Best Sci-Fi Novels

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SEAsianExpat
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by SEAsianExpat »

Oxbow wrote:I've always been a huge fan of Ringworld by Larry Niven, I must have read it and the sequel half a dozen times when I was a teenager and in my 20s. I recently decided to revisit the books during lockdown, and both still hold up well today. I then foolishly decided to move on to the (written much later) third book in the series, The Ringworld Throne. By christ it's fucking terrible, a poorly-written, dull, disjointed mess. I just couldn't finish it and stopped reading about a third of the way through. I haven't read anything else of his written post-80s, so I'll just go ahead and assume it's all shit.
I also found the third Ringworld book to be absolutely terrible. Can't tell you anything about his other later works, as I've avoided them for exactly the same reason as you! :lol: :?
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Bindi
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Bindi »

ukjim wrote:
Bindi wrote: NK Jemison
Claire North
Tom Sweterlitsch
Robert Jackson Bennett
Yoon Ha Lee
thanks for these names. any particular favourite titles?

I have been doing the afro futurist stuff recently and enjoyed Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun and the sequel after the flare
Best places to start are:

NK Jemisin - Broken Earth trilogy. Each book won the Hugo award in consecutive years, which has never been done I think. Loads of other awards. Absolutely at the top of her game. Will be one of the all time greats.

Claire North - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Definitely what I'd consider speculative fiction rather than fantasy or sci-fi. Not pulp - literary like Iain Banks. Brilliantly original.

Tom Sweterlitsch - Gone World. Crime solving time travel, but dark as fudge. Also very original.

Robert Jackson Bennett - The Divine Cities trilogy. Great characters, story, world building - pretty much everything.

Yoon Ha Lee - Machineries of Empire trilogy. Awesome space opera. The best since Iain M Banks.
ukjim
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by ukjim »

Bindi wrote:
ukjim wrote:
Bindi wrote: NK Jemison
Claire North
Tom Sweterlitsch
Robert Jackson Bennett
Yoon Ha Lee
thanks for these names. any particular favourite titles?

I have been doing the afro futurist stuff recently and enjoyed Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun and the sequel after the flare
golden! thanks fella.

Best places to start are:

NK Jemisin - Broken Earth trilogy. Each book won the Hugo award in consecutive years, which has never been done I think. Loads of other awards. Absolutely at the top of her game. Will be one of the all time greats.

Claire North - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Definitely what I'd consider speculative fiction rather than fantasy or sci-fi. Not pulp - literary like Iain Banks. Brilliantly original.

Tom Sweterlitsch - Gone World. Crime solving time travel, but dark as fudge. Also very original.

Robert Jackson Bennett - The Divine Cities trilogy. Great characters, story, world building - pretty much everything.

Yoon Ha Lee - Machineries of Empire trilogy. Awesome space opera. The best since Iain M Banks.
Nolanator
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Nolanator »

Taking a break from the Revelation Space books for a bit to read some of the Witcher books. I'll probably go back once I've finished the short stories.

Definitely enjoying it, and Redemption Ark was better for having read Chasm City and Great Wall of Mars, despite then not strictly being in the series.

Not totally sold on some of Reynolds' writing style at times. He loves his techno-babble, bit sometimes it's fun in the sense of he's essentially just musing about how you'd destroy a star or gas giant if simple engineering on an astronomical scale wasn't an obstacle.

Other times the pacing jumps all over the place. A lot of pages will be devoted to a relatively short event, and then even fewer pages will describe an interstellar chase sequence.
Sometimes, a massive event is just described as having happened in order to get the plot to move along.
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Toulon's Not Toulouse
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Toulon's Not Toulouse »

Nolanator wrote:Chasm City. Spent the whole day reading to finish it as I was enjoying it so much.
Brilliant. Enjoyed it more than Revelation Space, but I guess part of the enjoyment was based in the stuff I already knew from RS.
Still an excellent standalone novel.
Spoiler: show
Absolutely love the Use of Weapons feel to it, with added Total Recall. The protagonist's past being unpacked and revealing more to him and the reader as he works his way through his present mission.

The (two) big identity reveals were clear enough before they were explicitly stated, but it still worked I thought.

I enjoy that kind of sci-fi immensely. Exploring ideas of how early space colonisation might take place, the way technology developed differently on planets with different priorities, the fallen civilisation bit, hints and significantly more advanced aliens, etc.
10/10, would read again.
It's good alright. And same, I enjoyed it more than RS, but that's because RS is a massive info dump on that universe. All of a sudden, Sky's Edge is no longer just some random planet's name. That's what I love about the RS universe: all the novels fit magnificently into each other, fleshing out the various bits in a way that does seem planned in advance, not in the all-too common I-needed-money-so-I-wrote-a-prequel-but-don't-expect-it-to-make-sense way.
de_Selby
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by de_Selby »

Yer Man wrote:
Bindi wrote:On the second book in Derek Künske’s Quantum Evolution series. Not too bad.

Heist story with bits of Peter F Hamilton and Iain M Banks.
Which bits?

The overly-inflated set of characters or the sex obsessed teenage girls?
You're not joking. I'm reading Pandora's Star now having not read any of his stuff since I was much younger and the sexualising of literally every female character is incredibly annoying. It'd actually be a good book if he wasn't going on about too short skirts or tight blouses every few pages.

The story itself is pretty good so far though.
Biffer29
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Biffer29 »

So I've never read Asimov's Foundation series before, but thought I should give it a crack before the Amazon Prime adaptation comes out next year.
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A5D5E5
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by A5D5E5 »

Biffer29 wrote:So I've never read Asimov's Foundation series before, but thought I should give it a crack before the Amazon Prime adaptation comes out next year.
I've tried a few times, but I just can't get into them. I know they are classics, but I just find them dull.
Biffer29
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Biffer29 »

A5D5E5 wrote:
Biffer29 wrote:So I've never read Asimov's Foundation series before, but thought I should give it a crack before the Amazon Prime adaptation comes out next year.
I've tried a few times, but I just can't get into them. I know they are classics, but I just find them dull.
I’ll let you know how I get on. Currently reading A Confederacy of Dunces. God it’s shit.
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Doc Rob
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Doc Rob »

Bindi wrote:
ukjim wrote:
Bindi wrote: NK Jemison
Claire North
Tom Sweterlitsch
Robert Jackson Bennett
Yoon Ha Lee
thanks for these names. any particular favourite titles?

I have been doing the afro futurist stuff recently and enjoyed Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun and the sequel after the flare
Best places to start are:

NK Jemisin - Broken Earth trilogy. Each book won the Hugo award in consecutive years, which has never been done I think. Loads of other awards. Absolutely at the top of her game. Will be one of the all time greats.

Claire North - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Definitely what I'd consider speculative fiction rather than fantasy or sci-fi. Not pulp - literary like Iain Banks. Brilliantly original.

Tom Sweterlitsch - Gone World. Crime solving time travel, but dark as fudge. Also very original.

Robert Jackson Bennett - The Divine Cities trilogy. Great characters, story, world building - pretty much everything.

Yoon Ha Lee - Machineries of Empire trilogy. Awesome space opera. The best since Iain M Banks.
I really enjoyed the Broken Earth trilogy. I didn’t think they were good enough to justify three consecutive Hugo awards though. Good, but not that good. IMHO ofc.
robmatic
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by robmatic »

Doc Rob wrote:
Bindi wrote:
ukjim wrote:
Bindi wrote: NK Jemison
Claire North
Tom Sweterlitsch
Robert Jackson Bennett
Yoon Ha Lee
thanks for these names. any particular favourite titles?

I have been doing the afro futurist stuff recently and enjoyed Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun and the sequel after the flare
Best places to start are:

NK Jemisin - Broken Earth trilogy. Each book won the Hugo award in consecutive years, which has never been done I think. Loads of other awards. Absolutely at the top of her game. Will be one of the all time greats.

Claire North - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Definitely what I'd consider speculative fiction rather than fantasy or sci-fi. Not pulp - literary like Iain Banks. Brilliantly original.

Tom Sweterlitsch - Gone World. Crime solving time travel, but dark as fudge. Also very original.

Robert Jackson Bennett - The Divine Cities trilogy. Great characters, story, world building - pretty much everything.

Yoon Ha Lee - Machineries of Empire trilogy. Awesome space opera. The best since Iain M Banks.
I really enjoyed the Broken Earth trilogy. I didn’t think they were good enough to justify three consecutive Hugo awards though. Good, but not that good. IMHO ofc.
Jemisin is a good writer but those Hugo awards were the voters responding to an alt-right hate campaign about her.
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Bindi
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Bindi »

robmatic wrote:
Doc Rob wrote:
Bindi wrote:
ukjim wrote:
Bindi wrote: NK Jemison
Claire North
Tom Sweterlitsch
Robert Jackson Bennett
Yoon Ha Lee
thanks for these names. any particular favourite titles?

I have been doing the afro futurist stuff recently and enjoyed Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun and the sequel after the flare
Best places to start are:

NK Jemisin - Broken Earth trilogy. Each book won the Hugo award in consecutive years, which has never been done I think. Loads of other awards. Absolutely at the top of her game. Will be one of the all time greats.

Claire North - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Definitely what I'd consider speculative fiction rather than fantasy or sci-fi. Not pulp - literary like Iain Banks. Brilliantly original.

Tom Sweterlitsch - Gone World. Crime solving time travel, but dark as fudge. Also very original.

Robert Jackson Bennett - The Divine Cities trilogy. Great characters, story, world building - pretty much everything.

Yoon Ha Lee - Machineries of Empire trilogy. Awesome space opera. The best since Iain M Banks.
I really enjoyed the Broken Earth trilogy. I didn’t think they were good enough to justify three consecutive Hugo awards though. Good, but not that good. IMHO ofc.
Jemisin is a good writer but those Hugo awards were the voters responding to an alt-right hate campaign about her.
Maybe. I tend to read most of the stuff nominated for the major awards each year + whatever else is recommended on various Goodreads groups.

Her work is a significant level above nearly all of it.
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danthefan
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by danthefan »

Decided to go through all the Culture novels again. Player of Games is :thumbup:
Nolanator
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Nolanator »

Doesn't that end on the planet with the perpetual forest fire front sweeping around it and the final game takes place with it bearing down on the castle?

Love that set design, if that's the right term.
backrow
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by backrow »

Nolanator wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:02 pm Doesn't that end on the planet with the perpetual forest fire front sweeping around it and the final game takes place with it bearing down on the castle?

Love that set design, if that's the right term.
Still haven’t got around to shifting any of my dads sci-fi books yet like that 1st edition Beagle or the autographed boxed Pratchet stuff

Just been doing DIY there and throwing out shite,all very depressing - at least the books are up out the way
Nolanator
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Nolanator »

backrow wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:10 pm
Nolanator wrote: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:02 pm Doesn't that end on the planet with the perpetual forest fire front sweeping around it and the final game takes place with it bearing down on the castle?

Love that set design, if that's the right term.
Still haven’t got around to shifting any of my dads sci-fi books yet like that 1st edition Beagle or the autographed boxed Pratchet stuff

Just been doing DIY there and throwing out shite,all very depressing - at least the books are up out the way
I'm well jealous of that collection.
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flaggETERNAL
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by flaggETERNAL »

Re-reading Dune, in anticipation of the film of course. Herbert may not be the best writer, and some of the book feels dated buy my lord the ideas still feel staggering.

Intend to read all the books in the original series then the ones by his son. Don't get the hate for the prequels tbh.
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Bindi
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Bindi »

I get the feeling from this thread that everyone just reads and rereads the classics.

Get into some new shit.

Really enjoying A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine at the moment. Won the 2019 Hugo. Centred very much on politics, and very well written. Worth a shot if you don’t require full on action.
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redderneck
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by redderneck »

For top notch 'you couldn't make it up':

Hansard.
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Floppykid »

flaggETERNAL wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:03 am Re-reading Dune, in anticipation of the film of course. Herbert may not be the best writer, and some of the book feels dated buy my lord the ideas still feel staggering.

Intend to read all the books in the original series then the ones by his son. Don't get the hate for the prequels tbh.
For me it ends after God Emperor.
Everything else isn't worth putting up with Herbert's odd writing choices.
jamesfreeman
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by jamesfreeman »

Floppykid wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:07 pm
flaggETERNAL wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:03 am Re-reading Dune, in anticipation of the film of course. Herbert may not be the best writer, and some of the book feels dated buy my lord the ideas still feel staggering.

Intend to read all the books in the original series then the ones by his son. Don't get the hate for the prequels tbh.
For me it ends after God Emperor.
Everything else isn't worth putting up with Herbert's odd writing choices.

Miles Teg was cool though, especially when his ghola wakes up with extremely fast fighting abilities. Yeah heretics and chapter house were weird. I do like brian and levin books as I like Erasmus as a character as he is fun read...
jamesfreeman
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by jamesfreeman »

jamesfreeman wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:54 am
Floppykid wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:07 pm
flaggETERNAL wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:03 am Re-reading Dune, in anticipation of the film of course. Herbert may not be the best writer, and some of the book feels dated buy my lord the ideas still feel staggering.

Intend to read all the books in the original series then the ones by his son. Don't get the hate for the prequels tbh.
For me it ends after God Emperor.
Everything else isn't worth putting up with Herbert's odd writing choices.

Miles Teg was cool though, especially when his ghola wakes up with extremely fast fighting abilities. Yeah heretics and chapter house were weird. I do like brian and kevin books as I like Erasmus as a character as he is fun read...
Nolanator
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Nolanator »

I only read past God-Emporer once. Should probably soldier through them again.

The Oprah approach to Gholas in the Brian/KJA books to tie-off everything was a bit shit though. "You get one, and you get one...".
Recall reading those books more to finish the story than anything. Maybe a fresh read would be better.
Bwen
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Bwen »

Bindi wrote: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:58 am
robmatic wrote:
Doc Rob wrote:
Bindi wrote:
ukjim wrote:
thanks for these names. any particular favourite titles?

I have been doing the afro futurist stuff recently and enjoyed Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotun and the sequel after the flare
Best places to start are:

NK Jemisin - Broken Earth trilogy. Each book won the Hugo award in consecutive years, which has never been done I think. Loads of other awards. Absolutely at the top of her game. Will be one of the all time greats.

Claire North - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Definitely what I'd consider speculative fiction rather than fantasy or sci-fi. Not pulp - literary like Iain Banks. Brilliantly original.

Tom Sweterlitsch - Gone World. Crime solving time travel, but dark as fudge. Also very original.

Robert Jackson Bennett - The Divine Cities trilogy. Great characters, story, world building - pretty much everything.

Yoon Ha Lee - Machineries of Empire trilogy. Awesome space opera. The best since Iain M Banks.
I really enjoyed the Broken Earth trilogy. I didn’t think they were good enough to justify three consecutive Hugo awards though. Good, but not that good. IMHO ofc.
Jemisin is a good writer but those Hugo awards were the voters responding to an alt-right hate campaign about her.
Maybe. I tend to read most of the stuff nominated for the major awards each year + whatever else is recommended on various Goodreads groups.

Her work is a significant level above nearly all of it.
Just seeing this with the bump on the thread. First book of the Broken Earth trilogy is brilliant and fully deserved the Hugo. The latter two were a struggle for me. They replaced the more interesting characters in the first book with some absolute moany plum.

On more recent Sci-Fi, hard to look past Cixin Liu. Without doubt the biggest mind bender I've read ever.

Other recent reads have been a bit average and wouldn't read: Ready Player One (too juvenile), 2312 (started great but too inconsistent after), SevenEves (really interesting ideas but a bit too unwieldy)

Will check out some of the recommendations above :thumbup:
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by frankster »

danthefan wrote: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:10 pm I really got bored of Ozzie's story tbh.
I found it quite annoying. I reread the 5 Commonwealth Saga books about once a year, but I skip past most of the Ozzie parts, just like the songs in Tolkein :roll:
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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Post by Flyin Ryan »

"Ready Player One " bding too juvenile doesn't surprise me.
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