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Variety is the etc. etc. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Variety is the etc. etc. [Jan. 6th, 2012|08:26 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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Sometimes when I ask you guys to point me at things, there's a whole world of stuff I'm either missing or for some reason not thinking of, and sometimes you're able to verify that, no, you're not seeing this thing either. So let's try another one:

It feels to me, after finishing a recent SF novel I very much enjoyed, that most SF novels (science fiction as distinct from fantasy) at the moment are not being written in very intimate perspective/voice. It feels like the main mode is multiple third-person perspectives, and those not very "close in." And I like that mode! It is a good mode! I even see why it's a popular mode for SF. I just feel like there can be lots of different good modes for SF. So if I'm missing recent books that are with very few POV characters and those either first-person or intimate third, I'd really like pointers to them.

And if you're not sure what I mean, I can try to talk about it some more and see if I can make more sense. Still getting over the sick, so sometimes I am not as coherent as I hope to be.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2012-01-07 03:06 am (UTC)
HARMONY by Project Itoh is in first person.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-01-07 03:09 am (UTC)
Yes! Yes it is. And it also has an intimacy of tone, I feel.
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2012-01-07 03:10 am (UTC)
Ah, you read it already! I'd forgotten! Well, we're doing another one of his for this summer, so keep your eye out.
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[User Picture]From: takumashii
2012-01-07 03:20 am (UTC)
Yeah. I read a ton of YA so it's very jarring for me not to have that almost-too-close intimacy when I read SF for adults.

I think both genres could benefit from some variation and shaking things up.
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[User Picture]From: orangemike
2012-01-07 03:21 am (UTC)
You're making yourself quite clear; I'm just not thinking of any SF that meets your criteria, right at the moment.
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[User Picture]From: rosefox
2012-01-07 06:43 am (UTC)
It's all been shunted over to urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
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[User Picture]From: shark_hat
2012-01-07 10:50 am (UTC)
Charlie Stross seems to like intimate POVs- the Laundry books and Saturn's Children are in first person with one narrator per book, and Halting State is in... tight second, I guess?

I think Ken Macleod does intimate third fairly frequently, but I haven't read his most recent ones.
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From: isfdb
2012-01-07 12:28 pm (UTC)
Also Glasshouse, although the first person does go through a few physical changes so may count as more than one...
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-01-07 01:26 pm (UTC)
I am very fond of the Laundry books, but I don't really consider Cthulhu to be SF.
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2012-01-07 04:11 pm (UTC)
Bits of RULE 34 are in an intimate second-person.
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[User Picture]From: desperance
2012-01-07 12:21 pm (UTC)
Far be it from me to point out that my Rotten Row is first-person SF, but I'm sure somebody will do it on my behalf...?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2012-01-07 01:27 pm (UTC)
We have no objections to, "Well, in MY book..." here.

In moderation, of course.
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From: greyowl
2012-01-07 04:38 pm (UTC)
I have been recently enjoying Julie Czerneda's Survival and Migration (first two of a trilogy; I haven't tracked down the third yet). In addition to being single-POV intimate third person, they have aliens and planets in, which is a type of science fiction I've been missing myself.
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[User Picture]From: akirlu
2012-01-07 04:43 pm (UTC)
Elizabeth Bear's Jacob's Ladder trilogy is written in intimate third with a pretty small number of POV characters, as I recall. I think that's true of the Jenny Casey books as well...
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[User Picture]From: cissa
2012-01-07 11:38 pm (UTC)
I just finished "Galileo's Dream" by Kim Stanley Robinson, and I think this would meet that criterion; it's mostly third-person-intimate, I thought.
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From: nenya_kanadka
2012-01-08 10:08 pm (UTC)
CJ Cherryh's books do intimate-third, if I'm understanding what you're looking for correctly. She does a lot with third-person stories where you only know what the point-of-view character knows: he hears shots over the ridge, but can only speculate on who's shooting whom, for example.

I just finished the latest in her Foreigner series, which has two POV characters (the last few books have had two; the first part of the series had one), so you get to see a bit more than the one protagonist knows, but it's still very tightly focused.

But that series hasn't got much in the way of space ships, though it is aliens all the way down.
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