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Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:55 pm
by danthefan
I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:32 pm
by Saint
danthefan wrote:I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Great North Road. It's a self contained novel. Reality Dysfunction is book 1 of 3 in the Confederation, Pandora's Star is 1 of 3 in the first Commonwealth trilogy, and 1 of 8 of the whole saga.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:00 am
by 749a
Halfway through the last in the the Broken Earth series by N K Jemisin. All three novels are terrific and worthy of all the awards that have been bestowed.

Saw it described as Science Fantasy which is probably right - there are no spaceships

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:28 pm
by danthefan
Saint wrote:
danthefan wrote:I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Great North Road. It's a self contained novel. Reality Dysfunction is book 1 of 3 in the Confederation, Pandora's Star is 1 of 3 in the first Commonwealth trilogy, and 1 of 8 of the whole saga.
Went with Great North Road, I'm about 3/4 the way through, it's bloody good. Have my theories on the alien so I can't wait to see how wrong I am.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:07 pm
by ManInTheBar
Sorry if already referenced but for classy, atmospheric thoughtful writing try Stanislas I am
Solaris
The Invincible

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:28 pm
by A5D5E5
Saint wrote:
danthefan wrote:I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Great North Road. It's a self contained novel. Reality Dysfunction is book 1 of 3 in the Confederation, Pandora's Star is 1 of 3 in the first Commonwealth trilogy, and 1 of 8 of the whole saga.
I agree with Saint on reading GNR first, but I think Pandora's Star is the best thing he has written. Great story, good ideas, interesting characters, no metaphysical bollocks, no magic space aliens to solve the problem - a real page turner right from the (fantastic) opening,

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:39 pm
by Saint
A5D5E5 wrote:
Saint wrote:
danthefan wrote:I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Great North Road. It's a self contained novel. Reality Dysfunction is book 1 of 3 in the Confederation, Pandora's Star is 1 of 3 in the first Commonwealth trilogy, and 1 of 8 of the whole saga.
I agree with Saint on reading GNR first, but I think Pandora's Star is the best thing he has written. Great story, good ideas, interesting characters, no metaphysical bollocks, no magic space aliens to solve the problem - a real page turner right from the (fantastic) opening,

Agree with Pandora's Star - currently halfway through that book with the intent of re-reading the whole Commonwealth

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:29 am
by Pat the Ex Mat
tabascoboy wrote:Hmm, I think The Mandel Files are probably the next step for me then.
I Wish he would write more of this series.

Top books

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 11:40 am
by PourSomeRuggerOnMe
A heads-up for any fans of Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky: the sequel, Children of Ruin, is being released this month.

The former is one of the best sci-fi books I've read in recent years. Think I got it based on someone's recommendation on here too :thumbup:

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 11:42 am
by sorCrer
PourSomeRuggerOnMe wrote:A heads-up for any fans of Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky: the sequel, Children of Ruin, is being released this month.

The former is one of the best sci-fi books I've read in recent years. Think I got it based on someone's recommendation on here too :thumbup:
Been toying with the idea od reading Tchaikovsky...

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 12:07 pm
by Saint
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:
tabascoboy wrote:Hmm, I think The Mandel Files are probably the next step for me then.
I Wish he would write more of this series.

Top books
He's done a couple of short stories recently, but it sort of feels like he's run out of problems for Greg to investigate

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 2:37 pm
by Pat the Ex Mat
Richard Morgan back to form with Thin Air.

Probably his best yet

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 4:44 pm
by Nolanator
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:Richard Morgan back to form with Thin Air.

Probably his best yet
:thumbup:

New release? Will definitely give it a go.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 8:52 am
by Pat the Ex Mat
Nolanator wrote:
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:Richard Morgan back to form with Thin Air.

Probably his best yet
:thumbup:

New release? Will definitely give it a go.
Yep, devoured it in 3 days on holiday*








* Goes well with Pina Coladas

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 8:57 am
by flaggETERNAL
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:Richard Morgan back to form with Thin Air.

Probably his best yet
Nice. Just started re-reading the Gap Cycle series by Stephen R Donaldson. Fantastic series imo. And on a tangent but does anyone else here follow a YouTube channel called Dust? They've got some fantastic sci fi shorts. Highly worth a watch.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:02 am
by 749a
Ted Chiang has another collection of short stories coming out. Only available to pre-order where I am but you might have access earlier where you are.

Stories of Life is the short story collection all others are judged by

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:21 am
by Pat the Ex Mat
flaggETERNAL wrote:
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:Richard Morgan back to form with Thin Air.

Probably his best yet
Nice. Just started re-reading the Gap Cycle series by Stephen R Donaldson. Fantastic series imo. And on a tangent but does anyone else here follow a YouTube channel called Dust? They've got some fantastic sci fi shorts. Highly worth a watch.
I think Morgan and Donaldson are similar. I can't read either when they write fantasy.

Their Sci-fi is great

I do and on of the film's is now on Netflix

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:02 am
by Nolanator
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:Richard Morgan back to form with Thin Air.

Probably his best yet
:thumbup:

New release? Will definitely give it a go.
Yep, devoured it in 3 days on holiday*



* Goes well with Pina Coladas
Noticed that it's a sort of follow up to another book, so I'll give that a go first.
I left my Kindle back in Ireland last time I was home. Had intended on reading the recent Expanse book, but have to wait. x(

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:31 am
by armchairfan
Saint wrote:
danthefan wrote:I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Great North Road. It's a self contained novel. Reality Dysfunction is book 1 of 3 in the Confederation, Pandora's Star is 1 of 3 in the first Commonwealth trilogy, and 1 of 8 of the whole saga.
Also worth checking out his Greg Mandel series ( Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder, The Nano Flower ).

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:39 am
by Dark
Haven't read the whole thread, but are we including Fantasy?

If so. Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

And I am a sucker for Wheel of time

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:48 am
by danthefan
Saint wrote:
A5D5E5 wrote:
Saint wrote:
danthefan wrote:I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Great North Road. It's a self contained novel. Reality Dysfunction is book 1 of 3 in the Confederation, Pandora's Star is 1 of 3 in the first Commonwealth trilogy, and 1 of 8 of the whole saga.
I agree with Saint on reading GNR first, but I think Pandora's Star is the best thing he has written. Great story, good ideas, interesting characters, no metaphysical bollocks, no magic space aliens to solve the problem - a real page turner right from the (fantastic) opening,

Agree with Pandora's Star - currently halfway through that book with the intent of re-reading the whole Commonwealth
I'm probably about 75% through and it's losing me a bit. This is obviously my fault but I've lost track of exactly what some of the characters are up to and there is just too much extraneous detail imo.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 10:54 am
by Saint
danthefan wrote:
Saint wrote:
A5D5E5 wrote:
Saint wrote:
danthefan wrote:I have two Peter F Hamilton books on Audible, Pandora's star and Reality Dysfunction. Also have Great North Road on Kindle. Have never read anything by him. Which one would be best to start?

Great North Road. It's a self contained novel. Reality Dysfunction is book 1 of 3 in the Confederation, Pandora's Star is 1 of 3 in the first Commonwealth trilogy, and 1 of 8 of the whole saga.
I agree with Saint on reading GNR first, but I think Pandora's Star is the best thing he has written. Great story, good ideas, interesting characters, no metaphysical bollocks, no magic space aliens to solve the problem - a real page turner right from the (fantastic) opening,

Agree with Pandora's Star - currently halfway through that book with the intent of re-reading the whole Commonwealth
I'm probably about 75% through and it's losing me a bit. This is obviously my fault but I've lost track of exactly what some of the characters are up to and there is just too much extraneous detail imo.
Pandora's star? or GNR?

If Pandora's Star, you have to remember it;s book one of three - and frankly it;s really just a single novel that had to be split in three becuase it's just that big.

GNR gets a bit bitty around 2/3rds of the way through until he starts to bring the threads together

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 1:23 pm
by Chuckles1188
Saint wrote: Pandora's star? or GNR?

If Pandora's Star, you have to remember it;s book one of three - and frankly it;s really just a single novel that had to be split in three becuase it's just that big.

GNR gets a bit bitty around 2/3rds of the way through until he starts to bring the threads together
Two

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 1:37 pm
by Saint
Chuckles1188 wrote:
Saint wrote: Pandora's star? or GNR?

If Pandora's Star, you have to remember it;s book one of three - and frankly it;s really just a single novel that had to be split in three becuase it's just that big.

GNR gets a bit bitty around 2/3rds of the way through until he starts to bring the threads together
Two
Sorry - mixing up that and The Void trilogy (same universe is my semi-legitimate excuse). Still Pandiora's Star and Judas unchained could legitimately be viewed as a single book rather than two distinct "episdoes"

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 1:42 pm
by sorCrer
Have read them all. Thought Night's Dawn Trilogy the most fun although the Greg Mandel stuff is good too. Void started off well but is all over the shop now.

Anyone read Neal Asher?

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 2:23 pm
by danthefan
Saint wrote:
If Pandora's Star, you have to remember it;s book one of three - and frankly it;s really just a single novel that had to be split in three becuase it's just that big.

GNR gets a bit bitty around 2/3rds of the way through until he starts to bring the threads together
Pandora's Star.

I think my problem is I'm listening to the audio book. If I zone out for a few mins I lose track of what's happening. I read GNR the old fashioned way and quite enjoyed it but again it's too long.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 2:43 pm
by Saint
danthefan wrote:
Saint wrote:
If Pandora's Star, you have to remember it;s book one of three - and frankly it;s really just a single novel that had to be split in three becuase it's just that big.

GNR gets a bit bitty around 2/3rds of the way through until he starts to bring the threads together
Pandora's Star.

I think my problem is I'm listening to the audio book. If I zone out for a few mins I lose track of what's happening. I read GNR the old fashioned way and quite enjoyed it but again it's too long.
Wait till you get to the Void, or Night's Dawn. Then you get long (The Night's Dawn trilogy was split into 6 books for the North American market originally)

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 3:33 pm
by Chuckles1188
The void books are considerably shorter than most of his others - 800 pages apiece versus over 1100 each, on average, with TND.

They are long but that's because he wants to show his working. If you're not interested in lengthy descriptions of quantum entanglements and nano-tech weaponry you're reading the wrong author.

I will say that accessing PFH via audiobook seems like madness to me, but I'm not huge on audiobooks in general

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 4:09 pm
by ruckinhell
Chuckles1188 wrote:The void books are considerably shorter than most of his others - 800 pages apiece versus over 1100 each, on average, with TND.

They are long but that's because he wants to show his working. If you're not interested in lengthy descriptions of quantum entanglements and nano-tech weaponry you're reading the wrong author.

I will say that accessing PFH via audiobook seems like madness to me, but I'm not huge on audiobooks in general

I'm re-reading the Reality Dysfunction at the moment, it holds up well to a re-read. Really liked the Commonwealth books but he should have left it at the Void as the Faller's stuff was poor and I didn't bother buying the next one.

Read Salvation over my holidays, quite enjoyable and I liked the main conceit which was subtly sign-posted throughout the book. A lot of recycled tropes that he likes but a great beach book.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 4:59 pm
by sorCrer
'Manhattan in Reverse', his short story collection is also worth a read.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 5:35 pm
by A5D5E5
danthefan wrote:
Saint wrote:
If Pandora's Star, you have to remember it;s book one of three - and frankly it;s really just a single novel that had to be split in three becuase it's just that big.

GNR gets a bit bitty around 2/3rds of the way through until he starts to bring the threads together
Pandora's Star.

I think my problem is I'm listening to the audio book. If I zone out for a few mins I lose track of what's happening. I read GNR the old fashioned way and quite enjoyed it but again it's too long.
On anything even vaguely complex I find being able to go back and re-read a passage or two is essential so I don't misunderstand things. In Pandora's Star, I certainly didn't "get" the Bradley Johansson character or the significance of the "starflier" straight away.

I'm now re-reading the Culture novels. About half way through Consider Phlebas. Really enjoying it, which is a good sign, as I remember liking several of the later books a lot more.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 6:32 pm
by Nolanator
You're welcome. :D

It's probably time for me to have another read of Player or Inversions.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 6:39 pm
by sorCrer
Surprised nobody has ready Neal Asher. It's a little bit pulpy but great imagination and lots of action.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 6:45 pm
by flaggETERNAL
Chuckles1188 wrote:The void books are considerably shorter than most of his others - 800 pages apiece versus over 1100 each, on average, with TND.

They are long but that's because he wants to show his working. If you're not interested in lengthy descriptions of quantum entanglements and nano-tech weaponry you're reading the wrong author.

I will say that accessing PFH via audiobook seems like madness to me, but I'm not huge on audiobooks in general
So very much this.
sorCrer wrote:Surprised nobody has ready Neal Asher. It's a little bit pulpy but great imagination and lots of action.
I like Asher. Having said that I once got in to a Twitter spat with him over his climate skepticism.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 6:48 pm
by sorCrer
flaggETERNAL wrote:
Chuckles1188 wrote:The void books are considerably shorter than most of his others - 800 pages apiece versus over 1100 each, on average, with TND.

They are long but that's because he wants to show his working. If you're not interested in lengthy descriptions of quantum entanglements and nano-tech weaponry you're reading the wrong author.

I will say that accessing PFH via audiobook seems like madness to me, but I'm not huge on audiobooks in general
So very much this.
sorCrer wrote:Surprised nobody has ready Neal Asher. It's a little bit pulpy but great imagination and lots of action.
I like Asher. Having said that I once got in to a Twitter spat with him over his climate skepticism.
:lol: I just read his books.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 7:02 pm
by A5D5E5
Nolanator wrote:You're welcome. :D

It's probably time for me to have another read of Player or Inversions.
Thanks. :D

Both good, but I'm really looking forward to Excession and Use of Weapons. And Look to Windward, and Surface Detail. Happy times ahead.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 7:02 pm
by flaggETERNAL
sorCrer wrote:
flaggETERNAL wrote:
Chuckles1188 wrote:The void books are considerably shorter than most of his others - 800 pages apiece versus over 1100 each, on average, with TND.

They are long but that's because he wants to show his working. If you're not interested in lengthy descriptions of quantum entanglements and nano-tech weaponry you're reading the wrong author.

I will say that accessing PFH via audiobook seems like madness to me, but I'm not huge on audiobooks in general
So very much this.
sorCrer wrote:Surprised nobody has ready Neal Asher. It's a little bit pulpy but great imagination and lots of action.
I like Asher. Having said that I once got in to a Twitter spat with him over his climate skepticism.
:lol: I just read his books.
:lol: Oh I'm pretty much the same. Gotta get that Polity. It is interesting though. Do you separate the artist from his art?

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 11:01 pm
by Nolanator
A5D5E5 wrote:
Nolanator wrote:You're welcome. :D

It's probably time for me to have another read of Player or Inversions.
Thanks. :D

Both good, but I'm really looking forward to Excession and Use of Weapons. And Look to Windward, and Surface Detail. Happy times ahead.
I read Excession, LtW, Surface Detail and the Hydrogen Sonata relatively recently. UoW a bit before them. Probably due Matter again, another that I really enjoy that one.

I pretty much remember everything that happens in them, though, do I leave it a good while between reads. Read the Algebraist recently, too. That's just brilliant.

Yeah, think Player is the next Banks book on the end of the list.

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 5:05 am
by Pat the Ex Mat
sorCrer wrote:Surprised nobody has ready Neal Asher. It's a little bit pulpy but great imagination and lots of action.
Read all of his

The Prador are an excellent enemy

Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 8:12 am
by A5D5E5
Nolanator wrote:
A5D5E5 wrote:
Nolanator wrote:You're welcome. :D

It's probably time for me to have another read of Player or Inversions.
Thanks. :D

Both good, but I'm really looking forward to Excession and Use of Weapons. And Look to Windward, and Surface Detail. Happy times ahead.
I read Excession, LtW, Surface Detail and the Hydrogen Sonata relatively recently. UoW a bit before them. Probably due Matter again, another that I really enjoy that one.

I pretty much remember everything that happens in them, though, do I leave it a good while between reads. Read the Algebraist recently, too. That's just brilliant.

Yeah, think Player is the next Banks book on the end of the list.
I thought Matter was a bit too contrived when I first read it - in fact, I worried that he had run out of ideas for how to create any tension in Culture novels as they were just too damn powerful. Thankfully Surface Detail and Hydrogen Sonata proved me very wrong (and so sad that they ended then). Will be interesting to see if I feel the same about Matter this time round.

I will go back to his non culture novels once I've finished the culture (and possibly after re-reading the Revelation Space novels as I haven't read those for years, and I noticed that Alastair Reynolds published a new book in the universe last year that I haven't read yet.)