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  1. I recently finished a book called Discipline by Paco Ahlgren. I don't normally spend time on forums, but this book has me so intrigued, that I must know if anyone else had read it. It was written over 7 years ago, and it's about time travel. The things this book touches upon are closely linked to what is going on in today's world, specifically our economy, the state of the nations, and digital currency. I was blown away by the accuracy of this book. How did the author know? Was it just mere coincidence? I did some research on the author, and this is the only book he's written. Any thoughts by anyone else who has read this novel? [sales link removed - please use the Amazon link at the top of the main page]
  2. Hey I'm unapologetically going to show off my new novel Waking Dreams. "Devon Prower was a having a pretty normal day for an almost broke college student. Sitting in his broken down car, waiting for the mechanic to come and dreading the end of summer break. That is until the dragon showed up above his quiet suburban town. The next minute it was gone, a hallucination. Hallucinations that came back with a giant striding through the hills. But hallucinations don't usually cause huge tremors everyone can feel in an area with no other explanation for them. Hallucinations definitely don't include a quite real eight year old boy jumping up and down with excitement from seeing the same dinosaur as Devon is run down the dairy aisle in the grocery store. But just as Devon wonders if he's going mad, and the rest of the world right along with him, people begin vanishing into thin air. With no explanation for their disappearance Devon Prower may soon be the last person on earth..." If you enjoy Philip K. Dick and the like I'd recommend it (but then I'm biased). But don't take my word for it, the book will be free here: http://books.google.com/books/about?id=AR1vBQAAQBAJ November 20-21st
  3. Arthur C. Clarke is such a good writer it’s hard not to chuckle even when he is trying to explain the most complex of scientific facts or theories. Also, he has the gift of explaining complicated stuff in a clear everyday way. Also, he’s a genius - with a brilliant imagination. I had no idea I was going to enjoy reading ‘Profiles of the Future’, especially since it was first published in 1962, (revisited in 1972 to make a few modest notes against some of his future predictions that had within that decade become common fact.) The essence of this work of non-fiction is that given the state of the world in 1962, and given what was then known about the laws of the universe, how much further could we go within those boundaries. Then, take away the boundaries and see how much further we may be able to go - the sky is the limit - or is it? Clarke looks at Gravity - and beyond gravity. He looks at time - and beyond. And speed, space, and natural resources, invisibility, and us. And beyond all of this. And he does this with a sharpness of wit and a wicked sense of humour. Some quotable quotes: “In ordinary life we are accustomed to divide space into three dimensions, or directions which we call Sideways, Forwards and Upwards. One of these directions is not quite on a par with the others as anyone will find if *he steps out of a tenth-floor window.” “Travelling into the future is the one kind of time-travel we all indulge in, at the steady speed of 24 hours every day.” “In this inconceivably enormous universe, we can never run out of energy or matter. But we can all too easily run out of brains.” Talking about the ‘Replicator’: “It is perhaps relevant to point out that in 1951 the great mathematician, John von Neumann, established the important principle that a machine could always be designed to build any describable machine - including itself. The human race has squalling proof of this several hundred thousand times a day.” “Chaos remains chaos however many times you shake it up.” I imagined that once I'd read this dog-eared, foxed, battered little book - I'd send it back to the second-hand bookshop. I’ve decided to keep it because it's so much fun to read and because more and more of Clarke's predictions are coming true. *Clarke wrote ‘he’ throughout the book, as one would in 1962.
  4. This Hugo and Nebula Award-winning science fiction novel, written in 1969, is a worthy classic. It has been mentioned alongside Tolkien’s 'Lord of the Rings' and Frank Herbert’s 'Dune', which is unfortunate and could put some people off. However, it is definitely sufficiently different from either to stand alone. The world is called Winter and located in a far part of the galaxy. It could be Earth except for two significant differences: its climate is Arctic, and its inhabitants are sexless - until they come into ‘kemmer’ - and even that has its twist. Both these differences give this novel its intensity. Genly Ai is an envoy from an alliance of worlds, who has come to see if Winter would like to join. There is no pressure on the nations to do so; there is no pressure on him from the Alliance to make them. It’s an open offer. However, there is the inevitable political maneuvering in which he gets caught up. The climax of the story is played out across vast ice sheets and glaciers, during the winter months. I admit that I sometimes skip scenic descriptions in novels, but very soon I was having to slow myself down to appreciate the wonderful icescapes that LeGuin created, and the tension and the determination and the agony of the travelers. That Genly Ai and his companion Estraven survive that part of their journey is known, because we are reading from their own accounts. However, the last few pages were, for me, incredibly emotional - with a final twist. If anyone still has this on their bookshelf, unread, I think it’s time to dust it off. I hope you will find that it has stood the test of time.
  5. I was wondering if anyone has read books that they feel predicted the future -- you know, were written ahead of their time. I just finished Discipline by Paco Ahlgren, and I must admit, I was surprisingly shocked by some of the subjects this author touched on, especially since it was written over 7 years ago. What he wrote about is exactly what is going on today with our economy and the US dollar. Coincidence? Insight? He's an intelligent man with a history of being educated in finance and physics, but still... I can't help but wonder just how he knew, if he knew at all. I also heard some speak of George Orwell's 1984 as being a book that predicted the future. Any others? Anyone read Discipline that has an opinion?
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