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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:45 pm 
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For people interested in starting Banks I think Consider Phlebas is still one of his strongest books. It has one of the more straight forward narratives and it also equips you with the background required to read many of the rest of the culture books

The culture is a brilliant template for an imperfect liberal Utopia.
With blood and guts.

I can also heartily recommend the Book of Dave by Will Self for anyone interested in futuristic Post apocalyptic Dystopias.

I have also just finished City of Bohane which I can recommend.

It's like Gangs of New York, written by Flann O'brien and Irving Welsh edited by Will self in a JG Ballard future Ireland.

Like a welsh novel it takes a little while to get the syntax but it's a grand book.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Mat the Expat wrote:
Is that the one in response to Atwood's dummy spit?

Not that I'm aware of, no reference to her in the book. It's a collection of essays and speeches from across her career, so not sure it would appear in this anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:38 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Anyone read the Dragonfall 5 series as a kid?

The only cargo ship without hyperdrive?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Not Battlefield Earth.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:33 am 
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SEAsianExpat wrote:
I've also liked the Titan series by John Varley (in spite of some rather weird sex scenes at the series goes on).

When I was clearing out my loft 3 months ago, I stumbled across 'Wizard', but can't find the other two. I haven't come across (m)any others that have read these three books. I loved them...thought they were very creative if a little odd occasionally.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:38 am 
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waguser wrote:
I have also just finished City of Bohane which I can recommend.



That's worth a go is it? I have that at home but haven't read it. Dunno where I got it from. Never bought it myself, think my dad found it somewhere or took it from work.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:47 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
waguser wrote:
I have also just finished City of Bohane which I can recommend.



That's worth a go is it? I have that at home but haven't read it. Dunno where I got it from. Never bought it myself, think my dad found it somewhere or took it from work.


Yeah

It's recent, and I thought it was very good, particularly for a first novel.

If you like Ballard, will self , banks Flann o'brien, that kind of stuff you should be grand.

I'd be interested to see what you think.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:56 am 
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Clans of the Alphane moon - Dick

Anubis Gates (it has time travel) - Tim Powers

Strata/Dark side of the Sun - Pratchett.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:15 pm 
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waguser wrote:
For people interested in starting Banks I think Consider Phlebas is still one of his strongest books. It has one of the more straight forward narratives and it also equips you with the background required to read many of the rest of the culture books

The culture is a brilliant template for an imperfect liberal Utopia.
With blood and guts.

.


And Banks continues in good form with The Hydrogen Sonata :thumbup:

Probably move on to Peter Hamilton's Great North Road next..........


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:21 pm 
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The Cyberiad - Stansislaw Lem.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Anything by Neal Asher. Incredibly accessible, massive scope and vision, if you're into future tech and really outlandish cyborg AI blah blah kinda stuff, its perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:10 pm 
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The Clark and Asimov short story collections are an excellent way to get into both reading in general and sci-fi in particular.

Big fan of Clark, Asimov, Niven, Pournelle, Bear..... The list goes on a bit.

Have repeatedly tried to get into Banks and failed (my Dad thinks I'm mad), not that into Ashton, my favourite current sci-fi author is Hamilton. The Great North Road is excellent and highly recommended, and he seems to be another author who has the happy knack of being able to author a large number of short stories that are very readable in their own right without any real reference to any of his other works.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:32 pm 
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icon wrote:
Stephen Donaldson's gap series is gripping. Arguably the most 'unputdownable' SF I've read. The first book, a novella, is just dark. And from there things get increasingly worse for all concerned as the series goes along.

The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story
The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge
The Gap Into Power: A Dark And Hungry God Arises
The Gap Into Madness: Chaos And Order
The Gap Into Ruin: This Day All Gods Die


Although showing their age a bit now, Clifford Simak noves have plenty of 'otherness' to them
Olaf Stapeldon's 'First and Last Men' is supposedly a classic [haven't read it]
Stanislaw Lem's Solaris is a beaut
Stephen Baxter's short story collection 'Vacum Diagrams' is great


I really liked Donaldson's Unbeliever series, but just couldnt get into the Gap series....

Quote:
Julian May, The Saga of the Pliocene Exiles. Four books (The Many Colored Land; The Golden Torc; The Nonborn King; The Adversary) that span six million years and expose Earth's true past. One of the best fantasy/sci fi crossovers ever.


Did enjoy this..! :thumbup:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:42 pm 
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PUMITA wrote:
The Cyberiad - Stansislaw Lem.

thx pumita. i have a copy of Solaris but it remains unread.

Swastika Night Murray Constantine, 1940 Gollancz
Riddley Walker Russell Hoban, 1980 Jonathan Cape
One David Karp, 1954 Gollancz


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:45 pm 
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Has the Commonwealth Saga been mentioned yet? I bought one of the books when stuck at an airport once when bored shitless and thought it was great.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:55 pm 
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Miester wrote:
Quote:
Julian May, The Saga of the Pliocene Exiles. Four books (The Many Colored Land; The Golden Torc; The Nonborn King; The Adversary) that span six million years and expose Earth's true past. One of the best fantasy/sci fi crossovers ever.


Did enjoy this..! :thumbup:


On top of the saga of the exiles, there's the interim book (Rogi's memoirs) and another three, Magnificat, Diamond Mask and Jack the Bodiless.

IMO severely underrated series of books.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:00 am 
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I still like Dune, I still read it once a year


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:09 am 
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My absolute standout favourite standalone scifi novel is Liegekiller by Charles Hinz.
Review here: http://www.sfreviews.net/liegekiller.html


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:58 am 
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Dillon wrote:
For military sci-fi, I really enjoy the Warhammer 40,000 books, especially those authored by Dan Abnett.

His "Gaunt's Ghosts" series is my favorite by a long way and now in omnibus form; "The Founding", "The Saint" and "The Lost" (in that order). Brilliant characterization, excellently written, strong story-lines and almost continuous action all the way through.



A lot of people turn up their noses at "game" sourced literature, but there are some surprisingly strong authors working the field, and Dan Abnett is one of the best.

I'd recommend his "Eisenhorn" trilogy...a fast paced supernatural/sci-fi mix. A highly enjoyable read.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:14 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Once you've got the Iain M Banks bug, Excession is his best "pure sci-fi" novel IMO.

Good book but Feersum Ennjin holds a special place.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:23 am 
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Most of PKD's stuff, especially Androids.

The Forever War by Haldeman.

Ready Player One by Earnest Cline is a pretty good recent read.

After the Apocalypse by Maureen McHugh.

Roadside Picnic by the Strugatsky brothers. The inspiration for the classic Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:15 am 
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Anything by Gibson is brilliant ...

I really like the Altered Carbon series and any of the better Space opera stuff like Reynolds ...

Never really got into Banks - f**ked if I know why.

Thought the forever war a little weak.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Pioughd wrote:
waguser wrote:
For people interested in starting Banks I think Consider Phlebas is still one of his strongest books. It has one of the more straight forward narratives and it also equips you with the background required to read many of the rest of the culture books

The culture is a brilliant template for an imperfect liberal Utopia.
With blood and guts.

.


And Banks continues in good form with The Hydrogen Sonata :thumbup:

Probably move on to Peter Hamilton's Great North Road next..........


Indeed - just finished both. I thought it was unfeasible that Hamilton could get better but he's done it again.

Asher - just started reading him and I like his stuff but nothing really new apart from the Runcible renaming of Wormholes.

Trus Eug to disagree with a classic :nod: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Maybe it was a classic ... But I seemed pretty damn weak - compared with the other books I've read ....


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:14 pm 
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eugenius wrote:
Maybe it was a classic ... But I seemed pretty damn weak - compared with the other books I've read ....


Of course it's weak and you know best Mr Critic :nod:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:16 pm 
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Thanks whoever it was recommended Red Mars. Finished it not so long ago and enjoyed the dystopian view of how we'll go about colonising other worlds. Will move onto the other books over chrimbo I should think.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Happens - wot was once a 'classic' ... Can become glib with time.

Especially Sci- fi


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:18 pm 
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eugenius wrote:
Happens - wot was once a 'classic' ... Can become glib with time.

Especially Sci- fi


Apart from the fact it's an allegorical war story :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Wow - really ????!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:22 pm 
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eugenius wrote:
Wow - really ????!


To follow you're criticism, you thought the story was glib - the disconnection has nothing to do with Sci Fi - or was something else glib?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Brazil wrote:
Thanks whoever it was recommended Red Mars. Finished it not so long ago and enjoyed the dystopian view of how we'll go about colonising other worlds. Will move onto the other books over chrimbo I should think.


Me I think? I usually do. Anyway, the later books aren't quite as good, but worth getting through.

I just loved the fact that someone tried to take a serious look at the political, scientific, and emotional problems with colonising a new planet. Serious sci-fi rocks.

I've just started Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction which should probably be relabelled "A book about teenagers f**king and/or raping".


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:10 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Brazil wrote:
Thanks whoever it was recommended Red Mars. Finished it not so long ago and enjoyed the dystopian view of how we'll go about colonising other worlds. Will move onto the other books over chrimbo I should think.


Me I think? I usually do. Anyway, the later books aren't quite as good, but worth getting through.

I just loved the fact that someone tried to take a serious look at the political, scientific, and emotional problems with colonising a new planet. Serious sci-fi rocks.

I've just started Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction which should probably be relabelled "A book about teenagers f**king and/or raping".




The Mars Trilogy is indeed superb.

You might also be interested in "The Years of Rice and Salt" by the same author. While not Sci-Fi it is certainly the best alternate history I have come across. It explores a world history in the wake of a more destructive Black Death in which Muslim and Chinese cultures completely supplant European Civilisation.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Fans of Peter Hamilton should check out Alistair Reynolds. Another very good British sci-fi author.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Just finished reading 'Great North Road'. Don't normally read Sci-Fi books but this is a good read.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:39 pm 
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as much as I hate to admit it,

L.Ron Hubbard's - Mission Earth Series (10) were a cracking good read.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:12 pm 
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I really enjoyed this, and it's prequel 'First Shift' ( to be read after the omnibus edition).
Have just purchased 'Second Shift' .
Self published online, and Ridley Scott has now bought the film rights.

http://www.amazon.com/Wool-Omnibus-Edit ... B0071XO8RA

Anyone else read it?

Edit: 20th Century Fox have film rights apparently. Was to be Scott's next project with his brother.

http://www.imdb.com/news/ni28396577/


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:58 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Brazil wrote:
Thanks whoever it was recommended Red Mars. Finished it not so long ago and enjoyed the dystopian view of how we'll go about colonising other worlds. Will move onto the other books over chrimbo I should think.


Me I think? I usually do. Anyway, the later books aren't quite as good, but worth getting through.

I just loved the fact that someone tried to take a serious look at the political, scientific, and emotional problems with colonising a new planet. Serious sci-fi rocks.

I've just started Hamilton's Reality Dysfunction which should probably be relabelled "A book about teenagers f**king and/or raping".


Yeah, Hamilton does go in for a lot of sex scenes in the Reality Dysfunction series


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:06 pm 
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w0rdtothe3rd wrote:
Anyone ever read any China Miéville? I'm thinking of getting one of his books this weekend maybe. What should I start with? City and the City?


I doubt Mieville has written a bad book. He's a helluva writer.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:37 pm 
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I'd like to add a couple to the many interesting choices already mentioned.

I can't believe nobody has mentioned Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles" in 4 pages. Or "The Illustrated man" (even if it might be more on the fantastic side).

Alfred Bester "The demolished man".

Arthur Clarke "Childhood's end".

If you liked "Ender's Game", then "Ender's Shadow" is an amazing reading that puts the former into perspective. And all the ensuing "shadow" series plays very well the action and geopolitical side of the post Bugger War era.

The rest of the "Ender" series is very interesting, but has a much more pronounced philosophical approach as opposed to the pace of "Ender's Game".


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