gods and monsters


I post a lot about Portal, Hellboy/BPRD (reading order here!), robots, and monsters. And if you're into this sort of thing, feel free to check out my NSFW Portal fic The Punishment!

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~ Sunday, July 22 ~
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ironychan:

Everybody’s reccing Sci-Fi.  Have some!

The Gnarly Man, by L. Sprague de Camp, about a very, very long-lived Neanderthal.

The Nine Billion Names of God, by Arthur C. Clarke, about what happens when human beings succeed in fully comprehending the divine.

Mimsy Were the Borogoves, by Lewis Padgett, about different kinds of logic.

An Ounce of Cure, by Alan Edward Nourse, about a victim of over-specialization (with a rather familiar name).

Thanks for these—all new to me!

Tags: story recs scifi wheatley what are you doing in this story well I can't not read it in his voice so this should be interesting
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Two more scifi recs!

Since I’m in the mood. These are much shorter than my previous recommendation. Both, now that I think of it, present a rather negative view of humankind, but I think that’s a running theme in a lot of scifi…

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut

A short story about a dystopian United States in which everyone has been equalized—physically, intellectually, in every sense of the word. Those who are beautiful must wear hideous masks, those who are intelligent are given earphones that blast noise to keep them from concentrating, those who are strong must carry weights around all day. This is a strange one, and very cynical, but like most of Vonnegut’s works also interesting, funny, and full of unique and fresh imagery.

The Robot and the Baby by John McCarthy

Written by a massively influential computer scientist (the guy coined the term ‘artificial intelligence’!) this story is… not artfully written. Not at all subtle in its delivery. Not very happy either. But it’s an interesting, quirky piece of writing that explores the way society might deal with the question of whether to simulate human emotion in robots. A little funny, but in a sad and sarcastic way. (TW: child abuse, just in case.)

Tags: story recs scifi
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chantillyxlacey:

Oooh since the theme of the day seems to be Scifi story recommendations, allow me to rec my absolute favorite short story of all time: The Last Question, by Isaac Asimov. I can’t really describe too much about the story without giving it away, but you certainly won’t expect the ending! 

One of my absolute favorites!

Tags: and way shorter than I remembered wow story recs scifi
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Not a fic rec, but…

…a sci-fi novella/short story rec! The Machine Stops, by E.M. Forster

This was recommended to me by an old lady I met on a plane once. I remembered it recently and gave it a read, and I found it very interesting.

It takes place in a world where humanity has retreated from the surface of the Earth and now lives in cells underground that are controlled by an omnipotent Machine that satisfies their every need. Though they rarely ever travel, humans communicate with each other through technology, using chats and video conferences to share their ideas with each other. The plot centers around the lives of a woman content with this life and her son who doubts the power of the Machine and yearns to escape to see the surface of the Earth.

The dialogue is a little stilted, but that’s probably due to the most amazing aspect of this story—it was written in 1909! If you give it a read, I’m sure you’ll notice the author’s incredibly prescient commentary on the relationship of man and technology. The story is heavy, but with the date of its publication held in mind, a very interesting work of early sci-fi.

Tags: reading scifi story recs
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