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Sci Fi recommendations


marlonharewood
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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?

Mass Effect is probably most strongly based on the Berserker series by Fred Saberhagen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserker_%28Saberhagen%29

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I'm early in Pushing Ice at the moment, and I came across a plot point that I thought at first was giving me severe deja vu, or I've seen or read something very similar recently.

20% in spoiler:

One of the engineers is involved in an accident and is basically euthanised and cryogenically frozen in the slim hope that he can be revived when he is returned to Earth. As I was reading it, I thought maybe I'd got further in the book than I remembered (I picked it up again today after a six month break), but things didn't develop how I was expecting. I'm sure I've read a variation on this idea where the frozen/suspended victim only has a limited time to get to proper medical facilities or else all hope will be lost, thus adding another moral quandry to the "should we shouldn't we" continue with the mission.

Any ideas?

EDIT: ignore me, the exact same thing comes up right at the start of the book.

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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)

Was a bit of leap in a completely different direction. Kind of like going from Ender's Game to Speaker for the Dead.

I enjoyed, but like you thought that there'd be more than "and they lived happily ever after...sorta."

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Yeah, I wanted more from that universe, but it's standalone, isn't it?

I hope he does more, just finished it and while it was excellent throughout it really picked up towards the end. Also something about the way he describes the sheer scale of things made the whole reading experience quietly unsettling.

Anyway, Unto Leviathan next!

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I loved all of MMS's sci-fi but Only Forward is probably my favourite. It was so new and fresh at the time, I think I read it in 2 sessions. He has a book of short stories called What You Make It which has two amazing sci-fi/horror shorts in it that are as good as anything he's written - Save As and Hell Hath Enlarged Herself. I love him to make a return to science fiction one day but I don't think that will ever happen.

Yeah there's a horror story in there that's scary as fuck.

SPOILER for Silent Runner

The guy can't leave the house, right?

Edited by Smitty
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  • 2 weeks later...

Can anyone recommend stuff along the same lines as Wool or Breaking Ice Pushing Ice? So either dystopian, post-apocalyptic stuff or near(ish) future space settings with alien or horror elements?

It is a bit light weight but I enjoyed this!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inside-Out-Maria-V-Snyder/dp/0778304116/

I love Hugh Howey (of Wool) so I would also read EVERYTHING he has written.

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I love Hugh Howey (of Wool) so I would also read EVERYTHING he has written.

Yeah Wool was amazing, I've got the rest of them arriving tomorrow :D I'm a bit confused by the Shift books though - there seems to be some books out already like First Shift : Legacy and Second Shift : Order but then one coming out in a few months just called Shift. I assume it's a compilation?

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I did give up on the Molly Fyde ones though...

He has progress bars on his website!

http://www.hughhowey.com/ Third Shift - Pact (Wool 8 ) is done, out on the 30th. I expect he will do a combined book (as Wool is a combo of sections that were originally released separately)

There are also some fanfic things set in the "wooliverse" (vom)

eg

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B2QZH68

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Yeah Wool was amazing, I've got the rest of them arriving tomorrow :D I'm a bit confused by the Shift books though - there seems to be some books out already like First Shift : Legacy and Second Shift : Order but then one coming out in a few months just called Shift. I assume it's a compilation?

There's one more Shift novella on its way, then they're going to be released as an omnibus. Then he's going to start on a new work that brings the characters from Wool and Shift together.

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Hyperion is space opera with some horror elements (especially the first story with the priest)

Have just been reading that section whilst having a bad case of flu. Had a horrible feverish nightmare last night about being on that planet where the priest is and woke up covered in sweat with massive heartburn. If that isnt recommendation to get the book i dont know what is!!

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Unto Leviathan is brilliant, can't stop reading.

Thank you :) - just had a quick look at what it's about, and it sounds right up my street. God bless Kindle and the scary ease of spending money and getting instant gratification :P

EDIT: Well, it definitely had something, as I read it all today. Don't think it's a classic, but it's well written had enough of interest to keep me turning the pages so well worth the money.

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Stories of Your Life and Others, a short story collection by Ted Chiang, is well worth checking out.

The titular story describes a linguists attempts to communicate with aliens who make first contact. A few of the others aren't really Sci Fi at all (wiki describes it as speculative fiction) but they all explore their themes with a precision that fits perfectly with the short story format.

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I’ve just finished reading ‘Jack Glass’ by Adam Roberts, and hot diggity, it was very good – a novel structured as three locked room mysteries, with the whole thing being styled as a fusion of golden age SF and the golden age of detective fiction. Adam Roberts is a slightly unusual writer, as he pumps out a new book every year, with none of them being in the same style, and none of them taking place in the same setting. This is far from being a problem, but I think it must have affected his visibility as a writer, because SF nerds love shitloads of books set in the same universe, and it takes guts to rely on the strength of your stories and your prose rather than on the persistence of your *grunts* expanded universe.

Anyway, Jack Glass is great. The start owes a lot to ‘The Stars My Destination’, but it rapidly goes off in its own direction. Well worth reading, as are most of his books.

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Yes, that Jack Glass novel was featured in Interzone recently and it is on my wish list.

Currently enjoying a return to the Uplift universe (David Brin) - after the first one, Sundiver, which is a bit incredible (even for sci fi) since it features sun-dwellers, Startide Rising and The Uplift War are superb - a really warm and interesting portrayals of how species can be brought to sentience and their talents exploited, as chimps and dolphins have been by humans (alternatively clients can be completely fucked over of course as their genes are remodelled and even human clients have their reproduction limited). The big question, which I assume will be pursued further on in the sequence, is which species, if any, uplifted humans in the first place?

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