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marlonharewood

Sci Fi recommendations

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I had (he died a couple of years back sadly) a mate who introduced me to Iain Banks, so he was very influential for me. He swore by those Thomas Covenant books, they were his favourite series.

The same guy who made me read that awful Ben Bova book by telling me it was amazing when he'd never even read it.

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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?

Never liked the fantasy stuff, but I actually really loved the sci-fi Gap series.

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Just finished Wool by Hugh Howey.Some nice ideas and as someone mentioned its a bit "fallout" but I couldn't engage with it and was actually glad when it finished - there's a rather large plot hole that would render a lot of the story redundant.

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Just finished Wool by Hugh Howey.Some nice ideas and as someone mentioned its a bit "fallout" but I couldn't engage with it and was actually glad when it finished - there's a rather large plot hole that would render a lot of the story redundant.

What is it, out of curiosity?

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She puts a new suit together in silo 17 at short notice while it reaches crisis point in silo 18 - given that they in 18 trying to hide the fact that there is life outside each silo from the general population why not dance around outside the viewing screen unexpectedly and have more witnesses prior to this crisis point being reached and then mosey back to the safety of 17 until the plot demands.Also if the door is jammed open in 17 , radiation.

I may have missed something important though as I started to skim the last 100 pages or so so if I've erred on these points my apologies

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Your second point is explained in the third book.

The first, if you think about it there are all sorts of reasons why Jules doesn't do that, but they all fall under the issue of suspension of disbelief. There are about a million 'why not do this instead of that' plot holes that you could argue in all three books, but they can all essentially be explained by 'there would be no story left'. :)

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Canticle..!

Killing off the main character and jumping forward 500 years.

This is super.

I love that book so much, it's great.

To my shame I've never read any Iain Banks - where should I start? Is everything great or does he find his feet after a couple of books?

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Everything is great apart from some of the more recent efforts which take a quality nosedive before becoming good again, but start with Consider Phlebas if you want to read the Culture books. Against A Dark Background is probably the best place to start if you go non-Culture.

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By the way, you are in for an unbelievable treat. It's like someone saying they have never watched Star Wars, or something.

Also, if you like Iain M. Banks' stuff (and you will like it very much indeed) then read Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling. Have I mentioned it before in this thread at all? It's decent.

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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?

Haha, yeah, his fantasy books are pretty turgid. Ten volumes of Covenant I waded through. I'm pretty sure that in one of them, there are several hundred pages of characters standing around wondering what to do next and coming to terms with their feelings. Don't get me wrong, I really like the initial concept, and there are some great ideas through it, but it is mostly overwrought nonsense.

As mentioned above though, his five-book Gap science fiction series is another thing altogether, like it's written by a different author. I can't recommend it enough.

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Adam Roberts did a ludicrously scathing review of the Gap series here:http://sibilantfricative.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/minding-gap.htmlNever read it myself, so I have no idea whether he's being unfair to Donaldson, but I have to confess that I love it when Roberts goes to town on someone.

Holy shit, that stuff sounds incredible:

Davies looked like his chest was congested with shouts.

:wub:

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Adam Roberts did a ludicrously scathing review of the Gap series here:

http://sibilantfricative.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/minding-gap.html

Never read it myself, so I have no idea whether he's being unfair to Donaldson, but I have to confess that I love it when Roberts goes to town on someone.

I'll have to read that. I didn't enjoy the very first book in that series but I quite enjoyed the rest.

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So it seems like the Oxfam that is fifty yards from where I live has decided to stick about a dozen SF books that I want to buy in their window, just in time to make me salivate over them between now and Tuesday:

wFVoDvL.jpg

Oh my.

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I'm kind of glad that our Oxfam isn't as exciting as that, as I'd be out of money and shelf-space by now. Amazing selection!

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Anyone ever read Heinlein's I Will Fear No Evil? I've got the same copy that you can see in the bottom corner of that pic, it is a simultaneously bonkers and brilliant read...or at least that's what I thought when I last read it aged around fifteen or so.

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I read it at about the same age and even as a horny adolescent in the 80s I found it incredibly sexist and dated. It didn't stop me reading it though.

Stranger in a Strange Land, though. I really ought to read that again sometime. That blew my teenage mind.

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Yes, I think dated and sexist is putting it mildly. Needless to say, I loved it! :lol:

That cover though, is something else. It's like they gave the photographer a budget of a tenner.

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