/ Recommend me some Sci Fi

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Cheese Monkey - on 12 May 2014
Love Iain M Banks style of sci fi novels. Looking for some other ideas as I'm running out of them now :(
climbingpixie - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Have you read any Alastair Reynolds or China Mieville? I'd recommend Century Rain by the former and Perdido Street Station by the latter as a starting point to see if you like them.
Ramblin dave - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Much less high tech, but with a similarly thoughtful approach, Stanislav Lem's Solaris and Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand Of Darkness are both great.

My girlfriend has a habit of picking up stuff from the Gollancz SF Masterworks series:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SF_Masterworks
which has all been good so far.
j0ntyg on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
"Something wicked this way comes" by Ray Bradbury. It's frightening. Also not hi-tech.
Post edited at 17:03
Cheese Monkey - on 12 May 2014
In reply to j0ntyg:

Ah see I like the hi-tech side of it more than nearly anything else. Other stuff I have tried I have found a bit frustratingly unimaginative in the tech area! I should probably give some more stuff a try though
Cheese Monkey - on 12 May 2014
In reply to climbingpixie:

Alastair Reynolds on the other hand sounds spot on!
toad - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Ken Macleod? Former mucker of Iain M Banks and another writer of hard SF (often with a socialist slant). I suppose for political balance some old Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle might also fit the bill
deepstar - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Probably a bit "Old Fashioned" for you but Arthur C Clarke's Rama series are a great read,first part, Rendezvous with Rama.
nicmac - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Isaac Asimov
Philip K Dick
vegemite - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

If you like Banks then try This Alien Shore by C.S. Friedman. Alternatively for something mind-bendingly huge try The Last Legends of Earth by Attanasio (not for arachnophobes though!)
Duncan Bourne - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

You have probably read it but "Neuromancer" by William Gibson is a classic of the genre
climbingpixie - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

If you're after the high tech stuff then I'd recommend jumping straight into his Revelation Space novels. Century Rain is great as a standalone but not a patch on the RS series.

Peter Hamilton's Void Trilogy might also be of interest. I read them recently and really enjoyed them and they're also pretty techy.
wintertree - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
Eon and Blood Music by Greg Bear.

The Man Who Sold The Moon by Heinlein. 60 years late but Elon Musk is practical the real incarnation of the book's lead character.
Post edited at 18:51
wintertree - on 12 May 2014
In reply to deepstar:

> Probably a bit "Old Fashioned" for you but Arthur C Clarke's Rama series are a great read,first part, Rendezvous with Rama.

Well, the one book that he wrote, Rendezvous was great. I thought the rest were utter trite, but regardless of my personal view they're clearly very different to the first which was a little classic.
Graham Mck on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

lots of good recommendations on this old thread...

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=527584&v=1#x7099531
NaCl - on 12 May 2014
In reply to climbingpixie:
"Peter Hamilton's Void Trilogy might also be of interest."

This chap is who i was gonna recommend. As stated, a bit techy but if you want "epic scale" you won't go far wrong.
Bulls Crack - on 12 May 2014
In reply to deepstar:

> Probably a bit "Old Fashioned" for you but Arthur C Clarke's Rama series are a great read,first part, Rendezvous with Rama.

The original book was great, the second ok but after that :-(

Whilst very dated in some ways Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mission-Of-Gravity-Mesklinite-MASTERWORKS/dp/0575077085 is still for me the 'truest' sci-fi book I've ever read in that it set the concept up and told a good story whilst remaining completely true to that concept
Rob Davies - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

I second Ken Macleod. As his books have, in my opinion, been getting better in recent years, there is some consolation for the loss of Banks so young (exactly the same age as me, i.e. young!). The earlier Macleod novels are worthwhile but feel as if they were written by someone who spent his spare time standing on street corners selling Socialist Worker.

Amongst earlier writers some obvious suggestions not mentioned so far are:

- Cities in Flight series by James Blish
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Last and First Men + Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
gd303uk - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Stranger in a strange land, Time enough for love, both by: Robert Heinlien.

jockster - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

The Stars my Destination by Alfred Bester is very good
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climbingpixie - on 12 May 2014
In reply to Bulls Crack:

A lot of Arthur C Clarke's sequels were best ignored. I remember reading some of the sequels to 2001 and he actually just re-used an entire chapter, word for word.
climbingpixie - on 12 May 2014
In reply to NaCl:
Have you read the Night's Dawn Trilogy? I was really disappointed with it. It started off really well but seemed to lose focus and end up very unsatisfying. It almost put me off trying the Void books but someone recommended I gave him another go.
disturbed_one51 - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Another Vote for Alister Reynolds especially his Revalation Space series. I just finished them and they are a fantastically epic and imaginitive space opera with so much depth.

I also loved Dan Simmons Hyperion and Endymion Series. The 1st book can be a bit slow as it sets the scene, but it is worth it as the rest is great and an addictive page turner.

Dune is a classic that is a must read for any Sci Fi fan but it is less tech orientated appproach to sci fi.

The old stuff like Assimov and Arthur C Clarke are great as well in an interesting way as I find it fascinating how the sci fi authors of the past view the possibilities for future technology and things like the internet and mobile phones arent even dreamt of
SidharthaDongre - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

The City & The City - China Miéville
Vurt - Jeff Noon
Anything by William Gibson or Asimov
Welsh Kate - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Rob Davies:

Stapledon is mind-blowing, though some of his stuff (eg: Sirius) is rather weird at times.
Last and First Men and Star Maker are brilliant though.
toad - on 13 May 2014
In reply to SidharthaDongre:

City and the City is a good book and a really interesting central premise, but is it sci fi? And I'd probably ask the same question about Jeff Noon - wierd, yes, but hardly space opera.

Actually if you want a go at China Mieville, then Perdito St Station is probably the place to start(though his kids books are suprisingly good as well)
jethro kiernan - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Peter Hamilton

Alastair Reynolds

Dan Simmons Hyperion cantos is very good

didnt realy get an with Ken Mcloud, maybe try again

unfortunatly there is lots of dross out there, and there arn't many writers out there who had Ian M Banks nack for inteligent, literate and entertaining sci fi
SidharthaDongre - on 13 May 2014
In reply to toad:

Perhaps you're right with TC&tC, though there is at least a distinct futurism about it. I'd have to argue that Vurt is blatantly Sci-Fi, copious references to future-tech, I'd say it's almost verging on Cyberpunk.

No-one's mentioned:

'Light - M. John Harrison' or 'Accelerando - Charles Stross'.
Mike Peacock on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Another shout for Alasteir Reynolds. As Climbingpixie said, Century Rain is good but not really typical of his writing. Most is worth reading (though maybe ignore Blue Remembered Earth which is a bit of a let down).
Siward on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Not mentioned yet, and books I rated when I read them (about a thousand years ago) are the Heechee novels by Frederick Pohl, 'Gateway' being the first book in the saga.
Choss on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Stainless Steel rat books
The Ivanator - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Bob Shaw's "Orbitsville" books are good and have a fairly substantial tech content. Personally love the best Philip K Dick, but he is wildly variable and not really tech focussed - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Ubik are essential reading though.
Toby_W on 13 May 2014
In reply to Choss:

The death World Series. ( Harry Harrison)
The gap series can't remember who by but rather good.
The saga of the seven suns by Kevin j Anderson. I'll warn you the first book is hard work for the first half but so worth it.

Cheers

Toby

Mike Peacock on 13 May 2014
In reply to Toby_W:

I read the first of the Seven Suns but thought the writing was fairly dreadful so gave up. Shame because the plot had some promise.
Tony Naylor on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

These might fit the bill:

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
Any of Gary Gibson's stuff
Tony Naylor on 13 May 2014
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> You have probably read it but "Neuromancer" by William Gibson is a classic of the genre

Brilliant stuff. Also, "Count Zero" and "Mona Lisa Overdrive".
deepsoup - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
> Alastair Reynolds on the other hand sounds spot on!

For an Iain M Banks fan, definitely.

I would disagree with climbingpixie though - you're probably going to end up reading all of it, so you may as well start with Revelation Space. (Which is excellent, and the first of a series of loosely connected novels set in the same universe.)

I'd also second (third?) Ken Macleod, starting with The Star Fraction. More overtly political than Banks, but he has some very interesting ideas.
jelaby - on 13 May 2014
In reply to climbingpixie:

Peter F Hamilton's two Commonwealth books are good - they preceded the Void trilogy (by some centuries). Fallen Dragon is a stand alone story which I think may be his best work.

I don't think his Void series is a patch on the Night's Dawn. Night's Dawn at least had loads of interesting imaginative things all the way up to the end. The Void series is (being unkind) a below-par fantasy story interleaved with a boring by-the-numbers futuristic action adventure, all with an equally deus-ex-machina ending. I read it to the end, hoping that something interesting would turn up, but I don't think I'll read another Hamilton series again.

On the good side:
Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief. High tech, great concepts, loads of action.
Neal Stephenson. I've read Snow Crash and The Diamond Age. Good stuff.
I'll echo Dan Simmons' Hyperion and Endymion series - they're simply fantastic; Illium is also good. They're not Hard Science Fiction, though.
jelaby - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Ooh. Also:

David Brin's Uplift series (read them all, in order!). I enjoyed "Existence" recently, too.
mgco3 - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Anything written by Isaac Asimov.

Even his shopping list :-)
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Bobling - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

I loved the Night's Dawn Trilogy, or at least the start of it. The first book, The Reality Dysfunction, blew me and all my mates away when we were in our late teens, just sad the series seemed to run out of steam. I'd second the SF Masterworks - I've bought quite a few with no research and enjoyed them all, with the exception of Cities in Flight which was just too techy for me. The Frederick Pohl Gateway stuff was excellent too brilliant premise.

Not yet mentioned - the Forever War, Joe Haldeman.

Coincidentally just started Asimov's Foundation and for the first time in ages have that great "This is going to be a REALLY good book" feeling.
Dr.S at work - on 13 May 2014
In reply to jelaby:
I think Hamilton's best work is the mind star trilogy - all excellent and mesh well with Macleod as a capitalist / socialist set of future Britain

Try Richard Morgan - altered carbon etc, quite good and a nice central concept

Somebody mentioned Blish - dig out "earth man go home" or "sunken universe" beautiful variation on terra forming........
Post edited at 22:56
climbingpixie - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Mike Peacock:
I read the whole Seven Suns series and enjoyed the plot but you're right, the writing is pretty terrible. It felt like the sci fi equivalent to a McDonalds - you enjoy it at the time but it makes you feel a bit dirty afterwards and you wouldn't want anyone to see you with it.
Post edited at 23:36
climbingpixie - on 13 May 2014
In reply to Bobling:

I'll give you that the Reality Dysfunction was excellent, I got really excited when I read it. But the series just seemed to fizzle out and get a bit weird and it definitely didn't live up to its earlier promise.
gunbo - on 14 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Richard morgan and steven gould both good authors I'd give the steel remains a miss though. And stick to the kovacs books ( richard morgan)
Flinticus - on 15 May 2014
In reply to jethro kiernan:

>
> unfortunatly there is lots of dross out there, and there arn't many writers out there who had Ian M Banks nack for inteligent, literate and entertaining sci fi

Yeah, that's the problem I've found with the genre. Crude characterisations abound as well as lazy cliches.

Read: Shadow of the Torturer and Book of the New Sun (voted greatest fantasy of all time, but is set millions of years in the future on Earth.
Post edited at 11:51
ex0 - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
The Gap Cycle by Stephen Donaldson. I'm not ashamed to say I dropped a couple tears for Morn and Warden Dios at the end of This Day All Gods Die.
Post edited at 12:17
toad - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

I found those Gene Wolfe books incredibly draining when I read them. Should have ticked all the boxes, but (and I don't know if this was just his writing style) they were just really dreary. Along with Thomas Covenant, the turgid (too strong?) prose meant I've never read them again since I was 18.
Dave Garnett - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
> Love Iain M Banks style of sci fi novels. Looking for some other ideas as I'm running out of them now :(

You can always read them all again! I didn't get some of the connections (between Use of Weapons and Surface Detail, for instance) until I reread the earlier ones.
deepsoup - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Flinticus:
> Yeah, that's the problem I've found with the genre. Crude characterisations abound as well as lazy cliches.

I don't think that's a problem limited to just the one genre. ;o)
deepsoup - on 15 May 2014
In reply to toad:
> I found those Gene Wolfe books incredibly draining when I read them. Should have ticked all the boxes, but (and I don't know if this was just his writing style) they were just really dreary. Along with Thomas Covenant, the turgid (too strong?) prose meant I've never read them again since I was 18.

Hm. I'm in the same boat. I read all those Wolfe and Donaldson books when I was about that age too. I don't remember a great deal about them, but I do know I wouldn't be at all interested in reading them all again.

(I've read most of the Iain Banks, Ken MacLeod and Alastair Reynolds books twice and may well read them all again some day.)
Hat Dude on 15 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

John Brunner wrote some interesting books in the late 1960s early 70s which were very prophetic in a Wellesian way

Stand On Zanzibar
Shockwave Rider
The Sheep Look Up
Gasmerchant - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Neal Asher "Gridlinked" and follow up novels
jethro kiernan - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

Cheers will check them out
Toby_W on 15 May 2014
In reply to ex0:

Thank you I couldn't remember if he (Donaldson) was the author. I agree with others found the Thomas C books rather dreary but the gap series were great, what a difference. I am invested with authority on this matter. The cyborg enhancements were rather good too.

Cheers

Toby
Flinticus - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Just back from Waterstones to get holiday reading:

Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges

Dark Eden by Chris Beckett

Was tempted by some of the SF Masterworks but they were not on special offer.
ex0 - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Toby_W:

I think I got through 4 of 10 of the Thomas Covenant books. I just wasn't enjoying them. I can't remember any other series that I've stopped halfway through. Booooooring!
Johnny_Grunwald on 15 May 2014
In reply to Gasmerchant:
> (In reply to Cheese Monkey)
>
> Neal Asher "Gridlinked" and follow up novels

Beat me to it. I don't think these are quite as good as the Culture series but they are certainly comparable. Similar tech, though the Polity AIs lack the wit and flair of the Culture Minds and I also think Neal Asher struggles a bit with the multiple plot-line style that Ian M used to such great effect.

I still can't believe there will never be another Culture novel :-(
toad - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Have we mentioned Neal Stephenson yet? Not all are sci fi, but Anathem, the Diamond Age and Snow Crash are worth a read. Not to say that the Baroque Cycle or Reamde aren't worth reading, but not what you'd call sci fi. Cryptonomicon is a wee bit dated now, but worth a look nontheless
Johnny_Grunwald on 15 May 2014
In reply to ex0:
> (In reply to Cheese Monkey) The Gap Cycle by Stephen Donaldson. I'm not ashamed to say I dropped a couple tears for Morn and Warden Dios at the end of This Day All Gods Die.

I even managed to well up a bit for Angus Thermopylae at the end. Great books.
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TomBaker - on 15 May 2014
In reply to jelaby:

> I don't think his Void series is a patch on the Night's Dawn. Night's Dawn at least had loads of interesting imaginative things all the way up to the end. The Void series is (being unkind) a below-par fantasy story interleaved with a boring by-the-numbers futuristic action adventure, all with an equally deus-ex-machina ending. I read it to the end, hoping that something interesting would turn up, but I don't think I'll read another Hamilton series again.

>

+1 to this, I don't understand why so many people seem to like it!

If others had problems reading seven suns how on earth have you managed to get through Dune or any other book in that series.

Pulp sci fi is the way forward. Fine yourself the lens man series by E.E. Doc. Smith or Ringworld.

I've struggled to find much modern sci fi authors I enjoy. Interestingly Raymond E. Feist at a book signing said he'd had a sci fi concept book he wanted to write for years but his publishers kept telling him that sci fi didn't sell.
altirando - on 15 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

Perhaps fantasy rather than scifi - but try Mary Gentle.
damowilk on 16 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

One not mentioned so far , I think, is Vernon Vinge: he was a revelation! Hard(ish) Sci-Fi, but additionally, blistering storytelling.
jethro kiernan - on 16 May 2014
In reply to damowilk:

like
Tom Last - on 16 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

John Wyndham seems to have fallen out of favour a bit - at least I never see him mentioned in these threads. It's true he can't write people, but you really shouldn't miss stuff like The Crysalids.

Likewise lots of people have mentioned Asimov. Asimov wasn't very good at character development either, but his ideas are pretty damn snappy.

I'd recommend the short stories of both Asimov and Wyndham, where these two masters excel.

My stock in trade answer is always Nightfall by Asimov (short story version) and I'm yet to read better.
mrdigitaljedi - on 18 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:

jack l chualkers well of souls saga.
alan moore - on 23 May 2014
In reply to Cheese Monkey:
Julian May, Many coloured Land books will keep you going for a while. Unusual in that they kept getting better as they went on.
All of William Gibson's stuff is brilliant....

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