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Old 01-19-2015, 12:43 AM   #46
Dngrsone
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Sounds interesting, Timoleon. Unfortunately, I'm on a tight budget right now, but I will keep an eye out for deals.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:46 AM   #47
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I don't know if they are in ebook format but the Lucky Starr books by Asimov are fun reads.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:09 AM   #48
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I've read both of those in the past year, and they're both solid 5/5s from me.
Me too. Very different books, but they were both wonderful.
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Old 01-20-2015, 10:43 PM   #49
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very accesible (no math required ).
Just wondering which novels _did_ require maths?
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:00 PM   #50
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I can suggest several:

Dragon's Egg and its sequel Starquake by Robert L. Forward
Warp Speed and its sequel The Quantum Connection by Travis S. Taylor (which I mentioned before as I review this thread)
The Exiles Trilogy by Ben Bova
The Sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke
The City at Worlds end by Edmund Hamilton
Farmer in the Sky by Robert A. Heinlein

Not sure all of them are in ebook format but most should be. The Taylor books can be found through Baen.

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Old 01-22-2015, 01:35 AM   #51
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What kind of prejudices are we talking about? Also I'm 32, so I'm not really worried about suitability for younger audiences.
She has a very, very specific political and social agenda and plays it up as the ideal in her books. Her characters all very much agree with and follow it, even the ones that supposedly come from different cultures. It makes everything very one-dimensional to me, there's no really different opinions and everyone who diverges from her political/social views is a sociopathic villain or dies off. Or both. So it never really feels like an immersive world to me.

For wacky hijinks the series is awesome. For a deeper take on issues Andre Norton or Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion series beats Bujold all hollow.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:40 AM   #52
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Bujold doesn't seem to me to be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or ageist. I suppose you could consider it a prejudice that she thinks people are people.

And I completely disagree with the assessment of the first two books (Shards of Honor and Barrayar). I found them excellent.
She has very specific political views and projects them onto all her characters, including the ones supposedly from different cultures. Makes her galaxy feel like a thought experiment instead of a genuine place. That combined with the stereotypes she pastes together means the series simply isn't as deep or interesting as it could be if she let different people be different and left her political views out of it.

And then there's the skin color of the cast - mostly various shades of pasty. Coming from mostly European cultures. In a galaxy supposedly colonized by the entire earth, where non-pasty outnumbers pasty by a significant amount? Right.

The plot of Cryoburn is 'Space!Asia drowns under the weight of tradition and secret corruption. Rich white hero parachutes into expose the corruption, rescue the damsel in distress and save the day!' And it gets better (or worse) - the whole reason Miles shows up is potentially disruptive trade. I'm not sure if Bujold realized she was hearkening back to British imperialism in Asia, but she sure did.

Kind of like Terry Pratchett - he plays up Wiccanism kind of hard in a few of his books and it gets to be a bit much, especially when he runs down organized religion elsewhere. Mercedes Lackey also does something similar - the Heralds are massively creepy but that doesn't fit into the fluffy-light-we're-great image she gives them and it's very jarring. I think Larry Correia does something similar on the opposite side of the political spectrum, although I haven't read any of his books and don't intend too.

People do this on all sides of the political spectrum - setting up books as thought experiments and letting the preaching get in the way of consistency - and I find it makes the books worse regardless of which specific ideology is being preached. It's why I view Bujold as a decent adventure midlister but not a great author.

EDIT: Basically, I don't get the impression that Bujold thinks people are people. The Vorkosigan series very much gave me the impression that she thinks people who think like her are people. And the others just sort of don't exist. Or are crazy. It's actually a series that pegs a lot of people as 'other' very strongly. Which is fine for wacky fantasy hijinks adventure tales that aren't meant seriously, but does mean that I only recommend the series with caveats. And certainly don't consider it to have 'big ideas' or really deal with outsider characters.

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Old 01-23-2015, 03:50 PM   #53
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Based on what you listed as all time favorites, of which I've read all - I'd recommend

The Real Story: The Gap Into Conflict - Stephen R. Donaldson

Startide Rising (and The Uplift War) - David Brin

Downbelow Station - CJ Cherryh (or The Pride of Chanur if you want a different take on "aliens". She does the best aliens in sci-fi)

For The Win - Cory Doctorow

You read Anathem, didnt like Quicksilver or Snow Crash or Reamde as much? I did.

ps: It's not sci-fi/fantasy, but if you want to get tied into a couple things that are complex and long and you might love (since your 4 favorites are in my top 10)... Try Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (starting a 20 book series) and The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett. Game of Kings, wow.. you'll hate the main character for 80% of the first book, but .. words fail me, .. Several times in the 6 book series I had to put the book down to think and catch my breath since I may have quit breathing there hehe.. actually threw it across the room, I was so taken by surprise a couple times.

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Old 01-23-2015, 06:46 PM   #54
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The only one I haven't read and enjoyed, wayspooled, is For the Win, for which I must seek now, because I do like Doctorow.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:21 PM   #55
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I had a quick read of the first chapter of The Summer Tree. A shockingly poor first impression, the main characters are so poorly drawn, if at all. It does get better than this right?
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:30 PM   #56
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Based on what you listed as all time favorites, of which I've read all - I'd recommend

The Real Story: The Gap Into Conflict - Stephen R. Donaldson

Startide Rising (and The Uplift War) - David Brin

Downbelow Station - CJ Cherryh (or The Pride of Chanur if you want a different take on "aliens". She does the best aliens in sci-fi)

For The Win - Cory Doctorow

You read Anathem, didnt like Quicksilver or Snow Crash or Reamde as much? I did.

ps: It's not sci-fi/fantasy, but if you want to get tied into a couple things that are complex and long and you might love (since your 4 favorites are in my top 10)... Try Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (starting a 20 book series) and The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett. Game of Kings, wow.. you'll hate the main character for 80% of the first book, but .. words fail me, .. Several times in the 6 book series I had to put the book down to think and catch my breath since I may have quit breathing there hehe.. actually threw it across the room, I was so taken by surprise a couple times.
Snowcrash was good. A well written piece of Sci-Fi with some interesting characters but I didn't love it the way I loved Anathem. I've considered The Baroque Cycle but there have always been things higher on my list.

There are so many things I really enjoy and admire about Malazan but damn Erikson loves repeating his archetypes. If you took Redmasks dialog from book seven so far and replaced Awl with Teblor and his name with Karsa it would fit shockingly well. I think I am finally done with the series.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:46 PM   #57
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Snowcrash was good. A well written piece of Sci-Fi with some interesting characters but I didn't love it the way I loved Anathem. I've considered The Baroque Cycle but there have always been things higher on my list.

There are so many things I really enjoy and admire about Malazan but damn Erikson loves repeating his archetypes. If you took Redmasks dialog from book seven so far and replaced Awl with Teblor and his name with Karsa it would fit shockingly well. I think I am finally done with the series.
Haha, funny you mention that, I am reading book 7 now (about 35% through). I guess I can see some similarities between Redmask and Karsa, especially the "what I say goes or you die" mentality but they still seem different. Redmask is tactics while Karsa is just a wrecking ball.


Oh, and in book 7 I am glad to see

Spoiler:
Toc the Younger back...I always liked him even though he is distinctly different now
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:27 AM   #58
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Ahh, too bad. But just because I think the series is great doesn't mean you have to.

Have you read any other of Neal Stephenson's books? I think some are quite good. Others, well ...

Books in the Culture series by Iain M. Banks (mentioned by some others). They aren't all great but still ...

More space opera: Alaistair Reynolds (yes! yes!). Have you read any Peter Hamilton?

I liked Kay's Tapestry series.
I've read Revelation Space and really enjoyed it (its so Grimdark it might be a 40k novel!), Chasm City very tempting but I am somewhat disappointed it focusses on the periods before and after the outbreak of the melding plague. The interesting part for me in any outbreak fiction is the outbreak, how societies and individuals respond as the infection spreads. The first half of The Stand is a really great book!

As for Hamilton I've read Pandoras Start and Judas Unchanged, both great fun and damn is the man good a titling his novels! I've also read a good chunk of The Reality Disfunction but was completely turned off by what the threat turned out to be.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:34 AM   #59
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I had a quick read of the first chapter of The Summer Tree. A shockingly poor first impression, the main characters are so poorly drawn, if at all. It does get better than this right?
I think it gets better—I agree, it starts out very weak. But even after improving ... Fionavar doesn't rank up there with my favorite Kay works (though I still enjoyed it). I find it fun to uncover the Fionavar connections in all the other books he's written since, though.

I'd offer up:
The Expanse series by James SA Corey (pseudonym for the writing team of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). Four books and counting but the first three represent a relatively complete arc.

Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God series.
(the omnibus version has a reworked ending that expands on what many thought was a "rushed" ending originally--though I had no beef with the original)

Greg Keyes's Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone series.

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

The Spin Trilogy by Chris Moriarty

Brian Ruckley's Godless World

Charles Stross's Singularity duology

Ian Tregillis's Milkweed Triptych

The Eternal Sky Trilogy by Elizabeth Bear

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Old 01-24-2015, 10:47 AM   #60
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I had a quick read of the first chapter of The Summer Tree. A shockingly poor first impression, the main characters are so poorly drawn, if at all. It does get better than this right?
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I think it gets better—I agree, it starts out very weak. But even after improving ... Fionavar doesn't rank up there with my favorite Kay works (though I still enjoyed it). I find it fun to uncover the Fionavar connections in all the other books he's written since, though.
I gave up on the book after reading the first chapter as well. I thought it was simply difficult. The thought never entered my head that it could be considered poorly written.
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