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Old 01-26-2011, 12:17 AM   #1
earthpigborn
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Science Fiction + ______ Recommendations

I'm looking for books that are set in Science Fiction universes but with a plot that could belong in a different genre. Like Asimov's Robot series- set in the far future with robots but is essentially a mystery story.

My preference would be SF+mysteries but if you have a combination that's really good, go ahead and list them. I'll read anything
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:58 AM   #2
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You won't find this in ebook, but Richard Bowker wrote a wonderful post-holocaust SF novel about a private detective in Boston. It was called Dover Beach, and was published by Bantam. Never got much notice, because the publisher didn't know whether to make it look like SF or like mainstream, and as a result it missed both audiences. Bowker's a terrific writer, and also a buddy of mine.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:19 AM   #3
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Kiln People by David Brin is sf + noir.

The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust is a comedic adventure in the style of Dumas's The Three Musketeers. Not available as an ebook though.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:26 AM   #4
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A lot of Lois McMaster Bujold's later Vorkosigan books are more mystery than space opera. Of course, you should start at the beginning of the series. They're all fun adventures though!
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:31 AM   #5
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Elizabeth Moon's Hunting Party, sci-fi + fox hunting
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:18 AM   #6
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Robert J. Sawyer is pretty good at SF+mysteries. He's won both science fiction and mystery awards for several of his books and stories. You can read 2 of his dual-award-winning novellas free online at his website, Identity Theft, and The Hand You're Dealt, which are both murder mysteries set in future colonies.

My personal favourite is Golden Fleece (exploration expedition + locked room murder mystery), though there's also Illegal Alien (first contact + legal thriller), The Terminal Experiment (AI + serial killer procedural), Frameshift (genetics research + fugitive hunt). He's also got the Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy, which aren't mystery (mostly), but Dinosaurs Discovering Science IN SPAAACE!!!!! with Galileo, Darwin, and Freudian analogues.

Brian Stableford's done some very good genetic engineering + murder mystery works, though they tend to read better in the original novella format (usually reprinted in those Dozois-edited Year's Best Science Fiction collections) than the expanded novel editions. Architects of Emortality (expanded from Les Fleurs du Mal) blends post-apocalyptic future society with 19th century Victorian literature and cop/civilian team-up. The Cassandra Complex (expanded from The Silver Bullet) is a biotech absconding-with-important-medical-research thriller.

Nancy Kress, who's won Hugo and Nebula awards, also did a few biotech thrillers, two in a series with the same detective, Stinger and Oaths and Miracles, set modern-day/near-future with significant genetic-engineering advances that people would kill for, and Maximum Light, set in a future where human fertility has taken a drastic decline for unknown reasons.

Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign, in the Vorkosigan Saga, is SF+comedy of manners (MilSF space opera + Heyer-esque Regency romance, specifically), as is Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog (time travel + comedy of errors). Bujold's Memory, Cetaganda, and Diplomatic Immunity are also excellent SF+mystery, while Komarr and Winterfair Gifts are SF+mystery+romance.

And finally, Charles Stross' Laundry series is really vaguely sf-ish in terms of all the "magic" having a mathematical/quantum mechanical basis, but they're excellent Lovecraftian horror + Cold War spy thriller + office bureaucracy stories and well worth reading if you think you might be inclined.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:05 AM   #7
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Jack McDevitt's A Talent For War is an archaeological mystery in an sf setting, as are many of his other books. I found the first one the best, though that's a minority opinion.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoblinWriter View Post
A lot of Lois McMaster Bujold's later Vorkosigan books are more mystery than space opera. Of course, you should start at the beginning of the series. They're all fun adventures though!
Yes, they are excellent except for Cryoburn, which I thought was just mediocre.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:21 AM   #9
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Timothy Zahn's _Icarus Hunt_ is a tribute to Alistair McLean's writings.

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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Gun, with Occasional Music is a great noirish murder mystery set in a SF setting. It also fully qualifies as a SF tale in it's own right (that is, the SF'ness isn't just a backdrop, it is important to the story).

edit: by Jonathan Lethem
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:04 PM   #11
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How about the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts): SciFi, Mystery, Romance.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:59 PM   #12
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Well David Weber's Honor Harrington Series and David Drake's RCN series could transplanted into novels about naval warfare during the Napoleonic Wars. Of course that is because both of them start out as science fiction versions of series about naval warfare during the Napoleonic Wars...

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Old 01-26-2011, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeene View Post
Jack McDevitt's A Talent For War is an archaeological mystery in an sf setting, as are many of his other books. I found the first one the best, though that's a minority opinion.

Another nomination for McDevitt's Alex Benedict novels. It's kinda sorta like PBS's "History Detectives", but in space. Good stuff!!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:34 PM   #14
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Look for Glen Cook series about Garret Private Eye. I think the first is "Sweet Silver Blues". Mix Tolken with Sam Spade and hot redheads.. you get the idea.

Anything by Lawwrence Watt Evens is good. Magic has rules and limits and the books show how people deal with these while solving other problems.

If you have not started reading Fredrick Pohl's "Heechee" saga - you are in for a treat. Humans discover an alien shipyard and do not really understand how the ships work so volunteers take turns setting the controls and shipping off hoping to return reporting on fabulous worlds/more alien tech. Some dont return.

Anything by Charles Sheffield would probably be something you would enjoy.

Run out and buy Lois Bujoulds "Cryoburn". While I agree the story is so-so compared to some of her other books - it comes with a CD with nearly every one of her other books in the Vorkosogin verse. (Do a search and you can find a link where you can d/l the contents for free - but do the right thing and buy the book and get 8-10 ebooks added in.)
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:39 PM   #15
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I just finished Cryoburn, I agree it isn't as good as early Vorkosiogn, but it is still heads and sholders above a lot of other science fiction. Also check out the early Honor Harrington series, also very good and at points sort of a mystery.

If you are looking for more, I have been trying to make a system (mostly for myself and my son) to help me find new book recommendations that match stuff I already like. If your interested its at homeofreading.com

And do check out the vorkosiogn series....one of my favorite book series of all time (for both sci-fi and non sci-fi)
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