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Old 01-06-2014, 07:39 PM   #31
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The Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman. Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls, Crown of Shadows.

I always warn people that the first 10-15 pages of the first book is a bit tough to get through... but it will all make sense later
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:05 PM   #32
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Another vote for Simmons' Hyperion Cantos. And I would add Peter F. Hamilton for some truly epic, adult, gritty sci-fi. Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained (one looong book split into 2 massive[-ly entertaining] parts) are awesome. I plan to read Great North Road or the Dreaming Void series next time I need some science fiction.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:37 PM   #33
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The Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman. Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls, Crown of Shadows.
I will add her SF stand alone novels as well - In Conquest Born, The Madness Season, This Alien Shore.

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How about Richard K Morgan, starting with The Steel Remains? Anyone read this? I have it on my TBR pile.
I liked it, and the sequel The Cold Commands. I think it may just be the two books rather than a longer series.

You might also like Michael Crichton - I thought Prey was particularly good.

I recently enjoyed The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow, a steampunk/UF. Book 2, The Red Plague Affair is currently waiting to be read.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi is very good and won both the Hugo and Nebula.

The Night Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko - there are four volumes, each a set of three linked novellas.
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:44 PM   #34
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Just finished the SF novels The Last Hour of Gann and Cottonwood by R. Lee Smith and loved them both. They are carried only by Amazon or blushingbooks.com and seem to be tossed into erotica, I guess due to descriptions of alien genetalia. IMO the few sex scenes are story related, about the same level of graphic detail as a typical romance, and easily skipped over if you get squeamish. The underlying story of Gann is about faith, Cottonwood's is racism (alienism?).
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:02 PM   #35
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How about the Rifters trilogy (Starfish, Maelstrom and Behemoth) by Peter Watts? There's also his stand-alone book Blindsight. It will seem like a short story after your exposure to George R.R. Martin, but if it doesn't pack in enough dark for you, I don't know what would.
OMG, I remember reading Rifters and being sick to my stomach for much of the time. I hadn't felt that way since discovering James Ellroy.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:14 PM   #36
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A couple more books just came to mind:

- Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
- Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (I seem to end up liking most of his books :P)

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Old 01-28-2014, 01:15 PM   #37
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My favorite author is Robin Hobb - while her writing isn't precisely dark and gritty, it's in that same territory of GRR Martin's where bad things can happen to good characters. Character driven stories, with lots of flawed characters. Start with Assassin's Apprentice I cannot recommend highly enough. Martin's my #2 favorite after Hobb. I saw someone else mention her, so I'll be the +2.

You might try The Lies of Locke Lamora - Gentleman Bastards series - by Scott Lynch - I really enjoyed the first book (haven't picked up the next two, yet). If you've ever read Raymond Feist's Rise of a Merchant Prince, it reminds me a lot of that. Confidence hucksters in a fantasy city, scheming to rob the rich. Good stuff. One of my favorites of the last couple of years.

Speaking of, even if you don't ever read any other Feist books (which vary in quality over time), Wurts & Feist's Empire Trilogy (starting with Daughter of the Empire) is really good in that same Martin sort of way - lots of scheming and intrigue and (literally) murderous politics.

Also will +2 the recommendation of Glen Cook's older Black Company books. Now that's gritty. Nothing like the point of view of mercenaries who work for the Dark Lady, and no real good guys or bad guys anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitearrow View Post
The Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman. Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls, Crown of Shadows.

I always warn people that the first 10-15 pages of the first book is a bit tough to get through... but it will all make sense later
I'll mention, also, the Magister trilogy. Sorcerers powered on the random life force of others. Cool concept.


I've been trying to read the Malazan books myself - they're tough reading - I'm almost done with book 2, having read book 1 twice (with a break in between reads) to try and understand what's going on better. Makes Martin look positively straightforward.

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Old 01-28-2014, 10:44 PM   #38
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I've been trying to read the Malazan books myself - they're tough reading - I'm almost done with book 2, having read book 1 twice (with a break in between reads) to try and understand what's going on better. Makes Martin look positively straightforward.
Yeah, he's definitely not a quick read. You need to get into the stuff. What I've found useful is to keep on going with the flow hoping that things will become clearer as you progress. I re-read the first one, also with a break in between, and realised that the construction of the story is actually brilliant. The second one is also really good, very different in scope and setting from the first one. Some truly epic battle scenes and strategy in there.

Thanks for the recommendations, will definitely check out Robin Hobb, she's been popping up on recommendation lists far too frequently to ignore
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