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marlonharewood

Sci Fi recommendations

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Hey, all recent Gibsons have piss-poor weak endings, that's part of their charm!

If you are reading William Gibson for the destination rather than the journey these days, you need to find another writer. He's all done.

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Ready Player One is genuinely one of the worst books I’ve ever read. No plot, just a load of 80’s references. Really awful. I’ve also read 'You' by Austin Grossman which is set in the world of video game creation and development and that’s equally bad.

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Yes, definitely. The last third of the book is very different to the first two-thirds, but I very much enjoyed it anyway. The finished hardcover has some extra endpaper illustrations that were absent from my proof copy and which makes some of the big space gadgets easier to visualise.

Here's an interview between Stephenson and David Mitchell (the Cloud Atlas one): http://www.omnivoracious.com/2015/05/neal-stephenson-seveneves.html

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Ready Player One is genuinely one of the worst books I’ve ever read. No plot, just a load of 80’s references. Really awful.

Nah, it's definitely got a plot. It's not my favourite book of all time or anything and it's a simple plot- it's basically Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for people who really like eighties pop culture- but it's also a pretty robust spine to hang all the other stuff off. And the stacks are a pretty good visual- I can see why Spielberg wants to make the movie version.

1381765001000-desk-carter.jpg

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My son has just started reading Ready Player One, i am really chuffed because he doesnt read much and although ive not read it, it seems like a good solid book for him to get into :)

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I found it pretty average and slightly annoying in that way writers have of doing video game stuff without understanding video game technology. I agree the idea of the stacks will be pretty nice to see in movie form though.

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Finished Poseidon's wake over the weekend, another book by Reynolds where what happens is secondary to the human relationships. Interesting stuff, but you need to be sold on the whole trilogy to get this far. More female characters than male in this one. Which makes for good reading.

The technology, the elephants, the ancient world are all very well realised as is the nuances of interstellar travel, of time passing and technology rise and fall.

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I read the first 150 pages of Michel Fabers The Book of Strange New Things over the weekend.

The story of a born again Christian who gets recruited by a shadowy corporation (is there any other kind?) to travel to an alien planet and preach Christianity to the natives. When he arrives he begins a correspondence with his wife back on Earth. As his mission proceeds the news from Earth becomes increasingly bleak.

I’ve not read any of Michel Fabers books (he wrote the book that the film Under The Skin is based on) but this is very good so far. Very precisely written and it conveys the wonder and the boredom of interstellar travel. The religious aspect is not something I’ve come across in a lot of sci-fi before. This got really strong reviews and it’s very good so far.

Anyone read it?

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Finished Poseidon's wake over the weekend, another book by Reynolds where what happens is secondary to the human relationships. Interesting stuff, but you need to be sold on the whole trilogy to get this far. More female characters than male in this one. Which makes for good reading.

The technology, the elephants, the ancient world are all very well realised as is the nuances of interstellar travel, of time passing and technology rise and fall.

I just came here to say how much I enjoyed it and can only really echo what you said (apart from not realising it was part of trilogy - oops).

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Sounds interesting, is it a new book?

New-ish. It came out last year some time.

I've read a bit more yesterday and it's getting stronger as it goes on. I'm at that point in a book where I don't know how the writer will be able to keep up the high standard set so far. And I'm slightly worried it will all go wrong.

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I just came here to say how much I enjoyed it and can only really echo what you said (apart from not realising it was part of trilogy - oops).

:lol: the three books are quite distinct and if you enjoyed that one then I suggest you go back to the others, as they are all good, plus you get to read about Mars, the moon and the evolvarium, and the whole elephant thing and how (and why) it came about.

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I read The Book of Strange New Things, loved it. Was disappointed (though not surprised) that it didn't fair better at the Clarke Award recently. Although having said that, the fact that it was nominated was quite an achievement in itself.

Also, if you haven't read Under the Skin I can't recommend it highly enough. Very different to the film, but equally as mesmerizing.

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I've just read The Day of the Triffids and I really liked it. It looks obliquely at the fears of the time through its central conceit that the threat of nuclear weapons is just as alien and impossible for humanity on an individual or corporate level to understand as that of the triffids. Very moving, and like On the Beach a still-relevant artefact of a time that we're all relieved has faded into the past.

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Corey_NemesisGames_HC.jpg

I'm four books into The Expanse series and I've got the hardback of Nemesis Games for reading on a plane. It's been described as a bit like ASoIaF in space, but while it moves between viewpoint characters and has a plot laced with intrigue, it's far more interested in having fun with scifi staples like spaceship combat, body horror, colonial problems and ineffable alien artefacts to come across as serious and GRRMdark. Seeing as the universe was invented for tabletop RPGing and a potential videogame that's no surprise.

Also, the authors are firing out the books on an annual schedule, and show no signs of letting up.

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Yeah I am reading the first book just now. It's presented as space opera but really it's more of a very entertaining noirish thriller inside a (good) space opera setting. The action sequences are really well written and it has a cracking pace.

The TV adaptation could be very good - the casting looks spot on - but I don't expect much given it is SyFy.

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The TV adaptation could be very good - the casting looks spot on - but I don't expect much given it is SyFy.

SyFy have already greenlit season 2 and have the book's authors down in LA right now helping write it, so I'm guessing they at least think they've nailed it.

Still unhappy about a serious change they made from the first book mind.

Miller wears a pork-pie hat not a Trilby, you illiterate TV fucks.

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It's presented as space opera but really it's more of a very entertaining noirish thriller inside a (good) space opera setting.

Funny you mention that, only the first book is quite as explicitly hard-boiled. Each of the books so far has taken a bit of an alternative spin on the universe, I think they're deliberately trying to keep it fresh.

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Aye the Expanse books are good fun, brainless sci-fi I find. My only gripe is I find the captain (I forget his name) a bit too wholesome and bland to be really engaging. Also some of their antagonists don't really feel like they have reasonable motivations, they are the kind of bad guys you get in hokey disaster movies. Something bad is happening and some instantly unlikable person endeavors to make things worse.

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Funny you mention that, only the first book is quite as explicitly hard-boiled. Each of the books so far has taken a bit of an alternative spin on the universe, I think they're deliberately trying to keep it fresh.

Yeah that's a good way to do it with a series like that.

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Aye the Expanse books are good fun, brainless sci-fi I find. My only gripe is I find the captain (I forget his name) a bit too wholesome and bland to be really engaging. Also some of their antagonists don't really feel like they have reasonable motivations, they are the kind of bad guys you get in hokey disaster movies. Something bad is happening and some instantly unlikable person endeavors to make things worse.

They're definitely TV villains. Not terrible, but you never find yourself sympathising with them at all. And Holden is a bit of a goodie-goodie. I like the dynamic with Miller, who seems to take lots of pleasure in calling him out on it. It'll be fun watching Thomas Jane talking down to a pretty boy space captain like he's a naive moron.

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Ready Player One, The Martian and Leviathan Wakes all recently picked up to scratch the sci-fi itch I've had recently. Been a while since I've read much sci-fi, so looking forward to getting stuck into them.

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