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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:35 am 
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Mat the Expat wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:

I must just leave it and come back later, I'm probably a bit sci-fi'd out at the moment.


It has an immense ending so it is worth it.


Possibly the best ending to a story I've ever come across. You're probably just sci-fied out, happens to me if I try to read too many similar books in a row. I got too much of Game of Thrones when I tried to horse through them all.

Use of Weapons gets better as it goes and you get more of each storyline and the major characters are fleshed out.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:59 am 
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Just finished Wool by Hugh Howey and it really is very good; the sci-fi Fifty Shades of Grey analogy is really quite unfair and unjustified, the only similarity being that it started as an e-reader phenomenon.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:12 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
Mat the Expat wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:

I must just leave it and come back later, I'm probably a bit sci-fi'd out at the moment.


It has an immense ending so it is worth it.


Possibly the best ending to a story I've ever come across. You're probably just sci-fied out, happens to me if I try to read too many similar books in a row. I got too much of Game of Thrones when I tried to horse through them all.

Use of Weapons gets better as it goes and you get more of each storyline and the major characters are fleshed out.


Yeah I've read the entire GOT and quite a bit of Sci-Fi back to back. Thats what happens when you get a kindle and don't have to wait for anything :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:15 am 
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Did you ever finish UoW? It's a brilliant book. Has all the mad imagination and massive universe that Banks has in all the other Culture books, but with a really good story thrown in too. Maybe the resolution at the end makes the story better in retrospect, if that makes sense?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:15 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
Mat the Expat wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:

I must just leave it and come back later, I'm probably a bit sci-fi'd out at the moment.


It has an immense ending so it is worth it.


Possibly the best ending to a story I've ever come across. You're probably just sci-fied out, happens to me if I try to read too many similar books in a row. I got too much of Game of Thrones when I tried to horse through them all.

Use of Weapons gets better as it goes and you get more of each storyline and the major characters are fleshed out.


Use of Weapons comes together in that single moment at the end. Absolutely devastating and if the trick had been pulled in a more literary novel then it would have been lauded with prizes left right and centre, with Mark Lawson spunking on about it on Late Review.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:39 am 
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BBC ticker - Iain Banks diagnosed with terminal cancer.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:42 am 
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Read a lot of the good stuff recommended on here,read two of Peter F Hamiltons and I can't see myself reading whatever else is by him on my Kindle.


Last edited by lorcanoworms on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:45 am 
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:((

Tis true.

Quote:
Renowned Scottish author Iain Banks has revealed that he has months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The 59-year-old writer of The Wasp Factory revealed in a statement on his website on Wednesday that the novel he is currently working on, The Quarry, would likely be his last.

Mr Banks stated that he had "first thought something might be wrong" in late January when he developed a sore back that had not ceased by the following month.

He wrote that the cancer started in his gall bladder and has spread to parts of his liver, pancreas and some lymph nodes, while he stated that it is “extremely unlikely” that he will survive beyond the year.

Dunfermline-born Mr Banks, who also wrote The Crow Road and Complicity among several other works, said: “I am officially Very Poorly. After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that - it turns out - is the least of my problems.

"I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I'd started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn't gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

"I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term."

He continued: "The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for 'several months' and it’s extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.

"As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry - but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we'll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves."

Mr Banks was named among the 50 greatest living British writers by The Times in 2008.

The former Stirling University student uses the Iain M Banks name when writing several works of science fiction, while he has won several British Science Fiction Association awards.

His statement on his condition concluded: "There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we're balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.

"Lastly, I'd like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved - and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed - has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We're all just sorry the outcome hasn't been more cheerful.

"A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress. It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be here on my official website as soon as it’s ready."


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:49 am 
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arbb9101 wrote:
BBC ticker - Iain Banks diagnosed with terminal cancer.


Fark me. A fine son of Scotland who will be sorely missed.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:50 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
:((

Tis true.

Quote:
Renowned Scottish author Iain Banks has revealed that he has months to live after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The 59-year-old writer of The Wasp Factory revealed in a statement on his website on Wednesday that the novel he is currently working on, The Quarry, would likely be his last.

Mr Banks stated that he had "first thought something might be wrong" in late January when he developed a sore back that had not ceased by the following month.

He wrote that the cancer started in his gall bladder and has spread to parts of his liver, pancreas and some lymph nodes, while he stated that it is “extremely unlikely” that he will survive beyond the year.

Dunfermline-born Mr Banks, who also wrote The Crow Road and Complicity among several other works, said: “I am officially Very Poorly. After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that - it turns out - is the least of my problems.

"I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I'd started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn't gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

"I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term."

He continued: "The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for 'several months' and it’s extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.

"As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry - but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we'll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves."

Mr Banks was named among the 50 greatest living British writers by The Times in 2008.

The former Stirling University student uses the Iain M Banks name when writing several works of science fiction, while he has won several British Science Fiction Association awards.

His statement on his condition concluded: "There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we're balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.

"Lastly, I'd like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved - and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed - has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We're all just sorry the outcome hasn't been more cheerful.

"A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress. It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be here on my official website as soon as it’s ready."



very sad - with all his dosh one would think he would have uber health checks on a regular basis to try and catch this sort of thing early doors

59 - no age at all - hope he defies his own predictions and lives a good while yet


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:52 am 
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I recently had a pint with Ian macDonald, who apparently is a sci fi writer. Anyone heard of him or know if he's any good? Not my genre.

nice guy btw.


Last edited by etherman on Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:52 am 
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It's very sad news, but this:

Quote:
I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow


:lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:55 am 
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fudge me, that's sad news about Iain Banks. I am about 1/4 into Stonemouth and really enjoying it.
I'm not really big on sci-fi but I'll have a go at one or two of IMB's ones after hearing that. Funnily enough I like sci-fi short stories, but don't really get into longer tales.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:13 pm 
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Ogre wrote:
Fat Albert wrote:
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein
Ring World - Niven
Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournelle
Dune - Herbert
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Dick

Series
Foundation - Asimov
Dorsai - Dickson
Pern - McCaffrey

Short
Nightfall - Asimov
Weyr Search - McCaffrey


Thats some good stuff right there.
Would chuck in the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and the Belgariad and Mallorean by David and Leigh Eddings.


Stopped reading at this very early asinine point in the thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:15 pm 
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etherman wrote:
I recently had a pint with Ian macDonald, who apparently is a sci fi writer. Anyone heard of him or know if he's any good? Not my genre.

nice guy btw.


I really enjoyed River of Gods and Brasyl, although if you're easily confused (need to write notes to follow Cloud Atlas) don't bother.

If you enjoyed Richard Morgan when he wrote sci-fi, (Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, Woken Furies and Black Man or Market Forces) then I'd give MacDonald a try.


Last edited by Davestar on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Well, fudge.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:26 pm 
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cheese cutter wrote:
fudge me, that's sad news about Iain Banks. I am about 1/4 into Stonemouth and really enjoying it.
I'm not really big on sci-fi but I'll have a go at one or two of IMB's ones after hearing that. Funnily enough I like sci-fi short stories, but don't really get into longer tales.


Go for "State of the Art", then. It's a collection of short sci-fi stories by him, including the eponymous Culture novella. Nice way to break it in.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Davestar wrote:
Just finished Wool by Hugh Howey and it really is very good; the sci-fi Fifty Shades of Grey analogy is really quite unfair and unjustified, the only similarity being that it started as an e-reader phenomenon.


:thumbup: Absolutely agreed. An outstanding example of a breakthrough in sci-fi self-publishing.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Nolanator wrote:
cheese cutter wrote:
fudge me, that's sad news about Iain Banks. I am about 1/4 into Stonemouth and really enjoying it.
I'm not really big on sci-fi but I'll have a go at one or two of IMB's ones after hearing that. Funnily enough I like sci-fi short stories, but don't really get into longer tales.


Go for "State of the Art", then. It's a collection of short sci-fi stories by him, including the eponymous Culture novella. Nice way to break it in.


Cool - will give it a go.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Brazil wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
Mat the Expat wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:

I must just leave it and come back later, I'm probably a bit sci-fi'd out at the moment.


It has an immense ending so it is worth it.


Possibly the best ending to a story I've ever come across. You're probably just sci-fied out, happens to me if I try to read too many similar books in a row. I got too much of Game of Thrones when I tried to horse through them all.

Use of Weapons gets better as it goes and you get more of each storyline and the major characters are fleshed out.


Use of Weapons comes together in that single moment at the end. Absolutely devastating and if the trick had been pulled in a more literary novel then it would have been lauded with prizes left right and centre, with Mark Lawson spunking on about it on Late Review.


To be honest, having worked in Publishing, and dealt with literary types, I couldn't give a fudge if they dismiss it as Sci Fi.

They give nerds a bad name.

Terrible news about him though............. :(

The Hydrogen Sonata was excellent


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:14 pm 
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Finsbury Girl wrote:
arbb9101 wrote:
BBC ticker - Iain Banks diagnosed with terminal cancer.


Fark me. A fine son of Scotland who will be sorely missed.


Ah, so sad. I have a memory of Banks. I once took a friend to have her copy of The Wasp Factory signed at the Waterstone's at Leadenhall Market. We stood in the queue for an hour until this sheepish, beardy guy smiled, signed her book, then talked absolutely charmingly for a couple of minutes about his work. She was as starstruck as though it was a movie star. No wonder the queue was so long! A wonderful writer whose literary star will shine for a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:32 pm 
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I remember Gunners - in the middle of an England v Scotland shitfight - giving me all kinds of grief for having a "use of weapons" email address as he thought I was trying to be some hard man :lol: :blush:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Nooooooooooo!!! Can't believe there won't be any more Culture novels. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:14 pm 
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Anyone read The Sparrow and Children Of God by Maria Doria Russell?

They start blandly (first 100 pages of The Aparrow) but turn into two of the most powerful books (not just sci fi ) that I have ever read.

All of my friends who have tried one have gone on to read both and become converts.

Very much recommended.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:18 pm 
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There are trilogies by Michael R Hicks, In Her Name, I have been reading The Last War Trilogy. It is interesting, as it gives an alien view in a war against humanity.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:52 pm 
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Out of the Silent Planet is one of the few I have ever enjoyed

as usual with Lewis it is thinly veiled religious allegory, but not a bad read


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:33 am 
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I'm too scared to take up any further book recommendations on PR, the last two I have taken up (GRRM & Banks) are now terminally ill*

*No idea when GRRM became ill.


Last edited by RuggaBugga on Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:33 am 
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RuggaBugga wrote:
I'm too scared to take up any further book recommendations on PR, the last two I have taken (GRRM & Banks) up are now terminally ill*

*No idea when GRRM became ill.


I can thoroughly recommend Twilight and Angels & Demons.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:34 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:
I'm too scared to take up any further book recommendations on PR, the last two I have taken (GRRM & Banks) up are now terminally ill*

*No idea when GRRM became ill.


I can thoroughly recommend Twilight and Angels & Demons.


:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:38 am 
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JM2K6 wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:
I'm too scared to take up any further book recommendations on PR, the last two I have taken (GRRM & Banks) up are now terminally ill*

*No idea when GRRM became ill.


I can thoroughly recommend Twilight and Angels & Demons.


:lol: You might be on to something there. Any music recommendations?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:40 am 
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RuggaBugga wrote:
JM2K6 wrote:
RuggaBugga wrote:
I'm too scared to take up any further book recommendations on PR, the last two I have taken (GRRM & Banks) up are now terminally ill*

*No idea when GRRM became ill.


I can thoroughly recommend Twilight and Angels & Demons.


:lol: You might be on to something there. Any music recommendations?


Kasabian are simply killer.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:27 pm 
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Finsbury Girl wrote:
For old skool that other peeps haven't mentioned:

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. An excellent pre-cursor to modern cyberpunk

Harry Harrison put out a number of short story collections in the 60's. Like those of Phil Dick, they are awesome and essential reading.

For modern stuff, I'd recommend any of the new age of British sci-fi - Ken McLeod, Banks (obviously), Richard Morgan and Peter Hamilton.

I haven't read any of Alistair Reynolds as yet, but I've heard they're pretty good.

One thing the UK has done fantastically well, is churn out absolute quality sci-fi and fantasy authors.

Oh and final recommendation, another British chap David Wingrove put out a series called Chung Kuo years ago. They're being re-released at the moment. It does tail off towards the end, but I thought the first few books were excellent.


I'm actually re-reading Stand On Zanzibar right now. Chung Kuo started off well and then kinda weakened. Alistair Reynolds is fantastic.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:30 pm 
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Mat the Expat wrote:
Saint wrote:
Brabus wrote:
The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F Hamilton

That's just the first third of the Confederation trilogy


Interestingly, Misspent Youth, whilst not his best is very topical re the eBook thread.

Alistair Reynolds is excellent.

Ted - I can't believe you've never read Banks!


Isn't it the Nights Dawn trilogy rather than the Confederation trilogy?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:30 pm 
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It is.

I found Night's Dawn to be disappointing.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Monk Zombie wrote:
i never miss these:

Image

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:37 pm 
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flaggETERNAL wrote:
Mat the Expat wrote:
Saint wrote:
Brabus wrote:
The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F Hamilton

That's just the first third of the Confederation trilogy


Interestingly, Misspent Youth, whilst not his best is very topical re the eBook thread.

Alistair Reynolds is excellent.

Ted - I can't believe you've never read Banks!


Isn't it the Nights Dawn trilogy rather than the Confederation trilogy?

Same thing.
A number of interesting ideas in his work, I just can't help but think that he's like a lot of other modern authors who miss having a good editor to keep the story focused.
Look at the scale of ideas that Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein et al could cram into 200 pages...
Hamilton has a habit of going on and on and on. Bit of a deus ex machina finish to both the Confederation and Commonwealth stories.
Recently got hold of the Greg Mandrel series, will read asap.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:56 am 
Black Man by Morgan .

The Ware series by Rudy RUcker


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:35 am 
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Yer Man wrote:
flaggETERNAL wrote:

Isn't it the Nights Dawn trilogy rather than the Confederation trilogy?


Same thing.
A number of interesting ideas in his work, I just can't help but think that he's like a lot of other modern authors who miss having a good editor to keep the story focused.
Look at the scale of ideas that Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein et al could cram into 200 pages...
Hamilton has a habit of going on and on and on. Bit of a deus ex machina finish to both the Confederation and Commonwealth stories.
Recently got hold of the Greg Mandrel series, will read asap.


The Nights Dawn Trilogy is a separate Universe to the Confederation one. They are NOT related.

Greg Mandel is his best work I think. Gritty.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:38 am 
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RuggaBugga wrote:
I'm too scared to take up any further book recommendations on PR, the last two I have taken up (GRRM & Banks) are now terminally ill*

*No idea when GRRM became ill.


Wait..what?....He hasnt finished GOT yet!!


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:40 am 
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Mat the Expat wrote:
The Nights Dawn Trilogy is a separate Universe to the Confederation one. They are NOT related.

Greg Mandel is his best work I think. Gritty.



You are getting the Confederation and the Commonwealth mixed up.


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