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Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Bozart posted:

Could I get a recommendation for an interesting fantasy or historical fiction like Rise of a Merchant Prince or Mistress of the Empire by Feist, or the Curse of Chalion (etc) by Lois McMaster Bujold, or The Saga of Recluse by L. E. Modesitt Jr.? Also scratch off JV Jones. Something with intrigue and fleshed out characters, but not ludicrously longwinded.

Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastard series. The first book is the The Lies of Locke Lamora. Loads of intrigue, fairly well fleshed out characters, and certainly not long-winded, it moves along at a fairly fast pace. I don't rate him as highly as some here do, but it is a fun read. Kind of a fantasy version of a Dumas novel starring Jason Statham.

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Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


reflir posted:

Please recommend me a book that is like Hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world by Haruki Murakami.

It might be worth checking out Jeff Noon. I haven't read any Murakami so I can't say for sure if their are any similarities but I've read some comments that compare the two and a couple of "If you like this you may also like...." connections.

I'm having trouble thinking how to describe Jeff Noon's stuff. It's definitely science fiction, more surreal than magic realism, reminds me of some of Dick's later stuff.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Sodomy Non Sapiens posted:

Horror authors that aren't Poe, Lovecraft or King? I crave horror stories lately and I have almost no idea what's out there.

Can you give some more information on what aspects of horror you enjoy? It's a fairly broad genre and it's hard to tell from your post if it's no Poe, Lovecraft and King because you don't like them, or because you do like them and have read everything!

If you do like short form horror like Poe and Lovecraft it might be worth checking out Clive Barker's Books of Blood. I enjoy his longer books as well, they sort of a blend of horror and grotesque fantasy (similar to some of King's Stuff).

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


TraderStav posted:

Just finished watching Frost/Nixon and realized I am grossly unfamiliar with the events that took place leading up to and during the Watergate scandal. I'm sure there is a LOT of books on the topic but is there one or two that stand out as the authority on the topic?

All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein would seem like the obvious choice. They're the reporters who investigated and broke the story. There is also a follow-up The Final Days wich looks at the fallout.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Voodoofly posted:

I was leaning towards Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail or maybe one of the Gonzo Papers, but I am definitely open to anything.

I'd go with the first volume of the Gonzo Papers, The Great Shark Hunt. It's fairly broad and covers a long time-span. I found the Campaign Trail a bit hard to get into without much knowledge about the politics of the time he was writing in.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Can anyone recommend any good "elaborate revenge plot" type novels. I'm thinking stuff like The Count of Monte Cristo and recently Joe Abercombie's Best Served Cold. The more elaborate the revenge the better.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Aaron Burr posted:

If you're into sci-fi you should check out Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination; it's a futuristic retelling of Monte Cristo with a bunch of interesting teleportation intrigue.

I've read it before so I really should have thought of it. But it's one that's definitely due a re-read. A great book and I think I'd appreciate it more now than when I read it originally.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


The Year's Best Science Fiction is a collection that's been published every year for the last 25 years or so. It's usually a mix of well-known and new authors and fairly varied in scope and subject. I'd start with the most recent edition of that.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


I'm currently reading Mystic River by Dennis Lehane and am really enjoying it. Looking for some similar contemporary character driven stuff, not hard boiled detective thrillers or twisty-turny serial killer stuff.

Are any of the other authors who worked on the Wire worth investigating?

I've read Clockers but I think that's about it.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


The Aphasian posted:

Can anyone suggest a book (or even tell me the proper term) for whatever the opposite of alternate-history fantasy/sci-fi is? I'm thinking that all the main historical points up to now are the same, but the details are different--Hannibal crossed the Alps on Dragons, or WWII with laser rifles, or the Apollo moon landing actually involved enlisting the aid of the god Apollo. Something that explores how the more things change, the more they stay the same, or that, at least politically, escalation would assure similar outcomes whether with atomic bombs or magical plagues. I read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and liked it quite a bit.

I don't think either of these go any further than looking at a single point in time but Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle is a kind of alternative Joan of Arc in a world a step removed from outs. There's also J Gregory Keyes Age of Unreason series which is set in an alternate world where Issac Newton's dabbling with alchemy starts all sorts of magical goings on in motion.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Thanks for the urban crime recommendations. Added to the list. Will certainly give the new Richard Price a look. I'm considering rereading Clockers first. It's been a long time and even though I enjoyed it then I think I'd like it more now.

freebooter posted:

Can anyone recommend me some fantasy where people cross from our world into the fantasy world? Obvious choices are the Narnia and His Dark Materials series, and I've also read Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame and have Stephen King's Dark Tower series on my TBR pile. Anything else?

The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay fits the bill. It's been a long, long time since I read it but I remember enjoying it at the time. The Barbed Coil by JV Jones also fits, this I haven't read and I think is supposed to be fairly romance heavy.

Another classic of the genre is The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. I think it's about ten novel, but each is pretty slim. You can get an omnibus edition of all ten books. Definitely worth checking out.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


JerryLee posted:

I've got a somewhat specific request: Supernatural/extradimensional horror with a scientific bent.

Peter F Hamilton's wrist-shattering Night's Dawn Trilogy has a fair bit of this. It's epic space opera with a supernatural threat and there is a fair bit dedicated to understanding and fighting that threat.

It's pretty trashy though, but I found it fun.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Time Travel: By His Bootstraps is another great Heinlein short story.

Space Opera: There's a Space Opera thread somewhere on the front page that will probably have plenty of material. Common recommendations would be.

Peter F Hamilton: His Nights Dawn series is epic in every sense of the word, but it's a bit love it or hate it as it's a bit all over the place and qualitywise a lot of people have (justified issues). The next one The Commonwealth Saga, is a lot better in terms of quality and pretty epic as well. I read it recently an enjoyed it. He's got a new trilogy set in same universe out at the moment so there's more to go on with.

Alistair Reynolds: Solid inventive space opera. It's not an ongoing series as such but it's all set in the same universe and individual books are parts of a bigger picture. There's plenty of them and there's going to be plenty more.

Iain M Banks: Again many of his books are set in the same shared universe. Individual books are not epic in the sense you're talking about here. But worth a mention.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Lockback posted:

I just saw Shutter Island, and it renewed my interest in psychological story lines like that. Anyone have any good suggestions? I know Shutter Island is also a book, but I'd like a new story, might come back to SI later....

The Magus by John Fowles has a similar "what the gently caress is going on" psychological angle to it. Might be worth a look.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


unleash the unicorn posted:

I like "The Shield" and I like Sci-Fi. Are there any books that would be like "The Shield" in space?

Check out Richard Morgan or Neal Asher. Both write pretty good action orientated sci-fi where the good guys aren't particularly good and everyone is always double crossing everyone else and loving them over.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Panorama posted:

I've just finished all the Flashman books and I loved them. Anyhing else like it out there? I've read one of the Shape books but I like the conciet of the Flashman coward/hero character and would enjoy something similar. Someone recomended a Warhammer book with a similar protaganist but I'm not sure about sci-fi. Any recomendations apreciated.

Jack Shaftoe in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle might have some similarities. While not a coward at all, he's big on self-interest/self-preservation. The books are very different though and there's a lot of other stuff going on between spurts of swashbuckly action.

On a vaguely similar topic (historical action, not type of character) I'm thinking of giving Arturo Pérez-Reverte's Captain Alatriste's books a look as I like his other stuff and like the setting. Has anyone read them? Any good?

Gravy Jones fucked around with this message at 10:15 on Apr 16, 2010

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


thecallahan posted:

Just got finished with Seeker by McDevitt and am looking for something along the vein of that book.

Rendezvous with Rama has a number of sequels. I don't think they're any good though and are less focused on exploration and discovery so probably not what you are after. Another similar series is "The Way" series by Greg Bear. Again only the first book is primarily concerned with exploration of the object itself. It's either Eon or Eternity, don't remember which. Might be worth a look.

I haven't read Seeker but based on the synopsis on Wikipedia you might really like Alistair Reynolds Revelation Space stuff. It's big on forgotten races, acheaology and their leftover artifacts (including ships). The first one (which I think is just called Revelation Space) might be exactly what you're after.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


It might be a weird rights issue as it's available in the UK as an ebook (one of the first I bought). Usually stuff like that shows up on Amazon eventually.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


PotatoManJack posted:

I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan. Have read everything by him. I'd love a recommendation for a similar style of author i.e. someone who does really messed up fantasy that is uses reality, and then darkens it a bit, flips it over, and gives it a hosed up twist.

You could try some Clive Barker. His short stories and shorter novels tend to be straight up horror. But his chunkier books tend more towards fantasy. I think there is a lot of similarities with Gaiman both in tone and content. Things are dark and grotesque but with a sense of wonder rather than just trying to be edgey or gritty. The fantasy tends to be secrets groups and places that exist in the cracks between an otherwise mundane reality that we're just not aware of. He shares Gaiman's obsession with Americana as well, must be a Brit thing. Weaveworld or The Great and Secret Show are probably good starting places. Like Gaiman he's also done some well recieved young adult fiction as well.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Wyld Cannon posted:

So now that Lost is over, I'm looking for a book with a similar tone, but won't leave me with blue balls for the rest of my life. I don't really like "heavy" sci-fi if that's what you call it. Not really into laser beams and Star Wars/Star Trek type of stuff, but I do enjoy a lot of PKD's work (Scanner Darkly, Flow My Tears, Androids).

I've recommended this way too many times but you could give The Magus by John Fowles a shot. It's set on an island (I was being glib there but come to think of it is kind of relevant in terms of being cut off in a limited environment).... but beyond that there's a lot of "what the hell is happening?" stuff along the lines of is it real? Or a game? Or is a wizard doing it?

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Jive One posted:

Can anyone recommend novels or short stories with a setting and mood similar to either Bringing Out the Dead or Gangs of New York? I love the gritty and violent atmosphere of both these films so any quality literature of a similar vein would be great.

It might be worth investigating some of the novels by the writers involved in The Wire such as Richard Price, George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane. They tend more towards genre fiction than "quality literature" as such but some of their stuff is pretty good. Clockers by Richard Price in particular strikes me as it might be the sort of thing you're looking for in terms of a gritty realism.

David Simon's Homicide an account of the time he spent riding along with Baltimore Cops (a lot of which forms the basis for the Homicide on TV and The Wire) might be worth a look as well.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Goldwarf posted:

I'm looking for good novels dealing with time travel, preferably ones that aren't terribly cheesy.

A little more information would be useful. Are you look for novels specifically about or focused on time travel or are you looking for stuff that happens to have time travel in it? I'm thinking of distinction between time travel as something to create a complex twisting plot that plays around with causality and paradoxes and things that simply use time travel as a plot devide to set up a specific (often fish-out-of-water) situation, stuff like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

I really like Stephen Fry's Making History in general, it's a little of both.

My favourite old school time travel story is Heinlein's By His Bootstraps (and the short story All You Zombies. This is not a "good" novel as such. It's golden age SF and thus all about the ideas above the writing and the characters. But if you like the complexity and paradox angle it's pretty much required reading.

Replay by Ken Grimwood is a lot of fun. Not strictly time travel, more some kind of time loop deal.

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five has plenty of time travel in it, but I wouldn't really call it something that "deals with" time travel. That shouldn't stop anyone reading it though!

For the more serious business hard-SF stuff maybe Gregory Benford's Timescape. Possibly a little dated now, but I remember enjoying it at the time.

I guess that's why I was suggesting a little more information. Everything I listed there has time travel in it in some form or other. But as novels they don't really have much in common beyond that!

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


blue squares posted:

I'm looking for a book that tells the story of a couple meeting and falling in love, but one that is geared toward men rather than women.

It might be worth checking out pretty much anything by Nick Hornby. I'm not sure any of his books are explicitly about "meeting and falling in love" but there's a lot of falling in and out of love and relationship stuff in general, almost always with a man as the main protagonist and with a male pespective on the whole thing. High Fidelity and About a Boy are probably the most well known of his books and your best starting point.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Cheezymadman posted:

I'm a huge Tom Clancy fan, and I'm picking up the second and third Jason Bourne books today. Anything else in the politcal thriller/spy fiction genre I should be looking for?

EDIT: Just realized I've always wanted to read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Gonna grab that, too.

John LeCarre and Len Deighton both write more traditional spy/espionage fiction. It's nothing like Tom Clancy and miles away from Ludlum/Bourne though.

Probably stating the obvious but Ian Flemming? The Bond books vary a bit in quality and how well they've aged. But still worth a read.

For thrillers It might be worth checking out Frederick Forsyth and (a personal favourite) Nelson DeMille. Pacier and less bogged down in the details and personal politics like Clancy but with a lot more depth and substance than Ludlum.

Finally as a one-off you might like Child 44 Tom Rob Smith. At it's heart is a fairly standard serial killer thriller, but it's set in Stalinist russia which gives it a totally different spin and it's got plenty of secret police type stuff and paranoia going on as well. I really enjoyed it.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


professor muthafukkah posted:

I don't really know what genre this is considered, but what do you guys recommend I read if I like stories like 1408 or The Jaunt. Science fiction with a touch of H.P. Lovecraft?

Dan Simmons who is now better known as a Science Fiction author (Hyperion etc) used to write horror and some of his stuff might be along the lines fo what you are looking for. Carrion Comfort and Song of Kali are probably the best known, the latter probably closer to what you're looking for. Carion Comfort is more Stephen Kingish, but I really like it.

A couple of others that come to mind are The 37th Mandala by Marc Laidlaw, which is fantastic and a modern horror classic in my opinion. It might be hard to get hold of now. Laidlaw is now better known for being an in-house writer/designer for Valve and worked on the half-life games amongst others (and there are some places where his touch is obvious, especially in HL2)... which is kind of a shame because he's a seriously good author.

Also, because I just mentioned it in the Australian literature thread Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. Certainly not ovetly horror, but a really sinister and creepy atmospheric mystery with hints towards the supernatural.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Popular Human posted:

I'd like a recommendation, please. It's a week until Halloween, and I want the absolute scariest, most nightmare-inducing novel there is. I'm already familiar with Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Dan Simmons, et al - whatever. I don't want that, I want the most disturbing horror novel ever written. Help me out!

Have you read any Clive Barker? His more recent stuff tends towards a blend of horror and fantasy, but his early stuff: The Damnation Game and The Books of Blood (short story collections) are pretty hosed up. Possibly more gruesome than scary, but definitely disturbing.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


feedmyleg posted:

I really enjoy Jurassic Park and The Lost World (as well as several other Crichton novels) because of the way they mix fascinating scientific concepts with a fun story and great characters. Is there anything else out there that does the same thing while not having a completely awful underlying story? I would prefer something similar in scope, as I'm sure there is plenty of sci-fi by the great authors that include plenty of science, but I'm "thinking man's trash" rather than "high concept science fiction." "Technothrillers," perhaps?

You might want to check out The Legacy of Heorot by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Steven Barnes. It explores some similar man versus nature themes and has a similar balance between science and page turning action/suspense and "oh poo poo" moments as Crichton's stuff. It's not exactly what you're asking for as it is overtly science fiction (set on a colony on another planet) but it is fun and I can't think of any other book that reminded me of Jurassic Park as much as this did.

Beyond that there's stuff like Darwin's Radio/Darwin's Children by Greg Bear, maybe some other Greg Bear stuff as well. Maybe give some Ira Levin a shot?

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


saahil92 posted:

I've been playing Monday Night Combat, and I really love the setting, so i really want to read about a world that's both funny and also a dystopia. I've already read Snow Crash, and I loved that, so recommend away!

Maybe Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner. I'm not sure how well it's aged, and while it's not outright comedy it doesn't take itself as seriously as similar stuff that came later. I need to reread it as it's a great book.

If you don't mind older science fiction you might like some of Robert Sheckley's stuff.

A lot of Iain Banks science fiction has a comedic (or at least irreverent) edge to it. And while it's not nescessarily dystopic it might capture some of the stuff you're looking for. It might be worth checking out Against a Dark Background which is not part of his "Culture" universe and has a lot of outragious action and hosed up societies.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


I haven't read them but you might enjoy the works of Andy McDermott (who is a goon - Payndz I think). They're all about the kind of stuff you're talking about. Although be warned, the first one has "Atlantis" in the title. It might not be that far removed from Reilly but... in his favour Payndz has a sense of self awareness (which is obvous in his posts, he seems like a jolly nice chap) that Reilly is completely lacking.

There's also the airport fiction megathread lurking around here somewhere (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3282164) that may have some crossover with this kind of stuff.

Gravy Jones fucked around with this message at 14:58 on May 12, 2011

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


incogneato posted:

I'm looking for a highly competent protagonist and copious awesome action scenes. I don't care if it's totally gratuitous and lacking in the plot department (although it doesn't have to be poo poo). I've never really sought out anything like this, so the only things that immediately come to mind for comparison is Bourne in the movies (not really the books), or Culture agents in Iain M. Banks' stuff.

Have you read Banks' Against a Dark Background? It's a bit more action packed than his Culture stuff and a lot of fun. It's got several great set pieces. It fits both of your bolded prerequisists and is a pretty good story too.

I haven't got round to reading any myself yet, but from what I've heard Neal Asher might fit the bill as well.

It's been ages since I read it and it may be a bit dated now, but I recall Walter John William's Hardwired as being a more action orientated take on the cyberpunk genre that I enjoyed at the time.

Edit: Oh one more, The Black Lung Captain: Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding. I really wasn't a fan of this, but it got really good reviews and a couple of nominations so what do I know. It's pretty much a steampunk rip-off of Firefly, and is pretty heavy on the action.

Gravy Jones fucked around with this message at 22:25 on May 12, 2011

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Mung Dynasty posted:

My mom's birthday is coming up in a few weeks and she loves getting books but I don't know what to get her this year. She reads a lot of David Baldacci, Norah Roberts, Dan Brown, etc. According to her, she likes "thrillers and mysteries". I dunno poo poo about any of those authors or those genres and have officially exhausted all my ideas in previous years.

Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. He's better known for military fiction, but this is a great read and a fun mystery/thriller. Another good one is Child 44 for Tom Rob Smith, basically takes a page-turning serial killer thriller and shifts it to Stalinist Russia which changes all the rules.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


WeaponGradeSadness posted:

Yeah, I'm going to second Child 44. That was one of the better thrillers/mysteries I've ever read. I still need to get the sequel at some point...

I've always held off because it gets such bad reviews, especially from fans of the first book. Which is a drat shame. There's a third one out soon as well.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Rage Nage posted:

I really, really love the science-fiction books of Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward, Spares, One Of Us) - I just can't get enough of the way he writes. Having read everything SF he has to offer, I'm looking for some more dystopian surrealist fiction, and would really appreciate any recommendations...

Jeff Noon is the obvious one for me. The are a lot of similarities although Noon's stuff is probably a little more surreal and out-there (at least what I've read).

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Apparently I enjoy near geeky near-future technothrillers with organised crime, money laundering and Internets. Preferably with a dash of self-awareness. I've read Neal Stephenson and Charles Stross and was wondering if there was anything similar.

I guess it doesn't have to be near future. Just geeky capers in general.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Paxicon posted:

I'd like some sci-fi involving human mutations, telekinetics, telepathics etc. Also interested in dystopias in which they operate. Something reminiscent of Babylon 5's Psi-Corp would be great, if it's out there!

Babylon 5 you say? This may be stating the obvious but "The Demolished Man" by Alfred Bester (the name may ring a bell).

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


WeaponGradeSadness posted:

First off, what I'd be most interested in is some good cyberpunk novels--or at least novels with that cyberpunk aesthetic, even if it doesn't have all the themes and such necessary to be considered cyberpunk. I'm aware of Gibson, but I'm not sure how well it fits into what I'm looking for, though I'll definitely be willing to give him a try if he does. What I'm most looking for is something like Deus Ex (especially Human Revolution), the new Syndicate, or the upcoming Watch Dogs--something with a good deal of action, a noir sort of feeling, and fits in thematically with the games I've listed. I've also read about the first third of Ian MacDonald's River of Gods and enjoyed it, I just set it aside because it was long and I didn't have that kind of time. Basically, what's the book most like Deus Ex, is what I'm asking?

Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan has a bit of a Deus Ex vibe. It's very gritty/noir, has some identity stuff (I didn't ask for this) going on and loads of corporations, corruption, guns and violence. There are more books with the same character but it's fine as a stand-alone and not too massive or anything.

I always recommend John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar whenever anyone asks for cyberpunk. One of my favourite SF novels and an absolute classic. It's aged very well, which given that it's a horrible dystopia is unfortunately not a good thing.

Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Capsaicin posted:

If I liked Ready Player One, what else would you guys recommend?

Tad Williams has a big series half set in a virtual world and half set in a near-future corporate dystopia. Can't remember the name of it.

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Gravy Jones
Sep 13, 2003

I am not on your side


Wuxi posted:

So, no more than two main characters (with the PoV always focussing on them, maybe first person view). The setting should be fantasy/scifi/post-apocalyptic or along the lines of Ken Follet/Dan Brown thrillers, the story itself is somewhat secondary, I'm primarily looking at the character interaction. Travelling should play a big role, wether it's following clues/riddles/mystery, being hunted around or just trying to get somewhere else.

Purely for the character interaction buy Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson and just read the middle bit (Book 2: King of the Vagabonds). Well, there's probably better options, that's just what immediately came to mind when reading your post.

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