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Old 05-20-2008, 11:12 PM   #1
Taylor514ce
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Baen Recommendations

A search here for Baen Free Library brings up too many results to be immediately useful, as does SF or SciFi recommendations, etc. So I'd like to add to the noise of course, by starting a new thread.

Let's limit it to the current Free Library offerings. I want top 5 recommendations from everyone. If it helps, I'm a fan of the following SF authors in no particular order, so anyone who writes as well would be a great find for me:

1. Greg Bear, Eon and Eternity were both mind-blowing
2. Vernor Vinge, his Zones of Thoughts novels were excellent, best-realized aliens I've yet read
3. Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash, Diamond Age? Wow.
4. William Gibson - we're not worthy

I like Asimov, of course, but more from nostalgia. I don't need to re-read the Foundation series or the Robots of the Dawn series... I read them 50 times as a teenager.

I loved Old Man's War by Scalzi.

That should be enough to give SF readers a good idea of what I like. So, what should I download from BFL and read next?

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Old 05-20-2008, 11:54 PM   #2
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Based on Vinge, I would recommend the RCN series by David Drake. There are certain similarities in writing style that might appeal to you. I don't know quite how to put it.

The first novel is With The Lightnings.

P.S. After you try it, tell me if you like it or not.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:00 AM   #3
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Will do, thanks.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:06 AM   #4
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Baen's author list isn't a good fit with your current favorites, but I would read the following five first:
  1. 1632 by Eric Flint
  2. On Basilisk Station by David Weber
  3. Oath of Swords by David Weber
  4. Fallen Angels by Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven and Michael Flynn
  5. The Mountains of Mourning by Lois McMaster Bujold
The first three are each the 1st in a series. Fallen Angels is a one-off, but worth reading as are the non-free Oath of Fealty and The Mote in God's Eye. The Mountains of Mourning is the only free Bujold, it is a good, but perhaps not the best, intro to the Vorkosigan Saga.
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:19 AM   #5
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Ok, here are mine, based on what you said you liked.

1. The Course of Empire by Eric Flint and Kathy Wentworth. A further alien contact story, or actually, a "how to live with alien" story. I think this one takes some new thoughts about how humans might fit with another race. A stand-alone novel (at least to date)

2. There Will Be Dragons but John Ringo. While the main story appears to be a "return to old/lower technology" story, the details about how such things are possible really make the technology appear to be magic. There are 4 books in this series to date.

3. A Hymn before Battle by John Ringo. a completely different alien contact story, with completely different technology, but this one does a different job of integrating alien tech with human tech. Lots of follow up books that extend the story in different ways, and with co-authors. Lots of military battles and such.

4. The Mountains of Mourning by Lois Bujold. This one won a Hugo, and EVERYONE needs to read Lois. The Vorkosiverse doesn't have non-human aliens, but the human ones are alien enough. Lots of other books in this series, and Lois is currently working on another one. (she only finishes about one book per year.)

5. Redliners by David Drake. A good story of hard core military people interacting with true civilians. This one stands alone, but there's lots by David Drake available.

Now for MY tastes, I'd add a couple more, just because they start a good series, but they're more fantasy and/or alternate history


6. 1632 by Eric Flint (but realize that this scenario has been further developed by half a dozen novels, 2 Ring of Fire anthologies and 16 or more editions of the Grantville Gazette, an online-only magazine (although a few of the earlier gazettes have also been printed on paper.)

7. An Oblique Approach by Eric Flint and David Drake (Drake did the original outline and consulted, Flint wrote most of the words) Starts a 5 book series of alternate history.

8. On Basilisk Station by David Weber. Starts the Honor Harrington saga, space opera with lots of technical detail that makes it feel like Napoleonic naval warfare.

9. The Shadow of the Lion by Flint, Freer, and Lackey. a good collaboration on the beginning of a fantasy series, 3 books currently but contracts for at least 3 more. Some alternate history leanings, but magic works.

10. oh, the hell with it. read the whole library!
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #6
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I'm of wallcraft's opinion, Baen doesn't really have cyberpunk or hard SF authors like those you mentioned. Still, here's my recommendations in addition to those mentioned.
  • Tinker by Wen Spencer (not in Free Library but available on Baen CDs).
  • Mother of Demons by Eric Flint.
  • Mutineer's Moon, and The Apocalypse Troll by David Weber.
  • Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon.
  • A lot of Keith Laumer's books are available in Free Library. My favorites are Dinosaur's Beach (included in Odyssey) and The Great Time Machine Hoax (from The Lighter Side).
Check also Baen CDs for additional free Baen books.
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Old 05-21-2008, 04:53 PM   #7
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"Sunrise Alley" by Catherine Asaro
"Black on Black" & the sequel "Stars Over Stars" by K. D. Wentworth
"West of Honor" by Jerry Pournelle
"The Shadow of the Lion" by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer
"Star Soldiers" & "Time Traders by Andre Norton
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:43 PM   #8
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I'm not sure that Baen is a publisher whose taste matches yours.

While I've enjoyed most of the books listed so far, they are more martial in tone than your listed favourites. Also, a lot of them lean towards American conservative ideals, which also doesn't seem to feature in your list of faves.

That said, you might try:

Wizard's Bane, and Wizardry Compiled by Rick Cook

In this series, magic is activated by a process very similar to computer programming. A computer hacker from our universe finds out that he is a master wizard in the magical universe.

In writing style, Rick Cook reminds me a bit of Rudy Rucker.


Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn

No world-shaking new concepts, and not much computing, this is a story of astronauts fallen from space into a US which has turned its back on scientific research and intellectualism. This is an "if this goes on" tale somewhat in the vein of Heinlein's Future History.

I assume you are familiar with both Niven and Pournelle.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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I'd like to widen the search of this thread.

What is your "Top Ten List" of freely available Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Free could be Public Domain, Creative Commons, or Copyrighted (Bean, etc) doesn't matter, as long as it can be legally obtained in the US/Canada for nothing more than the price of download time?

BOb
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:28 PM   #10
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We already have those threads, don't we? I wanted recommendations specifically from the Baen Free Library. Let's not widen this topic. :emotifcation:
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
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We already have those threads, don't we? I wanted recommendations specifically from the Baen Free Library. Let's not widen this topic. :emotifcation:
If so, please point the way I couldn't find one limited to free stuff. I was going to start another thread but thought it would be to close in topic to this here one here.

BOb

[Pull yourself together man!]
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:39 PM   #12
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I dunno, search for SF or start another thread. Or co-opt this one, if you really want to. I'm not a moderator, I just sling my opinions with considerable force.

And I'm done with this thread anyway, since I got a lot of good recommendations. Maybe we could let a thread die a natural death for once?
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:56 PM   #13
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Mike Brotherton's _Star Dragon_ (Creative Commons licensing) is quite good, but it's Hard SF (w/ some sexual content).

William
(who did the .pdf version available at www.mikebrotherton.com )
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WillAdams View Post
Mike Brotherton's _Star Dragon_ (Creative Commons licensing) is quite good, but it's Hard SF (w/ some sexual content).

William
(who did the .pdf version available at www.mikebrotherton.com )
Sounds good actually. Not sure what "hard SF" is. Does that mean alot of technobabble? And, I like me some sex.

Is this a stand alone book. So much SF/Fantasy is multi-book series and the "other" ones are not free or findable as ebooks.

BOb
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:24 PM   #15
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_Star Dragon_ ... available at www.mikebrotherton.com )
Interesting web site, but FeedBooks has a better formatted MOBI version and the version right here on MobileRead also has the cover.

I have not been able to Filter FeedBooks to only list Science Fiction Novels but browsing FeedBooks by Type=Novels and Order=Year gets only novels and mostly Science Fiction for the 1st couple of pages.
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