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marlonharewood

Sci Fi recommendations

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I'm into the third Owner book by Neal Asher at the moment. While his ramblings on the evils of socialism are a bit tiresome (Way worse than Nazis. Billions dead so far) I'm actually quite enjoying the plot and I'm very interested to see where he takes it in this final book. (Jupiter according to the title anyway)

After that I might give my copy of Schismatrix Plus a try. Zok wouldn't lie to us would he? I mean it's not unheard of for people to recommend shit ace sci-fi books like The Number of the Beast by Rob Heinlein just to watch the world teats burn.

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I just finished the Audible of the first Southern Reach. I liked it initially, but it seemed to get less interesting as it got on. Still a good book, mind you, but not one that lived up to its initial promise.

My question is, does the rest of the trilogy differ much from the original? I'm interested in the premise, but more of the wider world, if that makes sense. The first one didn't seem to really go anywhere.

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Finished Schismatrix a couple of days ago. Not sure about other editions but mine was relatively skinny and I assumed I'd blast through it. I was wrong, the typeface is tiny and it took me bloody ages.

Anyway, it was good. Epic in its scope and just constantly throwing out ideas like confetti. The central themes are politics and ideology, not usually my cup of tea and I did struggle to keep up at times. I definitely think it'd benefit from a second read though, there's just so much going on I felt like I was only catching about half of it.

Taking a sci fi break to read Marching Powder by Rusty Young (recommended by my girlfriend). After that it's a choice of A Canticle for Leibowitz, Lord of Light, Startide Rising or Neuromancer.

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Yeah I just finished it and the extra short stories in the kindle edition. Very good stuff I love the various factions and some of the characters are great. Particularly liked the spider rose short, just my kind of thing that.

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After that it's a choice of A Canticle for Leibowitz, Lord of Light, Startide Rising or Neuromancer.

All great choices - and an interesting thematic link, in that three of them (Canticle, Lord of Light, Neuromancer) deal in explicitly religious imagery and themes (Christianity, Buddism/Hinduism and Voodoo); while Brin's uplift series also considers the religious implications of genetically engineering other species to enhance their intelligence.

To be fair, as I recall the Voodoo connection in Neuromancer is tenuous and largely gratuitous, but it's there.

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IIRC, the voodoo stuff is in Count Zero, rather than Neuromancer. I could be wrong though, it's a while since I read it.

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Ah, yeah, I think you're right - similarly, it's been ages since I read both of these.

Told you it was tenuous!

Possibly the wrong word - it's a core part of the plot, but it always seemed a bit mad.

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The voodoo stuff that Gibson jams into Count Zero is really the most underrated aspect of it, in my opinion. I think I've even gone on record here before saying that I wished Count Zero was just the story of Turner, his brother Rudy and their augmented dogs doing corporate extractions and hunting raccoons.

But if you reread it a few times, it's actually quite special, wildly inventive and wonderfully realised. I'm quite convinced that Gibson must have seen the Maya Deren documentary Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti before he got the ideas, as it seems quite influenced by it to my mind. It is on Youtube, you can watch the whole thing below. It is quite, quite amazing (or at least I think so).

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Bloody hell, how did it take me so long to get around to reading Ursula le Guin? She's brilliant. Just finished The Dispossessed, its basically about a world like Earth that has a hard living but habitable moon that has been colonised by anarchists. Their society has no possessions, laws or borders and a very different family structure. A physicist named Shevek (all their names are gender neutral) is close to discovering the theory behind a working ansible and goes back to the capitalist mother world to work on it, stirring up all kinds of trouble in the process.

If you like a bit of Banks sci fi about a socialist in a strange land you will like this, in his utopia Banks acknowledges the defacto tyranny of the Minds. In The Dispossessed there is no technological gods only social pressure and le Guin is equally critical of the dangers on the anarchist world as the capitalist one. Brilliant.

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Smashed through Startide Rising. What a fantastic read! Something about Brin's writing style combined with the short chapters just makes it so compelling and readable. The premise seems slightly bonkers at the start (that's why we love scifi right?) but I was gripped within a couple of chapters and my imagination went into overdrive. As recommended in this thread I skipped Sundiver. Will definitely be picking up the next in the series.

I'm a few chapters into A Canticle for Leibowitz now. Really enjoying it so far.

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At work one of the night staff left behind a book by Stephen Donaldson, and we dip into it every now and then. It's so appalingly written, with nonsensical metaphors and confusing sentences. Every paragraph has a proper clanger in it, it reads just like Hairy Jesus. Has anyone read any of his stuff, and is it for real? He seems to have written loads of books, but who's buying it?

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Smashed through Startide Rising. What a fantastic read! Something about Brin's writing style combined with the short chapters just makes it so compelling and readable. The premise seems slightly bonkers at the start (that's why we love scifi right?) but I was gripped within a couple of chapters and my imagination went into overdrive. As recommended in this thread I skipped Sundiver. Will definitely be picking up the next in the series.

I'm a few chapters into A Canticle for Leibowitz now. Really enjoying it so far.

Yeah, Brin can spin a good yarn - I love the way the other alien races are completely bonkers in the Uplift series; none of this 'wiser than us' shit - although he tends to deify his human scientists a tad.

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