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marlonharewood

Sci Fi recommendations

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Just finished The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursala K. Le Guin. Quite good- there were probably some things that went straight over my head. I've read a fair bit of Banks in the last few years and thematically there seemed to be a reasonable amount of crossover- this could be considered a proto-"Culture" book if you were in that head space. Have read the Tombs of Atuan in the past by le Guin and really need to get more of her stuff.

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I didn't really like Hyperion either. And it's basically a five hundred page prologue to a story I'd lost interest in by the final page, so I never bothered with the sequels. The Chanlder-esque private investigator story pretty much killed the book stone dead for me, became a real trudge to try and get through it.

But that's the cyberpunk one! :(

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Just finished the last of the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer- really quite unsettling and mysterious throughout however

the 2nd half of the 3rd book kind of strips away the mystery and leaves the series as a whole ending on a damp squib for me.

.

The off kilter atmosphere is built up really well and it's well worth a read as a trilogy.If you don't "get" the atmosphere and setup during the 1st (10 years ago it probably would have had me dropping it pretty quickly) you won't enjoy the other two- it doesn't change tonally.

I have the hardback editions for the 1st two and as someone mentioned they're lovely; too nice for my crappy bookshelf, have the softback edition for the 3rd and obviously it doesn't look as nice.

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There's a sci-fi and horror sale on Kindle at the moment and there's some good stuff there. I just bought Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald for £1.84, it's picked up really strong reviews and I like a good lunar colonisation story.

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Just finished Replay by Ken Grimwood. Man has a heart attack in his mid-forties, wakes up at sixteen again and gets to live out his whole life again. Until the heart attack hits him again. And again.

It's pretty good- the pace keeps up, there's a few plot curves along the way which keep things interesting, and I quite liked the central message of the book- that other people are okay and love and friendship is good and all that, but what really matters in life is making yourself happy and fuck everyone else. Which was, uh, a bit unexpected.

Also every cover of the book is pretty horrible. You can google and see, they're all bascially eyesores. If I could live my life over again I'd maybe try and make a nicer cover for Replay by Ken Grimwood.

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I'm about half way through Luna: New Moon and I don't want to oversell this but it's properly amazing. The first chapter was horrible, just a massive info dump of characters and background. But once it settles down into a proper narrative it becomes something really special.


The obvious and maybe lazy comparison would be to call it Game of Thrones on the Moon. There are 5 families that run the major corporations and services on the Moon. There are rivalries between these families and rivalries inside them. In the background we have conspiracy theories and secret societies and the big family saga is played out against that.


There's some great political stuff with little details of life on Earth being dripped into the lunar story. And there's some lovely technology details. The characters are really well written and there are a lot of them - I had to print out the cast of characters and I found myself referring to it quite frequently.


I'd never read any Ian McDonald before but I'm definitely going to pick up some more of his books when I finish this. I got it for less than 2 quid in the Amazon Sci-fi sale a few weeks back, total bargain.


Can't recommend this highly enough.





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I'm dipping into a collection of U K LeG short stories at the moment and there are some beauties there

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Just got this from Waterstones, it's my new commute book. Good recommendations, Le Guin is great. Also the Hanish Universe feels very Banks, I like.

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Finished Luna: New Moon last night. I blitzed through the last few chapters, almost skimming over details, because I was so involved in the story and the climax was so exciting and satisfying. Easily the best SF book I've read this year. It's going to be a long wait until the second one in the series comes out.


Anyone else read it?

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Finished Luna: New Moon last night. I blitzed through the last few chapters, almost skimming over details, because I was so involved in the story and the climax was so exciting and satisfying. Easily the best SF book I've read this year. It's going to be a long wait until the second one in the series comes out.
Anyone else read it?

No, but thanks to you I'm now going to. :)

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Yeah it's on my list too. Actually I read the first page the other night but decided it wasn't the right time and switched to Gorky Park instead. I'll be back! As they say on the moon, probably.

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Is book of the New Sun Sci-Fi or Fantasy? I've read the 1st 2 volumes(Shadow and Claw) ; it's an interesting and somewhat trippy universe - I'm missing some of the significance of events people etc but really enjoyed it.

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Finished Luna: New Moon last night. I blitzed through the last few chapters, almost skimming over details, because I was so involved in the story and the climax was so exciting and satisfying. Easily the best SF book I've read this year. It's going to be a long wait until the second one in the series comes out.
Anyone else read it?

I'm reading it and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to keep track of all the characters. There's fewer viewpoint characters than for the average MacDonald book (I'm only at the aftermath of the moon-run party, so this may change) , but having a list of about 50+ characters at the start of the book worries me slightly.

That said, I'm enjoying it so far. It seems a bit par for the course (approaching a society from the top and bottom ends, and some kind of inevitable conclusion), but I guess MacDonald has hit a style and has stuck with it for the most part. Not a complaint so much as an observation. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, as I've enjoyed every one of his books that I've read. :)

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Yeah, I decided to just plain skip that character list and trying to figure out what the fuck all those extra relationship name things are about in favour of picking it up as I go along. I'm a little further in than you and enjoying it so far.

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Yeah, I finished it this week too and really enjoyed it. How long do we have to wait for the sequel though?

I made a vow never to read an incomplete series again (I broke it for GoT and look how well that turned out) and I find myself doing it again. At least there's only one more book, but still. :hmm:

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Luna: New moon goes onto my list.

Just finished Frederick Pohl's Gateway. Wowser, what an ending! It's a short book and it's absolutely worth it for the finish alone.

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... but having a list of about 50+ characters at the start of the book worries me slightly.

I bought the audiobook version to listen to in the car and was halfway home from work before they'd finished listing all the characters - none of which made any sense.

Seems pretty good so far though.

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I did have to print out the character list and refer to it a couple of times. But I've a dreadful head for characters.

The first chapter is a horrible mess and I almost dropped the book as a result. Glad I stuck with it.

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Ive had a boxset of Asimov's Foundation since I was a kid, I was given them from a much older cousin, but had never even started to read them until 2015. I usually read during my lunch hour at work and they've been absolutely perfect for that. By the time I've finished my lunch on Sunday I should have finished Foundation and Empire. But, once I've read Second Foundation where should I go from there (its a trilogy boxset, I believe he did more than 3 entries?)

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Foundations Edge and Foundation and Earth concern a single period of time, rather than jumping forward in chunks. They're slightly different, but still good and have an interesting take on the future of humanity.

Prelude to the foundation takes something that happens at the end of the Earth book and tells the tale of what happened before the foundation and relates it all back.

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Recently enjoyed Planetfall by Emma Newman. Set on a colony established beneath a massive mysterious alien structure called God's City, because the colonists actually believe that the creator of humanity is inside there (and that was the whole reason they went there in the first place). As the book starts somebody approaches the colony from the outside, which should be impossible, and their cosy existence is threatened.

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Prelude to the foundation takes something that happens at the end of the Earth book and tells the tale of what happened before the foundation and relates it all back.

It's one of very few books that I think is pretty much perfect. God knows what the sequels were like though - although after the awfulness of the Rama ones basically souring my memories of the original, I'm never going to read them ;)

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