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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Help me find these books.

   
Author Topic: Help me find these books.
Spektyr
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Okay, there's two books that I read years ago, I checked them out from a school library, and have forgotten the titles. Since then (nearly 10-15 years ago) I have not been able to find either one or found anyone who claimed to recognize the books.

Well, with such a collection of smart people who are well-read here, I hope that at least one of you will recognize one or both of these books, allowing me to track them down and purchase them.

First book: The book I've been "missing" the longest. It is about a boy who ends up on the run early in the book, jumps through an "MT cube" that transports him to a spaceport, and stows away on a ship. The ship turns out to be renegades of some kind, I think a circus but I could be wrong about that. He learns "K'rate" or some martial art form of a similarly altered name. The book ends when this renegade force defeats the evil empire using MT technology (matter transmission). MT tech makes a grey field in a cube shape in mated pairs. Anything that enters the field of one cube exits the field of the other.

Second book: This one was a more recent read, may have been lent to me by a friend as little as 6-7 years ago, I can't remember. It's another Sci-Fi, set with interstellar travel that takes significant time. Main character is a "Jester". Jesters are required by union law (or something similar) to be on any ship that's going to be underway for a long time, as a method of maintaining crew morale. Artificial Intelligence plays a major role in the storyline, and the Jester's themselves have more to them than meets the eye.

So... anyone know what these books are? I'm dying to reread them.

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Spektyr
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Surely someone out there has read one or both of these books.

Anyone? Bueller?

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Julie
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Sorry, neither of them sounds familiar to me. But I'll give it a bump so someone more helpful might see it.
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aspectre
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Ask your question at Asimov's or Analog by clicking on Topics. Then click on General Discussion and scroll to the bottom of the page to Start a New Conversation .
Click Last Day to find out if you have had any responses.

Over there, a decent story description nearly always leads to the title.

[ November 30, 2003, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Spektyr
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I may give that a try, but I'd like to wait a few more days and see if my fellow OSC fans can accomplish the task.

It's not a vitally urgent thing, I've gone years without reading these books and it won't ruin my life if I never read them again, but I'd like to.

Besides, I don't spend a lot of time chatting up complete strangers, so all things being equal I'd prefer to not leap into another forum.

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ae
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We msut be using different definitions of "chatting up". [Eek!]
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Spektyr
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I'm using a bastardized American version of the British phrase.

For Brits it has the same meaning as the American phrase "hitting on", or to attempt to initiate a romantic relationship.

When Americans say it (on those rare occasions when they do) they usually mean striking up a conversation with the intention of getting to know someone better - typically not a romantic goal. Unless they're trying to sound a little British, in which case they could be using the British meaning. Usually context will differentiate between the possible meanings.

But yes, this septic does know most British slang.

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Farmgirl
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Sorry Spektyr,

I even asked my 18-year-old son, who I think has read every single sci-fi book in the Wichita Public Library and the one at the university, and he said neither story rings a bell with him either. Too bad you don't have more to go on for an internet search.

Kayla? Are you reading? You are the queen of finding things on the internet -- think you can find these with no more information than Spektyr has?

Farmgirl

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Spektyr
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Doesn't surprise me. The librarian at the school I checked the first book out from swore to me that it didn't exist. Unfortunately that was back in the days when nothing at school was computerized, and the only records they kept about who checked out what was on the cards inside the books themselves. So only if it was currently checked out would the card not be in the book and there was absolutely no practical way to look up and determine what books a person had previously checked out.

I always hated it when adults told me I must not have remembered it clearly - just as this librarian did when she insisted I must have checked it out somewhere else. It was a Sci-Fi book. I didn't check those out from the public library downtown, I went there to get adult books to read (since they didn't have anything remotely challenging at school).

Thank God most people see me as an adult, even if I successfully dodged the "growing up" bullet. I'd have gone nuts and started shooting people if that condenscending treatment had lasted longer than a couple decades. Of course a lot of my extended family still does it when we get together on holidays... no, on second thought shooting my uncles would probably ruin Christmas...

It's tempting though.

"Stop smiling smugly and nodding, even I can read the body language for 'humor the child'!" (Those of us with Asperger's Syndrome have trouble reading body language and social cues.)

[ December 04, 2003, 06:35 AM: Message edited by: Spektyr ]

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blacwolve
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The second one really makes me think of Heinlien. I know I haven't read it, it just has that feel to me.
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Farmgirl
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Since Amazon has that great new "search" feature they trumpet --- about being able to find any text in any of their books -- I tried to use it to find your one about the "jester" idea. But the returns were just too many -- over 5,000 possibilities -- I read through the first 50 or so descriptions, and then gave up.

Farmgirl

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odouls268
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Spektyr, you and I are not friends.

Because BOTH of those books sound totally familiar to me. I KNOW i have read both of them. And i KNOW that there's NOT A CHANCE of me remembering either one of the names of them or under what circumstances i read them.
I will heretofor be losing sleep until the end of time.
Thanks. [Grumble]
[Razz]
If I remember correctly they are both books that I bought during 'book fair' in elementary school. Either that or i checked them out from the school media center where the book fair was held. grrr.
I remember buying 'Space Cadets, Jerks in Training' and a few others.
I KNOW i have read both of those books. Either that, or i dreamed the plots of them in a drunken stupor during my fraternity days, and someone read my mind and wrote them, and took them back in time to let you read them. Hey! now THERE's a good story idea
[Razz]

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Spektyr
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Hrm... looks like no solution to be found here.

Now comes the inner struggle. Which will win - my apathy-induced defeatism and burning drive to avoid new social situations (ie new forums), or my frustration at not knowing the answer to these questions?

The answer will not come tonight, this much I do know.

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FuzzyBoots
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I doubt anyone is still hanging around for the answer, but the first one is definitely Donald Wismer's *Starluck* as per our discussion here.

It has Matter Transmission screens (later weaponized into cubes) which are nicknamed "MT" or "Empty" screens. Indeed, the "Bels" (rebels) he joins masquerade as a circus, and he learns Shotokan Karate (or "Sh't'kan K'Rati") while with them. The other aspect that's prominent is that he was to be killed because he scored too high on the "Fortune index", showing that he would be incredibly lucky, and therefore a threat to the Emperor.

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Lyrhawn
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This may win the award for greatest thread necromancy of the decade.
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King of Men
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And by a new member at that. That must have been one hell of an archive binge.
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RivalOfTheRose
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
This may win the award for greatest thread necromancy of the decade.

this
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Lorelei Feliz
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Sorry, I don't know those books. Good luck on your hunting.
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SenojRetep
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Random internet searches say that the second book is probably "Fool's War" by Sarah Zettel.

https://www.amazon.com/Fools-War-Sarah-Zettel/dp/0446602930

That's been bugging me for 13 years (not really).
quote:
Katmer Al Shei has done well with the starship Pasadena, cutting corners where necessary to keep her crew paid and her journeys profitable. But there are two things she will never skimp on: her crew—and her fool. For a long space journey, a certified Fool’s Guild clown is essential, to amuse, excite, and otherwise distract the crew from the drudgeries of interstellar flight. Her newest fool, Evelyn Dobbs, is a talented jester. But does she have enough wit to save mankind?

In the computers of the Pasadena, something is emerging. The highly sophisticated software that makes interstellar travel practical is playing host to a new form of artificial intelligence, one with its own mind, its own needs, and its own desperate fears. Combatting this terrifying new threat becomes the fool’s secret fight. Evelyn Dobbs’s personal war might just cost Katmer Al Shei everything, and everyone, she holds dear. But if they fail, humanity itself is lost for good.


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