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marlonharewood
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Stephen Baxter has a new one out tomorrow. Galaxias. I wonder if it's an Asimov reference

 

https://asimov.fandom.com/wiki/Galaxia

 

 

 

By the middle of the 21st century, humanity has managed to overcome a series of catastrophic events and maintain some sense of stability. Space exploration has begun again. Science has led the way.

But then one day, the sun goes out. Solar panels are useless, and the world begins to freeze

Earth begins to fall out of its orbit.

The end is nigh.

Someone has sent us a sign.

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Just finished One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It's another of his novellas, but definitely one of his best. It has elements of This Is How You Lose The Time War, and maybe also a bit of There Is No Antimemetics Division, and has an enjoyably cocky antihero narrator.

 

It's probably my second favourite of his books, after Children of Time. 

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Last night I finished Dare to Know by James Kennedy. It's about a scientist who worked out an algorithm that tells you when someone is going to die. The book follows a salesman for this company who sells the companies services to people. After a car crash he decides to use the algorithm on himself to see when his death-day is, but he gets a shock when it tells him he should have dies a few hours earlier. 

 

This had a decent premise but went off on so many tangents and pointless subplots that I was really sick of it by the end. It reminded me a bit of Michael Marshell Smith but with none of his wit or plotting skills. This felt like the TV show Lost or something, just loads of stuff happens that in the end meant nothing. 

 

Not worth reading. 

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On 19/11/2021 at 21:05, Miner Willy said:

Just finished One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It's another of his novellas, but definitely one of his best. It has elements of This Is How You Lose The Time War, and maybe also a bit of There Is No Antimemetics Division, and has an enjoyably cocky antihero narrator.

 

It's probably my second favourite of his books, after Children of Time. 

 

Despite it being a novella and normally finding them overpriced I went to take a look since I do like Adrian.

 

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Of course.

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I'm currently reading this

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B093G7SS37?psc=1

 

Just looking at it you'd think it was just another load of churned out self published Kindle junk but it's actually really well written, imaginative and pretty creepy once you get to "The Impossible Object"

 

The Stars are Right. Humans… prepare for extinction.

Eldritch gods, cosmic horrors, and weird physics are the enemy, striking from nameless dimensions we can’t perceive, destroying us with strangeness beyond human comprehension. Major Harrison Peel understands these Great Old Ones better than anyone. He wishes he didn’t.

Forced into his latest assignment, Peel must confront an alien Outer God known only as the Impossible Object. Held in a secret facility deep in the Australian desert, no two people perceive it the same way, and it conforms to no known properties of the universe. Then the Impossible Object promises to reveal the secrets of everything, or cause all space and time to blink from existence… forever.

Are humans supposed to choose? And if so, can Peel guess the Impossible Object’s intensions? For the fate of everything could rest entirely in his hands…

For fans of weird science fiction, Delta Green and Charles Stross’s The Laundry, the Harrison Peel series is a collection of interconnected cosmic horror stories that explore the world, and the entire universe, of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, stretched across all space and time.

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I'm also a little way into this. Also seems to be really good

 

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08FHHQRM2?psc=1

 

There Is No Antimemetics Division

An antimeme is an idea with self-censoring properties; an idea which, by its intrinsic nature, discourages or prevents people from spreading it.

Antimemes are real. Think of any piece of information which you wouldn't share with anybody, like passwords, taboos and dirty secrets. Or any piece of information which would be difficult to share even if you tried: complex equations, very boring passages of text, large blocks of random numbers, and dreams...

But anomalous antimemes are another matter entirely. How do you contain something you can't record or remember? How do you fight a war against an enemy with effortless, perfect camouflage, when you can never even know that you're at war?

Welcome to the Antimemetics Division.

No, this is not your first day.

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I've just started reading Beyond the Hallowed Sky by Ken McCleod. Only a couple of chapters in but I like it a lot so far. Quick and breezy.

 

When a brilliant scientist gets a letter from herself about faster-than-light travel, she doesn't know what to believe. The equations work, but her paper is discredited - and soon the criticism is more than scientific. Exiled by the establishment, she gets an offer to build her starship from an unlikely source. But in the heights of Venus and on a planet of another star, a secret is already being uncovered that will shake humanity to its foundations.

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21 minutes ago, joemul said:

Oh that sounds really intriguing. Would you mind posting a review after you've read it?

 

If I remember lol :) I preface this with the fact that I've read a number of his other books but never really gotten on with them. This one has grabbed me from the first couple of chapters with an AI going (clippy like) "I understand you wish to defect"

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On 21/11/2021 at 10:24, Silent Runner said:

Last night I finished Dare to Know by James Kennedy. It's about a scientist who worked out an algorithm that tells you when someone is going to die. The book follows a salesman for this company who sells the companies services to people. After a car crash he decides to use the algorithm on himself to see when his death-day is, but he gets a shock when it tells him he should have dies a few hours earlier. 

 

This had a decent premise but went off on so many tangents and pointless subplots that I was really sick of it by the end. It reminded me a bit of Michael Marshell Smith but with none of his wit or plotting skills. This felt like the TV show Lost or something, just loads of stuff happens that in the end meant nothing. 

 

Not worth reading. 

 

This sounds like it's nicked the premise from Heinlein's Life-Line.

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Can anyone save me trawling through this thread to remember a book I was recommended on here? I think it might have been one of @ZOKs favourites but I can't be sure.

The book involves a society where the protagonist travels to other colonised planets. One of the hopefully identifying features I remember is that he has to take something to adapt the bacteria in his body to the new environment each time. Ring any bells with anyone?

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Yes, that’s the fabulous Schismatrix by Bruce Sterling. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schismatrix It’s stuffed to the gills with such post-humanist shenanigans…and sometimes it’s just about gills.

 

As always, the advice to anyone looking to pick this up is to go for Schismatrix Plus if you can find it (and that may be the standard Kindle version) as it comes with five equally lovely shorts set in the same universe.

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13 hours ago, velma said:

Excellent thank you! I have it on Kindle but I couldn't find it for the life of me. That's my Xmas reading sorted :D


Hopefully you’ll love it - I think it’s one of those novels that has more good ideas on a page than most SF writers manage to get into a book, but it’s also the very definition of dense and sprawling. I rank it alongside Neuromancer as one of the best SF novels of them all, and I also think Sterling is a much better writer than Gibson.

 

The five shorts were published before the novel, but I think they work much better afterwards when you have a full understanding of the scope of the universe they are set in. Some of the characters and events crop up in the novel too, so it’s nice to get a new slant on people and events you have already been thoroughly immersed in. It’s also notable that one of the key plot events of Schismatrix is kind of spoiled by at least three of the shorts, so they work much better as digestif than apéritif.

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I have read it, but years ago and bits of it have stuck in my head ever since. I've read some badly written sci fi recently and I've been hankering after something better, I had been trying to remember this one for ages. 

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1 hour ago, velma said:

I have read it, but years ago and bits of it have stuck in my head ever since. I've read some badly written sci fi recently and I've been hankering after something better, I had been trying to remember this one for ages. 


Nice - it certainly benefits from several reads as there is just so much packed into it.

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18 hours ago, ZOK said:


Nice - it certainly benefits from several reads as there is just so much packed into it.

 

I have reached this conclusion after spending a few days reading it and only clawing my way up to around 20%. There's a lot of ideas packed in here and I plan to re-read it once I get through the rest of my digital pile of shame.

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On 05/12/2021 at 12:06, ZOK said:


Hopefully you’ll love it - I think it’s one of those novels that has more good ideas on a page than most SF writers manage to get into a book, but it’s also the very definition of dense and sprawling. I rank it alongside Neuromancer as one of the best SF novels of them all, and I also think Sterling is a much better writer than Gibson.

 

The five shorts were published before the novel, but I think they work much better afterwards when you have a full understanding of the scope of the universe they are set in. Some of the characters and events crop up in the novel too, so it’s nice to get a new slant on people and events you have already been thoroughly immersed in. It’s also notable that one of the key plot events of Schismatrix is kind of spoiled by at least three of the shorts, so they work much better as digestif than apéritif.

 

The only problem with coming to such influencial sci fi late is that it sometimes seems derivitave because youve read all the stuff that borrowed from it first :) 

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4 hours ago, Padaxes said:

 

The only problem with coming to such influencial sci fi late is that it sometimes seems derivitave because youve read all the stuff that borrowed from it first :) 


Yes, I think both Sterling and Gibson can suffer in that regard. Although Sterling to a greater extent because he turns his hands to so many different themes.

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I just finished Light by M. John Harrison and I think I enjoyed it, but the whole thing was a pretty bizarre experience.

 

It takes a little time to ramp up, and sometimes it felt like I was reading a post by that Centurion bloke on the forum, but yeah, it ended up being vague but satisfying all at once!

 

I'll have to look at other books by the author in the same universe for sure! 

 

After something a BIT more lightweight!

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I watched the film Passengers the other day, and while it left a lot to be desired, I quite enjoyed the first bit when it was just Chris Pratt alone on the ship. It made me want a similar experience in book form, so does anything like that exist? Just one person, or maybe a few, hanging out in space, maybe on some kind of mission or with some weirdness to investigate, with a strong focus on isolation, survival and just wandering around a big empty ship. In my head it would ideally be a mash-up of the first half of the first Red Dwarf book, the beginning of Alien, and Silent Running, with maybe a bit of The Shining thrown in for good measure.

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There’s a short story that matches that almost exactly, with a small crew trying to deal with the loneliness of long distance space travel and managing their own headspace, but I can’t think who it’s by. Possibly Jack Vance?

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On 13/12/2021 at 20:57, Chosty said:

I watched the film Passengers the other day, and while it left a lot to be desired, I quite enjoyed the first bit when it was just Chris Pratt alone on the ship. It made me want a similar experience in book form, so does anything like that exist? Just one person, or maybe a few, hanging out in space, maybe on some kind of mission or with some weirdness to investigate, with a strong focus on isolation, survival and just wandering around a big empty ship. In my head it would ideally be a mash-up of the first half of the first Red Dwarf book, the beginning of Alien, and Silent Running, with maybe a bit of The Shining thrown in for good measure.

 

Alastair Reynolds's Revelation Space has some bits that are kind of like that: a few people on board a ship that's far too big for such a small crew. I wouldn't say it's a major focus of the book, though.

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