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Sci Fi recommendations


marlonharewood
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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.

Yeah it's very well written. I really enjoyed the world he'd created, and the slow-burning intrigue about the alien ship kept me turning the pages, but then he introduces the actual horror and resolve it almost immediately.

The ship he described was so massive that it was effectively a city, but then the evacuation takes about 2 pages. And I really liked the way he never directly describes the aliens (other than "My God, look at that thing" from one of the people left on board) but they seemed to be introduced and then despatched way too quickly.

Good book though!

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Yeah it's very well written. I really enjoyed the world he'd created, and the slow-burning intrigue about the alien ship kept me turning the pages, but then he introduces the actual horror and resolve it almost immediately.

The ship he described was so massive that it was effectively a city, but then the evacuation takes about 2 pages. And I really liked the way he never directly describes the aliens (other than "My God, look at that thing" from one of the people left on board) but they seemed to be introduced and then despatched way too quickly.

Good book though!

Yeah, I did think the ending felt a bit too rushed quite honestly. It seems to happen to a lot of sci-fi - it seems to be allowed that Fantasy books can be epic, sprawling things spread out over loads of books (which is sometimes depressing...), but sci-fi seems to be the other way entirely (not always of course, but it seems like the norm). I could have done with more exploring of the ship - that's the sort of thing I rather love about sci-fi really, so it was a little bit of a shame it kind of just...ended. It is a good book - but don't think it's as good as I wanted it to be on reflection. I did like the mystery of why these obviously technologically superior aliens decided to kill everyone and bung them on meat hooks and stuff. I did wonder if they were really the original 'owners' of the alien ship, or whether they killed everyone on it, and took it over?

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Blimey, I'm not sure I want to get into a mammoth series, does Wool work as a standalone?

It's not a mammoth series by any stretch really - the first book is about 60 pages long and the compliation of all 6 is 563 pages in total.

It's also very very good!

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Yeah, I did think the ending felt a bit too rushed quite honestly. It seems to happen to a lot of sci-fi - it seems to be allowed that Fantasy books can be epic, sprawling things spread out over loads of books (which is sometimes depressing...), but sci-fi seems to be the other way entirely (not always of course, but it seems like the norm). I could have done with more exploring of the ship - that's the sort of thing I rather love about sci-fi really, so it was a little bit of a shame it kind of just...ended. It is a good book - but don't think it's as good as I wanted it to be on reflection. I did like the mystery of why these obviously technologically superior aliens decided to kill everyone and bung them on meat hooks and stuff. I did wonder if they were really the original 'owners' of the alien ship, or whether they killed everyone on it, and took it over?

Definitely would have preferred some more tense exploration of the alien ship and have the horror slowly unfolding. I loved how it made no sense why they would be so violent and cruel, I think he could have played off that a bit more. And the Event Horizon-style descent into madness of a few characters was briefly unsettling but never really explored. I think I'm going to give some of his other books a go - he's written a near-future detective series about a character called Carlucci which sounds interesting.

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It's not a mammoth series by any stretch really - the first book is about 60 pages long and the compliation of all 6 is 563 pages in total.

It's also very very good!

Hmm, this must be the compilation then, it says it's unabridged and it is nearly seventeen hours of narration, so that sounds about right. May as well give it a listen I guess, cheers!

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I’m struggling to get into ‘Unto Leviathan’, it’s not very well-written – the prose and dialogue are really clumsy, and the narrator seems to try to explain everything in great detail, rather than letting the story play out. I feel like I’m having a story described to me rather than told to me. Full of clichés, too.

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Yeah I didn't really dig Unto Leviathan either.

Just re-reading all of The Revelation Space books now. I bloody love them.

Well, the words 'I bloody love them' caused me to have a look. I'm now thoroughly enjoying the first book in the series...ooh, proper big idea sci-fi isn't it? Even so, I do love ancient aliens and fucking huge space ships so I'm well sorted :) .

I do like this thread!

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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.

This reminded me to recommend The Demolished Man to everyone (again) as it's a mix of intriguing sci-fi and an inverted detective story. Only vague similar but hey it triggered my memory.

In the year 2301, guns are only museum pieces and benign telepaths sweep the minds of the populace to detect crimes before they happen. In 2301 murder is virtually impossible, but one man is about to change that...

Ben Reich, a psychopathic business magnate, has devised the ultimate scheme to eliminate the competition and destroy the order of his society. The Demolished Man is a masterpiece of imaginative suspense, set in a superbly imagined world in which everything has changed except the ancient instinct for murder.

Reviewer Groff Conklin characterized The Demolished Man as "a magnificent novel. . . as fascinating a study of character as I have ever read."[5] Boucher and McComas praised the novel as "a taut, surrealistic melodrama [and] a masterful compounding of science and detective fiction," singling out Bester's depiction of a "ruthless and money-mad [society] that is dominated and being subtly reshaped by telepaths" as particularly accomplished.[6] Imagination reviewer Mark Reinsberg received the novel favorably, citing its "brilliant depictions of future civilization and 24th century social life."[7] For a 1996 reprint, author Harry Harrison wrote an introduction in which he called it "a first novel that was, and still is, one of the classics."[8]

I really enjoyed. It's a got a very particular feel, I think. The central character is interesting.

It was written by Alfred Bester, whose book The Stars My Destination seems to be quite popular around here, and which I still haven't read for some reason. I plan to, don't worry!

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I've read a few Adam Roberts' books and they are all very interesting. I'll have to check out Jack Glass too I think. As although I'm not sure I enjoyed New Model Army it has certainly remained resonating within my brain since I finished it. I loved Gradisil and By Light Alone was interesting too. I can't remember if I've read Yellow Blue Tibia... I think I did... :huh:

EDIT: I did, it was about Chernobyl, good story that too.

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Well, the words 'I bloody love them' caused me to have a look. I'm now thoroughly enjoying the first book in the series...ooh, proper big idea sci-fi isn't it?

Wait till you get stuck into it "big" is an understatement.

I didn't get on with the one with the bridge but the rest of them were ace.

I remember not enjoying Absolution Gap as much as the others first time round but reading them all back to back I really enjoyed it.

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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.

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.

This was great. His writing style is really remarkable, don't you agree?

I feel I lack the ability to describe it properly and do it justice, but I really liked how he writes.

The stories were great. My only criticism would be that overall I was left a bit nonplussed by the conclusion and the overall thrust of the story.

Like, i enjoyed every step of the journey but at the end I felt like I hadn't really understood what it was all for.

Am I being thick? What was it all in aid of?

What happened to the impossible gun/FTL designs?

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Wool is brilliant. I've been mainlining it for the last two days, it's like crack.

Just finished it and am immediately considering reading the whole thing again. I want more of that world!

Judging by the progress bars on his site it's going to be a long old wait - http://www.hughhowey.com/

Also thanks to this thread I've read Pushing Ice, Unto Leviathan and Wool over the last month or so and my commutes have never been so good. Thanks to everyone who recommended them!

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I pre-ordered the Shift omnibus but got impatient and yarred them. They're just as good as the Wool ones, can't stop reading them. There seems to be a big marketing push for Wool (in London, at least) so hopefully he'll do very well off them

In semi-related news Margaret Atwood's third Oryx & Crake book Maddaddam is coming out in August: http://www.bloomsbur...-9781408819708/ :)

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I started a collection of sci-fi short stories last night; Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. I only read the first two but they were both excellent. One was a story from the POV of one of the builders of the Tower of Babylon that had a really neat ending. The second was about a man who survives a near death experience by being given an experimental drug – as a result of this he ends up hyper-intelligent and getting more intelligent all the time. It looks at the effects of this new ‘super-power’ on an average pleb. It plays out in an amazing way and the ending blew my mind (pun intended).

I’m only two stories in but I’d highly recommend this collection. Can’t wait to get home from work to get started on the next story.

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I started a collection of sci-fi short stories last night; Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. I only read the first two but they were both excellent. One was a story from the POV of one of the builders of the Tower of Babylon that had a really neat ending. The second was about a man who survives a near death experience by being given an experimental drug – as a result of this he ends up hyper-intelligent and getting more intelligent all the time. It looks at the effects of this new ‘super-power’ on an average pleb. It plays out in an amazing way and the ending blew my mind (pun intended).

I’m only two stories in but I’d highly recommend this collection. Can’t wait to get home from work to get started on the next story.

Yeah, I mentioned this a few pages - it's brilliant. The second story is probably my favourite but they're all great.

IIRC Chiang works as a software developer and only moonlights as a writer so he's not particularly prolific unfortunately. I think most of his work is included in this collection but I must try and track down the rest of his stuff at some point.

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There is a quartet of loosely connected sci fi short stories called Timekeeping on Mars, all free, short and highly readable by a guy called Johnny Smith, I found them on the iBooks store, but you can probably get them elsewhere too.

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