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Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 2 hours!


David D. Davidson posted:

Hey do we have a thread for Sci-Fi books yet? Because I could use some recommendations.

recommend some books for david and also me

i read the city and the city recently and it was good

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Roth
Jul 9, 2016




Neuromancer is an interesting touchstone, as a foundational part of the cyberpunk genre and also stars a weeb.

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 2 hours!


Roth posted:

Neuromancer is an interesting touchstone, as a foundational part of the cyberpunk genre and also stars a weeb.

Neuromancer is a touchstone and a good introduction to Gibson's prose and vision but holy poo poo he gets much better at actually writing about how people think and feel and treat each other as he goes on. Definitely read Neuromancer but probably just skip straight to the Bigend trilogy (starting with Pattern Recognition) after that I think. I dunno if you'd properly call that trilogy science fiction but it's a good read.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




The City & The City is really good and also the only Mieville novel I've read.

I strongly recommend Ice by Anna Kavan. It's a devastating look at masculinity and global warming.

Taintrunner
Apr 10, 2017

Sorry to undo the effort of paying a domestic abuser $10 to own this poster, but I am going to lose my dang mind if I keep seeing multiple posters who appear to be Baloogan.

With love,
a mod





If you want something trashy but enjoyable, I like the Star Carrier series by Ian Douglas. Some decent military themed hard sci-fi where they come up with inventive solutions to ridiculous spacewar problems. Also the ships transform, which is fun.

Sir DonkeyPunch
Mar 23, 2007

I didn't hear no bell


Pillbug

Roth posted:

Neuromancer is an interesting touchstone, as a foundational part of the cyberpunk genre and also stars a weeb.

it's funny, a lot of it feels cliched... but it's because he created some of those cliches (or at least brought them to modern readers/authors)

Musluk
May 23, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

Currently going thru Neuromancer. I wouldn't recommend it as it stands, tbh.

David D. Davidson
Nov 17, 2012

Orca lady?

Well since this thread is partially for my benefit, I should mention that I have read Neuromancer as well as it's two follow ups.
Also managed to get through the Dune series. The good ones to be exact I have no interest in the stuff Brian and KJA wrote. poo poo was good. I did also try reading Metro 2033 too, but I found that I had a better time getting into the games than I did the books.

EDIT: As for books I would recommend if we're counting graphic novels/mangas I'd say give Shirow Masamune's Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed a read.

David D. Davidson fucked around with this message at 22:24 on Aug 3, 2020

BoldFrankensteinMir
Jul 28, 2006

Darn! Darn! Darn!


David D. Davidson posted:

Also managed to get through the Dune series. The good ones to be exact I have no interest in the stuff Brian and KJA wrote.

If you liked Dune you may also like Frank Herbert's "ConSentiency" series, it's sort of piecemeal (two short stories, a novella and a full novel) but it's a really interesting setting for some cool stories. The parts in order (as much as there is an order) are:

"A Matter of Traces" (collected in Eye which is a really great compilation overall)
"The Tactful Saboteur" (also in Eye)
Whipping Star
The Dosadi Experiment

It's just as weird as Dune but funnier, almost like a really dark Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

And as long as I'm recommending obscure short stories, "Mr. Boy" by James Patrick Kelly is a personal favorite that will lodge itself in your brain forever, if you can find a copy.

Edit- I had the parts in the wrong order, not like it really matters much.

BoldFrankensteinMir fucked around with this message at 05:38 on Aug 4, 2020

double nine
Aug 8, 2013



how's Dune aged for a modern audience/disintegrating climate/fascist hellscape?

or, you know, people whose touchstone is harry potter

double nine fucked around with this message at 21:03 on Aug 4, 2020

BoldFrankensteinMir
Jul 28, 2006

Darn! Darn! Darn!


double nine posted:

how's Dune aged for a modern audience/disintegrating climate/fascist hellscape?

or, you know, people whose touchstone is harry potter

Pretty well, I'd say. God Emperor of Dune has never been more relevant or terrifying, transhuman hydraulic despotism on Earth is pretty much assured at this point. It's one of those truly great scifi books that convinces the reader to get a vasectomy/tubal ligation out of mercy for the unborn.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

427 TOTALLY LEGITIMATE, DEFENSIBLE NATIONAL TITLES AND COUNTING


At the risk of , Blindsight and Echopraxia by Peter Watts.

The first one is free on his website.

https://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



Two sf books from Blake Crouch that I thought were good:

Dark Matter: A former research physicist who settled down to a college teaching career with a wife and son is kidnapped by a mysterious stranger. He's taken to a warehouse where he's knocked out and when he wakes up he discovers he's in another reality. He then tries to find his way back home to his world.

Recursion: Alternating stories about a detective in the present dealing with a bizarre rash of cases where people wake up one day with two sets of memories in their heads. The other is set roughly 10 years in the past where a doctor gets hired by an eccentric billionaire who agrees to fully fund her Alzheimer's cure research.

Dark Matter is interesting because it deals with something that doesn't ever seem to pop up in multiverse stories, namely (big spoiler for the second half of the book) the main character starts to run into multiple versions of himself that are also trying to get back to the same home universe because their universes split after being kidnapped.

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Dark Matter was a fun little romp.

Musluk
May 23, 2011




Lipstick Apathy

GD_American posted:

At the risk of , Blindsight and Echopraxia by Peter Watts.

The first one is free on his website.

https://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

So much in those two. If you feel echopraxia is poo poo, feel free to drop it is all I can say.

Springfield Fatts
May 24, 2010


Pillbug

Avoid Watts' Rifters series though. The first was... interesting, but it became an emotional slog and the protagonist internalizing her surprise sex and abuse issues was just disgusting to read through, and the antagonists lovely surprise sex/torture fixation because ~sociopath~ was some teen edgelord poo poo.

Some actual good books are Iain M. Banks' Culture series. I love these books, and you can pick up basically any one as they aren't necessary to read in order because each book is an encapsulated tale in the universe. Don't start with Inversions though as it's the least sci-fi of the group and you'll go through it asking "when is the space poo poo going to start??"

rain dogs
Apr 19, 2020


I read the first three Culture books, only really liked the first. Not entirely sure why.

I just finished the Three Body Problem series. I'm not usually into the really hard scifi but they were excellent. Really tense books with some great ideas even if my eyes glazed over at the more technical poo poo.

Schadenboner
Aug 15, 2011

I MEAN, TURN OFF YOURE MONITOR, MIGTH EXPLAIN YOUR BAD POSTS, HOPE THIS HELPS?!

Canticle for Leibowitz will never stop being one of the best scis fi ever written.

The semi-sequel is actually also p.deece.

E: I liked A Memory Called Empire well enough but the whole cortical stacks thing is way less cool and way way creepier than the author clearly seems to think/wants you to think? Given the society-destroying shitfest that social media has become I also feel like the technology is v.poorly integrated into the miner's culture, like: humans would not treat such a thing in such a way.

Schadenboner fucked around with this message at 12:17 on Aug 7, 2020

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


I really enjoyed Tade Thompson's Rosewater, an enjoyable novel about life after aliens establish a colony on Earth, set outside the main encampment in Nigeria. While "alien invasion as a metaphor for western colonialism" ain't exactly a fresh idea, it's none-the-less a well done take on it. The main thing is the clever ways people find to make use of alien detritus, Roadside Picnic style, with the protagonist having pseudo-telepathy on account of being able to tune in on alien wifi.

Skip the sequels.

FEMA summer camp
Jan 22, 2006



GD_American posted:

At the risk of , Blindsight and Echopraxia by Peter Watts.

The first one is free on his website.

https://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

If you're into that sort of thing there is an excellent audiobook version of Blindsight out there.

T-man
Aug 22, 2010


Talk shit, get bzzzt.



If you've never tried Greg Egan's stuff I highly suggest him. Permutation City is my favorite and first of his, and isn't a bad place to start with him.

E: Watts fans especially

frogge
Apr 7, 2006




The Expanse books are pretty fun reads and in my mind are way better than the show. Supposedly the last book of the series comes out next year unless they decide to cash in and make more.

For being silly franchise books the Ciaphas Cain series does a good job of being light-hearted and fun in the otherwise grimderp of the Warhammer 40k seeing.

Nthing the culture series. The books all feature different stories about fringe events and can be read out of order but I reckon in order is the way because of how technology builds as the series goes.

Incelshok Na
Jul 2, 2020
Probation
Can't post for 22 days!


I always enjoy Alastair Reynolds but I have to remind myself of that fact because he absolutely cannot land an ending. To the point where I leave the novel being angry that I read it.

Richard K Morgan's Altered Carbon series is great.

Everything by China Mieville is good. Embassytown is his most "Sci Fi" story and I'd strongly recommend it. It's also one of his best.

The Familiar Series by Mark Z Danielewski isn't as good as House of Leaves but it's a solid ride.

Friar John
Aug 3, 2007

Saint Francis be my speed! how oft to-night
Have my old feet stumbled at graves!

The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe is unimpeachable.

I second A Canticle for Leibowitz, the best from that era of SF novels.

Eifelheim by Michael Flynn is great - aliens crash land in an isolated German village on the cusp of the Black Death.

Eugene V. Dubstep
Oct 4, 2013



I posted this list last year of good SF published in my lifetime:

The Quantum Thief
Stories of Your Life and Others
Ancillary Justice
Oryx and Crake
Speaker for the Dead/Xenocide/Children of the Mind
The Yiddish Policemen's Union
26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss
Timequake
The Blind Assassin
To Say Nothing of the Dog

...to which I can now add The City and the City.

If you really like The City and the City, Europe in Autumn is a somewhat worse take on a similar premise.

Of that list, you can safely assume I recommend other books in the same series or by the same author, except the sequels to Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice. Only her first book was any good.

Schadenboner
Aug 15, 2011

I MEAN, TURN OFF YOURE MONITOR, MIGTH EXPLAIN YOUR BAD POSTS, HOPE THIS HELPS?!

Richard K. Morgan's Thirteen was a little IMO but the in-continuity/non-sequel Thin Air is really v.deece.

Better than the Altered Carbon series IMO?

E: And the new Warhammer Crime line of books is extremely extremely good cyberpunky-noir in a 40k context. If that sounds like to you you'll almost certainly like it, if it sounds like to you then you very possibly won't?

Schadenboner fucked around with this message at 14:10 on Sep 18, 2020

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




I think more people should read Ann Leckie's space opera trilogy, Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy. Core premise is that humanity has been space faring and fractious for a while, and one polity has gotten really into "ancillaries," a tech where an AI's intelligence is distributed over a bunch of lobotomized humans, which makes them both exceptionally good at ship-crew integration and very good at infantry combat, both of which turn out to be huge military advantages, plus some advantages in general comms/organization. This has unsurprisingly enabled a genuine interstellar empire. The books are from the perspective of one of these ship AIs and focus on how this imperialism requires classes of non-citizen, the regular traumatization of all levels of citizen, and how the empire creates mechanisms of distinction (fashions, ceremonies, gender norms, etc.) to justify themselves as "civilized" as opposed to the people they've been subduing.

e: It's also still ultimately a book about spaceships and lasers.

Tulip fucked around with this message at 14:52 on Sep 18, 2020

Elder Postsman
Aug 30, 2000


i used hot bot to search for "teens"



It's more fantasy than sci-fi I guess but Josiah Bancroft's Books of Babel are really, really good. Kind of s steampunk setting; a guy and his wife go on their honeymoon to the Tower of Babel. Four books in the series, Senlin Ascends, Arm of the Sphinx, and The Hod King are out, last book coming next year.

Sir DonkeyPunch
Mar 23, 2007

I didn't hear no bell


Pillbug

Tulip posted:

I think more people should read Ann Leckie's space opera trilogy, Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy. Core premise is that humanity has been space faring and fractious for a while, and one polity has gotten really into "ancillaries," a tech where an AI's intelligence is distributed over a bunch of lobotomized humans, which makes them both exceptionally good at ship-crew integration and very good at infantry combat, both of which turn out to be huge military advantages, plus some advantages in general comms/organization. This has unsurprisingly enabled a genuine interstellar empire. The books are from the perspective of one of these ship AIs and focus on how this imperialism requires classes of non-citizen, the regular traumatization of all levels of citizen, and how the empire creates mechanisms of distinction (fashions, ceremonies, gender norms, etc.) to justify themselves as "civilized" as opposed to the people they've been subduing.

e: It's also still ultimately a book about spaceships and lasers.

Put your gloves on

Tulip
Jun 3, 2008

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world.




Sir DonkeyPunch posted:

Put your gloves on

You think I'd be posting without gloves, like a pervert?

Anyway, I also strongly recommend Heroes Die by Matt Stover. It's very pulpy and probably the most blunt "fantasy AND scifi" book - people in a scifi future figure out a way to Sliders their way into a fantasy universe, and they use this technology to get people from Earth to act like DND esque murderhobos to make snuff films with dragons. It's a good story about punching people, how hosed up capitalism is, and different strains/paths of fascism.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005



Sir DonkeyPunch posted:

Put your gloves on

Reminds me of the Machineries of Empire series by Yoon Ha Lee which also has a thing about gloves and naked hands. Four books (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem, Revenant Gun and Hexacharte Stories) which follows Kel Cheris, a captain in the Hexacharte space empire. Hundreds of years ago the empire discovered that if you get enough people following the exact same calendar you can alter the laws of physics. This includes creating different effects by just placing soldiers/ships into certain formations. Unfortunately a side effect is that they crack down hard on anything unorthodox, which Kel Cheris discovers when her actions help her squadron survive a battle. Her chance at redemption is to retake an impenetrable fortress on the edge of Hexacharte space that is being corrupted with an enemy calendar. Her only tools are a fleet of ships that have no way of breaking down the fortress's defenses and the ghost of the insane traitor (and greatest general who ever lived) Shuos Jedao.

T-man
Aug 22, 2010


Talk shit, get bzzzt.



Tulip posted:

I think more people should read Ann Leckie's space opera trilogy, Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy. Core premise is that humanity has been space faring and fractious for a while, and one polity has gotten really into "ancillaries," a tech where an AI's intelligence is distributed over a bunch of lobotomized humans, which makes them both exceptionally good at ship-crew integration and very good at infantry combat, both of which turn out to be huge military advantages, plus some advantages in general comms/organization. This has unsurprisingly enabled a genuine interstellar empire. The books are from the perspective of one of these ship AIs and focus on how this imperialism requires classes of non-citizen, the regular traumatization of all levels of citizen, and how the empire creates mechanisms of distinction (fashions, ceremonies, gender norms, etc.) to justify themselves as "civilized" as opposed to the people they've been subduing.

e: It's also still ultimately a book about spaceships and lasers.

*sips tea* I'm giving you a pin

Lemniscate Blue
Apr 21, 2006

Here we go again.

Fun Shoe

Tulip posted:

You think I'd be posting without gloves, like a pervert?

Anyway, I also strongly recommend Heroes Die by Matt Stover. It's very pulpy and probably the most blunt "fantasy AND scifi" book - people in a scifi future figure out a way to Sliders their way into a fantasy universe, and they use this technology to get people from Earth to act like DND esque murderhobos to make snuff films with dragons. It's a good story about punching people, how hosed up capitalism is, and different strains/paths of fascism.

This sounds interesting. Matt Stover (and also Aaron Allston) wrote some of the only non-terrible Star Wars books (notably the novelization of Episode 3 which is so much better than the movie it's startling) so I'm curious to see what he can do when he's not playing in someone else's sandbox.

And speaking of recommendations, if you were ever interested in Star Wars and can still stand to read licensed fiction, read the Ep3 novelization.

twistedmentat
Nov 21, 2003

What's a war hero got to do to get some lubrication around here?



I bought and omnibus of the novelizations of the prequels to read on a trip years ago, and yea ep3 novelization is an actually great story. You get POVs that you wouldn't get in the film, like Dooku's during his duel.

Talking about Liscened sci fi, you can find some good Warhammer 40k books that function as good reads without knowing much of the setting. The obvious one is Gaunts Ghosts, which is basically something like Sharpe's or even Band of Brothers; stories of a tight knit group of fighting men with individual characters within that unit, plus adventure and action. Characters get wounded or even killed fairly regulaly, and the Ghosts find themselves in both big land battles and doing commando actions.

A lot of people will say the Eisenhorn books are the better, but i think the first Ravenor book is the best of his Inquisitor books. It's an mystery, and investigation around a sci-fi drug that gives you visions that you become addicted to. The third book goes a little off the rails, but the first almost feels self contained.

I'd not recommend diving into the Horus Hersey novels if you just want to read the books, if only because there is a million of them and honestly, most outside of the initial story arc are either pointless or just not good

bitterandtwisted
Sep 4, 2006





The Three Body Problem trilogy is the best sci fi story I've read in recent years. If you want a very different take on what it means to be part of a galactic community of sentient lifeforms, I hugely recommend it.

vvv
Idk if it's a spoiler so much as the central cocept, but I suppose it's not revealed until quite late in book 1 so ok

bitterandtwisted fucked around with this message at 22:29 on Sep 20, 2020

Greg12
Apr 22, 2020


bitterandtwisted posted:

The Three Body Problem trilogy is the best sci fi story I've read in recent years. If you want a very different take on ... , I hugely recommend it.

SPOILER

edit:
I went in totally blind about the whole thing, and read the first one in one sitting as a detective story.

Greg12 fucked around with this message at 21:13 on Sep 21, 2020

Elder Postsman
Aug 30, 2000


i used hot bot to search for "teens"



Three Body Problem is great. I loved the dark forest theory and the doomsday weapon and the whole thing with pockets of higher dimensional space. Soooo good.

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



I put off reading The Three Body Problem cause I wanted to get good and ready to read what I expected to be ridiculously good sci-fi that came very highly recommended.

I've read other stuff by Cixin Liu, in particular his short stories, and loved them - especially the Wandering Earth and the other stories in that collection.

I barely finished 3BP and as of yet haven't brought myself to read the sequels. the real world stuff was fine, but everything in the game world bored me to tears.

Polaron
Oct 13, 2010

The Oncoming Storm


I recently read A Memory Called Empire and loved it. Always fun to read a space opera that has little to no space combat.

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Zartosht
Jan 14, 2010

King of Kings Ozysandwich am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.




ketchup vs catsup posted:

I put off reading The Three Body Problem cause I wanted to get good and ready to read what I expected to be ridiculously good sci-fi that came very highly recommended.

I've read other stuff by Cixin Liu, in particular his short stories, and loved them - especially the Wandering Earth and the other stories in that collection.

I barely finished 3BP and as of yet haven't brought myself to read the sequels. the real world stuff was fine, but everything in the game world bored me to tears.

The next 2 are actually way better, none of the virtual world stuff and lots of Space Stuff.

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