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Old 11-10-2015, 06:27 PM   #1
Alpha o
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Newer Sci-fi

The other half has taken to reading on a Kindle. He's getting into sci fi and is having a hard time trying to find authors.

I got him "The Martian" he enjoyed that. Told him to check out Amazon and Baen. He's been reading some Charles Sheffield, likes the accuracy of some of the writing but says the books seem like they leave a reader hanging. They need another chapter.

He didn't like Ringworld, I think Nessus got him, so Niven is out. He liked most of the Mars books I had, but hated Blue, Green and Red Mars. He said all they discussed was politics. He did like the Ben Bova Mars books.

I think he wants a planetary survey type book which is reasonably believable in scientific fact and plausible in the character. Where would I find, or who would have a discussion on books like these? I'm not even sure what genre they'd belong to. If there is such a site, I'd like to read it first, then give him the URL and tell him to check it out. He doesn't have the patience to go check out a whole thread from the beginning.

Thanks
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:50 PM   #2
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It's a bit hard to tell if he'll like it, but maybe try him on the James S A Corey "Expanse" series. If you're prepared to stretch the "reasonably believable in scientific fact" side of things, Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series might be worth a go also. Does he like short stories? If so, Jonathan Strahan's "Infinity" series of anthologies might be up his alley. Other authors to consider include Alastair Reynolds, Greg Egan, Ted Chiang, Nancy Kress.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha o View Post
Where would I find, or who would have a discussion on books like these? I'm not even sure what genre they'd belong to. If there is such a site, I'd like to read it first, then give him the URL and tell him to check it out. He doesn't have the patience to go check out a whole thread from the beginning.
You'll probably get some good recommendations in this thread, but as far as sites/forums more dedicated to Science Fiction (along with Fantasy) discussion you could try...

http://www.sffworld.com/
https://www.sffchronicles.com/
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:42 PM   #4
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Try any of Stephen Baxter's SF, especially Titan and his NASA trilogy. For ultra-hard SF, anything by Greg Egan.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:45 PM   #5
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Try Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama, about a giant artifact/ship that shows up at Earth and is then explored. But it's not "new". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendezvous_with_Rama

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Old 11-11-2015, 08:17 AM   #6
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One of the newer Sci-Fi authors that has impressed me is Ted Chiang. In particular I enjoyed most of the short stories in this collection:
http://www.amazon.com.au/Stories-You.../dp/B0048EKOP0

And he also wrote the best story (IMO) in this collection (it's what made me go looking for anything else he'd published):
www.amazon.com/Best-Science-Fiction-Fantasy-Year/dp/1781082162

Many of his stories are not quite your typical Sci-Fi. They tend to emphasise the social/personal impacts of science rather than the technological - which is one of the things I really like about them. They are all very thought provoking and cleverly put together.

Regrettably Ted Chiang hasn't been all that prolific, and some of this work has turned out to be hard to get.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:23 AM   #7
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I recommend the Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton.

1. Pandora's Star
2. Judas Unchained
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I think he wants a planetary survey type book which is reasonably believable in scientific fact and plausible in the character.
He might like Robert L Forward's books - the Rocheworld series, which is precisely scientifically accurate planetary survey stories. And his two Dragon's Egg books are also excellent (also SF - the Dragon's Egg is a neutron star).
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:50 AM   #9
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I know he read "Rendezvous with Rama" since I have it. He hasn't asked for any other Clark novels.

Thanks, I'll forward these suggestions to him and see what he thinks.

If you have any more, they will be very welcome.

What is the genre, anyway?

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Old 11-11-2015, 08:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
One of the newer Sci-Fi authors that has impressed me is Ted Chiang. In particular I enjoyed most of the short stories in this collection:
http://www.amazon.com.au/Stories-You.../dp/B0048EKOP0

And he also wrote the best story (IMO) in this collection (it's what made me go looking for anything else he'd published):
www.amazon.com/Best-Science-Fiction-Fantasy-Year/dp/1781082162

Many of his stories are not quite your typical Sci-Fi. They tend to emphasise the social/personal impacts of science rather than the technological - which is one of the things I really like about them. They are all very thought provoking and cleverly put together.

Regrettably Ted Chiang hasn't been all that prolific, and some of this work has turned out to be hard to get.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:59 AM   #11
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I too like Sheffield and Clarke.

The best Clarke is before Cradle, though Light of Other Days is very good. Childshood End and The City and the Stars are IMO his best.

He could check out Strugatsky, "Roadside Picnic" and "Hard to be a God" are generally considered the best.

Also Robert Charles Wilson. "Spin" is maybe his best. "Darwinia" and "Mysterium" are excellent. I also like "Bridge of Years."

All these books paint remarkable, realistic worlds with characters of great depth. And they are not boring or 2D like so much that is being written.

And Iain M. Banks. "Consider Phlebas" and "The Algebraist" are my faves, but the latter takes 200 pages to really get started It's realistically set on a gas giant planet. The best space opera there is.

Also "The Three Body Problem" is a good read. Can't remember the author's name.

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Old 11-11-2015, 09:31 AM   #12
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How about Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein.

Quote:
For fans of THE MARTIAN, an extraordinary new thriller of the future from #1 New York Times–bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Sandford and internationally known photo-artist and science fiction aficionado Ctein.*
And maybe take a look at:

http://www.literature-map.com/andy+weir.html
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:34 AM   #13
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What is the genre, anyway?
Broadly speaking the genre is Hard SF. But as usual, while it is easy to give examples of books that belong to the genre, is can be a hard to pin down an exact definition. Roughly: stories based on plausible speculation from known facts, high degree of scientific accuracy, often with an emphasis on ideas from the the physical (hard) sciences, engineering and mathematics.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:36 AM   #14
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How about Saturn Run by John Sandford and Ctein.



And maybe take a look at:

http://www.literature-map.com/andy+weir.html
Yep Amy Poehler and Andy Warhol sound just about right.
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Old 11-11-2015, 09:45 AM   #15
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Broadly speaking the genre is Hard SF. But as usual, while it is easy to give examples of books that belong to the genre, is can be a hard to pin down an exact definition. Roughly: stories based on plausible speculation from known facts, high degree of scientific accuracy, often with an emphasis on ideas from the the physical (hard) sciences, engineering and mathematics.
A very different definition of Hard SF is an SF story in which, if you took away the science part, the story would be compromised. The science part doesn't have to be physical science - see the linguistics in China Mieville's Embassytown, or the anthropology (for want of a better word) in Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow. Soft SF is then a different type of story - mystery/detective, romance, family saga, etc - that happens to be told in a SFnal setting (in space, another planet, postapocalyptic earth, etc).
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