Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-17-2018, 06:08 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
Aquafarm's Avatar
 
City: Ashville NY
Country: Phoenix Az USA
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Model: Maple Bay 27'
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 92
Sci-Fi suggestions?

I love science fiction. But I find Iím starting to re-read or re-listen to too many of my favorites. I need some new suggestions. Iíve read John Scalzi, and Weir ( The Martian). Pretty much read everything written in the 50ís and 60ís by Bradbury, Heinlein, Asimov, Simak, Bester....well you get the picture if youíre a fan.
I like space exploration ( The Expanse Books, and Vorkosigan Saga ) and Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction...even have recently dipped into fantasy ( but not my first choice, although the Temeraire series is fantastic).
So please if you have any sci-fi favorites do tell!
__________________
Advertisement

Aquafarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 06:56 PM   #2
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,122
Douglas Adams, hitch hikers guide to the galaxy, it’s a 5 book trilogy.
__________________

tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 07:27 PM   #3
Veteran Member
 
Aquafarm's Avatar
 
City: Ashville NY
Country: Phoenix Az USA
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Model: Maple Bay 27'
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 92
Ha! I just downloaded it today, that’s what spurred the post. I’ve always been reluctant to read it, don’t know why...maybe the comic aspect...but I’m diving in.
Thanks.
Aquafarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 07:39 PM   #4
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,271
I would strongly recommend anything by Neil Stephenson. His books are excellent, unique, and his use of the English language is amazing. Some will classify his stuff as sci-fi but that is too limiting a genre for his stuff. I am also a real fan of sci-fi.

Military sci-fi is another sub-genre that you may or may not like. If you do, you may consider David Weber (I would avoid the Safehold series however, it isnít very good). If you like John Scalzi you would probably like him. I assume you have already read Frank Herbert. Then there is always William Gibson, one of the more influential sci-fi writers.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2018, 09:21 PM   #5
Guru
 
Wayfarer's Avatar
 
City: Oneida Lake, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Radio Flyer
Vessel Model: Wilderness Systems Aspire 105
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquafarm View Post
Ha! I just downloaded it today, thatís what spurred the post. Iíve always been reluctant to read it, donít know why...maybe the comic aspect...but Iím diving in.
Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
Douglas Adams, hitch hikers guide to the galaxy, itís a 5 book trilogy.


You wonít regret it. One (five?) of my all-time favorites. Douglas Adams was a genius. Iíve never had so much fun reading anything else.
__________________
Dave
Just be nice to each other, dammit.
Wayfarer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2018, 03:11 AM   #6
Veteran Member
 
Civilitas's Avatar
 
City: PNW/Seattle-ish
Country: Boy
Vessel Name: M/V Peter Iredale ;)
Vessel Model: rusting hulk
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 94
So much to say...

I don't consider myself a sci-fi aficionado, but I really like good fiction done well. That means good imagination coupled with good writing. When I was a kid, I read all of Frank Herbert, and that was enough to put the sci-fi hook in me.

That said, if you haven't read Herbert (Dune Trilogy), do. He was a real master and influencer. The books are still riveting, imaginative, masterful.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_(novel)

Beyond Dune (joke right there), all his novels are generally good and thought-provoking.

You said you read Heinlein, but have you read "Starship Troopers" in the last decade? You should. I did a few years ago and it took my breath away after 20 years. It's a way more sophisticated, politically and culturally astute book than it appears when you read it young. The terrible, comic-book joke movie in the late '90s by Verhoeven ruined the franchise; he had no idea what the book was really about and made a mockery of it.

I loved Douglas Adams when I was young, but it's more "fun, fluff" and not serious fiction. That said, it's a genius piece of work and changed comic writing after it. I feel actually privileged to be OLD enough to have read it when it came out and seen how it changed comic writing. But I don't think of it as "real" sci fi.

I do like the expanse series, but it's so derivative of George R.R. Martin it eventually tires me. It was so much like martin (great ideas, very badly written) I looked up the authors and found out one was actualy GRRM's executive assistant - he just copied GOT into sci-fi and copied his bosses style. I do really, really like some of the ideas put forth, but the writing is terrible and so derivative. It is a triumph of connections and marketing over content. But that said, it's entertaining enough. I even watched the TV/cable show, but there IS better stuff out there. I have read all that is published to date but I will not bother with more; there is better stuff out there.

A lot of people love Orson Scott Card - I am on the fence. There is no doubt "Ender's Game" is a legend, and it is worth the read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ender%27s_Game

The follow-on novels become more preachy and more difficult. His "Homecoming" series ("Ships of Earth", etc.) are interesting, but some find the over-arching theme of his Mormonism overbearing. I won't judge, but start with "Ender's Game" and see what you think. But do read it if you have not.

Which brings us to the greatest Sci Fi writer in English I think - Iain M. Banks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Banks

This guy, who very sadly died of cancer relatively young a few years ago, was a literary and intellectual giant. Titles of sci-fi genius go Heinlein-Herbert-Banks-Liu (more on that below). He was a dedicated SF writer, but got no where. In the 80s, he switched to mainstream fiction and totaly rocked British fiction with "the Wasp Factory" and "Espedair Street." (this is how I found him). Then when he had all of English literary sets adoring him, he switched back to SF and blew their minds. His "Culture" series is worth reading every book. I will say no more as I could go on for ever.

Before I get to the last I have to acknowledge some things said above. Neal Stephenson had some GREAT early work. Snowcrash is worth reading. Cryptonomicon is a great WWII alternate history (it is not SF). Cryptonimicon starts to prefigure his obsession with conspiracy and his own superlative genious, which of course shows the past-peak nature. Diamond Age is a tiresome, windy piece of sound and fury, save your time. Other than that, walk away. But do read Snowcrash, and walk towards Gibson (who he was consciously copying).

Gibson's Cyberpunk trilogy will go down in history as massively important, and it is GOOD. Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive - incredible stuff. Read it and all modern SF - TV, etc., all seem just so derivative (as is Stephenson, who just copied it but at least hit a nerve with Snowcrash). Hugo award stuff, Gibson. I count myself lucky I read it in the early 90s and saw what it did. I got to meet Gibson once, c. 2002 late fall, he gave a talk at Elliot Bay Book Co. in Seattle. I lived a block away at the time and went out to walk my dog and happened to stumble on a sandwich board announcing his talk and went into the basement cafe for it. What a shock and gift - like waking up one day at age 40 and finding Santa had come in the night and given you tons of lovely fun gifts. I mean, what a surprise and joy!

Another name I think will become legendary is going to come out of the blue I think - Cixin Liu.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Cixin

The guy won the Hugo award, so it's not like he's unknown. But he is Chinese, and his works are only available in translation. He is undoubtedly "hard" sci-fi - it's technical, it's fantastical, and it's awesome. He is basically the Heinlein of China, but living now and writing. And he's good. His most famous book "The Three-Body Problem" and the following two books are just awesome. You have to spend about 1/3 of the first book getting used to the translation and it's limits, but once you get hooked on his ideas and very real-feeling embrace of the "first contact" conundrum, you are hooked. He's a genious and worth reading, even if in translation. In some ways, he is very reminiscent of Weir (Martian), as science is never "hand waved" away and is front and center. If you liked the Martian, you will embrace this even though it goes much father and is in translation.

OK, I am skipping a lot of good people (Dan Simmons, others), but those above would be my very top recommendations to keep someone occupied a long time. I read a lot. I am not really an SF afficianado, it is less than 10% of my total reading, but the books and writers above really do stand out.
Civilitas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2018, 05:22 AM   #7
Guru
 
Keysdisease's Avatar
 
City: South Florida
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 651
Heinlein / Herbert / Asimov / Norton as it was called the "Golden Age" of Sci-Fi. Great stuff. Broadened my horizons for awhile with Tom Clancy / Dale Brown type military novels. Took a turn myself to fantasy when I read the Harry Potter books with my kids, then James Maxwell, Tamora Pierce, Morgan Rice.

Lately I've been churning through Space Opera's, not epic work like Heinlein or Herbert, but engaging and entertaining. Jay Allen, Ryk Brown, Vaughn Heppner, B.V. Larson, Christopher Nuttall, Glynn Stewart

Ed Robinson's Breeze series of Trawler Trash novels is a must for anyone on this site, and many of his stories are set right in my backyard, the FL Keys.

I always seen to come back home to Sci Fi, thanks to the posters that mentioned some mew names for me to look at

Keysdisease is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2018, 05:52 AM   #8
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,997
Greetings,
Mr. A. Stanislaw Lem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanis%C5%82aw_Lem
__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2018, 07:14 AM   #9
Guru
 
Woodland Hills's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Alzero
Vessel Model: Hatteras 63' CPMY
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 657
Another vote for Iain Banks “Culture” books........
Woodland Hills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2018, 11:58 AM   #10
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,271
Excellent post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilitas View Post

That said, if you haven't read Herbert (Dune Trilogy), do. He was a real master and influencer. The books are still riveting, imaginative, masterful.
Couldnít agree more. They are as significant to Sci-fi as Asimov Robot and Foundation books in my opinion.

BTW, since the OP has already mentioned Asimov, I didnít. However, the Foundation series is IMO, one of the best out there and certainly one of the most enjoyable reading experiences of my life. Granted, I first read it when young, but still...


Quote:
You said you read Heinlein, but have you read "Starship Troopers" in the last decade? You should. I did a few years ago and it took my breath away after 20 years. It's a way more sophisticated, politically and culturally astute book than it appears when you read it young.
I found that Heinlein is hit or miss. Some great stuff, but also some more pulp sci-fi that is entertaining but forgettable.



Quote:
I loved Douglas Adams when I was young, but it's more "fun, fluff" and not serious fiction. That said, it's a genius piece of work and changed comic writing after it. I feel actually privileged to be OLD enough to have read it when it came out and seen how it changed comic writing. But I don't think of it as "real" sci fi.
It isnít real sci-fi, but it is great writing. I also read it when it came out. Lots of reasons to read, being entertained is high among them. Hitchhikers Guide is VERY entertaining since it is written so well.



Quote:
I do like the expanse series, but it's so derivative of George R.R. Martin it eventually tires me. It was so much like martin (great ideas, very badly written) I looked up the authors and found out one was actualy GRRM's executive assistant - he just copied GOT into sci-fi and copied his bosses style. I do really, really like some of the ideas put forth, but the writing is terrible and so derivative. It is a triumph of connections and marketing over content. But that said, it's entertaining enough. I even watched the TV/cable show, but there IS better stuff out there. I have read all that is published to date but I will not bother with more; there is better stuff out there.
The Expanse novels are OK, not great. I never felt it was derivative of Martin however. Maybe I just wasnít paying attention. But then I never felt Martin wrote badly. I think he is a great writer, but his use of language never struck me as being exceptional (unlike Stephenson). However, Martinís story telling truly is exceptional. the Expanse novels started out good, and then got tiresome for me.



Quote:
A lot of people love Orson Scott Card - I am on the fence. There is no doubt "Ender's Game" is a legend, and it is worth the read.
I like Card and I think that Enderís Game is a book that anyone who likes sci-fi should read. I agree that some of the later Ender novels arenít nearly as good.



Quote:
Which brings us to the greatest Sci Fi writer in English I think - Iain M. Banks.
Clearly I need to read more of his. Thanks.





Quote:
Before I get to the last I have to acknowledge some things said above. Neal Stephenson had some GREAT early work. Snowcrash is worth reading. Cryptonomicon is a great WWII alternate history (it is not SF). Cryptonimicon starts to prefigure his obsession with conspiracy and his own superlative genious, which of course shows the past-peak nature. Diamond Age is a tiresome, windy piece of sound and fury, save your time. Other than that, walk away. But do read Snowcrash, and walk towards Gibson (who he was consciously copying).
I honestly think that Stephenson has some of the absolute best writing of just about anyone I have read. As I mentioned before, much of his stuff isnít sci-fi, but tends to defy classification. Snow Crash and The Diamond Age are very good. Cryptonomicon is fantastic but The Baroque Cycle is truly astounding. I canít recommend it enough. Initially it was three books, very long books. The publisher has since broken it up into shorter sections, maybe in an attempt to make them less daunting to readers. I can only say if you enjoy the English language, it is hard to beat. REAMDE is also a very good book. Definitely not in the same class as some of the others but good none the less.



Quote:
Gibson's Cyberpunk trilogy will go down in history as massively important, and it is GOOD. Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive - incredible stuff.
Agreed. I remember when Neuromancer was first published. Huge impact and a must read.



Quote:
Another name I think will become legendary is going to come out of the blue I think - Cixin Liu.
Another one for me to check out, thank you.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2018, 02:27 PM   #11
Veteran Member
 
Aquafarm's Avatar
 
City: Ashville NY
Country: Phoenix Az USA
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Model: Maple Bay 27'
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 92
Thanks so much for the great and thoughtful replies. Yes I’ve read Herbert ( all he’s written) and O S Card although agree not much I liked beyond Enders Game.
I just couldn’t get into Game of Thrones ( the books, not the series). I listened to the Expanse series, so might be a different experience than reading.
Loved Foundation and lots of Issac A.
W. Gibson I read a long while ago, nothing recent so I will put him back on the list. A.S. Lem, also liked but haven’t read in a long while. I tried Banks’ Player of Games and although he writes very well the story didn’t catch my interest.
I will try Lui’s other books, I read Three Body Problem but it didn’t fire my interest enough to seek out his others.
Again, thanks for the recommendations and keep them coming!
Aquafarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2018, 02:53 PM   #12
Veteran Member
 
LowNSlow77's Avatar
 
City: North Vancouver
Country: Canada
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34 Sundeck
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 80
Now this is a topic I can get my teeth into. I was a huge Heinlein fan as a kid, Starship Trooper, Tunnel in the Sky and the Moon is a Harsh Mistress were some of the books that I reread numerous times. Throw in Frank Herbert and that covers some of the best in the genre.

Anyway, for new suggestions try John Steakley's Armor. It is amazing. When I found it years ago I thought it was going to be a straight rip off of Starship Trooper but it is totally its own thing and worth getting. Only downside is that the sequel did not get finished. Great stand alone book.

You may want to look at Jerry Pournelle as well. Lot's of choices, but the series I would start with is the Mercenary/Prince of Sparta series. I think you can get them combined in omnibus editions now.

Pournelle leads to Larry Niven. They did some stuff together, and you might want to try Lucifer's Hammer. Not strictly science fiction but great nonetheless.

If you want to try fantasy, now there is a topic I could go on for a long time about. I have moved to a largely fantasy based reading list as I get older. Escapism at its finest.
LowNSlow77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2018, 08:14 PM   #13
Guru
 
sbu22's Avatar
 
City: New Orleans
Country: US
Vessel Name: Panache
Vessel Model: Viking 43 Double Cabin '76
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,010
In addition to Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, Hebert, I would add Joe Haldeman's. His Forever War is my benchmark a SciFi book. And Ursula K LeGuin in her SciFi mode - as opposed to her pure fantasy mode.
sbu22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2018, 08:06 AM   #14
Curmudgeon
 
BaltimoreLurker's Avatar
 
City: Stoney Creek, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moon Dance
Vessel Model: 1974 34' Marine Trader Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilitas View Post
Which brings us to the greatest Sci Fi writer in English I think - Iain M. Banks.

I just read the 1st "Culture" book, on your recommendation. Will be reading more!


Thanks
BaltimoreLurker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2018, 09:34 AM   #15
Guru
 
alormaria's Avatar
 
City: Trenton
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,085
Samuel Delany novels are pretty edgy Sci-Fi.

Triton is a nice icebreaker.

Don't read Dhalgren alone or in one sitting.



On a lighter note, you'll never look at elevators the same again after Hitchhikers Guide.
__________________
Al Johnson
34' Marine Trader
"Angelina"
alormaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2018, 12:18 PM   #16
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,756
"Star ship Trooper It's a way more sophisticated, politically and culturally astute book than it appears when you read it young. "

Sometimes writing as future fiction is a way to stay away from the hit squads,
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2018, 10:40 PM   #17
Veteran Member
 
JohnS's Avatar
 
City: Indianapolis
Country: USA
Vessel Name: MV La Vita Dolce
Vessel Model: Cheoy Lee 40 LRC
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 68
I twnd to read sci-fi and fantasy as a relief from the daily onslaughts, so I tend to choose less demanding authors. When I want demanding, I read history and biography, though both Starship Troopers and Enders Game offer more than they seem to at first.
Recent authors and series I have enjoyed have been David Weber's Honor Harrington series (space opera), the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher (wizard learning the territory on Chicago), the Monster Hunter books by Larry Corriea (they are real and need to be killed, guns and dark humor), Sarah Hoyt, Shifter series (were creatures trying to get by, with humor), the Grey Man series by J L Curtis (modern western police / family books, good), Peter Grant's space opera books, Devon Monk's Ordinary Magic books, (policing a town where the old gods go for vacation)
Good luck and good reading.
JohnS
__________________
Fair winds and following seas. JohnS
JohnS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2018, 10:48 PM   #18
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,271
[QUOTE=JohnS;693426
Recent authors and series I have enjoyed have been David Weber's Honor Harrington series (space opera),[/QUOTE]


Space opera can have great entertainment value. The Honor Harrington series is very entertaining and I enjoyed it. I donít consider Weber a great writer, but in the Honor Harrington series he came up with good characters and some interesting ideas. ďOn Basilik StationĒ is worth reading for folks to see if they like it. If so, there are a bunch of enjoyable books in the rest of the series.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2018, 05:07 PM   #19
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilitas View Post
Which brings us to the greatest Sci Fi writer in English I think - Iain M. Banks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Banks

This guy, who very sadly died of cancer relatively young a few years ago, was a literary and intellectual giant. Titles of sci-fi genius go Heinlein-Herbert-Banks-Liu (more on that below). He was a dedicated SF writer, but got no where. In the 80s, he switched to mainstream fiction and totaly rocked British fiction with "the Wasp Factory" and "Espedair Street." (this is how I found him). Then when he had all of English literary sets adoring him, he switched back to SF and blew their minds. His "Culture" series is worth reading every book. I will say no more as I could go on for ever.

I'm revisiting this thread primarily to thank Civilitas for his recommending Banks. I've read the first two books from the "Culture" series and am about to start on the 3rd. So far, they books have been good. Maybe a bit too in-your-face on his social commentary at times, but interesting and well written.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2018, 06:55 PM   #20
Enigma
 
RT Firefly's Avatar
 
City: Slicker?
Country: Bumpkin?
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11,997
Greetings,
Mr. A. I've been reading Sci Fi monthly periodicals available here: https://archive.org/index.php
Simply do a search for Sci Fi. A very wide variety of authors and formats (some audio books) and the best is, all free.
__________________

__________________
RTF
RT Firefly is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012