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Good Sci-Fi Books

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#31 Flopsy


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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:14 PM

5. Cyteen by CJ Cherryh
CJ Cherryh is one of the major space opera authors, always impressive for the realism of her great ships, the fiendish complexity of the intrigue on board and planetside, and for her bizarre, changed human characters of the future. Cyteen is the magnum opus of a series about a clash of empires, both human in origin, differing in their methods but identical in their lust for control. It's about domination and slavery, the monsters power makes and the twisted lives of the children born to perpetuate the dynasties. A dark mirror for the cold war era and a horrific science fiction boardroom drama, it will suck you in.


#32 DTMark


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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:33 PM

That's one amazing response to the initial question - thanks so much for your time - brilliant. I have plenty to take a look at now.

BTW Sunshine is on Film 4 @ 23:05 if you haven't seen it.

#33 guitarman001


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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:14 PM

I LOVE sci-fi films but haven't tried the books, to be honest!! For books I prefer fantasy, and you CANNOT beat 'The Assassin Trilogy' by Robin Hobb and 'Magician' by Raymond Feist.

I also have read books on finance and business etc... and it's all getting a bit boring now!!! Bring on the fiction.

Edited by guitarman001, 08 September 2011 - 10:15 PM.

#34 The Ayatollah Buggeri

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:26 PM

Anything by John Wyndham or John Christopher is classic and 'down to earth' type stuff.

The Death of Grass
is a terrifyingly convincing read for the tinfoil hat-inclined.

#35 Vagabond


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Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:55 AM

For any lovers of Warhammer 40k the Horus Heresy books are a decent read, although with the mixed authors, they can be very hit and miss.
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#36 'Bart'


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Posted 09 September 2011 - 05:59 AM

The Death of Grass
is a terrifyingly convincing read for the tinfoil hat-inclined.

It would make a great film. Sadly the first attempt, No Blade of Grass (1970) is a choppy and incoherent viewing experience.

The wonderful über-pragmatist character of Pirrie was reduced to basically an anti-social hoodlum in the film.

John Christopher did a similar line in "after the disaster" type stuff to John Wyndham, but in a much less cosy, middle-class way (and I love Wyndham's stuff BTW).

People get raped and blasted by shotguns in his books.

World in Winter is good too, A Wrinkle in the Skin less so (IMO).

I still quite like Christopher's children's books too, like the Tripods books.

#37 Frank Hovis

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 06:41 AM

Can't think why I forgot the aforementioned Philip K Dick, they were all great. The World Jones Made was particularly good.
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#38 SpectrumFX


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Posted 23 September 2011 - 02:25 PM

This may be of interest

History of Sci-Fi

It's a flow chart showing the history of Sci-Fi

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#39 DeepLurker


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Posted 23 September 2011 - 03:44 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Charles Stross yet.

Accelerando is fairly old now but probably the best take on a post Singularity future.

Halting State and Rule 34 are set in the near future and cover some very interesting issues within the "digital" economy.

And the laundry series (Atrocity Archives, Jennifer Morgue and Fuller Memorandum ) are a very good ride.

And don't forget the new Neal Stephenson REAMDE again based on the digital future.

+1 for Stross.
I love his descriptions of near-futures - a totally different SF to the space opera of - for example - Hamilton.
Halting State is probably the best book of his to start with IMO.

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If you call out for cheaper food, you get nods of approval.
If you call out for cheaper shelter, you are ostracised, ridiculed, even your partners and family feel slightly ashamed of you.

#40 GBdamo


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Posted 18 January 2012 - 05:00 PM

Recently finished two books from new, to me, authors: -

The City & The Ctiy by China Mieville,

Good old fashioned 'dragnet' type whodunit set in the none too distant future. A well written book that is easy to get into and follow. It's set in the near future around a devided city that, at some point in the past, decided to deal with with it's problems by simply ignoring each other or 'unseeing' and this works as a very interesting backdrop in which to place the story.

My rating, 6/10

For The Win by Cory Doctorow,

Set in the very near future and based around the gaming world this book really explores some of the fundamental flaws with modern society. The book follows the 'In Game' exploits of gangs of kids in Mumbia, China and Singaporewho are paid penuts to play online games. The kids are paid to 'farm' in game gold and items that are sold to the rich western players, they will also grow characters by training them and levelling tham up for sale to the west, all using proxies and back door accounting. It then shows how, with online communication, they unionise accross boarders and take on the game owners and their own bosses in the age old struggle for fair treatment in the wokplace. With some good explanations of Ponzi schemes and debt based money (accredited to our favourite nut pot, Max Kieser) the author works with the concept that a lot of the speculative money in the wold moves into game space, with games accounting for four of the worlds top ten ecconomies, and carry on in their usual boom and bust, bubble and burst way.

My rating 8/10
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#41 Gigantic Purple Slug

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 06:24 PM

That's because in Star Wars lasers travel at 10mph.

Also it's worth noting that while modern fighters are capable of beyond-visual-range fighting they rarely do so because the rules of engagement normally require a positive ID so that you don't shoot down your own planes. Typically that means either confirmation from AWACS or the Mark I Eyeball.

In Start Wars the robots bleep and whistle at each other.

But let's face it, you'd expect a civilisation who had mastered travelling at the speed of light, death stars and light sabres to have come up with the Stephen Hawking style speech synthesizer at the very minimum.

#42 TheBlueCat


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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:33 PM

A few more:

Dan Simmons - Hyperion, Endimion etc.
Peter F Hamilton - any of the really long ones. Terrible writing but outstanding story telling.
Neal Asher - any of the polity novels. Everything explodes in space.
Philip Dick - Man in the High Castle and A Scanner Darly are my favourites, but he wrote lots of entertaining stuff.
Greg Bear - pretty much anything. Eon, Blood Music and Strength of Stones are my favourites.
Vernor Vinge - A Fire Upon the Deep is good, so are his others though.

#43 Milton


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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:39 PM

also tend to listen to audiobooks quite a lot when driving to and from parents house - was going to get Hyperion (Dan Simmons) as it's so very well rated. However I'm not keen on ones narrated by Americans with their aloominum metal, nucular wars and boo-ees in the sea and so forth. There is no such thing as "American English".


Most of the Sci-Fi I devoured when I was younger has already been mentioned.
Piers Anthony, Chthon, was another I seem to remember liking.
Obviously 2001 Arthur C Clarke is another good read.
Asimovs foundation series, and the other classic sci-fi stuff like Wyndhams Triffids, Bradburys Farenheit 451.

[I've had a bit of a run on the scandanavian crime writers recently, due to BBC4's Wallander, and The Killing. Mankell, Larson, Indridason, and the best, Hoeg's Smilla Jasperson novel.]

Edited by Milton, 18 January 2012 - 11:17 PM.

Under Labour the Average House Price TRIPLED in a decade, whilst the median UK wage rose by just £6.5k.
Utilities also
TRIPLED under Labour, and Council Tax DOUBLED, plus we saw rising inflation in other staples like Food.
It was all a giant Ponzi scheme.
Basically if you didnt get onto the 'housing ladder' at the appropriate time, and ended up 'priced out' as house prices rose year after year, YOU ARE F*CKED FOR LIFE.
Youve worked for over 13 years hard graft, with nothing to show for it. No Capital.

Excuse me...... I believe you have my stapler.........ok, but I could set the building on fire.......

#44 shipbuilder


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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:00 PM

For me, Sci-Fi can be split roughly into two genres - one which blurs the line with fantasy - wars between worlds in other solar systems, wars between humans and aliens, quests to other worlds and so on. I suppose that this could also include scenarios only facing humans on earth, but in fantastical situations in the far future.
The other one for me is situations facing humans, on earth or nearby, in the foreseeable future, which blurs into dystopias.
The former I just can't get into, or indeed any fantasy novels - the closest I got was 'Foundation' but even then...don't really know why. I'm tempted by Iain Banks' Culture novels, but something is putting me off.
Has anyone any other recommendations? I see many people's lists seem to have both types, but I can't help see them as two very different genres with different appeals.

Edited by shipbuilder, 18 January 2012 - 11:03 PM.

#45 Tankus


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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:12 PM

My favourite books are the ones that Larry Niven has co authored , as well as the...known space/ ringword ones

The Legacy of Heorot ,................. (mans unexpected impact on the ecology on a newly colonised planet)
The mote in gods eye................ (first contact ...my fav sci fi ever ...least its the one I've re read the most (bad memory ))
Footfall ...(aliens landing on earth)
Lucifer s hammer ..(comet crashing on earth)

First book that ever got me into scifi was Alfred besters "tiger tiger" .....teleportation from the mind ...I wonder if that's where the tomorrow people got jaunting from ?
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Edited by Tankus, 18 January 2012 - 11:14 PM.

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