Jump to content
rllmuk
marlonharewood

Sci Fi recommendations

Recommended Posts

It did remind me of Zero History, in that both books take about 500 pages to describe not a lot happening to some characters who aren’t all that engaging. That said, I’d rate it higher than ZH, as the details of the future Gibson has created are usually enough to keep you turning the page – ZH, being set in contemporary London, doesn’t even have that going for it, and is a proper slog for the most part.

I really enjoyed Spook Country - there’s enough of a plot to keep things rolling and a cracking Morrissey joke, and that’s all you really need from a book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah that bodes well then. Robertson Dean does the narration of those Gibson books and he does a brilliant job, Zero History was as engaging as Spook Country for me with his mellifluous tones, and I guess he'll get The Peripheral gig too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you agree that The Peripheral is similar to Spook Country and Zero History then? I'd say they could both be described in that way, but they made for a very pleasant listen on Audible, so I could go for that if so.

I was thinking exactly the same about Pattern Recognition!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it's much the same. All this stuff is my least favourite Gibson jag, but let's face it, Gibson coasting and tossing off old articles repackaged as stories is still something to be cherished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky. Fantastic read, though some parts could have been sped up slightly. I've read the other Zones of Thought books, but I was wondering if the other series are any good?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Fire Upon the Deep is excellent, but The Children of the Sky is kinda arse. Setting the entire book on the Tines planet meant the scope had to be reduced and so it was. Meh.

When you say "other series", do you just mean other things that Vinge has written? The only other thing of his that I've read is Rainbows End. Whilst not a complete success, the near-future vision is superb and it's an enjoyable read once it gets going.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dropped into a local second hand bookshop* yesterday and found that they'd had a rejig of the place and have a shitload of new stock in. Picked up:

Lord of Light - Zelazny

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller

The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester

Schismatrix - Bruce Sterling

Startide Rising - David Brin

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

All for £7 and all recommendations from this thread. They had copies of The Windup Girl and A Fire Upon the Deep too, but I didn't have enough cash on me. Thanks though guys!

*Beware of the Leopard Books in St Nicks market, for the benefit of ZOK or any other Bristolians

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you got a pile of bargains! I've never heard of that place, I may have to venture down the hill more than once in a while it seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve started to read Andy Weir’s The Martian but am considering abandoning it after about 30 pages. So far it’s just a series of boring technical diary entries written in the style of a 15 year old girl. I’m getting irrationally annoyed by his use of the word ‘yay’, along with an occasional ‘booyah’, ‘super-duper’, etc. So far I haven’t had any sense of the trauma of having just been left isolated on Mars. Anyway, should I just abandon it, anyone here really like it, or can say if it gets better?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked The Martian but his voice is a bit annoying. But I like stories of people trying to survive in a hostile environment so it was certainly my cup of tea. I think when it (minor spoiler ahead)

switches back to Earth and their efforts to contact him/save him it improves a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson recently and didn't think it was much cop, it sets up a plot involving city destroying acts of terrorism, shifting balances of power in the solar system and possible emergence of AI in secret and then seems absolutely uninterested in actually developing any of it, instead focusing on ten pages of surfing in Saturns rings or hang-gliding down from a space elevator over Africa. With a few pages to go it has a character pop up, explain everything and then rushes through to a climax in a really unsatisfying way.

The focus was really on the worldbuilding, which is basically the only Utopia for all right-thinking people, one where money isn't necessary and everyone is genderfluid - but that wasn't blowing me away either because I've already read the Culture. A lot of time is spent on the characters and their relationship too, but they don't feel "right" - in a weird non-sequitur sequence one has their hotel room invaded and is drugged and interrogated while unconscious, but not traumatized or affected by this breach of consent in the slightest, and the whole thing is never mentioned again or tied into the plot; they don't even mention it to their best friend, who was the one the one the interrogators were trying to find information on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently reading the long earth by Pratchett and some other dude. It's good so far but just nice to read something by Pratchett that isn't the discworld.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a strong body of work but some of the books would have been better if the ideas were not shoehorned into the disc universe, thief of time and monstrous regiment maybe.

I'm a massive fan of good omens so it's nice to get something different from him, I've got the long war lined up us well (£2 hardback in oxfam books). It's just such a shame we probably won't get much more...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve started to read Andy Weir’s The Martian but am considering abandoning it after about 30 pages. So far it’s just a series of boring technical diary entries written in the style of a 15 year old girl. I’m getting irrationally annoyed by his use of the word ‘yay’, along with an occasional ‘booyah’, ‘super-duper’, etc. So far I haven’t had any sense of the trauma of having just been left isolated on Mars. Anyway, should I just abandon it, anyone here really like it, or can say if it gets better?

Not really. It's really dull for the most part. I got bored of him being 'ingenious' about halfway through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dropped into a local second hand bookshop* yesterday and found that they'd had a rejig of the place and have a shitload of new stock in. Picked up:

Lord of Light - Zelazny

A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller

The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester

Schismatrix - Bruce Sterling

Startide Rising - David Brin

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

All for £7 and all recommendations from this thread. They had copies of The Windup Girl and A Fire Upon the Deep too, but I didn't have enough cash on me. Thanks though guys!

*Beware of the Leopard Books in St Nicks market, for the benefit of ZOK or any other Bristolians

You got some absolute belters in there - enjoy! Lord of Light has to be in my top three favourite SF books.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm currently reading the long earth by Pratchett and some other dude. It's good so far but just nice to read something by Pratchett that isn't the discworld.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a strong body of work but some of the books would have been better if the ideas were not shoehorned into the disc universe, thief of time and monstrous regiment maybe.

I'm a massive fan of good omens so it's nice to get something different from him, I've got the long war lined up us well (£2 hardback in oxfam books). It's just such a shame we probably won't get much more...

Ok. I've read about 200 pages of this today, so say pages 100-300 and it's gone from "good" to "oh fuck me this is brilliant."

Seriously, I've not been so smitten with a book and a concept since, erm, well, the last book I read ( neuromancer) but that aside this is the best thing I've read in aaages. I'm enchanted. It's just lovely. Something horrible must be about to happen since the next book is called the long war but for now it's just flipping joyous.

Im now dreading it ending and will have to fall back on whatever is on my iPad for the journey home

Prioritise this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. I've read about 200 pages of this today, so say pages 100-300 and it's gone from "good" to "oh fuck me this is brilliant."

Seriously, I've not been so smitten with a book and a concept since, erm, well, the last book I read ( neuromancer) but that aside this is the best thing I've read in aaages. I'm enchanted. It's just lovely. Something horrible must be about to happen since the next book is called the long war but for now it's just flipping joyous.

Im now dreading it ending and will have to fall back on whatever is on my iPad for the journey home

Prioritise this.

Just read the Wikipedia plot summary. This is going to be what I'll be reading next after I finish echopraxia.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had to force myself to stop as I've got 5 hours of travel tomorrow and 50 pages left.

It's got all the warmth of pratchett combined with a great scifi premise. Can't wait to get home and start the next

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read them all do far and so long as you don't mind meandering in your sci-fi, they continue on a similar path.

For other non-discworld Pratchett, try Nation and Dodger, both good. Plus his two short story books (one fiction, one not) are also well worth a read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started Solaris by Stanisław Lem over the weekend. It's the story of a group of cosmonauts exploring the mysterious planet Solaris. The planet is all liquid and seems to have a strange affect on the people who last on it. Our narrator arrives to try and work out what's happening and why.

I'm really enjoying this so far. The science and mystery is very well done and I love the rough, analouge technology. I saw the George Clooney movie a few years ago so I think I know where this is going. Good stuff so far, maybe a quarter of the way in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading The Martian by Andy Weir at the moment and after 120 pages or so I'm warming to it slowly but dear god the structure of the main character's narrative is terrible. I hate him. HATE him. I genuinely want him to die a horrible, smug death on Mars.

I'm not sure that's what the author was going for.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read them all do far and so long as you don't mind meandering in your sci-fi, they continue on a similar path.

For other non-discworld Pratchett, try Nation and Dodger, both good. Plus his two short story books (one fiction, one not) are also well worth a read.

Hmmm. So I've finished the long war. It's really nowhere near as good as the first, it doesn't go anywhere really, and where it does is all a bit meh, strange.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So K recommended the Southern Reach trilogy to me while we were playing Destiny the other week. I am mid-way through book 2. It is fucking brilliant.

I binge-read the wholes series (I'm sure I've posted about it up thread) and apart from the absolutely alien - truly, wtf is going on - tone that it manages to weave, I found the whole thing quite disappointing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So K recommended the Southern Reach trilogy to me while we were playing Destiny the other week. I am mid-way through book 2. It is fucking brilliant.

I really fucking enjoyed it - it's like Lost, as written by someone who isn't a complete idiot. I've no idea if the author plays games, but I got a real Half Life 2 vibe from it - it's got the same sense of exploring an eerie, subtly transformed wilderness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I'd read Dune after watching the film for the hundredth time. It's amazing, can't believe how ahead of its time it was. And there's 5 sequels!

I saw someone mention Neuromancer above. It's been on my bookshelf for years and I've always been worried that it hasn't aged well. Does it hold up today?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's still the best SF novel ever written, so don't worry.

As for Dune, you can pretty much stop after Children of Dune (and some would even say Dune Messiah, but they are being mean).

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.