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Old 08-13-2010, 03:57 PM   #61
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One which I don't think anyone's mentioned yet is Eric Frank Russell. An often overlooked but, IMHO, extremely good writer. My personal favourite is "Next of Kin", in which a man defeats an entire alien planet using a block of wood and a piece of copper wire. An extremely funny book.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:17 PM   #62
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His books of science essays, then yes, I agree with you. But I honestly can't think of any of his SF novels in which he does that. Were there any that you had in mind as examples?
Oh, now I'll have to go and look them up at webscriptions!

Well, the first that caught my eye in the list was The Cradle of Saturn. I'm not sure if that's the exact one that finally exasperated me too much, but it's much the same sort of thing.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #63
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I would most def. recommend "Dragon's bard" by Tracy and Laura Hickman

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Old 08-14-2010, 04:34 AM   #64
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I would most def. recommend "Dragon's bard" by Tracy and Laura Hickman
As "hard science fiction"? A rather curious categorisation, if you'll forgive me for saying so.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:35 AM   #65
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Oh, now I'll have to go and look them up at webscriptions!

Well, the first that caught my eye in the list was The Cradle of Saturn. I'm not sure if that's the exact one that finally exasperated me too much, but it's much the same sort of thing.
OK. That's one I haven't yet read. I'll have to do so!
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:08 AM   #66
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You might also like some of the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks. I haven't read them all, but personally, I really enjoyed Excession.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:02 PM   #67
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What about Stephen Baxter ? I'm reading his Xelee books and I find them very well written and full of interesting hints to contemporary science (strings, supersimmetry, dark matter, etc.)
I also highly recommend Stephen Baxter, I think he is BY FAR the best hard sci-fi author currently writing with his Xeelee Sequence series of books the best of his best.

When you read his books you frequently have to go online to reference some of the subjects he's writing about. I honestly learned more about physics from him then in the basic college classes I took.

He also writes some excellent alternate history and a bit of "near future" hard sci-fi, won't use the term cyberpunk cause it's not but books like his 'Flood' series are second to none.

If you want a taste, read a short story on his website called "Pilot." Its from his Xeelee stories but you don't need to know everything to enjoy it, just that Earth is currently being occupied by an oppressive alien species. The entire series of books and short stories covers some five million years though.

http://www.stephen-baxter.com/stories.html#pilot

If you want to jump in head first, I recommend "The Time Ships". It's a big book but it's also the official sequel to Wells's "The Time Machine." Unlike the original, this is some seriously hard sci-fi with time travel (obviously), alternate realties, and a Dyson Sphere.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:05 PM   #68
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I'm pretty liberal when it comes to SciFi. I can see the attraction of Hard SciFi to the really technical minded reader though. (That I am not) I could only answer this question by quoting works that I know have been tagged as Hard SciFi. I read all Science Fiction (and Fantasy). I love words. I love being drawn into a story and once in there - I accept what I see as part of the story. I might see some anomilies (I mightn't be able to spell it but I can see 'em) but I let them go over my head and rush on with the rest of the story. If I can't do that it's because of bad writing - rather than dodgy Science. It wouldn't do if we were all the same though. I think this is a great place to be and to find sound advice from others. Happy reading.

Bri
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:13 PM   #69
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I'll back previous posters regarding Greg Bear - any of his work is well worth looking into for 'hard' SF. Also (the hardness might vary :P ):

- Arthur C. Clark's Rama books
- CJ Cherryh's Alliance/Union series
- Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn and Commonwealth Sagas
- David Feintuch's Seafort series
- David Zindell's Requiem for Homo Sapiens books (including Neverness)
- Niven/Pournelle (the Motie books, Ringworld, Footfall,Lucifer's Hammer
- William Gibson's Sprawl books (Neuromancer, etc)
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:28 PM   #70
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I'll back previous posters regarding Greg Bear - any of his work is well worth looking into for 'hard' SF.
Mostly true, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from this piece of crap.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:25 AM   #71
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Dont miss:- Harry Turtledove - Guns of the south (time travel, AK-47's and the yank Civil War !) and his wonderful Videssos series (based on Byzantium - the eastern Roman empire which outlasted Rome by a thousand years til conquered by Turks, hence Turkey is what the christian empire of Byzantium used to be) although that isn't sci-fi I suppose, although the first books he wrote on the subject was a Roman cohort in Gaul magically fading out of Gaul and into Videssos.
Larry Niven's stuff - paticulalry the Ringworld series and Inferno and Escape from Hell (updating Dante's Inferno) Philip Jose Farmer and Jack Vance are both odd and interesting. Farmer's Riverworld series is fabulous (desperately trying to find some of Farmer's work not known to me. Its there, just can't find) and Vance's Dying Earth series is weird and wonderful, although I could never get away with his Lyonesse series oddly. Stopped reading it irritated, never started again.
Poul Anderson's time travel stuff is great. Silverberg great stuff,
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:37 AM   #72
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Mostly true, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from this piece of crap.
Ah well. Greg Bear is a member of the Sci-Fi group of "Don't touch with an extended bargepole" to me.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:08 AM   #73
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If you want to jump in head first, I recommend "The Time Ships". It's a big book but it's also the official sequel to Wells's "The Time Machine." Unlike the original, this is some seriously hard sci-fi with time travel (obviously), alternate realties, and a Dyson Sphere.
The "official" sequel to The Time Machine? Who made if official?

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I love words. I love being drawn into a story and once in there - I accept what I see as part of the story. I might see some anomilies (I mightn't be able to spell it but I can see 'em) but I let them go over my head and rush on with the rest of the story. If I can't do that it's because of bad writing - rather than dodgy Science. It wouldn't do if we were all the same though. I think this is a great place to be and to find sound advice from others. Happy reading.

Bri
My feelings exactly. But hey, whatever works for you, the important thing is to have fun
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:13 AM   #74
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<ontopic>I don't think anyone's mentioned Greg Egan yet. If I had to define hard sf, I'd start by pointing at Greg Egan.
You beat me to it. I love Greg Egan's short stories every since reading one as part of a university class.

He has heaps of stories on his website and also has a lot published in magazines like Asimov's.

The Axiomatic collection is very good. He writes a lot about the nature of consciousness.

And he's from my city!

re: Space Opera - to me space opera has only superficial sci-fi elements (e.g. Star Wars, though I find the prequels are a bit more overt with some sciency things).

And another recommendation is The Mote in God's Eye by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. It is ostensibly about 'man meets alien', which the OP didn't want, but it's actually a far more original and interesting take on that than I've ever come across. It takes a very realistic approach. Although it is somewhat of the 'military' genre, there really isn't much of that war type stuff.

edit: I think you can buy Mote for $5 from Baen without DRM. I'm pretty sure that's where I got it.

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Old 08-16-2010, 12:42 PM   #75
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And another recommendation is The Mote in God's Eye by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven. It is ostensibly about 'man meets alien', which the OP didn't want, but it's actually a far more original and interesting take on that than I've ever come across. It takes a very realistic approach.
Well, in my opinion, THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE is arguably the best "first contact with aliens" novel ever written. And FOOTFALL is arguably the best "alien invasion" novel ever written.
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