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Thread: What book are you reading?
01-06-2014, 10:21 PM #2081
David Gemmell's Heroes of Bel-Azar. Again.
Love a bit of trashy high fantasy.
02-06-2014, 05:07 AM #2082
Should go without saying that anyone who liked Tie Fighter or Jedi Knight (mysteries of the sith) should try the Thrawn trilogy. I liked it, but I didn't think it was quite as great as people made out.
02-06-2014, 05:09 AM #2083
I remember a few years ago some people were talking about a sci-fi novel series that they compared to Song of Ice & Fire. Any ideas what it might be? Failing that, any recommendations for great interesting sci-fi? (either hard sci-fi or something with something to say or just with genius ideas)
02-06-2014, 06:56 AM #2084
If you just mean "gritty", then pretty much any of the borderline misogynistic sci-fi serieses will work :p
If you mean similar in tone, The Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is technically sci-fi and is VERY Song of Ice and Fire-y. Not my cup of tea, but I have heard many comparisons.
Also, Leviathan Wakes by James S A Corey (The Expanse series) gets that a lot. Not because of the tone (they are radically different), but because one of the authors (its a pen name for two writers) is George R R Martin's assistant. And I do strongly recommend that since it is fairly modern, so you get less values dissonance. And it actually covers a lot of topics that are relevant to today's world. The first two novels in particular is all about what it means to be a whistleblower and whether or not full disclosure is always the right choice. The third being primarily about the role of the military in exploration/science, martial law, and just what can push a person to become a terrorist. In terms of hardness, I would say it is comparable to Asimov: Most of it feels like it is grounded in real science (not as much as Asimov, but yeah :p) but it doesn't get bogged down in explaining every bit.
The first novel in particular has probably one of the most realistic and disgustingly entertaining descriptions of radiation poisoning ever. This isn't Spock/Kirk slumping over :p
Just bear in mind that it isn't much like Martin in tone at all. The "loveable homicidal maniac" actually IS a loveable homicidal maniac, rather than someone the fans pretend is a lot nicer in their heads. Similarly, there is a lot less "This is realistic, the world sucks" and the writers seem to go out of their way to try and keep things mostly happy. Bad stuff happens, but you can always still see the light.
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02-06-2014, 11:03 AM #2085
Donna Tart, The Secret History.
This was really good, I can see why it's considered a bit of a classic already. 6 classics students at a little liberal arts college set out to put some of their ideas to the test with tragic consequences. It put me most in mind of Crime and Punishment but without the redemptive belief, their belief in truth and beauty without any real morality to go with it is shown to be empty and hollow. Anyway I recommend it.
Now reading the Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M Banks.
02-06-2014, 11:17 AM #2086
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Now I'm sad again that Iain M Banks is dead. Nobody wrote Sci-fi like he did.
02-06-2014, 12:07 PM #2087
02-06-2014, 12:47 PM #2088
02-06-2014, 02:06 PM #2089
Yeah. Sorry, I don't really have any info about them. I just remember someone recommending a sci-fi series that was like Song of Ice and Fire.
I don't think it was darkness or sex or anything, per se, it was more a sci-fi series that didn't mind killing off main characters or doing things outside of the usual hero tropes.
It might be the Gap Cycle, but I think it was by someone a little more unknown (at the time, which was about 5-6 years ago I guess).
Either way, those suggestions are something to be getting along with.
Also, what's a good Ian M Banks book to start with? I keep seeing his books around and they look interesting, but complex and a little intimidating as a big set.
02-06-2014, 02:16 PM #2090
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
02-06-2014, 02:37 PM #2091
I'd say Look to Windward, Excession or Use of Weapons. Probably for an into to what The Culture is then Look to Windward or Player of Games. Use of Weapons is my favourite of the books though, but as it in part takes apart the idea of The Culture it might not work as a first one.
EDIT: For general Scifi recommendations I love the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
02-06-2014, 04:23 PM #2092
If you want sci-fi, I'll always recommend Asimov's Foundation series (or any Asimov, for that matter), Dune (just the original), and The War Against the Rull by A.E. van Vogt. I've got some Heinlein and some more van Vogt on a shelf that I've been meaning to get to, so that list may be expanded.
02-06-2014, 04:33 PM #2093
02-06-2014, 04:42 PM #2094
I just started Radley Balko's Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. It has good reviews and seems to present an objective view of the subject matter. I'm still on the first chapter, which is about the history of police forces, but it is good so far.
02-06-2014, 08:01 PM #2095
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
02-06-2014, 08:10 PM #2096
03-06-2014, 12:39 PM #2097
Consider Phlebas came out first, I think chronological is the same as published order with Culture novels.
Phlebas is set during the Iridan war then Look to Windward is set 800 years after the end of that, then the Hydrogen Sonata they mention the Iridan war was well over 1000 years ago. So the chronological order doesn't matter because the distances between the novels is so large none of the same characters are involved.
03-06-2014, 10:12 PM #2098
Does have a heavy Sci-Fantasy edge to it, though it's definitely more Fantasy than Sci-Fi. I recommend it... but be prepared for something quite misanthropic in outlook.
04-06-2014, 08:02 AM #2099
My reading lately has been rather dry and sciency, so I've started making an effort to absorb some sci-fi and fantasy books through the medium of audiobooks while playing FTL and Don't Starve in the evenings.
Started out with Jurassic Park which was a bit preachy but a lot more entertaining than I expected and also a lot nerdier - an entire action sequence played out at the command prompt of a Cray supercomputer was a definite highlight. Minus points for stupid annoying girl being really, really stupid and annoying all the time.
Today I finished Ender's Game, which I found surprisingly revolting. Maybe it was the 6-10 year old super-genius-space-Jesus-Alexander-the-Great, bred for epic deeds who just happens to murder some other children and wipe out an entire civilisation but it's OK because he didn't know he was murdering children (and ant people) and we should empathise because the grown-ups made him do it. But the grown-ups were all serious military men who did what they had to do to save us from the evil alien Buggers (really?) so that's OK too, sort of. But the Buggers (!) didn't actually want to wipe out humanity so it was all a big misunderstanding, and super-genius-space-Jesus-Alexader-the-Great gets a chance to redeem himself at the end and he can prove he's not like his brother, who happens to be super-genius-terrestrial-Ghengis-Hitler-the-Hun, who along with his sister (super-genius-psycho-Virgin-Mary-Nightingale) is taking over planet Earth by posting essays and debates on internet forums. Also Russians are evil.
Fuck that book.
04-06-2014, 08:48 AM #2100