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Thread: Fiction books with planning/urban enviroment elements.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Fiction books with planning/urban enviroment elements.

    I doubt all of us read only planning related books, so this thread is to discuss all the fiction books that have strong planning/urban enviroment elements and issues; like Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash; that although being primarilly science fiction and computer-ish related, it does remark heavily on some planning issues, like suburbanization and franchises.

    Ok, now what other books do you know, and what's your opinion about them. Was the planning issues well done in the book or not? Does the book gain with it or lose?
    Discuss.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (from what Ive been told).

    The aliens refer to the Comp plan that sat on the shelf collecting dust. They disclosed that them taking the earth captive was part of the earth's comp plan, and they would of known that if anyone had bothered to read it.

    again, this is what I have been told and have not read the book, but have been meaning to.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by H
    The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (from what Ive been told).

    The aliens refer to the Comp plan that sat on the shelf collecting dust. They disclosed that them taking the earth captive was part of the earth's comp plan, and they would of known that if anyone had bothered to read it.

    again, this is what I have been told and have not read the book, but have been meaning to.
    since I just got done reading all 5 books in the series, I can tell you it's mentioned twice in the first book. First time is when Arthur's house is going to be demolished in order to build a road. The demo crew tells him that its in the plan and the plan is in the courthouse, in the basement and is impossible to get to.

    The second place is when the earth is demolished by the Vogons for a hyperspace freeway. The Vogon captain tells people that plans to demolish the earth have been available on like Betelguese 5. Yes I'm a geek and have way to much time on my hands, but I'm learning to accept this and embrace my specialness

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    Q. Has anybody read Earl Emerson's (Seattle Fire Lt.) Mac Fontana mystery's ?
    Pretty good description of small town environment.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner
    since I just got done reading all 5 books in the series, I can tell you it's mentioned twice in the first book. First time is when Arthur's house is going to be demolished in order to build a road. The demo crew tells him that its in the plan and the plan is in the courthouse, in the basement and is impossible to get to.

    The second place is when the earth is demolished by the Vogons for a hyperspace freeway. The Vogon captain tells people that plans to demolish the earth have been available on like Betelguese 5. Yes I'm a geek and have way to much time on my hands, but I'm learning to accept this and embrace my specialness
    That sounds really funny. I will have to get my hands on that book.

  6. #6
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    Jonathan Franzen's book 'The Twenty-seventh City (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...614091-3698006) has a great deal to do with the expansions of big cities, and their metropolitan boundaries. It tells about the inner city decay in St. Louis.

    (By the way, the book is not worth reading. I read it after I read his other book, the Corrections, which is far better).

  7. #7
    Cirrus's avatar
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    Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (1920) is a shockingly contemporary satire about a big city woman who marries a small town doctor and dreams of making over the dreary little town they live in.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Although it's not a fiction 'book', the short story 'Dancing Girls' by Margaret Atwood is what originally inspired me to become a planner. The main character of the story is an urban design major whose major school project is redesigning a urban greenway system. It is a very small point in the story, compared to the overall theme.

  9. #9

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    The China Mieville steampunk fantasy novels are set in a gigantic, fantastic London. Social issues and urban design are big parts of the books, especially the first novel, Perdido Street Station.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    Jennifer Government is a laugh... murder in Walmart!

    The world is run by American corporations (except for a few deluded holdouts like the French); taxes are illegal; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; the Police and the NRA are publicly-traded security firms; and the U.S. government only investigates crimes it can bill for.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...30360?v=glance

  11. #11
    The Asimov robot series could be seen to have urban planning connotations. The large underground cities of Earth would be the ultimate new urbanism and the Spacer worlds the ultimate large lot developements. Yes my geek-self is showing!!

  12. #12
    "Missing Justice" by Alafair Burke. It turns out that James Lee Burke really does have a daughter named Alafair. (For some terrific mystery novels read JLB's Dave Robicheaux series.) In any case, "Missing Justice" is set in Portland which, as everyone knows, is home to the EVIL urban growth boundary. The book is OK.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian FueledByRamen's avatar
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    Well, its much more architecture related, but Im reading "The Fountainhead" right now, which is one of the best books of all time, IMO.

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