Book recommendation (sci-fi) Page 10

  • Deleted user 4 October 2010 08:32:52
    My calendar tells me it is a mere three days until the new Culture book is out. Hopefully it will have more Culture in it than Matter did, which I found a bit dull :-/
  • nullifidian 13 Oct 2010 12:18:49 23 posts
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    Just curious if anyone found this useful? Kicking it off again, was there anything anyone read after it being recommended and found it to be epic?
  • TechnoHippy 13 Oct 2010 12:20:31 17,470 posts
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    Reading Gardens of the Sun at the moment, follow on from The Quiet War. It started of a bit slow but it's really picking up now.
  • Scimarad 13 Oct 2010 20:02:23 9,753 posts
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    I'd recommend the 'laundry' books by Charles Stross (Atrocity Archives, Jennifer Morgue, Fuller Memorandum). Actually, pretty much anything by Mr Stross.
  • boo 14 Oct 2010 07:15:48 13,605 posts
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    Regarding Mr Stross, I found the AA was interesting but a little dry, written, as it was, in the style of Len Deighton, while the JM, as a Bond pastiche, was hilarious.

    How did the FM compare to the other two, Scimarad?
  • Scimarad 14 Oct 2010 08:46:14 9,753 posts
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    I really liked it aside from a couple of little issues. There is something that happens near the beginning that could have had some really dire consequences for Bob but he got out of it a little too easy. I loved the references to the iPhone and his (ultimately futile) attempts to avoid buying one. Also you get a lot more back story on his mysterious boss.

    You do get the feeling that he can't do to many more books before everything goes tits up in the 'laundryverse'. i.e. It's starting to feel like Case Nightmare Green is getting a bit imminent...
  • boo 14 Oct 2010 08:59:02 13,605 posts
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    Case Nightmare Green? Don't you mean CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN?

    ;o)
  • Scimarad 14 Oct 2010 09:13:48 9,753 posts
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    EEK!! That's the one!

    I've just found a link to three of his Laundry related short stories on this page. I haven't ever read the Overtime one before.
  • RyanDS 14 Oct 2010 09:18:00 13,275 posts
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    Currently reading the new Banks, Surface Detail. I am really enjoying it, but at the same time rolling my eyes. The basic conceit of the book is Hell (or Hells) and Heaven are real, in that when you die you are sent to a computer simulation of one or the other.

    Frankly an idiotic idea that requires unbeleivable suspension of disbeleif. However if you accept the background it is a decent read.
  • Scimarad 14 Oct 2010 09:31:02 9,753 posts
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    ryandsimmons wrote:
    Currently reading the new Banks, Surface Detail. I am really enjoying it, but at the same time rolling my eyes. The basic conceit of the book is Hell (or Hells) and Heaven are real, in that when you die you are sent to a computer simulation of one or the other.

    Frankly an idiotic idea that requires unbeleivable suspension of disbeleif. However if you accept the background it is a decent read.

    Why is that an idiotic idea? I'm sure with a sufficiently advanced technology some twat would eventually get around to doing that one. Besides, I got the impression that this was one very specific group of people in the Culture universe.

    Co-incidentally, the 'virtual heaven' thing is currently quite central to one thread on Caprica at the moment.
  • RyanDS 14 Oct 2010 09:39:11 13,275 posts
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    Scimarad wrote:
    ryandsimmons wrote:
    Currently reading the new Banks, Surface Detail. I am really enjoying it, but at the same time rolling my eyes. The basic conceit of the book is Hell (or Hells) and Heaven are real, in that when you die you are sent to a computer simulation of one or the other.

    Frankly an idiotic idea that requires unbeleivable suspension of disbeleif. However if you accept the background it is a decent read.

    Why is that an idiotic idea? I'm sure with a sufficiently advanced technology some twat would eventually get around to doing that one. Besides, I got the impression that this was one very specific group of people in the Culture universe.

    Co-incidentally, the 'virtual heaven' thing is currently quite central to one thread on Caprica at the moment.


    The setting assumes (actually states outright at the beginning) that a large percentage of cultures have Hells. Enough that the galaxy as a whole sees it as a viable option.

    It all just feels to me that Banks has explored the culture universe too much and back himself into a corner. "Shit, how can I write a cracking story when I have suddenly made the universe a galactic democracy? I know, I'll take it all vurtual."

    I prefer the earlier stuff where the universe was a gonzo unknown place ala Player of Games.

    That's not to say I am not enjoying the book, I just think that the setting has got out of control.

    Edit: Have you read the book sorry? I'll explain in spoilers an example of my issue with it if you have.
  • Scimarad 14 Oct 2010 09:57:38 9,753 posts
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    No, I've not actually read it yet. TBH, I've really read Use of Weapons and Player of Games so far so I'll take your word for it.

    I can totally see the downloading into a computer option but I'm not sure why you'd go with religious imagery.
  • RyanDS 14 Oct 2010 10:04:33 13,275 posts
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    Scimarad wrote:
    No, I've not actually read it yet. TBH, I've really read Use of Weapons and Player of Games so far so I'll take your word for it.

    I can totally see the downloading into a computer option but I'm not sure why you'd go with religious imagery.

    Nothing I have said is a spoiler, it's all background explained in the beginning. I would say read it, it's good if you accept the background.
  • Deleted user 18 October 2010 22:23:25
    Just finished Surface Detail.

    Really good. (MASSIVE SPOILER)

    Especially the last word reveal. Saw it coming from the bit where the Special Circumstances mind called him a traitor. But still awesome.
  • TechnoHippy 1 Nov 2010 08:51:37 17,470 posts
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    RedPanda wrote:
    Just finished Surface Detail.

    Really good. (MASSIVE SPOILER)

    Especially the last word reveal. Saw it coming from the bit where the Special Circumstances mind called him a traitor. But still awesome.

    Finished this at the weekend and I thought it was great, not as good as Excession, but very readable. Recommended.

    Started World War Z last night and I have to say all the love I've heard for this book on this forum is warrented so far. Very good.
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  • PearOfAnguish 2 Dec 2010 17:51:05 7,573 posts
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    Vernor Vinge is writing a sequel to A Fire Upon The Deep.
  • President_Weasel 2 Dec 2010 18:49:31 12,355 posts
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    Scimarad wrote:
    EEK!! That's the one!

    I've just found a link to three of his Laundry related short stories on this page. I haven't ever read the Overtime one before.

    Ever read the Quiller Memorandum? I read it when I was much younger, and thought it was well above the run of the mill spy story.
  • Ged42 2 Dec 2010 20:16:27 7,985 posts
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    Has anyone read the Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton?

    I just finished the Temporal Void and getting bored with the Edeard's story and the whole resetting time thing was a bit of a cop out.

    Is the new one better or worse?
  • Oh-Bollox 4 Jan 2011 01:25:26 6,513 posts
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    The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers.

    A Coleridge expert, Brendan Doyle, is recruited in 1983 to attend a lecture. But this lecture will be given by Coleridge, in 1810. Of course, time travel never goes well, and it goes wrong almost constantly for pretty much everyone from then on, with an ancient Egyptian religion, magic, an evil body-swapping werewolf bastard, and secret organisations getting in on the action.

    Rather good.
  • Lateralaus 11 Jan 2011 12:13:24 1,092 posts
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    Has anyone recommended any books by Michael Marshall Smith? He wrote Only forward, Spares and One of Us. They're all great books, I enjoyed Only Forward and Spares so much I've read them twice.
  • jonsaan 11 Jan 2011 12:15:07 27,052 posts
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    Scimarad wrote:
    I'd recommend the 'laundry' books by Charles Stross (Atrocity Archives, Jennifer Morgue, Fuller Memorandum). Actually, pretty much anything by Mr Stross.

    +1. Only just discovered him of late but it's all good stuff. If a little inpenetrable from time to time.
  • beastmaster 11 Jan 2011 12:29:15 20,909 posts
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    Anyone read The Saga of the Seven Suns by Kevin J. Anderson? I'm looking for something suitable epic to read.
  • MetalDog 11 Jan 2011 12:29:24 24,076 posts
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    Lateralaus wrote:
    Has anyone recommended any books by Michael Marshall Smith? He wrote Only forward, Spares and One of Us. They're all great books, I enjoyed Only Forward and Spares so much I've read them twice.

    Thanks! I've been trying to remember that guy's name for ages - he does indeed write very cool, rereadable stuff.
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