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On 06/12/2020 at 08:51, Talvalin said:

Also can the second book be skipped?

 

Honestly, much as it pains me to say it. The first book is better off left as a standalone novel I think. The sequels detracted from the first story in my opinion. If you are going to read the third you might as well plug through and read the second. But I'd probably skip both.  

I cannot believe I've never read roadside picnic, nearly finished it and am loving it. In a binge of all things Stalker I also watched the film (which has been on my list for ages, and didn't like it, but that's a discussion for another thread and bought the STALKER bundle on steam and installed Call Of Chernobyl mod. And am dying repeatedly , depsite having played the originals with the Misery mod (so have some experience in the Zone).  

The book is brilliant and someohow I was not even aware of it's existence, so thanks for that! 

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7 hours ago, Strategos said:

 

Honestly, much as it pains me to say it. The first book is better off left as a standalone novel I think. The sequels detracted from the first story in my opinion. If you are going to read the third you might as well plug through and read the second. But I'd probably skip both.  


Yeah, I think I'll leave the third one.

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I'm looking for some sci-fi recommendations. I love reading, I love sci-fi, but somehow I never really got into sci-fi books.

 

I'm not really looking for the most hardcore scientifically correct concept stuff, for me it's more about mystery and adventure. And it has to be well written, with interesting characters and developments. 

 

Some of my favourite authors are Clive Barker and Jeff van der Meer. 

 

What would be the best books to get? 

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1 hour ago, Sane said:

Sounds great! Should I read the short stories first? 


They are sequenced to be read at the end, but really they can be enjoyed either way.
 

If you read them first they will definitely whet your appetite for that universe, but they are set chronologically after the main story and will spoil the intended introduction of a key component of the story arc, and you’ll be reading about characters and places that don’t exist at the start of the story. However it’s fun to go in with that knowledge and there is so much anyway that when you get to those bits you’ll almost certainly have forgotten what you read before.

 

There are five short stories. You can safely read Twenty Evocations or Sunken Gardens without picking up any spoilers - although Sunken Gardens is my least favourite of all.

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No Iain M Banks yet, from skimming this thread I had already made a note to check him out. Am I right in thinking that I should start with the first Culture novel, even if its not the best? 

 

I will add Children of time to my list as well. That should be enough for now, I don't actually have a lot of time to read so these will last me quite long probably. 

 

Thanks for the recommendations! 

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3 hours ago, Sane said:

No Iain M Banks yet, from skimming this thread I had already made a note to check him out. Am I right in thinking that I should start with the first Culture novel, even if its not the best? 

 

I will add Children of time to my list as well. That should be enough for now, I don't actually have a lot of time to read so these will last me quite long probably. 

 

Thanks for the recommendations! 

I'd start with Consider Phlebas

 

Also try Hyperion by Dan Symmons. The sequels are divisive but try the first one for sure. 

 

I'm also a huge Dune fan.

 

You could also do a lot worse than Revelation Space by Alaister Reynolds.

 

Thatsfour great books,  each of which has more to follow if any of them take your fancy.

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3 hours ago, Sane said:

No Iain M Banks yet, from skimming this thread I had already made a note to check him out. Am I right in thinking that I should start with the first Culture novel, even if its not the best? 


Yes - but arguably Consider Phlebas is the best Culture novel, so don’t worry! But they are all fantastic, apart from the odd notable exception (Matter, if you only read the last three chapters it’s just as good).

 

Also with Iain M Banks there is some equally fab non-Culture stuff - Against A Dark Background, The Algebraist and Feersum Endjinn are all great too.

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19 hours ago, Sane said:

 

I'm not really looking for the most hardcore scientifically correct concept stuff, for me it's more about mystery and adventure. And it has to be well written, with interesting characters and developments. 

 

Some of my favourite authors are Clive Barker and Jeff van der Meer. 

 


Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle. Not the hardest of SF, but plenty of adventure and some great characters.

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On 01/11/2020 at 19:34, Flub said:

I can't acutally remember how I found out about it (Even though it was just yesterday) but I'm currently reading this

 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Night-Union-Station-EarthCent-Ambassador-ebook/dp/B00K4I391A

 

Date Night on Union Station. Book 1 of 18. A name and a cover that has you noping out without even looking.

 

But it's good. It's nice, smartly amusing and so far almost zero stakes.

 

Kelly Frank is EarthCent's top diplomat on Union Station, but her job description has always been a bit vague. The pay is horrible and she's in hock up to her ears for her furniture, which is likely to end up in a corridor because she's behind on rent for her room. Sometimes she has to wonder if the career she has put ahead of her personal life for fifteen years is worth it.

When Kelly receives a gift subscription to the dating service that's rumored to be powered by the same benevolent artificial intelligence that runs the huge station, she decides to swallow her pride and give it a shot. But as her dates go from bad to worse, she can only hope that the supposedly omniscient AI is planning a happy ending.

 

A review says this

 

The humour is not the sardonic humour of Discworld, nor the more madcap humour of Douglas Adams, but is an altogether gentler and more whimsical tone than Pratchett’s penetrating social commentary or Adams’s dizzying flights of intellectual hopscotch. The humour is certainly there, but it relies upon your understanding of the context and taking the next step yourself, rather than serving it up with a fanfare. There are no gigantic set-piece battles with the fate of Empires hanging on the actions of stern heroines, nor are there humble but amazingly powerful supernaturals banishing daemons and conniving faeries (both tropes which I enjoy and devour), but each subsequent book gently and humorously introduce plot devices that pose a question (or more) about society and relationships and perceptions and gives just enough of an answer to leave you expanding upon question yourself. Sounds awfully worthy and portentous, doesn’t it, but that is more because of my poor wordsmithing rather than any fault in the book. I found myself initially reading without paying much attention, but then becoming more and more intruiged with where the background action was going. The foreground stories are fun enough, but it is in what is not explicitly said in the scenery that captured my attention enough to finish my 12 books in 5 days. Very much a series for those who quietly question and wonder, and not for those who trumpet and bluster. It has aroused my curiosity, and I look forward to seeing which gentle nudgings are yet to come.

 

I'm up to date on these now. 18 books in the main series. 4 in the independent living series and 1 in the new Freelance on the tunnel network series.

 

Interesting series. My original comments hold but I'll add that I get strong libertarian vibes from the author. Everything is about working and earning money. The characters are nice but this focus does sour (And by book 18 of the main series I was flagging). I'm preferring the Independent Living series because I like the characters and main AI better but everything is still about starting businesses. There's a bunch of characters called the wanderers who travel as a "mob" and don't work. It makes me uncomfortable whenever they show up since I'm sure the author is likening them to gypsies. He even makes a slightly off crack about UBI.

 

On the whole I enjoyed my time reading them and it was certainly worth a couple of months of Kindle Unlimited. I don't think they're worth buying outright but I'll certainly read new ones when they come out.

 

Now onto something more meaty. The new Charles Stross Laundry universe book.

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I only know the first of those and I’ve not read any Le Guin which reminds me of it particularly. With that said, everyone should read some of her work and I think Lathe Of Heaven is amazing. It’s more of a Phil K Dick style than anything but maybe better than anything he did, and I say that as a fan. And the Earthsea books (which are more in the Fantasy line than SF I think) are the template for a lot of subsequent authors. 

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14 hours ago, Lovelyman said:

If my favourite Sci Fi books that I have read are:

 

Anathem

Neverness

Shards of Honor/Barryar

 

What should I read next. Will I like Le Guin?

 

I've only read Neverness, but given that and what I know of Shards of Honor, I'd be tempted to suggest the Dread Empire's Fall trilogy by Walter Jon Williams. It's got politics, romance, galaxy spanning ancient empires, aliens and elegant naval engagements in space. The first book, The Praxis, is relatively short so if you don't get on with that then you can abandon ship easily enough, but I have to say that the story gets going in the second book so try sticking with it. :)

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On 24/12/2020 at 10:31, Lovelyman said:

If my favourite Sci Fi books that I have read are:

 

Anathem

Neverness

Shards of Honor/Barryar

 

What should I read next. Will I like Le Guin?

 

Zindell's triology that follows Neverness? (I actually prefer them).

His fantasy stuff was a disappointment though.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 25/12/2020 at 00:56, Talvalin said:

 

I've only read Neverness, but given that and what I know of Shards of Honor, I'd be tempted to suggest the Dread Empire's Fall trilogy by Walter Jon Williams. It's got politics, romance, galaxy spanning ancient empires, aliens and elegant naval engagements in space. The first book, The Praxis, is relatively short so if you don't get on with that then you can abandon ship easily enough, but I have to say that the story gets going in the second book so try sticking with it. :)

 

I second this, excellent trilogy.

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You may be interested to hear that Williams wrote a stand-alone book in the series focusing on Sulla, and is currently working on the final book of a second trilogy. I'm going to wait until all three books are out, then I'm going to re-read the first three, read the standalone and then go straight through the second trilogy. :)

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That's brilliant news, I had no idea about the new trilogy :D

 

I've just looked into the short stories too, which I think I was aware of but had forgotten about :wacko:  Looks like there's two of them, one about each of the main characters from the trilogy.

 

Sula:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Impersonations-Praxis-Walter-Jon-Williams-ebook/dp/B01FQQ41DE/ref=sr_1_13?crid=17SJKLGLKDH7K&dchild=1&keywords=dread+empire's+fall&qid=1609836539&sprefix=dread+empire%2Caps%2C174&sr=8-13

 

Martinez:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Investments-Dread-Empires-Walter-Williams-ebook/dp/B007WHHYT4/ref=sr_1_7?crid=17SJKLGLKDH7K&dchild=1&keywords=dread+empire's+fall&qid=1609836539&sprefix=dread+empire%2Caps%2C174&sr=8-7

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  • 4 weeks later...
4 minutes ago, Barnard said:

Hello Sci Fi fiends. 

 

I need recommendations for a good alien contact book please. Contact with a sprinkle of Independence Day would be great. 


The Three Body Problem. Read the whole trilogy and have your mind blown.

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10 minutes ago, Darren said:


The Three Body Problem. Read the whole trilogy and have your mind blown.

 

Ohh, I've done that via audiobook. 

Spoiler

The earth fleet getting destroyed in the second book was very, very tense. 

 

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Maybe not quite meeing your remit 100% @Barnard but Contact by Carl Sagan (Carl Sagan FFS!) is great.

 

That's the same Contact as the excellent Robert Zemeckis film with Jodie Foster. And as is often the case, the book is miles better than the film

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