Science Fiction

  1. Killfacer
    Killfacer
    I've just started reading sciene fiction books. I have to say, i'm shocked by how good they are (not all of them obviously).

    I was tired of the usual run of the mill historical novel about romans which i usually read. So i made the pilgramige to Waterstones, sidled over to the Sciencefiction/fantasy section.

    I bought the book Drowned World which is fucking GREAT. Flushed with success i decided to go and buy MORE!

    I've now got The Child Garden and some Philip K.Dick books.

    Anyone else read much Sci-fi books?
  2. Jazzratt
    Jazzratt
    Try Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks (and after that the rest of his Culture series) it's fucking epic.
  3. Shadow Weaver
    Shadow Weaver
    I thought Consider Phlebas was Ok but his later culture novels were better. Horses for courses no doubt. I would recomend the Gap series by Stephen Donaldson. The first book is short and nothing special. Book 2 is amazing and it gets better from there on - 5 books in all.

    regards

    sw
  4. Jazzratt
    Jazzratt
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Weaver
    I thought Consider Phlebas was Ok but his later culture novels were better.
    No doubt, but I tend to begin at the beggining. It also helps frame the rest of the culture novels nicely.
  5. Killfacer
    Killfacer
    has anyone read The forever war?
  6. NecroCommie
    NecroCommie
    I am reading it now. Seems to be nothing special yet, but I have only read the first chapter or two.
  7. Bitter Ashes
    Bitter Ashes
    Yes, it's old, but trust me, dont disregard Arthur C Clarke.
    If you love lots and lots of detail in your books then I seriously suggest his books. In particular, Sands of Mars and of course the 2001- books.
    You'll find a lot of his books in charity shops too. Under Ł2 a book and you'll be putting money in the pockets of the needy, rather than the publishers.
  8. Salabra
    Salabra
    Where shall I start?

    Let's see - Some I enjoyed were

    • "Downbelow Station" by CJ Cherryh
    • Drinking Sapphire Wine" by Tanith Lee (really anything by these two, but some aren't really 'traditional' sci-fi)
    • "Lord of Light" by Roger Zelazny
    • Julian May's "Saga of the Exiles" series
    • the "Riverworld" series by Philip Jose Farmer
    • lots of stuff by H Beam Piper (especially the "Fuzzy" books)
    • James Schmitz' "Telzey Amberdon" books...

    I'll add more as they occur to me.

    As Ranma says, most of these are probably also obtainable from "op-shops" (shops selling second-hand goods for charities).

    Good Luck!
  9. Killfacer
    Killfacer
    Well i just got back from holiday in which i had some fucking epic journeys.

    I read:

    The Child Garden, by Geoff someone or other, it's really good. I expected it to be a bit like 1984 or a brave new world but it was completely different. It also had some crazy transhumanist shit at the end which i'm sure jazz would appreciate. I would warmly recommend it to all.

    I also read A Scanner Darkly. It's by Phillip K Dick and is an excellent read. It's about all drugs and shit which i can't really explain. It has some great characters in, particuarly the bloke who thinks he's attacked by aphids and spends his life trying to capture them and give them to a doctor.

    The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. I have to admit i agreed with you at the start necro commie and it does take a while for it really to get into the swing of things. I really liked the concept and i thought it was very good, although i admit to being slightly dissapointed.

    I also read the sequal, Forever Free. It's good although does fade occasionally around the middle. Another good book but not as good as the Forever War.

    Thanks for the reccomendations people.
  10. NecroCommie
    NecroCommie
    It is a great blasphemy not to read hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy. There is a book that goes hand to hand with my sense of humour.
  11. Killfacer
    Killfacer
    Yeah i read that years ago and really enjoyed it, have you read the other ones?
  12. NecroCommie
    NecroCommie
    A bit of the second one yes. I have a tendency to read dozens of books at the same time.
  13. Bitter Ashes
    Bitter Ashes
    Oh my! How could I forget the trilogy of five parts (it's actualy called that!)!

    I LOVED those books by Douglas Adams and there's one part that will stay with me forever and that was me reading the bit about Arthur bowling at Lordes, while I was listening to the Take On Me cover by Reel Big Fish. The music matched the theme sooooo well and I was kinda playing out the whole scene in my head to that theme forever and ever ^^
  14. Clear Air Turbulence
    Clear Air Turbulence
    'The Dispossed' by Usula Le Guin
    It's anarkeests in space y'all.
  15. Killfacer
    Killfacer
    Quote Originally Posted by Clear Air Turbulence
    'The Dispossed' by Usula Le Guin
    It's anarkeests in space y'all.
    Yeah i got that for my birthday, really good book.
  16. NecroCommie
    NecroCommie
    Am I strange (yes, but thats beside the point) or why do I like Sci-fi series an movies more than books? Like Stargate or Star Trek. I like how they spend sometimes entire episodes on explaining the sub-atomic functions of their star engine. Or some intricate detail of quantum physics, by which exploiting they can turn back time, teleport themselves, start a cosmic war and smell like lemon at the same time.
  17. Clear Air Turbulence
    Clear Air Turbulence
    Quote Originally Posted by Killfacer
    Yeah i got that for my birthday, really good book.
    If you like that, try 'Left hand of darkness' by her as well.
    It's hermaphrodites in space y'all!
  18. Clear Air Turbulence
    Clear Air Turbulence
    Quote Originally Posted by NecroCommie
    Am I strange (yes, but thats beside the point) or why do I like Sci-fi series an movies more than books? Like Stargate or Star Trek. I like how they spend sometimes entire episodes on explaining the sub-atomic functions of their star engine. Or some intricate detail of quantum physics, by which exploiting they can turn back time, teleport themselves, start a cosmic war and smell like lemon at the same time.
    See I like all the complex stuff in my books, I like my series to be all 'Boom! Zoom! Fuck! Awesome!'

    I do find myself screaming 'Space doesn't work that way you cahhhhnt' at a lot of them though. The only one I can think of that I haven't is 'Firefly'.
  19. Killfacer
    Killfacer
    i dont know enough about space and shit so i can't complain. Although i can usual work out when something's just mumbo jumbo pseudo science.
  20. Salabra
    Salabra
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranma42
    Oh my! How could I forget the trilogy of five parts (it's actualy called that!)!

    I LOVED those books by Douglas Adams ...
    Indeed, Ranma ... I could have clipped myself around the ear'ole for having forgotten it!

    i liked Marvin, the terminally depressive robot - I often feel like that ("Brain as big as a planet, and here I am washing dishes," etc)
  21. Bitter Ashes
    Bitter Ashes
    Quote Originally Posted by Salabra
    Indeed, Ranma ... I could have clipped myself around the ear'ole for having forgotten it!

    i liked Marvin, the terminally depressive robot - I often feel like that ("Brain as big as a planet, and here I am washing dishes," etc)
    I think we can all blame capitalism on the Golgafrinchams :P
  22. Salabra
    Salabra
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranma42
    I think we can all blame capitalism on the Golgafrinchams :P
    - I actually had to look that up (it's been a while since I read Hitchhiker's) but, yes, you're right!
  23. Salabra
    Salabra
    Are we including alt.History here?
  24. NecroCommie
    NecroCommie
    By all means share what interesteth thee.
  25. Salabra
    Salabra
    Two words — Harry Turtledove (Yeah, yeah, I know — either love his work or hate it!)

    Another alt.history novel I liked was Christopher Evans’ Aztec Century (Cortez was seduced by the Aztecs and “defected”). Then there is Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt (instead of wiping out 30% of Europe’s population, the Black Death of the 1340s wipes out 90%+ — world history is quite different, yet, in some ways, eerily similar).

    A series you might like, Killfacer (provided you can tune out the ultra-reactionary Yankee rah-rah), is William R Forstchen’s Lost Regiment series.

    The premise is that a Union regiment (loosely based on the 20th Maine of Gettysburg fame) embarks on a homebound troopship during the siege of Petersburg in the US civil war. The ship is drawn through a hole in space/time to an alien world. This world is inhabited by other humans, transported from different eras of earth’s history, but is ruled by the Horde — bands of eight-foot tall cannibalistic humanoids (based on the Mongols), who circle the planet endlessly, “harvesting” the humans. The regiment sets out to “free” the humans and bring their societies to C19 US level.

    But my absolute favourite works of science-fiction/fantasy are the Tekumelyáni novels of MAR Barker. The novels themselves are set in the world of Tékumel, about which much has been written and much more could be (see www.tekumel.com). Barker began creating this world more than 60 years ago — it is as rich as Tolkien’s Middle Earth, but, instead of being based on the European Dark Ages, it is an eclectic mix of Mughal India, Imperial China, Byzantium and pre-Columbian Meso-America, with languages based not on Germanic, Celtic and Finnish, but on the languages of South Asia and Native America.

    So far it sounds like straight fantasy, but Barker’s world has a “scientific” backstory. World War III depopulated most of the earth in 2012. The remnant of humanity that survived was from Central America, South Asia and North Africa. After many millennia these humans made it into space, met other “races,” and settled a planet they called Tékumel. They and their interplanetary allies terraformed it into a resort world. But then “something happened” and the planet was plunged into barbarism. More millennia passed as the societies struggled to regain an early-Renaissance level of technology. However the machines of the “Great Ancients” still keep the planet’s gravity at earth-normal, their tubeway cars still run underground (though no-one knows how to make them go whey they want them to go) and there are often vast stores of such “magical” items still extant — and some of them actually still work!

    The novels are not great literature, but they — and the RPG that exists alongside them — are amazing examples of world-creation (a definitely non-Marxist world, but a coherent world of great depth and complexity nevertheless).
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