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Old 07-15-2014, 12:34 AM   #1
Tassyr
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I return, and crave sci-fi!

So I'm back. Huge long absence due to a new job, classes, and the resulting near breakdown, etc. But I've returned and my bosses now allow us to use headphones, so I've been grabbing audiobooks left and right.

This, sadly, has lead to a biiit of a problem. Scifi is my 'pet' genre. I'm a nerd, raised on star trek, star wars, Heinlein, Crichton, Clarke and Bradbury.

But when I look around at scifi lately, I can't really see much that I -want- to read. I know I'm probably missing the good ones- it's, I admit, easy for me to overlook them as the majority of my 'research' is 'brows amazon's list' or 'dip into the shady little used book store down the street and browse tattered covers.'

I'm -tired- of distopias in all their varying flavors. I'm tired of post apocalyptic stuff that vaguely brands itself 'sci fi' as, technically, there is a little science and it is indeed fiction. I'm tired of books based on shows based on movies that I've already read -anyway.- (I'm looking at you, Star Trek, Star Wars and Babylon 5.) Or games. (Mass effect, you really tried. You really did, but you just couldn't cut it.)

Is there just -nothing- new out there in the space-opera genre? Where are the huge, clashing fleets that I used to dream about as a kid? The adventurers, braving the unknown? Where are the grand heroes, rising above everyone else and trying to make a difference- be it win a war, or stop a war, or stop a disaster, or fight against an invasion, or such? Where's the romance that comes with all this, naturally? I can't -find- any of it.

I realize this is going to sound very 'juvenile' but that's the sort of thing I crave- not the depressing navel-gazing that so much of what I've found lately IS. I don't care about the human psyche, or for an allegory about man's inability to communicate or whatever academic meaning an author is trying to cram down my throat. I want a good story, a fun read. The 'Saturday night movie' version of sci fi.

So, yeah. I'm stuck. xD
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:52 AM   #2
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Have you considered the books in the Humble Bundle that are listed in this thread?click
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:13 AM   #3
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I'm not entirely sure how much either of these will fit what you're looking for, but two sci-fi books I've read and enjoyed lately - which are more about the "fun" and people doing cool stuff and not dystopias or post-apocalyptic - are The Martian by Andy Weir and Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach (this is the first in a trilogy; I've also read and enjoyed the second book but not yet the third).
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:56 AM   #4
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Maybe check out S.A. Corey, Kim Stanley Robinson, M. J. Locke, Tanya Huff, Greg Egan, Lois McMaster Bujold, Iain M Banks, Joan Slonczewski, Alastair Reynolds, Kameron Hurley, Nancy Kress, Catherine Asaro?
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:38 AM   #5
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David Weber's 'Honor Harrington' series?
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:09 AM   #6
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The only on-topic thing that comes to mind is the Bulays and Ghaavn series by Tara Loughead. Lighthearted softcore fun in space. I have never gotten around to read them, though. But they can be downloaded for free:
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/taraloughead

(But if you want some hard scifi, Machine of Death is a collection of short stories about a near-future where a machine can take a simple blood sample from your finger and tell you how you're going to die.)
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:40 AM   #7
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Dan Simmons - Hyperion, should definitely suit your needs.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:13 AM   #8
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I second The Martian and suggest The Empire of Man series by John Ringo and David Weber.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:26 AM   #9
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I second The Martian and suggest The Empire of Man series by John Ringo and David Weber.
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+1 for The Empire of Man and perhaps I should bump The Martian a bit higher in my TBR queue...
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:48 AM   #10
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I'll also give a nod to Empire of Man as well as David Weber's Honor Harrington series. The first book "On Basilisk Station" is free at Amazon or Baen so you can't go wrong!

As a new suggestion, I would also add Old Man's War by John Scalzi...there are more books in that series which I have not read but the first one was good fun.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:07 AM   #11
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The first book "On Basilisk Station" is free at Amazon or Baen so you can't go wrong!
The whole series (up to book 12, Mission of Honor; only the newest book in the series, A Rising Thunder, is missing) is on the Mission of Honor CD at the Fifth Imperium. You can no longer browse the CD and download what you want, but you can still legally grab the entire ISO/ZIP.

I suggest buying A Rising Thunder at Baen to thank them for making them freely available.

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Old 07-15-2014, 08:33 AM   #12
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Definitely the Empire of Man series. Also David Drake's Lt. Leary series and Hammers Slammers series, and Weber's Safehold series.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:14 AM   #13
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imho nothing comes close to Clarke, and the space opera as sub-genre is quite varied and diverse ranging from Doc Smith's Skylark and Lensman series to Peter F. Hamilton.

But I've found a couple of interesting books in terms of the space opera/adventure theme although they do not as such contain lots of gratuitous space battles.

Stephen Baxter's Xeelee sequence
Alastair Reynold's Revelation space series
Greg Bear's Eon series
Gregory Benford's Galactic Center Saga
John Scalzi's The Human Division, and there's the Old Man's War series which I haven't read yet.

Although perhaps not considered Space Opera; Kim Stanley Robinson I find quite enjoyable too.

I'm afraid Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy was not for me.
Iain M. Banks' Consider Phlebas also did nothing for me. Shame really, because there is a whole Culture series available.

Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_opera for more inspiration.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:25 AM   #14
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Definitely the Empire of Man series. Also David Drake's Lt. Leary series and Hammers Slammers series, and Weber's Safehold series.
I also suggest the Troy Rising Series by John Ringo. Baen Amazon B&N
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Is there just -nothing- new out there in the space-opera genre? Where are the huge, clashing fleets that I used to dream about as a kid? The adventurers, braving the unknown? Where are the grand heroes, rising above everyone else and trying to make a difference- be it win a war, or stop a war, or stop a disaster, or fight against an invasion, or such? Where's the romance that comes with all this, naturally? I can't -find- any of it.
This will fit your needs.
Huge clashing fleets-Check.
Adventurers-Check.
Grand hero, rising above everyone else and trying to make a difference-Check.
Science-Check

bernie

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Old 07-15-2014, 09:33 AM   #15
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John Scalzi's The Human Division, and there's the Old Man's War series which I haven't read yet.
Isn't The Human Division part of the Old Man's War series?

Anyway, Old Man's War was pretty good, though it did not hook me enough to continue the series.

Scalzi's "Redshirts" is a heck of a lot of fun for someone who grew up with Star Trek and is tired of "the usual fare" in that idiom. I recommend it.

Also, while I share the OP's distaste for post-apocalyptic dystopia stuff, "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline, while set in against a somewhat dystopian background, is mostly a techno-romp through '80s pop-culture. And the audio book, read by Wil Wheaton, is very well done.

I also highly recommend the "Traders Tales" books by Nathan Lowell, available as free audio downloads. They are a delightful change of pace. If I tried to describe the plot, you'd never think it could be interesting. But it is.

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