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Foreigner
Adarael:

I second your opinion on Friday. It's one of my favorite Heinlein novels, along with I Will Fear No Evil, and Starship Troopers. (For those of you who haven't seen the film version of the last, don't bother. Not only was it awful, but just about the only thing that it had in common with the book was the title, and the names of the key characters.)

When I was a kid (that is, sixteen or so), I thought that I Will Fear No Evil could be made into a film, possibly with George Burns as Johann Smith and Brooke Shields as Eunice Branca, although she would've been too young at the time.

As for Friday, Angelina Jolie would be perfect for the part--if, that is, they can pry her away from the TOMB RAIDER franchise long enough.


DocMortand:

I agree with you about Alistair MacLean. He's one of my favorite authors, and WHERE EAGLES DARE and ICE STATION ZEBRA were both great books, as well as films.

--Foreigner
nezumi
IMO, Dogfight is the SINGLE best Cyberpunk short story ever written. I *LOVED* it. You can read it here:

http://project.cyberpunk.ru/lib/burning_chrome/

Just find Dogfight
Kagetenshi
It is awesome. All of Michael Swanwick's stuff that I've read thus far has been awesome.

~J
Birdy
QUOTE (Foreigner)
Adarael:

I second your opinion on Friday. It's one of my favorite Heinlein novels, along with I Will Fear No Evil, and Starship Troopers. (For those of you who haven't seen the film version of the last, don't bother. Not only was it awful, but just about the only thing that it had in common with the book was the title, and the names of the key characters.) 



A fair warning: Heinlein in general and his "Starship Trooper" in special are highly controversial! I bought and read it during my 15month with the Bundeswehr, took it home and used it to light the heating! Liked the film because he took the IMHO fashist idea of the book and made a hughe! joke out of it. Read quite a few more of his books (Number of the beast, Lazarus Long, Moon...) and disliked the rather "conservative-right" style of government and his women figures seriously.

QUOTE

DocMortand:

I agree with you about Alistair MacLean. He's one of my favorite authors, and WHERE EAGLES DARE and ICE STATION ZEBRA were both great books, as well as films.

--Foreigner



All MacLeans are better in book form than as movies. The old (1960s) movies are resonable but the new ones (The UNACO movies with Brosnan/Paul) seriously butcher him. But the novels are quite good. I recommend:

Where eagles dare - Hostage resque with double and triple crossings.

The black hornet - Defending a missile research site

Golden Gate - Hostage taking and rescue with style

The UNACO novels - If you want to run a spy/spec force crossover without going to toyland


And another one:

The Venus Prime / Codename:Sparta series from Preuss/Clarke has a lot of ideas on long term (we are talking centuries!) conspiracies, high tech breeding/augmentation and beliveable STL spacetravel/colonies


Birdy
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Birdy)
A fair warning: Heinlein in general and his "Starship Trooper" in special are highly controversial! I bought and read it during my 15month with the Bundeswehr, took it home and used it to light the heating! Liked the film because he took the IMHO fashist idea of the book and made a hughe! joke out of it. Read quite a few more of his books (Number of the beast, Lazarus Long, Moon...) and disliked the rather "conservative-right" style of government and his women figures seriously.

Erů the book was military wanking, sure, but it wasn't fascist. Every review of the movie I've heard from trusted sources says it practically had bundles of sticks with an axe in them handed out with every copy or movie ticket.

~J
James McMurray
Have to jump in on the side of Heinlein. In some of his stories women are poorly portrayed, but in many they are the intelligent and confident people driving the world around them down the right path.

The biggest bone I have to pick with Heinlein was that he had the audacity to die before finishing his Lazarus Long tales. He was definitely going somewhere with them, and Number of the Beast read like the opening moves of the climactic finale.

His books generally (IMO) had two seperate threads running through them. The first would be an idea that I, as a young reader, found fascinating. Brain transplants and the residual soul, time travelers who were their own father, a man so old and revered that he wants his life to end but every time he tries to kill himself he is stopped by the people who see him as a miracle and the wisest man on the planet. Of course, he was only considered wise because he spoke his mind. Something only the heros of heinleins books did.

Heck, I can still go back and reread Stranger in a Strange Land every so often. smile.gif

The other thread running through his books, especially towards the end, was that of a lecherous old man and his young hotties. I've never spoken to him (or anyone who would know) but it seems to me like he was poking a bit of fun at himself with those characters.

All that being said, I would point to the stories of Jack Chalker's GOD Inc. While they don't exactly have magic, they do have a good detective story wrapped around a sci-fi / fantasy world of parallel universes. That could be a pretty good start to a campaign,

I also liked Brian Daley's Doomfarers of Coramonde and the followup. An elite army squad gets pulled from our world (Korea or Vietnam IIRC) and into a world of magic, dragons, and demons. They kill a dragon by firing a grenade down its throat, and they even storm the gates of Hell. If you want shadowrun rules in a different world, that could be a really cool campaign.
Glyph
Since we're looking at older novels, how about Patrick Tilley's Amtrak Wars series? The Amtrak Federation closely resemble a megacorporation, and the Mutes are very similar to the NAN, both culturally and in their use of powerful earth magic against their technologically advanced foes.
Birdy
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)

Erů the book was military wanking, sure, but it wasn't fascist. Every review of the movie I've heard from trusted sources says it practically had bundles of sticks with an axe in them handed out with every copy or movie ticket.

~J

I never had problems with the basic military theme of the book - that's why I bought it. But the way he portrais a society (Only those who served can vote, physical punishment) and the 1950 idea of the role of woman (Even the smart ones prefer getting married and pregnant ASAP) is not my style.

As for the film, sorry it simply does not take itself serious (Hey, Denise Richards plays a major role, what do you expect) and goes so over the top that it is just a big big joke on everything "Faschist". And given my political leanings I react very strongly anti-faschist and anti-conservative, so I'd suggest you take me and some equally oriented fellows who watched the film over some critics. smile.gif

My suggestion: It is a fan thing. You are one, I am not. Let's not hijack the tread.


@Glyph:

Amtrak Wars better fit the world of "Rifts" than the one of SR. One could use the underground cities as an example for an arcologie (Renaming John Wayne Plaza appropriatly) But the wagon trails to fight of the Mutes does not fit IMHO.


@all:

Some books by Frederic Pohl books carrie SR ideas. His "Fistful of Venus" books describe an SR society with a persons worth being based on his credit rating and the corporations running the show. The hyper-agressive marketing is basically psychotropic ICE without the need of a matrix.

His "Gateway" trilogie concentrates mostly on space travel but again we find "Your health is what you can pay for - wealthy => Life extension", mechanical psychatrists(sp?) and arcologies. And since all FTL ist alien technologie, the basic space travell fits with SR.


Birdy
Crimsondude 2.0
QUOTE (Enigma)
For messing around with EcoTerrorists and a very, very cool ending location have a look at Michael Crichton's new book State of Fear.  Also, the Crichton books are superb and full of SR ideas, although obviously not at all Cyberpunk.  For the best heist book ever, read The Great Train Robbery.  I don't know a single SR GM who hasn't had a think about how putting his group into a Jurassic Park setting would work (read the books, don't use the significantly dumbed-down movies).  Also, Rising Sun (again, the book not the dodgy movie) is easily the best book to read for how to think about a Japanese corporation and how its citizens would act.  It's still good despite being a bit dated.  As a side note, Eaters of the Dead is superb and was made into the only Antonio Banderas movie which you can watch more than once.

Yo! *raises hand* Right here. I grew out of Crichton when I was 15, and I don't have any plans to subject players to such ... writing. But from what I keep reading, State of Fear may just be the cherry on top of the sundae of suck.

QUOTE

I have to say that whilst I've read and enjoyed William Gibson's books they were not inspirational from a Shadowrun standpoint.  This may be because I was already into Shadowrun when I read them, or it may be that they are written in a style I do not like.  I think it's safe to say that they are not for everyone.

I'll just say that I don't like anything Gibson has written and let you all berate me ad nauseum in a futile attempt to validate your opinions of him.

QUOTE

Chris Ryan books are quite good for people being screwed by Intelligence Agencies rather than Corporations, which makes a change (but easily adapted). Have a laugh about the similarities between each book and the names of the hero characters.

I prefer Le Carre.

QUOTE

Andy McNab writes books which should be compulsory for any player to read before they play an "ex special forces" character (and really shows how a dependant can be used as a plot tool).

Okay... I'll have to respectfuclly disagree with you on that simply because nonfiction is a requisite (or at least was for all the years I made those PCs and helped other people with theirs), and fiction is... fiction. All it did was put me to sleep, although now I know how to build a snow shelter in Estonia.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Crimsondude 2.0)
I'll just say that I don't like anything Gibson has written and let you all berate me ad nauseum in a futile attempt to validate your opinions of him.

I will berate you and say that you are an awful person for not liking Dogfight. Other than that, fair enough.

Nonfiction I've never found to be a prerequisite. It tends to be at least as tainted as fiction (mmm, points of view), and when it isn't it's typically covering topics not terribly applicable to most characters, if not most games. YMMV, but I haven't had much luck with nonfiction.

~J
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