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Sci Fi recommendations


marlonharewood
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My first dip into SF (as a young teenager) was Asimov and he still reads very well today.

Try grabbing the Foundation book, it's quite short, has some interesting science bandied about, is far future based AND if you like it, there's loads more to read.

Otherwise, go for Iain M Banks and be aware that many of us would be very jealous of being able to start that series of books fresh, *sigh*

On a more general comment, some short story compilations are fabulous. Stephen King's for example are great, as is John Grisham's and Neil Gaimen's. I was very interested to see that Pratchett has one out now too, will read that when I have a chance.(that's four new books I need to get, released in the last month....)

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Asimov spoiler:

Well the Foundation series does eventually tie in with the robot stories :)

Asimov's short stories (Complete collection vols 1 & 2) are really good too. I haven't read the series in a long time but I do have very fond memories of reading it. :)

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Foundation is what I'm talking about, I just found it so dull. Reminded me a bit of when I tried to read Captain Corielli's Mandolin after having just read the complete works of Raymond Chandler. My mind simply rejected the different use of language, and I managed about three pages.

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I too prefer the robot stories and the 2 novels, The Caves of Steel and the Naked Sun, over the Foundation series, possibly because the robot detective stories are very tightly plotted and Foundation is more baggy. Asimov also did a fine line in pulp crime / mystery with the Black Widowers stories which, like the SF, were published in the yellow Gollancz covers in the UK. Those yellow covers really helped me choose which books to check out from the library when I first graduated to the adult section!

More and more I find SF (& some fantasy) is the only fiction I want to bother with now, although I still like to get my teeth into a good work of history or biography from time to time.

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It's unquestionably the greatest SF novel ever written, and if you find you like Cyberpunk after that then it opens up a far more interesting seam (imho) than the space opera and aliens field that people normally associate with SF.

I was drinking tea when I read that, you dickhead.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but as long as you never touch the sequels, Rendezvous with Rama (A.C.Clarke of course) is still a wonderful read. It goes absolutely nuts with the sequels though...bloody Gentry Lee fouling things up in a most godawful way.

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Really enjoying Existence from David Brin at the moment, just hope it doesn't fizzle out at the end.

Good to see the 6 Uplift novels being re-issued too - I've got a bit of a soft spot for them for some reason (maybe because they came out at a time before the likes of Hamilton, Reynolds, Asher et al when hard SF was harder to find).

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Finished a collection of short stories by Greg Egan the other day

GE-L-B.JPG

Really good, most of the science went straight over my head (because I'm quite dim) but they're well written and a couple leave you wanting more from the same world.

Cracking on with Starship Troopers now which I'm finding a bit troubling. It's full of strong rhetoric about the virtues of fascism or corporal punishment that I can't really think of a counterpoint to. :unsure:

Hopefully the strength of the rhetoric is the point of the book. Either that or I'm a latent fascist :(

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Really enjoying Existence from David Brin at the moment, just hope it doesn't fizzle out at the end.

Good to see the 6 Uplift novels being re-issued too - I've got a bit of a soft spot for them for some reason (maybe because they came out at a time before the likes of Hamilton, Roberts, Asher et al when hard SF was harder to find).

After finishing the third uplift novel, I went on to other things without ever realising there was more to the story. So right now I'm on Brightness Reef.

Anyway, Existence. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, as it was very hard to guess which direction it was taking. The ending doesn't fizzle, but neither is it explosive. It's......just right.

A question for anyone who's finished the book:

Can anyone hazard a guess at the significance of the neanderthals? I get the whole autism thing, giving the story some extra colour, but the neanderthals being savant-level intellectuals feels a bit of a stretch.

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I just read Luminous based on your recomendation. I must say it is one of the most interesting story I have read lately. Thank you

The actual story in there called Luminous? Such an original concept isn't it. Even with my very, very, very basic grasp of what he's talking about, it was brilliant stuff. Glad you liked it! :)

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After paying the book my ulitmate compliment - taking it slowly as not to get to the end too quickly - I have finished Existence. Absolutely brilliant, a demanding read at times to be sure but with some brilliant straightforward action sequences stitched in too, a couple of massive twists keep you guessing. and even segments which at one point seem fairly insignificant in themselves, like the Crichton / Archer character and the dolphin rescue turn out to have a part to play (although I think the dolphins were put in for old time's sake as much as anything, still it's a charming sequence with the whales rumbling and the crabs chittering the news across the ocean).

@fasteasyfree - no, other than another element of diversity which may ultimately aid our survival.

Only one question remains to be answered - which Rllmuker is an alien?

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How much of the novel is taken up by the plot screeching to a halt so Hamilton can lovingly describe what an 18 year old nymphette is wearing, how much every man in a 10 lightyear radius wants to fuck her and then a minimum of 20 pages describing said fucking in detail.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I read A Fire Upon The Deep recently which I greatly enjoyed though I felt it was a little slow after the prologue. Was this an influence for Mass Effect or is there some other common influence for both of them? I have started on A Deepness In The Sky now, which I like so far. Is the Sequel to the first one any good?

I notice a similarity between A Fire Upon The Deep and A Deepness in the Sky in that the primitive alien races both have this slightly unhinged inventor like character with ideas beyond his grasp. The compliment paid to the spider one that he should be a sci-fi writer made me think if this was the Author writing about himself :)

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Children of the Sky is not so much rubbish as just a bit boring. More politics and back-stabbing on the Tines' World, if that floated your boat, plus some concerns about technological progress affecting Tine society. Sets up the idea that Blighter Fleet is still out there and that random fluctuations in the Slow Zone are allowing the fleet to reach FTL speeds, but then that all amounts to sod all, which means a possible third book. It'd be a hell of a lot more exciting than the sequel we got. :(

(this book also features a slightly unhinged inventor type person, so you may be on to something there)

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