-31 19:18:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Greg Goss
    I enjoyed the stories in _Flight of the Horse_  at first, but
the joke began to wear out before I was done with the series.
I reread it late last year and found the whole thing pretty tiresome.
Did you read Rainbow Mars, which came out fifteen or twenty years
after the rest of the series?
If I mildly enjoyed _The Flight of the Horse_ when I picked it up in the
early '90s and found it tiresome last year, am I likely to like _Rainbow
Mars_ now?
 No it's kinda more of the same, fleshed out to a whole book.
Okay, thanks for the warning.
--
Michael F. Stemper
Psalm 94:3-6
Greg Goss
2018-09-01 07:19:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steve Dodds
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Greg Goss
I enjoyed the stories in _Flight of the Horse_ at first, but the joke began to wear out before I was done with the series.
I reread it late last year and found the whole thing pretty tiresome.
Did you read Rainbow Mars, which came out fifteen or twenty years
after the rest of the series?
Nope. In fact, when I sat down for breakfast this morning, I thought
that it was one of the KSR things.
The ISFDB showed me my error.
If I mildly enjoyed _The Flight of the Horse_ when I picked it up in the
early '90s and found it tiresome last year, am I likely to like _Rainbow
Mars_ now?
No it's kinda more of the same, fleshed out to a whole book.
The main driver of the plot was an interesting idea, and the Mars
scenes were a nice episode for a fan of the first golden age of SF,
but most of it dragged. (ie fleshed out to a whole book.)
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
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