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Thread: Books to buy
24-07-2011, 02:30 PM #21
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge has a very believable near-future setting. Halting State by Charles Stross is similarly grounded in current technology. In fact, most of Stross's('s) sci-fi stuff is extrapolative, as is Greg Egan's work.
I moved away from fantasy a while ago, but the last few books I read in the genre which I'd recommend are Steph Swainson's The Year of Our War (the first of the Castle series), and Orcs by Stan Nicholls. Both high fantasy, the former avoids most of the post-Tolkien fantasy tropes, and the latter subverts them by putting the focus squarely on the traditional bad guy mooks, portraying them as honourable and not entirely satisfied with their lot.
Similar in premise to Orcs, but completely different in style is Grunts by Mary Gentle. Again a Tolkienesque setting and again with orcish protagonists, it's a parody of the common fantasy tropes, and a very good one. Halfling thieves: check. Orcs commanded by evil necromancer: check. Dark Lord ruling the world by democracy: er... check? Orcs in the US Marine Corps: wait, what? Tyranid invasion: oh come on!
Also, Vellum and Ink (collectively The Book of All Hours) by Hal Duncan. A kaleidoscopic, non-linear story of a war across multiple realities between Angels and ancient Gods, and the refugees from and conscientious objectors to the conflict. I'm not even going to try to summarise it any further than that, but I urge you to read it.