Sci-Fi novel recommendations

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Faldor
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Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Faldor » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:00 am

I've been reading a lot of sci-fi lately and I know a couple of you guys have read your fair share of Heinlein and Clarke and alike What would you recommend? Either classic or newer stuff?

I've just started Nemesis Games, the fifth book in James S A Corey's Expanse series, I am loving these books it would be easy to call them Game of Space Thrones but that wouldn't do it justice. It is a hundred or so years in the future where Mars and the Asteroid belt have been colonized and Earth is an empire on the decline and follows the crew of a small ice hauler ship when something from outside of the solar system shows up.

The first book is probably the weakest as it has to do most the heavy lifting in terms of world building but It's really well written series where little details early on turn out to be the focus of later books. They're doing a TV series later in the year which hopefully won't be rubbish.

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Nic
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Nic » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:09 am

Obviously Dune, which is the greatest sci-fi book ever written.

Also read Tad William's Otherland series, which is beyond spectacular.

Follow that up with Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn series, which is awesome.

That right there is several thousand pages of books. It should get you started.

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Mike
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Mike » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:05 pm

Hmmmm...haven't read Nemesis Games. What else have you read that you really liked or really didn't like? Sci-fi is a pretty sprawling genre, so it'll help to have some pointers as to where your tastes lie.

I'm a hard sci-fi fan, so for me it's mostly older stuff although for intricacy nothing beats more modern "cyberpunk" oriented themes.

Some I recommend with no reservations:

Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama"
Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" (duh)
Card's "Ender's Game" - double duh
Stephenson's "The Diamond Age"
Morgan's "Altered Carbon"
Harrison's "Deathworld"
Gibson's "Neuromancer"
Niven's short story collections - "All the Myriad Ways," "Convergent Series," and "A Hole in Space" - Niven was a mathematician, so it's serious science driving good stories

Damn good reads, but there's not a lot of real science:

Stephenson's "Snowcrash"
Harrison's "The Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat"
Heinlein's "Friday" and "Tunnel in the Sky" (RE: "Tunnel" - I love all of his so-called juvenile books, but Tunnel is a personal favorite)

Bastard stepchilds:

Zahn's "The Icarus Hunt" which is Alastair MacLean in space if you like Alistair MacLean
Zelazny's "The Amber Chronicles" which occupy a niche best described as science fantasy.
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Nic
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Nic » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:05 pm

Ooh. Definitely can't go wrong with Ender's Game. Card is a douche, but he's a HELL of a writer.

If you like the hard stuff, go with Stephen Baxter. Anything he's written will do. Speaking of Niven, also read "A Mote in God's Eye." Fantastic stuff.

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Faldor
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Faldor » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:27 am

Nic wrote:Obviously Dune, which is the greatest sci-fi book ever written.
I've considered starting Dune a few times but it is a big book!
Mike wrote:Some I recommend with no reservations:
Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama"
Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" (duh)
Card's "Ender's Game" - double duh
I've had a battered paperback copy of 'Rendezvous with Rama' that I found in a used book shop for 99p for a few years now. I did read 'Childhoods End' recently which I absolutely loved.

Starship Troopers is great but my favourite of Heinlein's that I've read is 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress'.
Mike wrote:Damn good reads, but there's not a lot of real science:

Stephenson's "Snowcrash"
I read Snowcrash a few years back, it took a bit to get into the style but I liked it, I've not tried any of Stephenson's other stuff yet.
Nic wrote:Ooh. Definitely can't go wrong with Ender's Game. Card is a douche, but he's a HELL of a writer.
I enjoyed 'Enders Game' but adored 'Speaker For The Dead' the character came into his own and the mystery didn't disappoint and the aliens were so alien. 'Xenocide' and 'Children of the Mind' were complete bobbins mind.

Have you guys read the 'Foundation' series? I read the first book but felt a bit disjointed with the constant jumping to new characters.

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Chad Peter
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Chad Peter » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:48 pm

Faldor wrote:
Mike wrote:Stephenson's "Snowcrash"
I read Snowcrash a few years back, it took a bit to get into the style but I liked it, I've not tried any of Stephenson's other stuff yet.
I found "Reamde" to be a good introductory book to Stephenson - maybe because it spoke to me as if a close friend were telling "this crazy fucking story" - but alas it has nothing to do with sci-fi. I still to this day haven't finished "Cryptonomicon" (also not sci-fi) - mostly because it's been over five years now since I last put it down (after getting 700 pages into it). I need to pick it back up, because it was a fantastic read (spoiled by one bad chapter that set me off course, amongst other things *cough* Apocalypse *cough*). Sorry, Mike.

I tend to lean towards Mike's tastes in sci-fi - heavy into the cyberpunk aspect of things. Big William Gibson fan.

On the more fantastical spectrum of sci-fi, maybe check out the works of Ursula K. LeGuin. Her book "The Lathe of Heaven" is perhaps my favorite book of all time and a quick read. She's primarily known for the Earthsea novels (which I've never read), but I've read several of her other books from the Hainish Cycle, including "The Left Hand of Darkness", which was pretty great. The Hainish Cycle is a universe LeGuin keeps going back to - each book is comprised of different characters and themes (sometimes VASTLY different), but all set within the same universe (but perhaps thousands of years apart). Three of these books were compiled into one compilation that you should check out:
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Faldor
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Faldor » Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:56 pm

John Scalzi has new book out in his Old Man's War series, I've read the first four entries and really enjoyed despite the fourth being a slight retread. It follows an OAP who enlists in space marines and is given a new body and sent out to fight in the universe.

He also wrote Red Shirts which is something of a Star Trek parody which despite not being groundbreaking I rather enjoyed and there has been talk of both being developed for television which would be interesting.

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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Cory » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:41 am

Surprised I haven't seen anyone mention Phillip K. Dick. Just about anything you can get your hands on of his, but most people start with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the book Bladerunner was based on).
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Faldor
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Faldor » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:43 pm

I was curious about PKD for a while but didn't know where to start, I ended up reading 'The Man In The High Castle' at the start of the year and loved it.

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Chad Peter
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Chad Peter » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:36 pm

Faldor wrote:I was curious about PKD for a while but didn't know where to start, I ended up reading 'The Man In The High Castle' at the start of the year and loved it.
AH, good call... I still need to check that out before the TV show hits the airwaves.

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Faldor
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Faldor » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:27 am

The pilot was pretty good, they change a few things up but I think it's going to work

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Faldor
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Faldor » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:47 pm

I've just finished 'Ready Player One' which follows a kid in a future virtual reality internet allegory who is taking part in a treasure hunt to find an easter egg in the MMORPG which grants the first person to find it the inheritance of the games creator.

which didn't grab me at first but it's a really fun read about 1980's pop culture resurfacing in the 2040's as everyone tries to solve the puzzle.

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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Heiliger » Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:49 am

Ready Player One definitely appeals to the gamer kid in me, but the longer it went on the more I realized it existed purely as an excuse to nerd out about video games. It's a whole lot of fun, but forgettable in my opinion. I hope the Spielberg movie turns out well, of course.

I would recommend The Jehovah Contract to sci-fi fans. It's very hard-boiled. Image

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Chad Peter
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Chad Peter » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:21 am

Faldor wrote:I've just finished 'Ready Player One' which follows a kid in a future virtual reality internet allegory who is taking part in a treasure hunt to find an easter egg in the MMORPG which grants the first person to find it the inheritance of the games creator.

which didn't grab me at first but it's a really fun read about 1980's pop culture resurfacing in the 2040's as everyone tries to solve the puzzle.
So it's a mix between Neuromancer and Reamde?
Heiliger wrote:I would recommend The Jehovah Contract to sci-fi fans. It's very hard-boiled. Image
Based on the cover, I can see why you read this.

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Mike
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Mike » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:34 pm

Some great recommendations here I'm definitely going to keep on the radar, not putting any effort into tracking them down (except for maybe The Jehovah Contract), but just to keep an eye out for if/when they cross my path - like 'Ready Player One' just did.
Faldor wrote:I've just finished 'Ready Player One' which follows a kid in a future virtual reality internet allegory who is taking part in a treasure hunt to find an easter egg in the MMORPG which grants the first person to find it the inheritance of the games creator.

which didn't grab me at first but it's a really fun read about 1980's pop culture resurfacing in the 2040's as everyone tries to solve the puzzle.
I'm 11 pages into it and already tired of all the 80's reference Easter eggs. Too soon to really give a fair assessment, but it seems like it would really appeal to people who play a lot of video games and impress the shit out of themselves at trivia night.

EDIT: The author lets you breathe once you get out of the first chapter. Much better and I'm starting to take an interest in what the characters are doing, even as descriptions of all-things-80's-nerd starts to wander.

If nothing else the author gets my respect for "I watched a lot of YouTube videos of cute geeky girls playing ’80s cover tunes on ukuleles. Technically, this wasn’t part of my research, but I had a serious cute-geeky-girls-playing-ukuleles fetish that I can neither explain nor defend."
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Fig » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:16 am

Lucifer's Hammer, Spin, Snow Crash, Ringworld, Steel Beach.

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Chad Peter
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Chad Peter » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:06 am

Fig wrote:Lucifer's Hammer, Spin, Snow Crash, Ringworld, Steel Beach.
Still need to check out (all of these) Snow Crash.

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Mike
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Mike » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:33 pm

Faldor wrote:I've just finished 'Ready Player One' which follows a kid in a future virtual reality internet allegory who is taking part in a treasure hunt to find an easter egg in the MMORPG which grants the first person to find it the inheritance of the games creator.

which didn't grab me at first but it's a really fun read about 1980's pop culture resurfacing in the 2040's as everyone tries to solve the puzzle.
Turned out to be a good diversion. Not a "significant" work, but yeah, a fun read. If you like 'Ready Player One,' Wilhelmina Baird's 'Crashcourse' and Mick Farren's 'Necrom' deserve consideration.
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Chad Peter
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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Chad Peter » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:30 pm

Fuck, so many books to read.

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Re: Sci-Fi novel recommendations

Post by Mike » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:52 pm

Nic wrote:I could do this for days.
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