1. Long Gone
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    Long Gone Guest

    Iain M. Banks or Orson Scott Card??

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Long Gone, Aug 13, 2009.

    I adore science fiction, but the only series I've ever read through (as in, read all the books in said series) is the Space Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clarke.

    Now I want to read something with a bit more grit to it, something a bit darker. I've been looking at two sci-fi authors and their series. The first is Iain M. Banks and his Culture series, the other is Orson Scott Card and his Ender series.

    Has anybody read any books from either series? At a long shot, has anyone read books from both series and developed a preference for either??
     
  2. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    I have read the Ender series and I love it I really suggest you read it. The story is well written and the characters believable. My favorite of the series is Ender's Shadow witch is a side book to the series.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't read Banks' work. I've read three of Card's books (Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead), and enjoyed them quite a bit.

    You might also enjoy The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
     
  4. Long Gone
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    Long Gone Guest

    I'll check out Niven and Pournelle, thanks Cogito.

    I've been looking around the net and people seem to have only good things to say about the Ender series, and I've seen Ender's Game at the top of several "Best Sci-Fi" lists. I think I'll venture out for a copy on Saturday.

    If anybody has read any of Banks's work, please let me know what you thought :)
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Banks is brilliant.

    I've met him, and he's a bloody genius. His sci-fi does tend to be a little hard, so if you don't like that sort of thing then you may not appreciate it as much as I did, but I'd recommend you take a look at Consider Phlebas, which is the first novel in his Culture series.
     
  6. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've met him too, haven't I matty? :D

    I really want to get around to reading Iain's sci-fi stuff, because he's clearly one of the very best - but I've only read his manstream fiction so far, and I have to say that I love it.

    He's the coolest guy ever, and he has an amazing scottish accent - so you should read his books on cool-points alone.

    [Showing-off time] Pics of us with Iain. He's a cool dude -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I took this one, and I said to them both 'Now act cool!' and they did this. haha.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Twisted Inversely
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    Twisted Inversely Senior Member

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    I haven't read Banks (but on your recommendation Banzai I might have a go). I can however wholeheartedly say yes to Enders Game. The sequel Speaker for the Dead is also very good, but at the same time a very different story from Game, and those that follow it more different still. For something similar try the fantastic Enders Shadow.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Speaker for the Dead is a very good novel to study if you want to see how to integrate foreign language dialogue into a story, quite apart from its quality as a story.
     
  9. Kacoshi Ajewl
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    Kacoshi Ajewl Member

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    to add more to this conversation I have always thought the ideas presented in Xenocide, yet another Ender book, were explicitly crafted.
     
  10. Green Tea
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    Green Tea Banned

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    Ender's Game, and Ender's Shadow are good stories. The rest of the Ender series didn't appeal to me as much. Especially not 'Shadow of the Hegemon', 'Shadow Puppets', or 'Shadow of the Giant'. The last of which was honestly speaking a dull read, because it tried to be a political Tom Clancy novel. Orson Scott Card's work tends to be inconsistent. He tries to change genres, and it often overlaps in his books.

    I would highly recommend Ender's Game. Then wait a while to read Ender's Shadow. Because it is a parallel story, told from the view of a different protagonist.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, that's a very good reason to read them back-to-back. This is an excellent illustration of how essentially the same major events become entirely different stories when a different POV is chosen.
     
  12. Maxx
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    Maxx New Member

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    I'm putting in another vote for Banks. I've never met him, but the Culture series is mind-bogglingly cool. Lately he seems to be writing about a simulated universe where the intelligent machines that run the Culture were displaced from power and almost exterminated (the Algebraist).

    Naturally that couldn't really happen. I mean those machines are far to smart for that to have really happened to them. And Banks knows it.
     
  13. Phlogiston
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    Just noticed that this post is from 2009. Boy do I feel sheepish.

    *********************************************

    Aye, Banks is pretty awesome. Definately recommended.

    I just read Ender's Game last week and enjoyed it muchly. I have three issues with it though (the last of which isn't really an issue and in fact is very positive).

    1. You'll chew through it. The prose style means it's one of those books that a fast reader will devour in far too short a time. I want more!

    2. I personally found that OSC's introduction ruined the book for me. Mr Card comes across as very bitter and resentful towards teachers in his life. Since the book is littered with references to teachers (and not really positive ones) it has coloured my views of the story itself. Sad.

    3. Frank Herbert's Dune does everything Ender's Game does and better. Now for me Dune is just about the greatest SF series of all time, so any comparison has to be a good thing. However it does lead me to this conclusion:

    Don't read Banks or Card untill you've read Dune!
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I second The Mote in God's Eye, and would also add Footfall, by the same authors. If you want darker, grittier, work, there are also a lot of decent Warhammer 40K novels, though for that type of material, as with Star Wars, I apply the term "science fiction" a lot more loosely than with respect to Niven and Pournelle.

    I also recommend David Brin's Uplift series of books.
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I love both authors, I think Orson Scott Card is marginally easier to read. That could be because I was about 13 when I read Iain M Banks, off the back of his detective novelsT, and Orson Scott Card was more recent (I enjoyed his Women of Genesis series and his newspaper articles, I read Enders Game on the back of them). Of them all Card's Rebekah is my favourite but not sure thats what your after lol

    Bank's Wasp Factory is probably the inspiration for me writing a 17 year old boy first person

    EDIT: oh well its an old post lol
     

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