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Thread: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by pollaxe View Post
    Peter Morwood - The Horse Lord, The Demon Lord, The Dragon Lord
    I remember reading these & thoroughly enjoying them
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by glutamate View Post
    It's funny to think that Sci-Fi will be a bit pointless a few thousand years in the future, when we have all the fantasy technology we read about in modern novels.
    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    They will still have Sci-Fi, and they will still treasure the classics. Take 1984 for example, we don't read it for a reflection of what 1984 was like, we read it for a reflection of what 1948 was like.
    Agreed -e.g. I think HG Wells is still worth reading (and that goes for the OP if you've never read any of his stuff). It's still good just to see what Wells came up with 100+ years ago, but also interesting for the historical element to it.

    Another suggestion that has just occurred to me is the Red/Green/Blue Mars triology by Kim Stanley Robinson. They chart the future history of the colonization of Mars over the course of about 200 years. I read it/them ages ago, but it's always stuck in my mind. I've been meaning to pick up a copy to see if it's as good as I remember. (or whether it'll be like re-watching Spaceballs after many years...)

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    Overclocking Since 1988 nightkhaos's Avatar
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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryRW View Post
    (or whether it'll be like re-watching Spaceballs after many years...)
    Argh... I did that a few months ago. I was very, very, very disapointed.
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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Greg Bear - Blood Music, Darwins Radio
    Dan Simmons - Hyperion Trilogy, Illium
    Iain Banks - Culture series
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    A few classics that have stood the test of time :

    Mindswap By Robert Sheckley
    Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley
    A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M Miller
    Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr
    Battlefield Earth by L Ron Hubbard (yes, the scientology chap - good sci fi writer though!)

    also the recent 'The Time Traveller's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger, which has to be one of the most imaginative books I've ever read.
    And another vote for Iain Banks - I particularly like 'The Wasp Factory'...

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by nightkhaos View Post
    -1 You haven't read Science Fiction until you have read four thousand pages (in three books) worth of science fiction.
    Another vote for Peter F Hamilton's The Nights Dawn Trilogy. Currently about a 3rd of the way through book 2. Bit mind bending on place's, but very good read so far, with each book going for 1250 pages, its not light reading.
    Read a few Greg Bear, always enjoyed what he's done, currently he's working on the next Halo book
    Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle. One of my favorite books, The Mote In Gods Eye, so good i had to buy it twice (that will teach me for lending it out)

    Fantasy.
    Raymond E Feist. Magician series, lots of Magic, Elves etc. Tend to read the series every 2 years or so.

    Some very good suggestions listed here, will need to stop playing wow and catch up on some books instead.

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    Bonnet mounted gunsight megah0's Avatar
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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Orson Scott Card - The Ender series.
    Recycling consultant

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    I've been a Fantasy and Science Fiction nut ever since I was a kid; my mum got me the Hobbit to read and I saw Star Wars as my first trip to the cinema (that I remember at least). Over the years I've read just about anything I could get my hands on, and from my perspective overall quality has gone down. Thats not to say that there aren't some great writers out there as there are some I would stack up against the greats like Tolkien or Asimov, but there are less that are worth reading that are being published now.

    As to why thats hard to say, but considering that when it comes to sales against asanine z-list autobiographies these genres seem to struggle, it may just be that publishers aren't that bothered. In Sci-Fi's heyday the americans were putting men on the moon so it captured the publics attention, plus with more of it now on TV the average person would probably rather watch that than read a book.

    But as I said there are some really great authors out there, so those I would recommend are as follows;

    Ian M Banks - though some of it is rather quirky
    Neal Stephenson - Everything from cyberpunk (Snowcrash) to Historical Fantasy (Quicksilver), my personal favourite is Cryptonomicron (but I like maths)
    Richard Morgan - Altered Carbon and the subsequent books with Takeshi Kovacs are outstanding (going the route of looking at how technology affects us as humans)
    Peter F Hamilton - I love his soace opera stuff like Lights Dawn, but you have to be prepared to read long books with lots of multiple threads and plots, his shorter works are good as well
    George R R Martin - A Song of Fire and Ice trilogy is as good as Tolkien for high fantasy
    Robert Jordan - Wheel of Time is great to start off but starts to lose its way by about book six or seven

    There are other books out there by authors who have been publishing for a while, but have trended to lose their way more recently. Best examples would be Raymond E Feist and David Gemmel, as I've read their early stuff countless times but their new stuff puts me to sleep.

    As a one off book Cyteen by C J Cherryh is one of the most thoughtful books I've read in ages, I did hear that a sequel is coming out but I've not got round to checking it out.

    Finally if you haven't read any of his books then Wiliam Gibson is a must starting with Neuromancer, he is the grandfather of cyberpunk and is recognised as the first man to envision Cyberspace
    If Wisdom is the coordination of "knowledge and experience" and its deliberate use to improve well being then how come "Ignorance is bliss"

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Lots of good stuff here to help my Amazon wish list grow. In case they haven't been mentioned, can I also suggest these authors:

    • Bruce Sterling - and also "The Difference Engine" written with William Gibson
    • Kim Stanley Robinson - particularly the trilogy Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars


    Just spotted GaryRW recommending the Mars trilogy, but still +1 for that.

    I also just finished Matter by Iain M Banks, which was very good but still hasn't topped Excession as my favourite of his.
    Last edited by Peter Parker; 03-08-2009 at 11:24 PM.

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Greg Bear - Blood Music, Darwins Radio
    Dan Simmons - Hyperion Trilogy, Illium
    Iain Banks - Culture series
    +1 for Darwin's Radio. Very much enjoyed the core idea of it (and the human reactions to it) even if some parts of the side story / dialogue were a bit weak.

    I really enjoyed one of the (lesser known?) Arthur C Clarke collaborations - "The Trigger" by Clarke / Michael McDowell:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trigger-Arth...9337365&sr=1-4

    Though it's worth noting there's no space faring or aliens in it as you might imagine for a Clarke book.

    On a similar note I really liked "Time's Eye" - the first book in the Time Odyssey series though it has to be said I didn't think the 2nd and 3rd book lived up to it - and again on a similar note I really like the first Rama book (Rendezvous with Rama).

    And if you haven't already read it Greg Bear's Eon is great - proper big idea stuff.
    Last edited by malfunction; 03-08-2009 at 11:37 PM.

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy is probably my favourite ever series of books, bar none. I am a voracious reader, and they'd probably be hard to keep track of if you read slowly, but I have found very few other books have the depth and interest to really capture me intellectually (sorry for sounding like a pompous ass...)

    His other material rocks too!

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Gah ! - Can't believe I forgot Eon and Eternity. Brilliant stuff.
    Also +1 for Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle. Another great read is 'The Heart of the Comet'.

    I do have the entire William Gibson collection. I think his last two are a return to form as well Idoru and Pattern Recognition.

    And then there is my favourite book of all time from which I took my nom de web.
    Metrophage by Richard Kadrey. It's not a serious book, but rather in the style of Snowcrash it takes recognisable themes and has fun with them.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Fantasy:
    Mervin King, thou some of it is a bit far fetched for my liking, too much of the Darling influence.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kata View Post
    Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy is probably my favourite ever series of books, bar none. I am a voracious reader, and they'd probably be hard to keep track of if you read slowly, but I have found very few other books have the depth and interest to really capture me intellectually (sorry for sounding like a pompous ass...)

    His other material rocks too!
    also +1 for the nights dawn trilogy
    superb books can be a little hard going at times doesn't quite have the fluency of frank herbert but very good books nonetheless,

    if you have ever read the the original DUNE books you ahould pick up the more recent ones done by his son and kevin anderson not as good as the originals but still good nonetheless and theres a good few to read


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    Senior Member kasavien's Avatar
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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    Neil Gaiman and Terry Good kind, although I'm not sure whether you would put neil gaiman in fantasy or not, both good writers though. I love a bit of Terry Pratchett too, but I'm not sure whether you want humour with your fantasy!

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    Re: Sci-Fi reading in the 21st century?

    I don't read much for pleasure myself, but my wife reads a lot, is very discerning, and has recently got into John Scalzi - I believe he's quite Heinlein-esque... and if my wife likes him, that's usually a good recommendation

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