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marlonharewood

Sci Fi recommendations

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Here's a better look at it. It's a lovely, subtle piece of work. Note how one eye is covered by the hair, and then think on about how in the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is king. And also 'blonde wig', 'skeleton' and 'be in the pub by lunch time'.

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I read the first 100 pages or so of Stealing Light by Gary Gibson yesterday. Set in the 25th century, humanity has been gifted FTL travel technology by a race called The Shoal. We have spread out to the stars but there are big limitations of how we can use the tech. The story goes from there.

So far this is OK but it’s very derivative. Every bit feels like it’s been taken from another, better writer or book. There’s bit of William Gibson, Iain M Banks, David Brin, Robert Heinlein and a few others. I’ll give it another 100 pages but I might bail on it.

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I thought Stealing Light was terribad.

Painfully badly written and the plot has more holes that the proverbial.

I struggled through it as I was told "it starts out badly but gets better stick with it", well it started out badly alright and just got worse. There was the odd glimmer of hope with some interesting ideas early on but it was all just too hokey for words. The `plot twists` are so heavy handed it's embarrassing and the characters are unforgivably juvenile.

I can't believe people are comparing it to Reynolds or Hamiltons work! Not even close.

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Currently reading ‘Angelmaker’ by Nick Harkaway. I’ve heard good things about it, but the style is annoying the shit out of me at the moment – it reads like a collaboration between Russell Brand and Neil Gaiman, with the ornate faux-Edwardian cocker-ney of the former and the tweeness of the latter. Every paragraph is about three sentences and sixty words too long, and it’s not at all funny. I’ll give it a hundred pages or so to win me over, then cast it into a dark bin.

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Anyone read the Nexus series by Ramez Naam? I'd never heard of it but this is a pretty strong recommendation and the premise sounds interesting.

Just started Sundiver by David Brinn but will check Nexus out next I think.

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I just finished 'Blood Music' by Greg Bear - first book of his I read and really enjoyed it. Is that typical of his style, if I go for more? Also been slowly going through the 'science fiction megapacks' on Kindlestore; finished the first four - a lot of really trashy pulp sci fi, some of it is good, a lot is very US centric and sexist, but its quite fun as an insight into views of the time.

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I've read the Blood Music short story (many times, in fact), and I love it...but for some reason never read the novel. He's a writer I always think I should read, but never get round to, apart from that one short, which is like an old friend.

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If you liked the short story, you should like the book. It’s uneven and I get the sense that Bear knew where he wanted the story to go but wasn’t quite sure how to get there – he employs a few different characters to illustrate the effects of the noocytes on the world, and not all of them are successful. But it’s full of ideas and the way that the pressure and the scale and the weirdness keep ramping up as the novel goes is really engaging. It’s the best book of his I’ve read by a long way.

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Oh really? I'll get that then, and maybe leave his other stuff. I was worried that expanding the story (which is perfect SF) beyond the dread ending would spoil it.

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http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/may/08/natalie-portman-lined-up-for-alex-garlands-ex-machina-follow-up

Further to the discussion around the Southern Reach trilogy earlier in the thread, it looks like Alex Garland will be directing an adaptation of 'Annihilation'. It'll be interesting to see whether the oblique, weird feel of the book will survive in any big screen version, and I have no idea how they're going to portray the Crawler, but I reckon Garland is a good fit for the material.

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On the subject of SF short stories, as part of the humble bundle that I got turned on to in the other thread with the excellent Harlan Ellison collection in, I also got The Ape's Wife and Other Stories by Caitlin R. Kiernan. I only bothered to download it from the bundle because I liked the title, but I have found it to be quite excellent.

I have never heard of her before, but she seems to knock out a lovely mix of SF, steam punk and Cthulhu stylee vaguely fantasy related oddments which I am enjoying very much indeed. Well worth some of anyone's money...well, not the £26 they want here, but somewhere between that and the nothing I got it for in the bundle, certainly: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Apes-Wife-Other-Stories/dp/1596065869

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http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/may/08/natalie-portman-lined-up-for-alex-garlands-ex-machina-follow-up

Further to the discussion around the Southern Reach trilogy earlier in the thread, it looks like Alex Garland will be directing an adaptation of 'Annihilation'. It'll be interesting to see whether the oblique, weird feel of the book will survive in any big screen version, and I have no idea how they're going to portray the Crawler, but I reckon Garland is a good fit for the material.

I've read the trilogy and can't quite comprehend how that would be possible - interesting idea though. Its one of those stories that I bet everyone imagines so differently in their head. I enjoyed the books but read them too quickly, still got them on the kindle so might go back and give them another go. I have a really bad habit of rushing books because I'm too impatient to find out what happens.

I just picked up Factoring Humanity by Robert J Sawyer and Joanna Russ Hidden Side of the Moon (short story collection) from a charity shop, don't usually buy physical books because I don't have space to keep them but was intrigued by those two. I can't wait until I have a house I can fill with books.

ZOK - read blood music, its awesome. There's something about how the story escalates that's really beautiful, it builds so subtly and then just explodes. Absolutely gorgeous.

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Well, what a stroke of luck. I finally remembered to pop in to the Oxfam shop, and the manager told me all those books came from one donor...and they had some more in the back. One of which happened to be...Blood Music! :hat:

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Not a bad first haul for £9.50.

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They look great! Is that the Oxfam books in clifton by any chance? I bought my stuff from there last week and the man in the shop gave me a salute for being a sci fi fan :D

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Technically yes. It's the one on Cotham Hill, but there are also other books ones in Clifton on Princess Victoria Street and Park Street, you may mean those ones too. You should get in there if you can, they have a stack of great stuff at the moment!

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Yeah, I loved Blood Music! I managed to rattle through it while suffering from what I suspect was food poisoning, which made for an interesting experience.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006G0VGEM/ref=s9_hps_ft_g351_i3?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1NVBAAFNNRKR101R5T9N&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=590674827&pf_rd_i=1000577623

Dark Eden is in today's Kindle Daily Deal. Maybe take a look a the preview to ensure the writing style doesn't put you off (as the characters/various first person narrators it switches between talk a bit "caveman style" from what I remember), but I remember it being a cracking tale about the descendants of a small crew who crash landed on an alien planet several generations ago and have been inbreeding ever since.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006G0VGEM/ref=s9_hps_ft_g351_i3?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1NVBAAFNNRKR101R5T9N&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=590674827&pf_rd_i=1000577623

Dark Eden is in today's Kindle Daily Deal. Maybe take a look a the preview to ensure the writing style doesn't put you off (as the characters/various first person narrators it switches between talk a bit "caveman style" from what I remember), but I remember it being a cracking tale about the descendants of a small crew who crash landed on an alien planet several generations ago and have been inbreeding ever since.

I found it a fantastic read, highly recommend it.

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Steven Poole on the new Neal Stephenson:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/13/seveneves-by-neal-stephenson-disaster-novel?CMP=share_btn_fb

He's a bit harsh on the last third of the book, but it does come across as a crunching narrative gear-change.

There's quite a lot of good SF coming out: this, the new Chris Beckett as mentioned above, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife (which plays up the Eco-disaster-porn angle a little more than it needs to, but an engaging thriller), the third part of Alastair Reynolds' African trilogy, and a new space-based Kim Stanley Robinson coming in July.

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I've got the new Alastair Reynolds on my Kindle but I'm waiting to see if they do a whispersync deal on the audible version. The woman who read the second book was excellent and she's read the new one too. Can't wait for the new Neal Stephenson too.

Also the new Paul McAuley is still 1.99 for Kindle

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Something-Coming-Through-Paul-McAuley-ebook/dp/B00MNGZXHE/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1431980459&sr=8-1&keywords=something+coming+through

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I picked up two beauties in the Oxfam yesterday. Not only are they two great short story collections, but the covers are a grammar nazi's dream come true:

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Looking forward to that new Neal Stephenson, however I'm still getting through Reamde. Not enjoying it nearly as much as Anathem, but its good for the bus journey to work. Weighs a ton though. I've noticed quite a few game related Scify books out, has anyone read Ready Player One? Or The Peripheral by William Gibson? Was tempted but thought I might want a break after Reamde.

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