/ Recommend me some Sci Fi
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.
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:
which has all been good so far.
"Something wicked this way comes" by Ray Bradbury. It's frightening. Also not hi-tech.
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
Alastair Reynolds on the other hand sounds spot on!
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
Probably a bit "Old Fashioned" for you but Arthur C Clarke's Rama series are a great read,first part, Rendezvous with Rama.
Philip K Dick
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!)
You have probably read it but "Neuromancer" by William Gibson is a classic of the genre
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.
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.
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.
lots of good recommendations on this old thread...
"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.
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
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
Stranger in a strange land, Time enough for love, both by: Robert Heinlien.
The Stars my Destination by Alfred Bester is very good
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.
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.
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
The City & The City - China Miéville
Vurt - Jeff Noon
Anything by William Gibson or Asimov
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.
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)
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
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.
'Light - M. John Harrison' or 'Accelerando - Charles Stross'.
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).
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.
Stainless Steel rat books
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.
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.
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.
These might fit the bill:
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
Any of Gary Gibson's stuff
Brilliant stuff. Also, "Count Zero" and "Mona Lisa Overdrive".
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.
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.
David Brin's Uplift series (read them all, in order!). I enjoyed "Existence" recently, too.
Anything written by Isaac Asimov.
Even his shopping list :-)
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.
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........
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.
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.
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)
> 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.
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 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.
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.
I don't think that's a problem limited to just the one genre. ;o)
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.)
John Brunner wrote some interesting books in the late 1960s early 70s which were very prophetic in a Wellesian way
Stand On Zanzibar
The Sheep Look Up
Neal Asher "Gridlinked" and follow up novels
Cheers will check them out
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.
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.
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!
> 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 :-(
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
I even managed to well up a bit for Angus Thermopylae at the end. Great books.
+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.
Perhaps fantasy rather than scifi - but try Mary Gentle.
One not mentioned so far , I think, is Vernon Vinge: he was a revelation! Hard(ish) Sci-Fi, but additionally, blistering storytelling.
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.
jack l chualkers well of souls saga.
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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