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foxfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-03-10 03:40 PM
Original message
Seeking recommendations for current SF novels.
I read lots of SF in my younger years, so am familiar with some of the classics and with SF tropes. I want to take up reading in this genre again. I enjoy hard SF and social themes. Also partial to post-apocalyptic novels if well-crafted, but certainly am willing to consider works involving other themes. Thanks in advance for your recs.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-03-10 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. For hard SF...
I'd definitely recommend Greg Egan.

For social themes, I like Kim Stanley Robinson.

For post-apocalypse, I'm going to make a possibly-biased plug for Mick Richfield, who is a friend of mine:
http://www.amazon.com/Knowledge-Heaven-Earth-Book-ebook...
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foxfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-03-10 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Many thanks-- I'll check them out.
Don't be afraid to rec the work of friends. I'm always open to exploration.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-03-10 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm partial to Vernor Vinge
His two classics are A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness In the Sky. Very interesting cosmology, and fascinating aliens.
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friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-03-10 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. +1 on the Vinge, and I would also add his "Across Realtime"
Edited on Mon May-03-10 10:10 PM by friendly_iconoclast
AKA the omnibus edition of "The Peace War" and "Marooned in Realtime".

Fascinating looks at the implications of "deep time". I'd also consider them at least partly postapocalyptic, as most
of humanity is just gone in the second novel, and we do not know what happened to them.

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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-04-10 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Oh, yes
The Singularity makes a great appearance there. Love those books.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-04-10 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. Alystair Reynolds
- Revelation space, good hard and intelligent science fiction with a grand story and yet plenty of attention paid to creating interesting characters and human relationships.

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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. Robert Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson
are two absolute favorites of mine. Both are Canadians, both have careers going back twenty years or more, and both have written some of my recent favorites. And even though, especially for Wilson, a lot of their stuff is out of print, it's readily available on Amazon. My personal favorite of Wilson's work is "A Bridge of Years", with "The Harvest" a close second. With Sawyer my favorite is probably the trilogy "Hominids", "Humans", and "Hybrids".

For me, both writers have an original take on what they choose to write about. Their books don't seem to be as formula driven as so much of what comes out lately. Plus, I've met both of them at conferences and they are Nice Guys.

Another writer to look at is Jack McDevitt. I heartily recommend everything he's written.

So go off, read some of what's been suggested, and we'll expect a book report in a couple of weeks. :)
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Dr. Strange Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I've enjoyed Wilson's work.
Although I've only read these three: The Chronoliths, The Harvest, and Spin.
The thing that stands out to me about his stories is that they're all about the characters. This is particularly true in "The Chronoliths." He does little to explain how they (the Chronoliths) came to be. The characters in the book of course all work hard at trying to solve the mystery, and by the end of the book, they know a (very) little about what they are. But that's okay, because the story isn't about some fascinating event (monoliths from the future, an alien race that offers everyone immortality, the Earth suddenly cut off from the rest of the universe), but rather how the characters react to the event.

I haven't read anything by Sawyer yet, but I'm really enjoying the show Flash Forward, and once that's over, I intend to read the book.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Do try to read
A Bridge of Years. Again, it's about the characters. I guy buys a home somewhere in the Pacific Northwest (outside Portland, I think, but can't recall) which has been sitting empty for ten years or more since the owner simply disappeared. After a while the guy discovers that there's a tunnel in his cellar which leads to 1962 New York City. How the tunnel came to be, and the consequences of discovering it are most of the rest of it, but his involvement with some people in 1962 NYC (the now of the book is the early 90's, I think) are also important.

I really like the series FlashForward, and other than the essential concept of everyone on the planet suddenly being projected into the future (in the book I think it's more like seven years) and the consequences of what they see or don't see, the series is very different. But very good I think. Sawyer is also more about how people react to what happens, rather than the aliens or whatever.

Another Canadian author, not s-f, is Andrew Pyper, and his book Lost Girls is excellent. An attorney from Toronto, Ottawa, somewhere big city Canada, goes to some small northern community to defend a teacher accused of murdering a couple of schoolgirls. There's little doubt the teacher did it, and after a while you realize the attorney has a serious drug problem of his own, but the characters are fascinating and the language is wonderful. I found myself reading lyrical passages out loud to my husband.
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foxfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
10. Thanks to all for the suggestions and recs!
I knew i could count on y'all.
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PetrusMonsFormicarum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-10 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. A couple of recent reads
Neal Stephenson's Anathem.

David Brin's second Uplift trilogy: Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore, Heaven's Reach.

I'm notoriously bad with current SF--there are just too many great old books out there for me to catch up! Both of the above recs are from just the last couple of years.
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Codeine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-11-10 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
12. Jack McDevitt's "Engines of God" was a fantastic read.
And it ended up spawning a series of books -- hard SF with an archeological bent. Great stuff.
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MrModerate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
13. If you don't know Peter F. Hamilton, you're missing a bet . . .
His work has the hard science of a Niven/Pournelle and the galaxy-spanning scope of Herbert. Also Iain Banks -- character-driven, but also Nivenesque.
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Tikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-22-10 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
14. Certainly not new...but a 'trip' back to..
a time with definite social themes.

The Greenwich Trilogy:

The Butterfly Kid (67)....Anderson
The Unicorn Girl (69)...Kurland
The Probability Pad (70).....Waters


These read like a charm and are everlasting....
(could be an expensive buy...your local Library can get them for you) :)
Tikki
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-26-10 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Never heard of those.
Who are Anderson, Kurland, and Waters?

I do like s-f with social themes.
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 02:30 AM
Response to Original message
16. Iain M. Banks' "Culture" novels ...
"Player of Games" and "Consider Phlebas" have recently been reissued in QP format. These books don't run in sequence, but are all set in the "Culture" universe. The best of Banks is really outstanding.

A big 'seconded' for Alastair Reynolds. "Chasm City" is in the same universe as the Revelation Space/Redemption Ark/Absolution Gap "trilogy" but not really part of them. I happened to read his books in the same order they were published, which didn't hurt the flow of the trilogy.

http://www.alastairreynolds.com/novels.html
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Salviati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-10 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Just picked up some of the culture novels, and they are quite good.
I'd also reccomend the Taikashi Kovacs series by Richerd K Morgan - Starts with "Altered Carbon"

Also a second for Anathem.
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semillama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-10 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
18. If you're into Steampunk and/or count it as SF
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest is pretty entertaining. I've heard good things about Norman Spinrad but again, not sure if he quite counts as SF either.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-10 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. I just read that, thought it was a good read.
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-10 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. I highly recommend the "Old Man's War" Trilogy by John Scalzi
Best old school SF I've read in a long time. Like Heinlein without the fascism.
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-20-10 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
21. Eric Flynt's 1632 series
This is really great. The later books are in collaboration with people who were fascinated by the idea of a WV small town being "blown back" into Thuringa, Germany, in the middle of the Thirty Years War.

Two of the better later books in the group are The Ram Rebellion and 1634: The Gallileo Affair.
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