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Greg W
29-05-2008, 15:51:59
I'm currently reading The Saga of the Seven Suns by Kevin J Anderson. Just started book 4, and it's not bad, but it's just not grabbing me the way a great book and/or series would. I'll finish it, but there's just something a little lacking.

Then again, I recently read The Night's Dawn trilogy by Peter F Hamilton and had the same feeling. That may have been cos I just didn't overly like the ending though.

So, I'm after something that's great to read. It doesn't have to be too technical, but it doesn't bother me if it is. As long as it's not technical just for the sake of it.

A list of some stuff I have read and liked:

- Asimov's Foundation series and the Robots books, not sure if I ever got around to the Empire series. Loved the Foundation and Robot stuff though.

- Robert A Heinlein. Mainly years ago, books like "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Starship Troopers", "Friday", "Time Enough For Love".

- L Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth. He may have been a crackpot, but I did love that book.

And off the top of my head, that's mostly what I have read, mainly due to being more of a Fantasy reader than Sci Fi. I'm also sure there's more that I can't think of right now of course. But any advice would be welcome, with a brief description of the style of book/series.

Cheers in advance. :beer:

Funko
29-05-2008, 16:20:53
Ben Bova's grand tour books?

http://www.benbova.net/gradtourlist.html

near future history, following the gradual human expansion into the solar system.

Greg W
29-05-2008, 16:26:07
Oh. I completely forgot. Loved "EON" and "Eternity" by Greg Bear (though I think he published a third - and possibly more - book which I never got around to reading?)...

Nope, haven't read any Ben Bova, though I have seen his books in stores. I'm guessing it's good?

Funko
29-05-2008, 16:29:44
I enjoyed them.

I have been picking them up when I see them, normally second hand and have worked my way through most of the series. Similar to the KSR mars trilogy in era and aim for scientific realism, but a bit more action based and less political. Definitely less heavyweight.

Immortal Wombat
29-05-2008, 16:39:46
Ah, I was about to suggest Eon. I've not read Eternity, it looks like it goes even more batshit insane than the end of Eon did.

The massive gap in that list is Dune. It's good space empire stuff. Don't bother going past the first trilogy.

In a similar vein to Eon, Arthur C Clarke's "Rama" cycle also feature a bit chunk of rock turning up in Earth orbit, and the hilarity that ensues. Robert Reed's "Marrow" is set on a far-future version where humanity controls the enormous spaceship/planet. That goes a bit nuts as well.

You might want to try Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" trilogy, about the colonisation of Mars. They attract a lot of criticism for being overwhelmed with societal politics rubbish, but not much more so than Bear, and there's a lot of good stuff in them as well. For less of that, and more crazy science, KSR's "Icehenge" is a good romp. It's about various investigations into the appearance of an ice henge on Pluto.

Oh, and one more: James Blish's "Cities in Flight". Four stories, originally published separately, the SF Masterworks edition is one volume. Via some amazing abuse of physics, entire cities are equipped with anti-grav devices and leave Earth to be the galactic equivalent of migrant workers. The stories vary in tone, but the overall effect is rather good.

JM^3
29-05-2008, 16:48:45
Look at Ian Banks, look at Vernor Vinge, look at Alistair Reynolds (I only read two, but they were decent).

I also am a big fan of Cherryhs.

JM

Sir Penguin
29-05-2008, 19:02:40
If you liked Heinlein, you'll probably like John Scalzi.
Scalzi's first published novel was Old Man's War, in which 75-year-old citizens of Earth are recruited to join the defense forces of human colonies in space. Scalzi noted the book's similarities to Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers by thanking Heinlein in the acknowledgments of the book.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Scalzi

The first book of his I read was The Android's Dream, which is known for starting with a chapter-long fart joke. His work is not high-brow literature, but it's solid light SF. The Old Man's War series is three books, with a fourth coming out in September. Sample short story:

How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story (http://scalzi.com/howiproposed.zip)

SP

Immortal Wombat
29-05-2008, 20:32:28
Oh wow. I just read that chapter. That's fantastically brilliantly puerile.

Sir Penguin
30-05-2008, 01:49:57
I forgot, he posted the chapter on his blog:

http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004945.html

SP

Funko
30-05-2008, 07:50:38
Originally posted by JM^3
Look at Ian Banks, look at Vernor Vinge,

Yes, yes.

I kind of assume anyone with any interest in sci-fi is reading Ian M. Banks, but of course they aren't. If you haven't then read them all immediately. In publication order. It's not a series as such but the ideas develop as he goes on.

Greg W
30-05-2008, 13:56:42
Cool, thanks for the suggestions. :beer:

Forgot to add that I had read the Ender's Game series (well, the first 3 books anyway) by Orson Scott Card, and liked them too.

JM^3
30-05-2008, 14:02:05
What do you mean by the first three books? The ret-conned prequals?

JM

BigGameHunter
08-06-2008, 19:07:13
John Norman's Chronicles of Gor!
:cute:

Greg W
09-06-2008, 03:18:25
Originally posted by JM^3
What do you mean by the first three books? The ret-conned prequals?

JM No, the first three books that he wrote. Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide.

Also keep forgetting stuff that I have read:

- Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive (and a couple of others) by William Gibson, which I seem to recall I quite liked

- I have read two series by CJ Cherryh, one of which was the Morgaine Chronicles (which I seem to recall was kinda crossover fantasy/sci-fi) which I struggled through, and the one that contains Fires of Azeroth which impressed me even less. Don't know why, just can't get into her style of writing, though that was 20 odd years ago.

- the Majipoor Chronicles (kinda crossover fantasy/sci-fi) by Robert Silverberg was pretty good.

- I have tried reading the Labyrinth series (can't remember who wrote them and Google provides these dodgy meditation books) but can't seem to get into them.

- For many years I have tried to read L Ron Hubbard's Invader's Plan series, but can't get into it.

- Oddly enough, I have a feeling that I have read at least one of the Chronicles of Gor books. For the life of me though, I can't remember if I liked it or not. Seeing as I don't own the books any more and obviously didn't follow through with the series, I doubt I liked them that much though.

- And I have read about 15-20 of the new star wars books (mainly cos a friend of mine used to work for the company that published them and used to give them to me). I liked them for the trashy space opera style books they were, though some were better than others.

Tried looking for the first Ian M Banks, but they only had from number 3 onwards. I will try and remember to keep an eye out for them though.

JM^3
09-06-2008, 15:58:35
Fires of Azeroth is part of the Morgaine Chronicles (I Think it is the 3rd book).

You don't need to start with the first Ian Banks, all of his Culture novels are stand alone.

JM

Greg W
09-06-2008, 16:13:45
Hmm, I think there must have been another book by Cherryh then. That one just seemed to ring a bell when I looked on her webpage, and it didn't seem to be listed under the Morgaine Chronicles. Not that I paid THAT much attention. ;)

As for Ian M Banks, I like reading stuff in order, even if they are standalone. It's a weird foible I have. :D

Funko
09-06-2008, 16:30:00
For those I think it's good reading them in order, but not essential.

JM^3
09-06-2008, 16:31:31
When I mean stand alone, I mean that they are 1000s of years apart in position, and almost always no earlier events are even referred to in the novels.

It isn't a series. It is a setting.

And for what it's worth, while she had the purpose of making Morgaine into a Sci-fi background, she lists it as Fantasy on her website. A lot of people like her sci-fi who don't like her fantasy, and like her fantasy but don't like her sci-fi (I like both, although the major sci-fi and fantasy series she has worked on in the last 10 years I haven't been as big of a fan of).

JM

JM^3
09-06-2008, 16:32:23
Originally posted by Funko
For those I think it's good reading them in order, but not essential.

Other than the first couple of books, which I read last, what other books have events which play any role in later books?

JM

Greg W
09-06-2008, 16:43:25
Oh, and by the way, he has apparently published books under "Ian Banks" and "Ian M Banks". I could only find books by the "M" variety, the "Culture" series:
* Consider Phlebas (1987)
* The Player of Games (1988)
* Use of Weapons (1990)
* Excession (1996)
* Inversions (1998)
* Look to Windward (2000)
* Matter (2008)
I presume they're the books you mean?

JM^3
09-06-2008, 16:50:10
The other variety is where he publishes his non Sci-fi, I think. I mean to read them at some point.

JM

Sir Penguin
09-06-2008, 19:04:27
William Gibson's new book, Spook Country, is decent. The ending's kind of unsatisfying but it's a neat story.

SP

Funko
10-06-2008, 08:07:16
Originally posted by Greg W
Oh, and by the way, he has apparently published books under "Ian Banks" and "Ian M Banks". I could only find books by the "M" variety, the "Culture" series:
* Consider Phlebas (1987)
* The Player of Games (1988)
* Use of Weapons (1990)
* Excession (1996)
* Inversions (1998)
* Look to Windward (2000)
* Matter (2008)
I presume they're the books you mean?

Yes, but his other non-Culture Sci-Fi ones are well worth a read as well.

Of his non-genre stuff, written as Iain Banks, ah, they are all good too.

Sir Penguin
10-06-2008, 17:49:40
Speaking of William Gibson, Neal Stephenson has a new book coming out in September.

SP

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-06-2008, 18:33:47
The Helliconia trilogy by Brian Aldiss is a great one.