1. Fitzroy Zeph
    Offline

    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    269
    Location:
    Canada

    Can you recommend some SciFi.

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Fitzroy Zeph, Feb 3, 2014.

    Hi, I don't read much from SciFi genre but would like to. I'd like to get some recommendations for great books, perhaps published within the past 5 years or so. Thanks.
     
  2. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Generally, sci-fi stories are considered to go from

    Hard: realistic with lots of research and detail (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, 2001 A Space Odyssey...)

    to

    Soft: basically magic with numbers and gizmos instead of spells and wands (Star Trek, Marvel comics...)

    and not everybody likes both extremes. Do you think that you would have a preference, or do they both sound good?
     
  3. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,602
    Likes Received:
    5,875
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Dan Simmons - more recent
    Octavia Butler - more recent
    Neither of those two are 5 years new.
    Believe it or not, L Ron Hubbard before he turned into a quack (read Battlefield Earth and ignore John Travolta's travesty of the movie). It's not new either and older than the other two.
    I'm not a fan of Terry Pratchett but a whole slew of his fans are. And I've not read any Ring World yet, but it also has a fan following.
     
  4. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    Would need you to answer Simpson17866's question before I could recommend anything. SF is such a wide genre.
     
  5. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,055
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    Some recommendations:

    Frank Herbert's Dune
    Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress or Starship Troopers
    Joe Haldeman's The Forever War
    Isaac Asimov's Foundation books.
    Niven and Pournelle's Ringworld or The Mote in God's Eye
    C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy
    Tanya Huff's Valor books (military scifi)
    John Steakley's Armor
    Scalzi's Old Man's War
    Mike Resnick's Santiago
    David Brin's Sundiver
    James S.A. Correy The Leviathan Wakes (pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham)

    As mentioned above, Octavia Butler and Dan Simmons are both good (Simmons more recently has been writing what is more like historical fantasy, but you could look at the Hyperion books).
     
  6. Passero
    Offline

    Passero Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    London
    One of my favorites is Stephen Baxter with his Xeelee Omnibus.
     
    Steerpike likes this.
  7. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,055
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    Yes, Baxter is good.

    And if you want to try something a bit different, try Greg Egan's Diaspora.
     
  8. amorgan3
    Offline

    amorgan3 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    It is not spaceships and lasers, but I am a few chapters into The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Pretty cool world he has laid out and so far an interesting build up of characters. His writing flows very well from chapter to chapter without too much breakup (or hangup) with the nitty gritty science in the fiction. I prefer it this way most of the time, and I think it is a better place to start if you are not normally into SciFi.
     
  9. Bjørnar Munkerud
    Offline

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I can't believe noone's mentioned this yet: the The Hunger Games trilogy, consisting of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Amazing characters, plot(s) and setting. It's easily in my top five reading experiences of all time.
     
  10. 123456789
    Online

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,336
    Likes Received:
    3,084
    Think about that sentence.
     
  11. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,055
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    Yeah, that's a good pick!
     
  12. Fitzroy Zeph
    Offline

    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    269
    Location:
    Canada
    I'm hoping to get pointed in a direction I may not have normally taken. Hence the vagueness.
     
  13. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    Can't point you away if your original direction is unknown :)

    But, five or less years old, and not the usual thing, try :

    David Weber's "Safehold" series.
    Dan Abnet's "Embedded"
    Daniel O'Malley's " The Rook" series (a bit of urban fantasy)
    Mel Odom's "Hellgate London" trilogy
    Larry Correia's "Monster Hunter International" series
    Bryan Romer's "Vampire-Tech" (SF/Horror) - my book, heh, heh.
    Michael Z. Williamson's "Freehold" series. The last in the series is just past 5 years old.
    David Sherman & Dan Cragg "Starfist" series. The latest in the series is just 5 years old.
    Warhammer 40000 "Space Marines Battles" series

    All very different and not quite mainstream :)
     
  14. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,055
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    Anything by Abnett is good. I like what I've read of Odom in the past, but I haven't read that trilogy. Funny thing that you mention Safehold, because I almost bought the first one last weekend and ended up leaving with the first Kris Longknife book and Karen Traviss' Glasslands instead. If you like WH40K I recommend that Gaunt's Ghosts books as well.
     
  15. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    Gaunt's Ghosts, have 'em all. Several still on the pending pile :) Plus the entire "Horus Heresy" sequence.

    I read the first two (I think) of Kris Longknife. Not bad, but not so compelling that I wanted to go through the entire series in one go. But that's just me. Hope you enjoy.

    The Odom books are not actually a favourite of mine, and are based on a PC game. But they do have a complex and very unusual story, told from three different viewpoints in each book of the trilogy.
     
  16. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,055
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    That's kind of my feeling on it so far. Not bad, but I'm not going to be stampeding toward the next book in the series. I don't usually like game tie-ins outside of a few Warhammer authors, but Glasslands is pretty good (A Halo tie-in). I picked it up because I've read Karen Traviss before and liked her.

    I'm going to get the Safehold series and give that a shot!
     
  17. Simpson17866
    Offline

    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,702
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    @Fitzroy Zeph Very well:

    Ender's Game: not much focus on the technical details (FTL communication is possible, for instance).

    A very brutal look at the psychology of raising child soldiers, and a very good look at why an alien race would declare war against humanity instead of settling on the "they're Evil because they're Evil" cop-out. The author might be notoriously homophobic in real life, but in spite of his best efforts, the book he wrote ended up presenting a very effective message on tolerance and understanding.

    World War Z: some focus on the technical details, with Max Brooks looking at which military tactics and/or equipment would or wouldn't work.

    It is told as an anthology, the literary conceit being that the author has survived the zombie war, interviewed other survivors, found that all of the humanizing details were taken out of his official report to make room for the numbers and figures, and was told to write his own book if he wanted to tell people about the human side of the war.

    I found the anthology style to be more compelling than if it had been just one or two people who only saw a small slice of the war.

    Blindsight (available for free on the author's website): so much focus on the technical details that the author included extensive notes and citations - written as humorously as the actual story had been - in the afterward to prove that he wasn't making (most of) it up.

    After a First Contact scenario where 65536 alien probes scan us, don't do much of anything else really, and then self-destruct, Earth sends a crew to intercept the alien ship that had sent the probes, hopefully to find out if the "Fireflies" had been an act of war.

    The captain is a vampire (Peter Watts come up with what I thought was an amazing explanation for why houses and crosses are a weakness), the physicians are cyborgs, the linguist has multiple personalities (4 minds sharing one brain can share the mental workload more efficiently than could 4 people who have to talk to each other out loud to share with each other), and the narrator has suffered brain damage/surgery that makes him better with theoretical constructs than he is with real people.
     
    Njal and Fitzroy Zeph like this.
  18. aClem
    Offline

    aClem Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    San Jose, Costa Rica
    Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series, Tom O'Bedlam by Robert Silverberg, the Heechee series by Frederick Pohl. All older but good. And Greg Bear can be amazing. Once I find a author I like I usually read anything by him/her I can get my hands on. Oh, and Nancy Kress. Bon voyage!.
     
  19. rodney adams
    Offline

    rodney adams Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    16
    I'm reading Incandescence by Greg Egan. I'm enjoying it. It's hard SF from what I understand.
     
  20. AJC
    Offline

    AJC Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    60
    Do you like reading short stories? I've found several very good science fiction anthologies on Amazon. The best collection I've read so far is The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 1: 1929-1964. That's where I recommend you start.
     
    Sturgeons Law and Fitzroy Zeph like this.
  21. Vronsky
    Offline

    Vronsky Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Seattle
    James Tiptree Jr is a fantastic SF author. Try Brightness Falls From The Sky or the short story collection 10,000 Light Years From Home. I've not read anything else remotely like her stuff.
     
  22. hotshot
    Offline

    hotshot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    RICHARD DAWKINS-The Selfish Gene.
     
    Vronsky likes this.
  23. AoA
    Offline

    AoA Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    11
    I don't remember when it was published, but "Empire from the Ashes" by David Weber is amazing. Anyway, who cares when a book was published? The story and writing quality is far more important.
     
    Fitzroy Zeph likes this.
  24. Gawler
    Offline

    Gawler Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    Australia via Hawaii via Australia via England
    I would seriously suggest that you do not restrict yourself to anything that has been published in the last 5 years. In doing so, you are excluding some of the greatest works of fiction ever written, SciFi or otherwise. H.G. Wells The War of the World is a must read if you have not already done so. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton is also an excellent read. Verne, Assimov and Arthur C Clarke also offer an abundance of good material to read.
     
  25. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,055
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    I recently read James S.A. Corey's Expanse books, starting with The Leviathan Wakes. Those were good. Corey is the pseudonym of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who works with George R.R. Martin apparently.
     

Share This Page