Book recommendation (sci-fi) Page 2

  • Sorbicol 16 May 2008 07:49:13 591 posts
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    I second any recommendations for Michael Marshall Smith, Iain M Banks (Who has been extensively discussed elsewhere on these forums, do a search!) and Richard Morgan - I've just finished Black Man and it's one of the few Sci-Fi books I've ready that actually has something meaningful to say about genetic modification - it's an excellent read.

    Going back to first principles, William Gibson's Neuromancer is referenced a lot for a reason.

    Also read The Stars my Destination (Tiger Tiger originally) by Alfred Bester. This is where "cyberpunk" sort of starts and it still leaves me breathless when I read it. This book was so far ahead of it's time in the 50s that it makes Neuromancer look neo-con conservative in comparison :) It still translates well today too, the film Jumper owes it plot to this book (the bitss that make sense at any rate!)

    I also like some of Alistair Reynolds stuff although I know he's not everyones cup of tea. Ditto for Peter Hamilton.
  • glo 16 May 2008 08:14:34 3,694 posts
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    I do this everytime we have sci-fi books thread but I won't stop until you have all read them. My recommendations:

    Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
    Timescape - Gregory Benford
    John Brunner - Stand on Zanzibar
    Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles
    Geoff Ryman - The Child Garden
    Stanislaw Lem - Solaris
    Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse 5

    also some of the ones others have mentioned, especially Only Forwards, Neuromancer, Flowers for Algernon and A Scanner Darkly.
  • redlander 16 May 2008 09:05:02 1,038 posts
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    phAge wrote:
    Just finished Quarantine by Greg Egan.


    Quarantine is a good Greg Egan but I much preferred Permutation City. Its bonkers. Really got me into sci-fi
  • Deleted user 16 May 2008 11:46:22
    I picked up this Quarantine book because of you, phAge, so if I dislike it I shall be coming round to yours and demanding a refund.
  • RunningMan 16 May 2008 13:10:00 2,999 posts
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    StarMaker by Olaf Stapledon
    Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem

    previews of both on amazon.

    RM
  • Khanivor 16 May 2008 20:03:51 44,456 posts
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    Greg Egan's book of short stories - the title of which escapes me - is stuffed to the gunwales with 0_o sci-fi. Wonderful stuff. I particularly loved the story about torturin a guy for perpetuity.
  • Deleted user 16 May 2008 20:26:17
    Sorbicol wrote:
    The Stars my Destination (Tiger Tiger originally) by Alfred Bester.

    Seconded. I still can't believe how old that book is, it feels so fresh and current even now.
  • Deleted user 16 May 2008 21:47:21
    I reccomend Robert Heinlein and Harry Harrison. Gateway authors if you are new to the genre.
  • JoeBlade 16 May 2008 22:13:10 5,089 posts
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    I could do with some recommendations myself, feel like trying something new :)

    Reads I've enjoyed thusfar:
    - Dune series, lovely stuff, massively enjoyed the intrigues. Offspring's works are cringeworthy at best though as far as I'm concerned.
    - Some of Asimov's work. I've got (and obviously repeatedly read) the Foundation lot which I like immensely and I've tried a few of his robots shorts although those, admittedly, didn't thrill me as much.
    - Anything and everything of Gibson's (love them all) except his latest, which I've simply not gotten around to buying yet.
    - Reynolds' novels, albeit only the main story. I've not purchased the more 'side-track' books such as Chasm City and I'm a bit torn about them. I've massively enjoyed the first few novels of the inhibitors storyline but the later ones seem to drag on quite a bit IMHO, that's why I'm hesitant about the remainder of his repertoire.
    - Clarke's 2001 through 3001. I still believe the first to be nothing short of magnificent but it went downhill (rather steeply) from there as far as I'm concerned.
    - Neal Stephenson; going through Cryptonomicon again (epic, nothing less) and Snow Crash was a blast. I've gotten mixed input about the Baroque series though so I'm quite unsure whether I should accost those, being quite the read and all.
    - A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (P.K. Dick) of which the former was a veritable revelation and the latter a very very solid and enjoyable read.
    - Banks' The Algebraist. Still a bit unsure about that one. Innovative to some extent and quite a few good moments but nowhere near my top 10 either.
    - Simmons' Hyperion/Endymion books. Fab, though again the earlier ones seemed superior to the later ones. All the 'such-and-such from the earlier books' was a lie bits leading to a new 'twist' in the Endymion parts quite bothered me.
  • RunningMan 17 May 2008 16:34:46 2,999 posts
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    JoeBlade,

    Galactic north by Alistair Reynolds is good, it fills in some holes in the "Redemption ark" universe.
    It might be worth getting some of the Sci-Fi masterworks to find some new authors. I just finished "Roadside Picnic" which was great (stalker on the PC is loosely based on it). The culture novels are very good if you liked Iain M Banks, Feersum Endjinn is also good ( all by Iain M Banks).

    RM
  • RunningMan 17 May 2008 16:38:40 2,999 posts
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    Hi,
    try out the StarShip sofa podcast, I've discovered loads of new authors from these guys.

    RM
  • JoeBlade 17 May 2008 18:25:14 5,089 posts
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    Cheers RM, I'll look into those. I've heard many praise the Culture novels in particular so they're on my 'to read' list for sure :)
  • coastal 17 May 2008 19:35:10 5,430 posts
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    JoeBlade,
    Neal Stephenson's Baroque books are the best thing i've ever read. Good to read cryptomonicon first as there's loads of connections between the two. But don't be put off by the weight just jump in. First section is a bit slow granted but by the time the first shaftoe jumps on the scene you'll be hooked hopefully.

    Apparently it's steampunk and there's only a couple of authors out there that do this kind of historical sci-fi. I have to say i love it and wish NS had written more.
  • phAge 18 May 2008 21:56:31 25,487 posts
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    Gremmi wrote:
    I picked up this Quarantine book because of you, phAge, so if I dislike it I shall be coming round to yours and demanding a refund.
    Anytime, Gremster. Anytime. You can even come round if you thoroughly enoy it. Which you will. We have similar tastes in sci-fi stuff, us two.
  • Deleted user 18 May 2008 21:59:58
    As long as there's no sun touching going on.
  • phAge 18 May 2008 22:01:37 25,487 posts
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    Hmm. How much did you pay for it, you say?
  • burns 19 May 2008 15:16:44 1,138 posts
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    Spares by Michael Marshall Smith is a fantastic book, engrossing and action-packed.

    Has anyone read the other MMS titles; Only Forward and One of US? What are your thoughts?

    I'm a big fan of the science and tech in sci books, can anyone recommend any books similiar to Spares?

    Also, if you haven't read Neuromancer your missing one of the greatest books of all time. Mona Lisa Overdrive is also fantastic.
  • glo 19 May 2008 19:49:24 3,694 posts
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    burns wrote:


    Has anyone read the other MMS titles; Only Forward and One of US? What are your thoughts?


    ... Mona Lisa Overdrive is also fantastic.

    Only forwards is one of my favourite sci-fi books and I personally prefer it to Spares (which is also a good book). Only forwards is a bit more trippy and weird than spares and reminds me of some of haruki murakami's books. haven't read one of us but may well pick it up now you have reminded me of its existence.

    Cheers for the recommendation of mona lisa overdrive, been meaning to pick this up for a while and keep forgetting. Will go add it to my amazon wish list now.
  • tiddles 19 May 2008 20:25:23 3,555 posts
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    Not totally sci-fi, and not totally fantasy, but... I love China Mieville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council) - incredibly imaginative steampunk fantasy, very dark and violent too - it's in a class of its own

    Also: Jeff Noon - Vurt, Pollen, Nymphomation - although it's been a while since I read them.
  • EoghanHassan 23 May 2008 14:24:10 3 posts
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    Here's a second for China Mieville. I just finished The Scar. Phew! What a great read.

    Anyway my main SciFi recommendation would be
    The Golden Age Trilogy by John C. Wright

    links:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Age_%28John_C._Wright_novel%29
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Golden-Age-John-C-Wright/dp/0812579844/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211548959&sr=1-1

    It really is a great story. I little like Banks' Culture Novels.
  • otto Moderator 23 May 2008 14:32:26 49,322 posts
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    phAge wrote:
    Just finished Quarantine by Greg Egan.

    Its not very long (can easily be read in three or four sittings), but the plot is one of, if not *the*, best I've ever read in a high-concept sci-fi novel. The "reveal" literally made me go "... feckin 'ell... O_o", and kindled my interested in a whole new field of science.

    Perfect summer-read, and very, very highly recommended. By me. Yes.
    Glad someone bumped this, I'm about half way through Quarantine. I'm finding it incredibly tough going. Essentially it's the equivalent of Bishop Berkeley's dialogues except instead of epistemology we're examining quantum physics. No characterisation to speak of, and not too much plot, just lots of rather artificial set pieces in which the main protagonist gets to discuss quantum physics with a variety of scientific types. It's really a glorified text book and I confess I'm really struggling to stay awake. The reveal had better be good ph4ge or I'll be coming after you. ;p
  • glaeken 23 May 2008 14:36:59 12,070 posts
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    glo wrote:
    burns wrote:


    Has anyone read the other MMS titles; Only Forward and One of US? What are your thoughts?


    ... Mona Lisa Overdrive is also fantastic.

    Only forwards is one of my favourite sci-fi books and I personally prefer it to Spares (which is also a good book). Only forwards is a bit more trippy and weird than spares and reminds me of some of haruki murakami's books. haven't read one of us but may well pick it up now you have reminded me of its existence.

    Cheers for the recommendation of mona lisa overdrive, been meaning to pick this up for a while and keep forgetting. Will go add it to my amazon wish list now.

    I actually prefer Spares to Only Forward though they are both excellent books. One of us is not a bad book but not in the same league as Spares and Only Forward which are really the pinnacles of MMS's Sci-Fi stuff.

    I really wish he would leave the serial killer genre of books he seems to write these days and come back to Sci-Fi but I guess he is probably making a lot more money as those books seem far more commercial.
  • phAge 23 May 2008 14:41:42 25,487 posts
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    otto wrote:
    Glad someone bumped this, I'm about half way through Quarantine. I'm finding it incredibly tough going. Essentially it's the equivalent of Bishop Berkeley's dialogues except instead of epistemology we're examining quantum physics. No characterisation to speak of, and not too much plot, just lots of rather artificial set pieces in which the main protagonist gets to discuss quantum physics with a variety of scientific types. It's really a glorified text book and I confess I'm really struggling to stay awake. The reveal had better be good ph4ge or I'll be coming after you. ;p
    The reveal of which I speak is on page 77, IIRC - so if you've passed that point you have my sincere apologies. ;)
  • otto Moderator 23 May 2008 14:46:52 49,322 posts
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    Oh shit! Was that it??

    you mean the fact that she could 'collapse' the waveform or whatever bollocks that was and so walk through walls/destroy the universe as we know it??

    Bugger - that's almost Stephen Baxteresque in taking one little idea and turning it into an overly long tremendously boring novel! :(
  • phAge 23 May 2008 14:49:34 25,487 posts
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    otto wrote:
    Oh shit! Was that it??

    you mean the fact that she could 'collapse' the waveform or whatever bollocks that was and so walk through walls/destroy the universe as we know it??

    Bugger - that's almost Stephen Baxteresque in taking one little idea and turning it into an overly long tremendously boring novel! :(
    /o\

    Will you ever trust me again? :(

    FWIW, my mind boggled for a full minute after I'd just read that final line. Horses for courses, eh?

    *Ahem*

    Maybe you should read Coupland's Jpod, as I'm finding that rather crap? :p
  • Deleted user 23 May 2008 14:51:36
    phAge wrote:
    otto wrote:
    Glad someone bumped this, I'm about half way through Quarantine. I'm finding it incredibly tough going. Essentially it's the equivalent of Bishop Berkeley's dialogues except instead of epistemology we're examining quantum physics. No characterisation to speak of, and not too much plot, just lots of rather artificial set pieces in which the main protagonist gets to discuss quantum physics with a variety of scientific types. It's really a glorified text book and I confess I'm really struggling to stay awake. The reveal had better be good ph4ge or I'll be coming after you. ;p
    The reveal of which I speak is on page 77, IIRC - so if you've passed that point you have my sincere apologies. ;)

    Paperback or hardback?

    I'm midway through the paperback and haven't come across anything that could be considered a reveal yet. I'm on page 122 so far.

    I somewhat disagree with otto though, I haven't found it hard going so far and it's been reasonably entertaining, but I'd be quite disappointed if I've already read this "massive reveal" and not noticed it.
  • phAge 23 May 2008 14:53:49 25,487 posts
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    /massive damage

    :/
  • Deleted user 23 May 2008 14:54:30
    Haw.

    Oh well, it's an enjoyable read anyway, so ze recommendation was worth it.
  • otto Moderator 23 May 2008 14:54:36 49,322 posts
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    Urm, *cough* back... ;)

    Seriously, about 40% of the way through. I think.

    If you've hit a series of very long, technical dialogues then you're there.

    I'm probably being a bit harsh, there's some very interesting hard sci-fi conjecture going on there but it's a bit OTT for me, I'm a blond artsy type see? I need lovable characters and a bit of nookie.

    /back to Jane Austen
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