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Old 10-11-2010, 05:13 AM   #1
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Future History/Dystopian novels I am just finishing up...fun reading (no spoilers)

I love SF story lines that examine society often taking concepts to the level of what seems absurd in order to stimulate us to question where we are in the here and now. For me the four books below are that sort of novel with the bonus of nice being a tad seditious with plenty of wheels-within-wheels to keep me busy trying to figure out what is happening.

I just really enjoy such stores not because of anything other than it reminds not to ask myself if it is best to blindly accept the society as it exists or, is it better to never question the world and just work at being less self aware with a repress deep rooted desire to live on my own terms no matter the outcome so when I croak I at least go out knowing I tried with what resources I was given. I didn't write that as well as it sounds in my head so I hope my point comes through.

I suppose these stories question if it's a better life to try and be effective and proactive or to "Forest Gump" your way through life? Or maybe better said is, what constitutes a happy life or is life even supposed to have any meaning to begin with. Well, they are probably not that introspective but I often see more in something that might be there because I try and follow the ideas even further down the road than the author might take me.

Anyway I liked them in order, likely as I read them in this order:

Daemon by Daniel Suarez
The Unincorporated Man by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin
The Unincorporated War by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin (sequel to The Unincorporated Man)
Freedom by Daniel Suarez (Sequel to Daemon)

I would add that the tone of The Unincorporated War is pretty different than the first book and I found the first book better on my first read through...but once I listened to them all again I see how The Unincorporated War works as a middle novel of that series, likely a trilogy I think but no more or it could get really dull.

Both series are not written by wordsmiths but rather very workman like still the stories are fun. I also found them to have depth I never anticipated when I decided to buy them. So if you want a month or two worth of fun reading I would recommend them...or if you read them it might be fun to talk about them though I hate the idea of spoilers because I feel ya need to read them w/o any expectations to get the most out of them.

Anyway, I enjoyed them enough I also have the Audible versions so I can listen during the day if I want...love Audible for sure but it's also fun to read the book then listen to a professional reader present the book.

Last edited by brecklundin; 10-29-2010 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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Great find breck. I actually tend to like books done in a more workman's style than crafted in a high language ala tolkein/jordan.

I can appreciate a good yarn and a master wordsmith, but I have to be in the right mood and have just the perfect amount of patience at that particular point in time.

Maybe it's the civil servant in me. Even with a B.A. in Journalism, I tend to go for the less poetic works.

Actually - I severely dislike poetry. Not my thing

Anyone here remember (fondly) the Shadowrun books of the early '90's? Good clean fun, dysotopian cyberpunk at TSR's best...take that as you will.

On further read through the preview chapters, I severely dislike Daniel Suarez now. I had planned on not buying anything else until I cleared some dreck out of my TBR pile. But, now I need to add these to my wishlist.

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Old 10-28-2010, 08:57 PM   #3
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I read this new one called Turban Tan. It's strange but I like strange. Written in a codified manner to protect the secrecy of its characters, clever. http://www.amazon.com/Turban-Tan-ebo...8313607&sr=1-1
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:02 AM   #4
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When they all become available in ebooks or if you don't mind reading most of them in pbooks, I heartily and highly recommend Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish Cycle novels. They are all quite good. Here is a link to a wikipedia article that will give you some good background information on the novels:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainish_Cycle

They should be read in the following order:

Rocannon's World, 1966
Planet of Exile, 1966
City of Illusions, 1967
The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969 (winner of the Hugo Award, 1969[21] and Nebula Award, 1970[22])
The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, 1974 (Nebula Award winner, 1974[23]; Hugo and Locus Awards winner, 1975[24])
The Word for World is Forest, 1976 (winner of the Hugo Award for best novella)
Four Ways to Forgiveness, 1995 (Four Stories of the Ekumen)
The Telling, 2000 (Locus SF Award winner, 2001[25]; Endeavour Award winner

BTW the first three novels are usually published in a omnibus edition. If memory serves me correctly (they are packed away in box somewhere) it is a Sci-Fi Book Club edition.
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
Great find breck. I actually tend to like books done in a more workman's style than crafted in a high language ala tolkein/jordan.

I can appreciate a good yarn and a master wordsmith, but I have to be in the right mood and have just the perfect amount of patience at that particular point in time.

Maybe it's the civil servant in me. Even with a B.A. in Journalism, I tend to go for the less poetic works.

Actually - I severely dislike poetry. Not my thing
hahaha...I think we are related...I just don't now and never have "gotten" poetry. I am not even a huge music lover either.

Quote:
Anyone here remember (fondly) the Shadowrun books of the early '90's? Good clean fun, dysotopian cyberpunk at TSR's best...take that as you will.

On further read through the preview chapters, I severely dislike Daniel Suarez now. I had planned on not buying anything else until I cleared some dreck out of my TBR pile. But, now I need to add these to my wishlist.
Never ran across the Shadowrun books before thanks for the tip...will give it a look.

I haven't read any other Daniel Suarez books other than Daemon and Freedom(TM). But I was drawn into the fist book quickly and perhaps I was able to buy into the premise longer? Daemon has some holes for sure, still it was fun for me. And Freedom(TM) was a nice finish to the story though I seem to recall there might be a 3rd book. And as I mentioned I added the Audible versions of them after reading...the reader does a super job.

Right now I am going to read Scalzi's "Old Man's War" from the monthly book club vote here (thanks Jon!! hahaha) then I WANT to read The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.

But I am definitely going to give the Shadowrun books a look too. Where were all these great reading options when I was a kid? We have great stuff, but there we now have such wonderful access it's almost depressing to know how little of it one will get to read. Maybe that's why I have my Audible subscription, when I am working I am listening to some book. I setup the wireless broadcast here at home so I always have headphones on, well, a good part of the day anyway. I guess that means I am "wired in" to "the 'verse"? hahaha...
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:23 AM   #6
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brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.brecklundin is as sexy as a twisted cruller doughtnut.
 
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Originally Posted by AndyPittHughes View Post
I read this new one called Turban Tan. It's strange but I like strange. Written in a codified manner to protect the secrecy of its characters, clever. http://www.amazon.com/Turban-Tan-ebo...8313607&sr=1-1
Never heard of that story or author of Turban Tan, but after reading the premise and that of The Drippy Man I can already see I will probably enjoy them both because of the underlying theme of a corrupt world run by corporations which place no value on the individual and everything on the existence of "the corporation".

I liked the book Jennifer Government a lot, Max Berry wrote it in a very whimsical and satirical style. I bet it too is like Turban Tan in it's tone.

My problem though is I have a difficult time holding books anymore, I have RA which affects my hands a great deal. But exceptions can be made and it's not impossible I would make it through in a day or two given it's a novella of about 140 pages. Maybe out used store has a copy in stock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctol View Post
When they all become available in ebooks or if you don't mind reading most of them in pbooks, I heartily and highly recommend Ursula K. Le Guin's Hainish Cycle novels. They are all quite good. Here is a link to a wikipedia article that will give you some good background information on the novels:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainish_Cycle

They should be read in the following order:

Rocannon's World, 1966
Planet of Exile, 1966
City of Illusions, 1967
The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969 (winner of the Hugo Award, 1969[21] and Nebula Award, 1970[22])
The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, 1974 (Nebula Award winner, 1974[23]; Hugo and Locus Awards winner, 1975[24])
The Word for World is Forest, 1976 (winner of the Hugo Award for best novella)
Four Ways to Forgiveness, 1995 (Four Stories of the Ekumen)
The Telling, 2000 (Locus SF Award winner, 2001[25]; Endeavour Award winner

BTW the first three novels are usually published in a omnibus edition. If memory serves me correctly (they are packed away in box somewhere) it is a Sci-Fi Book Club edition.
I really enjoy Le Guin's writing though I forget which of her books I have read over the years. The Left Hand of Darkness sure sounds familiar. Will hunt my way through your list for sure. Probably will stick with ebook versions, if they exist.

Nice list of titles which are classics and precursors of today's writers. As in stuff for us old farts!!
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
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I just read Elegy Beach by Steven Boyett (a sequel to Ariel, but written a decade later), and thought it quite good (posits The Change which eliminated technology and make magic possible). But Sean McMullen's Souls in the Great Machine and sequels are a favorite- again a world without technology and some really interesting and fun concepts. Also Kristine Kathryn Rusch (The Disappeared and sequels), KristineSmith (Code of Conduct and sequels), William Dietz' Legion of the Damned series, and the Tanya Huff Valor novels.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:06 AM   #8
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Best dystopia books i've ever read are of Andrey Dashkov; however, it seems that none of his stories were translated into English, so my advice is not going to be a big help to you.
Also, C. J. Cherryh's Morgaine Stories are quite good. I've never read her other stories outside of Morgaine Cycle, so don't know whether these are good or bad.
And you can try pretty much everything of Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:43 AM   #9
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I would recommend Mockingbird by Walter Tevis. This is what the back cover says:

"In a dying world where humans are drugged and lulled by electronic bliss, where there is no art, no literature, and there are no children, where some would rather burn themselves alive than endure, Spofforth is the most perfect machine ever created. But his only desire is the impossible - to cease to be. Yet there is hope in this bleak, depressing time, hope that a man and a woman discover in love and in books, hope for the future, hope even for Spofforth."

The Wikipedia entry has a spoiler and doesn't do justice to the book so posted this instead.
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