Book recommendation (sci-fi) Page 3

  • otto Moderator 23 May 2008 14:55:29 49,322 posts
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    And Egan is definitely a much better writer than Baxter.

    I'll probably finish it.
  • Deleted user 23 May 2008 14:56:47
    Baxter isn't too bad. Time Ships was awesome.
  • Deleted user 23 May 2008 15:03:20
    peter f hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy is a great read even if he's a sex obsessed perv, razz pointed me toward them :)

    just finished Misspent Youth which continues his pervyness and ordered Pandora's Star hoping for more sci-fi and less rabidly sexual 18 year old supermodels
  • otto Moderator 23 May 2008 15:07:19 49,322 posts
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    You're hoping in vain, he gets worse with every book. Misspent Youth was utterly diabolical wasn't it? :(

    BTW there are loads of sci fi recommendations on the dedicated thread in the Book Club group

    /pimps
  • Shrimp 23 May 2008 15:09:28 1,081 posts
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    Wooo, lots of Greg Egan love going on!

    Quarantine is one of his weaker ones IMO, although the central idea(s) is/are fantastic.

    Diaspora, Schild's Ladder and Permutation City are probably my top, and the short story collections (Axiomatic and Luminous) also have some gems. Haven't read Distress and Teranesia was pretty dodgy.

    Diaspora in particular.... has loads of great stuff, including some 5 and 6 dimensional bits that make you wonder if Mr Egan is in fact a 6 dimensional being.

    Seems like the new book is just out too
  • glaeken 23 May 2008 15:31:28 12,070 posts
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    Gremmi wrote:
    Baxter isn't too bad. Time Ships was awesome.

    I find Baxter very patchy. I have really enjoyed his new Time's Tapestry series though. Saying that though they are really more historical novels than Sci-Fi.
  • glaeken 23 May 2008 15:34:36 12,070 posts
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    El_MUERkO wrote:
    peter f hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy is a great read even if he's a sex obsessed perv, razz pointed me toward them :)

    just finished Misspent Youth which continues his pervyness and ordered Pandora's Star hoping for more sci-fi and less rabidly sexual 18 year old supermodels

    Misspent youth is by far his worst book for indulging his pervy fantasies. Saying that itís probably also his worst book on any scale.
  • phAge 23 May 2008 15:34:39 25,487 posts
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    Shrimp wrote:
    Diaspora in particular.... has loads of great stuff, including some 5 and 6 dimensional bits that make you wonder if Mr Egan is in fact a 6 dimensional being.
    /orders
  • phAge 23 May 2008 15:40:42 25,487 posts
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    glaeken wrote:
    El_MUERkO wrote:
    peter f hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy is a great read even if he's a sex obsessed perv, razz pointed me toward them :)

    just finished Misspent Youth which continues his pervyness and ordered Pandora's Star hoping for more sci-fi and less rabidly sexual 18 year old supermodels

    Misspent youth is by far his worst book for indulging his pervy fantasies. Saying that itís probably also his worst book on any scale.

    +1

    Got about 1/3 of the way through, and haven't looked at it since. TND trilogy is prime fwapping litterature, though.
  • glaeken 23 May 2008 15:58:16 12,070 posts
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    You certainly did not miss anything by not finishing it. Beyond the middle age mans pervy fantasy at the core of the book he also gets on his political soap box about his anti EU feelings. You really get the feeling he knew it was gash and thought what the hell lets chuck in a party political broadcast on behalf of the Independence party.
  • otto Moderator 23 May 2008 16:03:28 49,322 posts
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    Heheh, that book turned me from someone who thought PFH might be an interesting fellow with whom to share a pint or two into someone who wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire. :D
  • Charlie_Miso 26 May 2008 07:11:41 1,190 posts
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    El_MUERkO wrote:
    peter f hamilton's The Night's Dawn Trilogy is a great read even if he's a sex obsessed perv, razz pointed me toward them :)

    Pretty sure I've read the first one of that and it was unbearable.

    Quaint 'ye old english' planet
    Zero G sex cage
    Super Stud Space Captain nailing anything that moves

    Just imagined some super nerd typing it out and taking long breaks to have a joss.

    Guess that's why the book is so fucking unfocused.
  • Scimarad 26 May 2008 08:39:25 9,753 posts
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    I really couldn't get into those books pretty much because of that sort of stuff - Loved Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, though.

    Unfortunately it seems like he's slipping again with Dreaming Void...
  • Deleted user 14 June 2008 11:22:43
    Gremmi wrote:
    Baxter isn't too bad. Time Ships was awesome.

    Yes it is. Thats the sequel to the Time Machine isn't it?
  • phAge 14 Jun 2008 13:57:26 25,487 posts
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    Aspic wrote:
    I'll definitely get some more of his stuff.
    I just started Distress (Egan again), and apart from loving his style of writing even more, I'm utterly impressed how he has managed to make a sci-fi book from 1995 seem like it was written last year. I know its all very subjective, but pretty much all of his predictions seem pretty much spot-on to me. At least so far there hasn't been any "err - right..."-moments, like most older sci-fi books have ("so the d00d from 2152 has almost TWO HUNDRED megabytes of storage on his laptop, then?") - which means that the suspension of disbelief remains intact throughout.

    Also, I'm loving the "hard" part of the hard science (quiet at the back!) - nothing I hate more than when a sci-fi author treats me like an idiot by glossing over things and telling me that "that's just the way it is, m'kay?".

    Greg Egan - I salute you.

    EDIT: Also - again - NO SPOILERS OF ANY KIND please - I'm only on chapter 6!
  • Deleted user 14 June 2008 14:32:58
    Madder Max wrote:
    Gremmi wrote:
    Baxter isn't too bad. Time Ships was awesome.

    Yes it is. Thats the sequel to the Time Machine isn't it?

    Yep.

    Just started Permutation City by Egan...not far in, but it seems to be a much better scenario than Quarantine had.
  • otto Moderator 18 Sep 2008 14:17:20 49,322 posts
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    I guess this is the closest we have to a classic sci-fi thread, right?

    Anyway, I've been rereading Asimov's Foundation series for the first time since I was a teenager. I remember they really capture my imagination when I first read them, and of course they're classics and highly influential.

    On rereading them... what can I say? They really, really suck! :(

    I've become accustomed to reading hard sci-fi and space opera that is constructed in a way that lets the reader suspend disbelief. This is done either by putting together a plausible future history or relying on excellent characterisation and always by good plotting. The Foundation books totally fail on all three counts. Firstly, they really show their age: there's one passage in the second book where several paragraphs are devoted to describing an amazing technical piece of wizardry, a machine that can show a star field in three dimensions and from any angle or point in space. And it takes only half an hour to calculate a new view! LOL. Makes me wonder how quaint and archaic our current science fiction will look in 60 years' time. Secondly, the plot is full of godawful mcguffins and non sequiturs and contrivances; none of the major characters behave in a remotely believable way, their motivation is way off, and the few attempts to crowbar their bizarre behaviour into the plot just make it worse; and finally, yes, the characters, well there are none.

    Bit disappointing really. :(

    Any other 'classics' that you've come back to and found yourself really disappointed by?
  • phAge 18 Sep 2008 14:29:56 25,487 posts
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    otto wrote:
    Any other 'classics' that you've come back to and found yourself really disappointed by?
    Can't think of the titles, but I've read plenty of sci-fi classics that left me utterly cold. Much of the older stuff reads like it's written completely in those Austin Powers "LASER"-citation marks...
  • TechnoHippy 18 Sep 2008 14:30:27 17,470 posts
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    The last time I read Rendevouz with Rama must be 20 odd years ago. It would be interesting to give it another read. There was another Arther C Clarke book about a kid winning a prize of a holiday anywhere on Earth, but through some legal trickery get's to go to a low orbit space station.

    As a genre I think the Cyber punk stuff hasn't aged well, although I still like reading it.
  • Deleted user 18 September 2008 14:53:42
    River of Gods by Ian McDonald is excellent. Sort of cyber-punk setting based in a near-future India. It has about eight completely different story lines with different characters from soap opera stars to the prime minister, all of which converge at the end of the book. A bit difficult to get into but totally worth it.
  • Ginger 18 Sep 2008 14:55:35 7,253 posts
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    Read the foundation stuff for the first time this summer - first book was ace - really sold me on the concept. Second was a bit dross, and lost it's way a lot when the donkey or whatever his name was turned up. Third was just horeshit - some fucking bullshit psychic whatchamacallit?
  • otto Moderator 18 Sep 2008 14:57:12 49,322 posts
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    Yeah Ginger that's basically on the money. The first was great because of the concept, even if the execution wasn't that great, but it totally lost its way. I'm actually reading the sequels which Asimov wrote in his dotage, just to see, but they're basically a continuation of where he left off in book three.
  • Tonka 18 Sep 2008 14:59:49 30,893 posts
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    A Science Fiction Omnibus is a great collection of short stories.
  • TechnoHippy 18 Sep 2008 15:00:35 17,470 posts
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    terminus wrote:
    Techno Hippy wrote:
    The last time I read Rendevouz with Rama must be 20 odd years ago. It would be interesting to give it another read. There was another Arther C Clarke book about a kid winning a prize of a holiday anywhere on Earth, but through some legal trickery get's to go to a low orbit space station.

    I remember that. I think I got it in a three-book omnibus with some Mars-based antics.

    It was Islands in the Sky I think:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islands_in_the_Sky
  • TechnoHippy 18 Sep 2008 15:07:34 17,470 posts
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    I think the latest of his I've read was Hammer of God. I should try and pick up some of his newer stuff.
  • boo 18 Sep 2008 15:15:22 13,605 posts
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    Zob wrote:
    Greg Bear's Eon, for imagination stretching fantasy and 80s sci-fi future prediction... his future has soviets competing with the US well into the 21 century.

    But it is awesome IMO.

    o_O

    Are you serious?

    Eon has to be the worst book I have ever read in my entire life.

    I remember it being reviewed when it first came out, and it was described as 'a carbuncle on the backside of Science Fiction', and quite frankly that was being generous.

    Iirc, Mr Bear was totally unaware of the concept of punctuation...
  • Ginger 18 Sep 2008 15:19:35 7,253 posts
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    otto wrote:
    ...but they're basically a continuation of where he left off in book three.
    Not the greatest recommendation - I'll wait for the synopsis :)
  • Scimarad 18 Sep 2008 16:14:18 9,753 posts
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    It's strange that someone should make that comment about Foundation as I was going to post pretty much the same thing; I suppose you probably had to be there at the time...

    I really like the idea of Eon but it was a bit of a struggle I have to say - Not nearly as much as the sequel, though. When it comes to Greg Bear my favourite is Blood Music by huge margin. In fact, that's one of my favourite books ever.

    Oh, and plus zillions on the Rama sequels comment.
  • coastal 18 Sep 2008 16:34:32 5,430 posts
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    Neal Stephenson's new book is out now. Regularly good writer since Snow Crash. I wish it was more baroque cycle stuff but never mind.
  • glaeken 18 Sep 2008 16:39:44 12,070 posts
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    Techno Hippy wrote:
    I think the latest of his I've read was Hammer of God. I should try and pick up some of his newer stuff.

    I quite like the Time Odyssey series he did with Stephen Baxter though saying that I have not read the third one yet.

    The first two are certainly worth reading. I think they read a bit more like Baxter on form than Clarke though so I would think Baxter did most of the writing while Clarke probably was more the ideas man.

    He seems to have a collaberation with Frederik Pohl out as well at the moment called The Last Theorem which is probably the last book he worked on before he died. Amazon reviews don't seem to good though.
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