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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:24 pm 
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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?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:57 pm 
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Tehui wrote:
I've watched quite a few Sci-Fi movies and TV series in my life, but I can't recall ever reading a Sci-Fi novel. I didn't realise this until I saw this thread.


Remember, the new nomenclature is Speculative Fiction


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:02 pm 
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Anybody read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds?
I read a couple of short stories of his set in the same universe which were enjoyable enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:13 pm 
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Nolanator wrote:
Anybody read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds?
I read a couple of short stories of his set in the same universe which were enjoyable enough.



Yep, very good hard sci-fi, best of Reynolds for me. Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap are the 3 main books and Chasm City is in the same universe and time and sort of fits it. If you like the short stories you'll like the main books. I'm not a fan of his more recent work.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:21 pm 
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Madness wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
Anybody read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds?
I read a couple of short stories of his set in the same universe which were enjoyable enough.



Yep, very good hard sci-fi, best of Reynolds for me. Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap are the 3 main books and Chasm City is in the same universe and time and sort of fits it. If you like the short stories you'll like the main books. I'm not a fan of his more recent work.

Sweet. :thumbup:
The whole Conjoiner thing is intriguing. I read the Great Wall of Mars and thought that there was a heap of creativity and thought for "just" a short story. Then realised that there's more and looked it up.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:31 pm 
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Nolanator wrote:
Anybody read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds?
I read a couple of short stories of his set in the same universe which were enjoyable enough.


I read it last month. I have mixed feelings about it but it's definitely worth a read, there's a lot of good stuff in there. I found his prose a bit perfunctory and staid at times, and it dragged a bit with technobabble and overlong passages. The characters are all a bit grey and samey as well. But there are some nice ideas in there, and some proper headfuck hard sci-fi concepts. Some good writing too when he gets going, in some of the major set pieces in particular.

I think I've been spoiled by reading so much Banks recently, to the point that I now expect all my space operas to have sparkling prose, wonderfully dark humour, perfect pacing, great character depth, etc. etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:09 am 
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:thumbup:
I'll enjoy a bit of perfunctory language for the moment as a antidote to Dan Simmons' taking about poetry for pages at a time.

Have you read any of the rest of the Revelation Space series? They're far from chronological. Had a quick look on Reddit, but there isn't really any consensus on an ideal reading order. Guess I'll just go with publication order.


Banks is too good. I must be due a re-read of something soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:12 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
:thumbup:
I'll enjoy a bit of perfunctory language for the moment as a antidote to Dan Simmons' taking about poetry for pages at a time.

Have you read any of the rest of the Revelation Space series? They're far from chronological. Had a quick look on Reddit, but there isn't really any consensus on an ideal reading order. Guess I'll just go with publication order.


Banks is too good. I must be due a re-read of something soon.



I've read all of Reynolds's work.

Some are sequential but most are not


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:21 am 
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Publication order it is!

Just spotted this in Reddit before logging out.
https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comment ... urce=share
Guy painting a Halo world from the game series. Ignore Master Chief in the corner and it looks good I imagine a Culture orbital.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:56 am 
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PourSomeRuggerOnMe wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
Anybody read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds?
I read a couple of short stories of his set in the same universe which were enjoyable enough.


I read it last month. I have mixed feelings about it but it's definitely worth a read, there's a lot of good stuff in there. I found his prose a bit perfunctory and staid at times, and it dragged a bit with technobabble and overlong passages. The characters are all a bit grey and samey as well. But there are some nice ideas in there, and some proper headfuck hard sci-fi concepts. Some good writing too when he gets going, in some of the major set pieces in particular.

I think I've been spoiled by reading so much Banks recently, to the point that I now expect all my space operas to have sparkling prose, wonderfully dark humour, perfect pacing, great character depth, etc. etc.


I agree, great conceptual sci-fi, let down by lack of characterisation and turgid prose.

I preferred some of his stand alone work, pushing ice and house of suns i enjoyed.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:22 am 
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This is going to sound crazy, but I actually read Battlefield Earth when I was kid, encouraged by my dad, before Scientology was a (known thing). I remember really enjoying it, I thought it was great. I think the "expert" consensus is that it's absolute crap but I found it very entertaining as a young teenager.

Apart from that, Dune. To be totally honest, I think they're the only Sci-Fi books I've ever read.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:18 pm 
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ukjim wrote:
PourSomeRuggerOnMe wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
Anybody read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds?
I read a couple of short stories of his set in the same universe which were enjoyable enough.


I read it last month. I have mixed feelings about it but it's definitely worth a read, there's a lot of good stuff in there. I found his prose a bit perfunctory and staid at times, and it dragged a bit with technobabble and overlong passages. The characters are all a bit grey and samey as well. But there are some nice ideas in there, and some proper headfuck hard sci-fi concepts. Some good writing too when he gets going, in some of the major set pieces in particular.

I think I've been spoiled by reading so much Banks recently, to the point that I now expect all my space operas to have sparkling prose, wonderfully dark humour, perfect pacing, great character depth, etc. etc.


I agree, great conceptual sci-fi, let down by lack of characterisation and turgid prose.

I preferred some of his stand alone work, pushing ice and house of suns i enjoyed.


I really liked Pushing Ice.

I also enjoyed his Revenger, which is his version of a Treasure Island-inspired adventure story.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:24 pm 
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Mog The Almighty wrote:
This is going to sound crazy, but I actually read Battlefield Earth when I was kid, encouraged by my dad, before Scientology was a (known thing). I remember really enjoying it, I thought it was great. I think the "expert" consensus is that it's absolute crap but I found it very entertaining as a young teenager.

Apart from that, Dune. To be totally honest, I think they're the only Sci-Fi books I've ever read.


Huh! As a young teenager I thought the Lensman saga was great. Beat that.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:24 pm 
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Neal Asher's stuff is pretty similar.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 9:13 pm 
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Still working my way through 'Judas Unchained', well finally Ozzie's side trek has shown its relevance. One more bugbear though is the sheer number of time Hamilton mentions "enzyme bonded concrete", I mean every 10 pages or so like he's really proud of coming up with it and has to keep reminding us of it...it's even worse than GRRM's "...boiled leather...".


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 10:12 pm 
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tabascoboy wrote:
Still working my way through 'Judas Unchained', well finally Ozzie's side trek has shown its relevance. One more bugbear though is the sheer number of time Hamilton mentions "enzyme bonded concrete", I mean every 10 pages or so like he's really proud of coming up with it and has to keep reminding us of it...it's even worse than GRRM's "...boiled leather...".


Remind me the point again? I read this a while back and I've totally forgotten.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 10:23 pm 
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danthefan wrote:
tabascoboy wrote:
Still working my way through 'Judas Unchained', well finally Ozzie's side trek has shown its relevance. One more bugbear though is the sheer number of time Hamilton mentions "enzyme bonded concrete", I mean every 10 pages or so like he's really proud of coming up with it and has to keep reminding us of it...it's even worse than GRRM's "...boiled leather...".


Remind me the point again? I read this a while back and I've totally forgotten.

If memory serves...
Spoiler: show
He finds the civilisation that trapped the Primes within their star system in the first place.
Although when he asks them for help they tell him to get f*cked since they don't care about the Universe anymore


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 10:31 pm 
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Dan Simmons is a massive fan of describing the sky as lapus lazul. Can't say deep blue or anything similar. Not exactly a common turn off phrase, so it's noticeable how much he uses it.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 10:39 pm 
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Nolanator wrote:
Madness wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
Anybody read Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds?
I read a couple of short stories of his set in the same universe which were enjoyable enough.



Yep, very good hard sci-fi, best of Reynolds for me. Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap are the 3 main books and Chasm City is in the same universe and time and sort of fits it. If you like the short stories you'll like the main books. I'm not a fan of his more recent work.

Sweet. :thumbup:
The whole Conjoiner thing is intriguing. I read the Great Wall of Mars and thought that there was a heap of creativity and thought for "just" a short story. Then realised that there's more and looked it up.


How are you finding the revelation space books? I loved the fact that it is all done without superluminal travel - it makes it feel a bit more like a possibly real future. I won't mention any particular points as I don't want to spoil anything, but he has some great ideas.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 11:03 pm 
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I'm well through the first novel, not reading particularly fast these days. Definitely enjoying it. I do like the different aspects of humanity and how different they are, their experiences etc.

Some little bits are cool, like one of the Ultras musing about planets and not really trusting people who grew up on them, as she's spent her entire life on ships or orbital stations. Reminds me of the cultural and physical differences between Belters and those from down a well in the Expanse universe.

Feels grounded in something resembling reality, like you say. Lightclippers being like skyscrapers under constant thrust to simulate gravity etc. I dig that stuff. Agreed on the sub-c travel. Makes for some interesting differences in perspective as to how far apart events are, depending if you were stationary or travelling.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 3:37 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
I'm well through the first novel, not reading particularly fast these days.

.


I am struggling - usually a voracious reader but maybe working from home is overloading my reading


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 6:13 am 
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Pat the Ex Mat wrote:
Nolanator wrote:
I'm well through the first novel, not reading particularly fast these days.

.


I am struggling - usually a voracious reader but maybe working from home is overloading my reading

Yeah my reading has dropped off since WFH, I've kind of replaced it with watching history videos on Youtube ... need to break that as an everyday habit even though lots of them are interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 9:08 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
I'm well through the first novel, not reading particularly fast these days. Definitely enjoying it. I do like the different aspects of humanity and how different they are, their experiences etc.

Some little bits are cool, like one of the Ultras musing about planets and not really trusting people who grew up on them, as she's spent her entire life on ships or orbital stations. Reminds me of the cultural and physical differences between Belters and those from down a well in the Expanse universe.

Feels grounded in something resembling reality, like you say. Lightclippers being like skyscrapers under constant thrust to simulate gravity etc. I dig that stuff. Agreed on the sub-c travel. Makes for some interesting differences in perspective as to how far apart events are, depending if you were stationary or travelling.


Late to the party, but have fun. Absolutely love the series, although the 'big trilogy' isn't the easiest thing to read. But I guess with some previous exposure from some short novels, you'll likely have an easier time. The Prefect, Chasm City and Diamond Dogs (this one's shortish) are pretty good in the same universe. A lot of his novels tie up into each other with different timelines, perspectives, it's an incredibly fleshed out vision.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 12:43 pm 
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Yer Man wrote:
danthefan wrote:
tabascoboy wrote:
Still working my way through 'Judas Unchained', well finally Ozzie's side trek has shown its relevance. One more bugbear though is the sheer number of time Hamilton mentions "enzyme bonded concrete", I mean every 10 pages or so like he's really proud of coming up with it and has to keep reminding us of it...it's even worse than GRRM's "...boiled leather...".


Remind me the point again? I read this a while back and I've totally forgotten.

If memory serves...
Spoiler: show
He finds the civilisation that trapped the Primes within their star system in the first place.
Although when he asks them for help they tell him to get f*cked since they don't care about the Universe anymore

That's not quite it, he finds
Spoiler: show
eventually a Silfen who talks fairly normally and tells him a civilization called the Anomine put the barrier in place but most of them evolved into something other than physical while others went entirely tech free and they have no more interest in the physical universe. Ozzie after some research thinks he knows a way to turn the barrier back on.

From what I gather we don't see the Anomine until the Void series.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 10:24 am 
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Right then, finished The Commonwealth Saga. Overall a good long read even with some irritations along the way with the pacing, story and characters.

Not ready to dive into the Void Trilogy though...


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 10:36 am 
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Well into Chasm City, I've read a good few of the short stories too. It's great stuff. :thumbup:

The whole arc about what life is like on a generation ship is brilliant. Generations being born and dying and never seeing their destination. Weird behaviour/factions that arise. When they finally land, tech and interstellar travel has developed so much back home that they almost didn't need to set off on such a journey in the first place.

What's that conundrum about a generation ship setting off on a 100 year journey, but when they arrive, humans are already there as FTL has been developed in the meantime?


Fleshing out stuff which was peripheral in RS is fun, too. The war on Sky's Edge, the Melding Plague on Yellowstone, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 11:15 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
Well into Chasm City, I've read a good few of the short stories too. It's great stuff. :thumbup:

The whole arc about what life is like on a generation ship is brilliant. Generations being born and dying and never seeing their destination. Weird behaviour/factions that arise. When they finally land, tech and interstellar travel has developed so much back home that they almost didn't need to set off on such a journey in the first place.

What's that conundrum about a generation ship setting off on a 100 year journey, but when they arrive, humans are already there as FTL has been developed in the meantime?


Fleshing out stuff which was peripheral in RS is fun, too. The war on Sky's Edge, the Melding Plague on Yellowstone, etc.


:thumbup:

It's great how all those bits from his universe tie up properly into each other and aren't just random catchphrases thrown around. In the standalone novels, The Prefect takes place on pre-Melding Plague Yellowstone and the Glitter Band during the good days of the Demarchy.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 11:16 am 
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The Melding plague is really well written and scarily prescient for modern times

I just started his latest trilogy. Too early to tell yet.

I am disappointed he is on record that he won't write a sequel to Terminal World

:frown:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 12:24 pm 
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Sweet. Might read that before jumping back into the Inhibitor trilogy.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2020 12:59 pm 
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Pat the Ex Mat wrote:
Tehui wrote:
I've watched quite a few Sci-Fi movies and TV series in my life, but I can't recall ever reading a Sci-Fi novel. I didn't realise this until I saw this thread.


Remember, the new nomenclature is Speculative Fiction

Spec-fic.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 6:14 pm 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 1:28 am 
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Puma wrote:
And although the movie has turned it into some sort of a joke (specially in here):

Starship troopers, by R. Heinlein.


I love the movie, but read the book recently and book superior like most books are as you get more in. Quite a fun read


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 11:29 am 
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6.Jones wrote:
Pat the Ex Mat wrote:
Tehui wrote:
I've watched quite a few Sci-Fi movies and TV series in my life, but I can't recall ever reading a Sci-Fi novel. I didn't realise this until I saw this thread.


Remember, the new nomenclature is Speculative Fiction

Spec-fic.


I sort of put anything that's not hard sci-fi, space opera or high fantasy down as speculative fiction.

My honest belief is that we are in another golden era (like the 70s). So many brilliant new authors on the scene. To name some of my favourites:

NK Jemison
Claire North
Tom Sweterlitsch
Robert Jackson Bennett
Yoon Ha Lee

Peter F Hamilton and the authors behind James SA Corey a good for pulp.

Obviously Groucho too, whose book I promise to get to.

Alastair Reynolds has sadly lost the plot - his new stuff is terrible.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 11:41 am 
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Nolanator wrote:
:thumbup:
I'll enjoy a bit of perfunctory language for the moment as a antidote to Dan Simmons' taking about poetry for pages at a time.

Have you read any of the rest of the Revelation Space series? They're far from chronological. Had a quick look on Reddit, but there isn't really any consensus on an ideal reading order. Guess I'll just go with publication order.


Banks is too good. I must be due a re-read of something soon.

Dan put me of Keats for life.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 2:01 pm 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 5:06 pm 
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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


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 5:17 pm 
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I'm going through The Expanse novels, quite enjoy them I must say. Mostly on Audible, they're fairly easy listening.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 6:12 pm 
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Yeah I don't recall ever finding them hard going. Of recent books I've read Alastair Reynolds does like to dip into excessive techno-babble, or I found Dan Simmons find of waffling over descriptively about poetry or a landscape.
Eyes definitely glazed over and I skimmed those parts. Can't recall much overly indulgent writing in the Expanse ones, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 7:40 pm 
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lorcanoworms wrote:
Dan put me of Keats for life.


I absolutely loved all of the literary references in Hyperion. Simmons' prose is wonderful as well.

Recently I've read:

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philp K. Dick
Completely batshit mental, even for him. The prose is terrible and the characters are really poorly written, but the ideas and the sheer daftness of it somehow make it worthwhile. He's one of my favourite sci-fi writers and I'm still not sure what it is exactly that attracts me.

and (cheating with a fantasy book here):

Best served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
Not as good as the First Law trilogy but enjoyable. The only thing about subverting tropes is eventually you make your own tropes and repeat them again and again. Some of his stylistic flourishes became a bit repetitive for me when I started to notice them everywhere (for example he'll often start a scene with the final sentence of the previous scene. It's a bit contrived). A good read though.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Sci-Fi Novels
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2020 9:00 pm 
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PourSomeRuggerOnMe wrote:

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philp K. Dick
Completely batshit mental, even for him. The prose is terrible and the characters are really poorly written, but the ideas and the sheer daftness of it somehow make it worthwhile. He's one of my favourite sci-fi writers and I'm still not sure what it is exactly that attracts me.


yep got to love PKD in full on amphetamine psychosis mode.

Chew-z all round


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