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Sci Fi recommendations


marlonharewood
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I want to say thank you to whoever it was recommended Alastair Reynolds 'Pushing Ice' earlier in the thread. I read it over the last few days and I thought it was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the gradual build up and reveal of the alien technology and the interaction with the aliens.

Can anyone recommend anything similar to this? I'm looking for sci-fi set not too far in the future that's almost plausible, if that makes sense? I've read the descriptions of Reynolds other books and they don't seem to be appealing to me.

Cheers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had Ringworld for years and always stumbled with it. This time I've got to grips with it - it's not that it's badly written or anything like that, it's just that some of the concepts in the thing are really quite mind-blowing! It's just an astonishingly good read though. Absolutely brilliant book.

Are the sequels good too?

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Some of peter hamiltons stuff is pretty fantastical (Void trilogy, nights dawn trilogy) not sure you will appreciate them in the way you did pushing Ice.

I quite liked Fallen Dragon maybe try that?

Anything by Alaister Reynolds is a good bet though, even though its mainly far future.

I started Liege Killer, initial impressions aren't good but I'm pushing on....

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I want to say thank you to whoever it was recommended Alastair Reynolds 'Pushing Ice' earlier in the thread. I read it over the last few days and I thought it was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the gradual build up and reveal of the alien technology and the interaction with the aliens.

Can anyone recommend anything similar to this? I'm looking for sci-fi set not too far in the future that's almost plausible, if that makes sense? I've read the descriptions of Reynolds other books and they don't seem to be appealing to me.

Cheers.

Adam Roberts is interestingly different... try Gradisil for starters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh god Liege Killer is terrible! Badly written, badly edited and badly conceived!

One character has just taken some "No-grog" to stay awake lol

Admittedly i'm only about a 1/3rd of the way through ( I paused it to read the excellent Helstroms Hive by Frank Herbert - well worth a go) i'm considering ditching it but will press on for now :)

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Hey there. I'm not a massive reader, but I feel like getting into a decent sci-fi book similar to Moon/Sunshine/Solaris. Something in space, possibly in some kind of lonely, future setting, but with something a little more to think about too. I dunno, that's quite specific I guess. Anything that you think I'd enjoy given I like those films!

Ta :)

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Hey there. I'm not a massive reader, but I feel like getting into a decent sci-fi book similar to Moon/Sunshine/Solaris. Something in space, possibly in some kind of lonely, future setting, but with something a little more to think about too. I dunno, that's quite specific I guess. Anything that you think I'd enjoy given I like those films!

Ta :)

Non-stop by Brian Aldiss is only sort of like those, but it's excellent anyway.

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Hey there. I'm not a massive reader, but I feel like getting into a decent sci-fi book similar to Moon/Sunshine/Solaris. Something in space, possibly in some kind of lonely, future setting, but with something a little more to think about too. I dunno, that's quite specific I guess. Anything that you think I'd enjoy given I like those films!

Ta :)

No idea what those films are like but you can't get much more future lonely than Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds :)

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Start with The Gap Sequence by Stephen Donaldson. First book, The Real Story, is basically a taster and then it explodes into a nut job series of immense proportions and will blow you away.

Start with The Real Story and then if you like it invest in the rest. Honestly, it gets written off as pulp (which I guess it is a tad) but it turns genre tropes on their head and is some of the best character work I've ever read in any genre.

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Has anyone read Brasyl by Ian McDonald? I just finished it, and I liked it a lot. Stories with multiple character arcs normally irk me (even Banks if I'm honest), but this was pretty sweet. And it's got quantums in it, and stuff!

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Start with The Gap Sequence by Stephen Donaldson. First book, The Real Story, is basically a taster and then it explodes into a nut job series of immense proportions and will blow you away.

Start with The Real Story and then if you like it invest in the rest. Honestly, it gets written off as pulp (which I guess it is a tad) but it turns genre tropes on their head and is some of the best character work I've ever read in any genre.

I can't get on with Donaldson's fantasy at all but I plowed through this book after book last year and I loved it. It's very grim but so worth reading.

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Oooh another one for the "lonely feeling" (sort of anyway - it certainly always resonated with me) is Stephen King's The Jaunt (or Jaunt) ace little short story from his Skeleton Crew collection.

Not really ABOUT loneliness but... well you'll see if you read it :)

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Start with The Gap Sequence by Stephen Donaldson. First book, The Real Story, is basically a taster and then it explodes into a nut job series of immense proportions and will blow you away.

Start with The Real Story and then if you like it invest in the rest. Honestly, it gets written off as pulp (which I guess it is a tad) but it turns genre tropes on their head and is some of the best character work I've ever read in any genre.

I'm not even sure how pulp it is - it's fairly high concept by the time you get to the end, even though you know what the concept is at the end of The Real Story. Fortunately it never gets quite as gruesome as TRS later on.

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I can't get on with Donaldson's fantasy at all but I plowed through this book after book last year and I loved it. It's very grim but so worth reading.

I'm the same. I've tried a few times with Thomas Covenant but even though Donaldson's misogyny is present in the Gap sequence it doesn't have a protagonist who's first thought is to rape someone when he wakes up in another world without leprosy. I did the same as you, right through the whole series, and intend to go through it again soon. His dismantling of the "Kirk" phenomenon is brilliant.

I'm not even sure how pulp it is - it's fairly high concept by the time you get to the end, even though you know what the concept is at the end of The Real Story. Fortunately it never gets quite as gruesome as TRS later on.

Yeah, it's not an observation I've ever really agreed with, but it definitely goes a bit apeshit in places. It's absolutely my favourite sci-fi series ever, so grand in scope, so many unexpected turns and really, really pacy despite the overall series' length. TRS is a hard read as Donaldson lets his "love" of women come to the forefront a little bit too much, but if you get through that and enjoy it the rest of the series is ready and waiting for you.

Man, I've got a stack of stuff to read and I'm going to have to start on this again.

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I'm pleased to see that for us oldies without Kindles, Gollanz are continuing with paperback entries in the SF masterworks series. The latest two are recommended with some reservations:

Algis Budrys - Rogue Moon.(1960)

This book will have you thinking the man invented the concept of the roguelike game way back in 1960. The concept is very simple - an artifact on the moon has been discovered and is being explored by a process of assembling duplicate copies of volunteers on the moon whilst the original stays on earth. Unfortunately the artifact is packed full of traps and will kill the duplicate quickly and whilst the original volunteer on earth is physically unharmed, the process of living through their death (they experience the sensations) drives them insane. Until now. A dare devil action hero type has been found and there is hope the project will advance in leaps and bounds.

Of course, the "science" is gobbledygook, but this is a book which will haunt you after it's finished. It takes a long time to get going and there is a lot of establishing the character stereotypes first and I think it could be slimmed down to a novella or even a long short story without losing it's essential impact.

Cecelia Holland - Floating worlds (1976)

Apparently Ms Holland has written a lot of historical fiction but this is her only SF novel. The central character is a woman, Paula Mendoza, who is sent by the Earth to resolve a dispute between the Martians and a mutant race who live amongst the gas giants. The mutants are larger then other men, black skinned and have certain other physical modifcations but the main difference from the other groups in the universe is that they have an old fashioned male dominated and hierachical society. What follows is a fast moving and at times quiet brutal adventure (in which incidentally the n****r word is used repeatedly by both sides) which is bound to leave you gasping at times. This novel apparently influenced Kim Stanley Robinson in his Mars works and I wonder if Peter Hamilton was thinking of Paula Mendoza when he named his character.

Next month we have a real treat - a reissue of Dangerous Visions from 1967.

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Anyone read Blindsight by Peter Watts? http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

In case you recognise the name, he's the same guy who got that flesh-eating disease in Canada shortly after being assaulted by US border guards. http://boingboing.net/2011/03/03/peter-watts-blogs-fr.html

Anyway, the book is a free download and is well worth the effort. It's pretty hard sci-fi, and explores the relationship between consciousness and intelligence whilst jumping between past and present events. Also, one of the main characters is a vampire, so there's a good enough reason to read it if nothing else convinces you.

It's also begging for a sequel, which would be nice.

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