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Horribleman

Books with a sense of discovery/wonder

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Hi!

 

I realise that one think I absolutely love about books is when you feel like you're discovering something along with the characters.

 

Like the alien ship in Rama, like the history of a long forgotten race, or the discovery of an ancient alien race.

 

Probably quite tropey these days, but done well and with decent intelligent characters or dialogue, it's like my brain just goes all mushy and guzzles it up. Great metaphor.

 

Anyway, what books are great at this? I guess there must be some Sci Fi and Fantasy that I haven't read that does this well, and also both fiction and non-fiction.

 

What should I read when my new Kindle Oasis warm white arrives this Thursday?

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Schismatrix Plus by Bruce Sterling. I may have mentioned it in this thread before.

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Children Of Time does this to some extent. It's well worth a read if you haven't already.

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I would echo Children of Time, you have some great exploration of an unusual SF premise.

 

Have you read Hothouse by Brian Aldiss? 

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24 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

I would echo Children of Time, you have some great exploration of an unusual SF premise.

 

Have you read Hothouse by Brian Aldiss? 

I haven't read Hothouse, no. Should I?

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It's like £8 on the Kindle store at the moment, so maybe stick on the list and see if it gets reduced at some point. It's a good story of exploration and wonder. Not so much characters.

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I came in to post Rama. Definitely Children of Time. Maybe Excession by Banks?

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On 22/07/2019 at 14:23, Horribleman said:

Hi!

 

I realise that one think I absolutely love about books is when you feel like you're discovering something along with the characters.

 

Like the alien ship in Rama, like the history of a long forgotten race, or the discovery of an ancient alien race.

 

Probably quite tropey these days, but done well and with decent intelligent characters or dialogue

 

Definitely try the Revelation Space trilogy by Alastair Reynolds.  The first book is primarily about uncovering what happened to an extinct alien race, the two subsequent books ramp up the scope to ridiculous levels.  Fairly hard sci-fi, but written very well and makes all of the complex astronomical concepts accessible.  It's got great characters and the details of the human societies it's set within are just as interesting as the central premise.  There's a few other books set in the same universe which flesh the human side of things out a bit more, but the main three sound like they fit the bill of what you're looking for (Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap).

 

Incidentally, the covers and blurbs on the second and third books have fairly major spoilers for the first one, so maybe buy them one at a time!

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On 22/07/2019 at 16:46, Horribleman said:

I haven't read Hothouse, no. Should I?

 

Yes!

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On 22/07/2019 at 18:38, Plums said:

Definitely Children of Time.

 

I was actually thinking of Pushing Ice by Alistair Reynolds, which I read right before Children of Time.

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On 22/07/2019 at 23:23, Horribleman said:

Anyway, what books are great at this?

 

Non-fiction: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Feral by George Monbiot, Sapiens by Noah Yuval Harari, The World Without Us by some guy I can't remember right now.

 

Fiction: Railsea or The Scar by China Mieville, Great North Road or Salvation by Peter F Hamilton, Half Made World by Felix Gilman.

 

There are more, but those are the most recent which spring to mind.

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On 22/07/2019 at 18:38, Plums said:

I came in to post Rama. Definitely Children of Time. Maybe Excession by Banks?

 

I think Banks was really good at this in many of the Culture books, the shellworlds in Matter spring to mind as an immediate example.  

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Got my new Kindle Oasis and started Children of Time. 

 

Really enjoying it so far. His writing style is nice and vivid. 

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5 hours ago, Horribleman said:

Got my new Kindle Oasis and started Children of Time. 

 

Really enjoying it so far. His writing style is nice and vivid. 

 

I'm listening to the audiobook, I'm enjoying it but I wish it had a male reader to be honest.

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On 23/07/2019 at 18:37, little che said:

Senlin ascends is excellent. 

Red Mars/blue mars/green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson I would recommend. 

I'd add his novel Aurora too.

 

My shout would be Eon by Greg Bear. It starts off in near-future Earth and goes from there to some really great world-building. Not read the sequel though.

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Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

 

How the world opens up in that novel is a masterpiece.

 

Also, read nothing about it first.

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On 26/07/2019 at 14:54, Timmo said:

 

I'm listening to the audiobook, I'm enjoying it but I wish it had a male reader to be honest.

 

Why?

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47 minutes ago, SharkyOB said:

 

Why?

 

I just think her male voices are godawful. It reminds me of Queenie from Blackadder.

 

I ended up giving up on it, which was annoying as I was enjoying the story. I'll probably get the ebook at some point.

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But given most of the characters are female it made perfect sense.

 

I've listened to well over 150 audiobooks no according to my audible accounts and this one was fine. Her delivery of Avrana Kern was especially good. 

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On 30/07/2019 at 11:03, Festoon said:

Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

 

How the world opens up in that novel is a masterpiece.

 

Also, read nothing about it first.

Read Anathem. Loved it. Dense in places but very good. I haven't really gelled with anything else of his I've tried though.

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39 minutes ago, Horribleman said:

Read Anathem. Loved it. Dense in places but very good. I haven't really gelled with anything else of his I've tried though.

 

Closest to it in style is The Diamond Age, I reckon.

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