Good Modern Science Fiction

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WildBill
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by WildBill » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:49 pm

One thing I do every year is buy The Years Best Science Fiction collection that is edited by Gardner Dozois.

He is a long time editor and expert in the field, probably the expert, and this year is the 33rd year it has been published. It is short stories and novellas, and over the years I have enjoyed it and discovered excellent new writers.

Paperback edition for this year is $16.28 list. Unbeatable deal.

Happy reading

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

Sandi_k
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Sandi_k » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:17 am

telemark wrote:Long, long ago I asked a question on Compuserve about magneto-optical drives, which were a thing at the time, and got some very helpful answers from a guy named Jack Chalker. Yes, that Jack Chalker.
Awesome. :D

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LadyGeek
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:15 pm

Juliajones54 wrote:
larrydmsn wrote:There is considerable excitement in the SciFi community about The Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy by Cixin Liu. All three books were beautifully translated and the last one "Death's End" came out 3 months ago. They read like Clarke's or Asimov's classics but with lots of refreshing modern ideas. The first one "The Three-body Problem" won last year's Hugo Award (one of the highest awards for SciFi novels) and many believe the next two are better. You will need to be a HARD SciFi fan (vs Soft SciFi or fantasy fan) to really enjoy them. Each novel in this trilogy expands its scope and depth tremendously. Very thought-provoking and mind blowing.

The books in this trilogy:
  • The Three-Body Problem
    The Dark Forest
    Death's End
Thank you, we will be looking for these!
Yes, thank you! I downloaded all 3 books to my Kindle. The series is a bit pricey, but I think it's well worth it. I'm a little over 60% done the first book - The Three-Body Problem.

Wow, this is indeed "hard" sci-fi. I appreciate the translator's footnotes explaining details related to China and Chinese history. After working through the first part of the book, things started to come together.

I can see why this book won the Hugo award. A number of concepts are put together in a very unique way that makes you think. From a scientific perspective, it's very creative. Thought-provoking and mind blowing, indeed.
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HomerJ
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by HomerJ » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:19 am

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus is a very good book (weird title I know). Written by Orson Scott Card, the author of the Ender Game books.

Set 200 years from now, Pastwatch is an organization that has the technology to look back into the past.

Then one day, they discover they might be able to send something back... But they know if they do (and it has a big enough impact), they could change history completely (and possibly erase themselves). Could they find a moment in time where they could make a single change, and make the world better? But what if they make things worse?

They only get one change, because after that it will be a different history, and a different future. Is it even worth trying?

(Obviously, the title rather gives away the moment in history they are thinking about changing)

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Bruce
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Bruce » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:03 pm

Just finished reading and enjoyed, The Privateer Tales (an 11 Book Series to date) by Jamie McFarlane.

Rookie Privateer (Privateer Tales Book 1) is a free download at the Kindle store.

I enjoyed the book and quickly moved on to another and another in the set.

The story line in the early books compares very favorably to "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" or "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" or similar Heinlein books, though these have a bit more humor in the story.

From Book 1: "When you are old enough to finally become an Earth Mars citizen, everything should be perfect. Right? Not for Liam Hoffen. He's stuck on a mining asteroid called Colony 40, helping his father work a claim that is never going to pay out. His best friend, Nick James is set for life in James' Rental business and Liam just discovered that the girl he's known forever thinks he's pretty great and now she's leaving for the Mars Naval Academy"

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MT ... rw_dp_labf
Bruce | | Winner of the 2017 Bogleheads Contest | | "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

ByThePond
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by ByThePond » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:47 pm

Rusa wrote:Larry Niven (but I like his earlier work better than more recent items), especially his Known Space stories

S.M.Stirling: The Dies the Fire series (but mainly the first three) and Island in the Sea of Time series

Uplift War by David Brin

+3

larrydmsn
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by larrydmsn » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:48 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Juliajones54 wrote:
larrydmsn wrote:There is considerable excitement in the SciFi community about The Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy by Cixin Liu. All three books were beautifully translated and the last one "Death's End" came out 3 months ago. They read like Clarke's or Asimov's classics but with lots of refreshing modern ideas. The first one "The Three-body Problem" won last year's Hugo Award (one of the highest awards for SciFi novels) and many believe the next two are better. You will need to be a HARD SciFi fan (vs Soft SciFi or fantasy fan) to really enjoy them. Each novel in this trilogy expands its scope and depth tremendously. Very thought-provoking and mind blowing.

The books in this trilogy:
  • The Three-Body Problem
    The Dark Forest
    Death's End
Thank you, we will be looking for these!
Yes, thank you! I downloaded all 3 books to my Kindle. The series is a bit pricey, but I think it's well worth it. I'm a little over 60% done the first book - The Three-Body Problem.

Wow, this is indeed "hard" sci-fi. I appreciate the translator's footnotes explaining details related to China and Chinese history. After working through the first part of the book, things started to come together.

I can see why this book won the Hugo award. A number of concepts are put together in a very unique way that makes you think. From a scientific perspective, it's very creative. Thought-provoking and mind blowing, indeed.
You are very welcome, LadyGeek! Very glad to know you liked it. A lady I knew disliked the second one and third one because of weaker female characters. Hopefully the amazing science, unexpected but believable twists and mind bending imaginations in the next two books will keep you interested.

Some fun info, apparently President Obama is a big fan of this trilogy. The White House directly bought many copies of the third book from the publisher before that book was even released a few months back. Google "Obama's secret to surviving the white house years" and you will see his interview published in New York Times: “The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty — not something to worry about. Aliens are about to invade!” :happy

LiveItUpBySaving
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LiveItUpBySaving » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:09 pm

larrydmsn wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:
Juliajones54 wrote:
larrydmsn wrote:There is considerable excitement in the SciFi community about The Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy by Cixin Liu. All three books were beautifully translated and the last one "Death's End" came out 3 months ago. They read like Clarke's or Asimov's classics but with lots of refreshing modern ideas. The first one "The Three-body Problem" won last year's Hugo Award (one of the highest awards for SciFi novels) and many believe the next two are better. You will need to be a HARD SciFi fan (vs Soft SciFi or fantasy fan) to really enjoy them. Each novel in this trilogy expands its scope and depth tremendously. Very thought-provoking and mind blowing.

The books in this trilogy:
  • The Three-Body Problem
    The Dark Forest
    Death's End
Thank you, we will be looking for these!
Yes, thank you! I downloaded all 3 books to my Kindle. The series is a bit pricey, but I think it's well worth it. I'm a little over 60% done the first book - The Three-Body Problem.

Wow, this is indeed "hard" sci-fi. I appreciate the translator's footnotes explaining details related to China and Chinese history. After working through the first part of the book, things started to come together.

I can see why this book won the Hugo award. A number of concepts are put together in a very unique way that makes you think. From a scientific perspective, it's very creative. Thought-provoking and mind blowing, indeed.
You are very welcome, LadyGeek! Very glad to know you liked it. A lady I knew disliked the second one and third one because of weaker female characters. Hopefully the amazing science, unexpected but believable twists and mind bending imaginations in the next two books will keep you interested.

Some fun info, apparently President Obama is a big fan of this trilogy. The White House directly bought many copies of the third book from the publisher before that book was even released a few months back. Google "Obama's secret to surviving the white house years" and you will see his interview published in New York Times: “The scope of it was immense. So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty — not something to worry about. Aliens are about to invade!” :happy


I would like to pipe in and also recommend the Cixin Liu series above. I had purchased all three books as a Christmas present for my Dad after reading them last fall. Really impressive writing and series.

Calygos
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Calygos » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:09 am

I've recommended John C. Wright's Golden Oecumene trilogy numerous times. If you like dense post-human stuff and can tolerate the Victorian speech patterns of many of the characters (for which there's a reason but it gets tiresome at times), then it can be a great read. The books are The Golden Age, The Phoenix Exultant, and The Golden Transcendence.

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corwin
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by corwin » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:59 pm

The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars #1)
by Ian Tregillis

This is not my favorite SF book but it is very original. It is an alt-history future with lots of steam-punk.

Grateful1
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Grateful1 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:26 pm

I very much enjoyed Saturn Run by John Sanford.

protagonist
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by protagonist » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:03 am

Sandi_k wrote:
protagonist wrote:The Long Run by Daniel Keys Moran.

A little known classic. One of the best ever. Just read the reviews.
He's reprinted the series as a self-published set. You can also get them as a Kindle bundle. Note that The Long Run is just one of four books in the Continuing Time series. And A.I. War: The Big Boost is a sequel to TLR. :D

Full disclosure: I've been one of his online fans since the late 80's, when he was active on Usenet groups (pre-web!) We used to have an email list-serv for full discussion of his books, via Yahoo. Weird to realize that that was nearly 30 years ago!!

I have been following him for a long time as well, Sandi. I read all of his books, though I think The Long Run is, by far, the best. Interesting to find another fan since his stuff is pretty obscure. I don't know why it has never been picked up for a movie. It's a film begging to be made IMHO.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Sandi_k » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:13 pm

protagonist wrote:
I have been following him for a long time as well, Sandi. I read all of his books, though I think The Long Run is, by far, the best. Interesting to find another fan since his stuff is pretty obscure. I don't know why it has never been picked up for a movie. It's a film begging to be made IMHO.
You can ask him - he's active on Facebook.

I figure he'd have issues getting the rights to use Bugs Bunny. ;)

SpideyIndexer
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by SpideyIndexer » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:03 pm

Eli K. P. William's Cash Crash Jubilee came out about a year ago. The author extrapolates the privatization of everything to the nth degree. Very imaginative and scary.

It is listed as Book 1 of a cycle though I had no issue with reading it by itself.

beattherush
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by beattherush » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:29 pm

Well... am new to Bogleheads but not to sci-fi so thought I'd add a few books to the pile that were not previously referenced. And, as with any sci-fi reader, I have strong opinions about what was referenced, so will throw that in too.

First, Heinlein was a master and well worth reading for any Boglehead as a meditation on what might be possible in our future, and for the Heinleinian values of self-sufficiency and planning for the future -- the only sci-fi writer I've ever read whose characters are excited about saving points on a mortgage. Worth digging up are Heinlein's shorter stories in his Future History - Life-Line, The Man Who Sold the Moon, Blowups Happen.

Neal Stephenson was mentioned - The Diamond Age I can't recommend enough. It has held up well as predictive of our future and has a lot to say about the intersection of technology and culture and economic impact. Seveneves is more recent, and just good fun big-idea sci-fi.

Vernor Vinge -- Fun hard-science space opera. "Fire Upon the Deep" was excellent. Similar in tone to The Expanse but a little more serious.

Julian May, "The Many Colored Land". Time travel, French history, aliens, psychic powers, space exploration, and prehistory all rolled into one giant steaming tasty stew. It's more sprawling than it sounds, but tightly plotted. Great. Skip the modern extension starting with Metaconcert, it was not nearly as strong.

Greg Bear's "The Forge of God". Scariest book I've ever read. Definitely answers Fermi's Paradox.

Mary Doria Russell, "The Sparrow". Emotionally wrenching and complex, deals with Catholic themes. Don't say I didn't warn you.

In the "modernist vein" of near-term future history:

Paolo Bacigalupi - start with The Windup Girl. The Water Knife will be more familiar to Americans but was not quite as strong.

Ian McDonald - Start with what I think was his best, River of Gods. Brasyl and Dervish House both excellent as well.

John Varley - older writer and his Gaea trilogy is somewhat dated technologically (more in the "Alien" realm) but great fun. Steel Beach very good as well.

On to "previously mentioned..."

William Gibson - predictive, influential, spiritual - while just about all of his work is worthwhile, the Bridge series was a high-water mark. Virtual Light, Idoru, and All Tomorrow's Parties.

David Brin - Uplift series was worth reading, but the last book dragged significantly and had what I found to be a very unsatisfying deus-ex-machina ending. But Startide Rising was great. His most recent, Existence, was quite good.

And if you want great endings, read Dan Simmons' Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion.

Charles Stross -- wildly uneven, and both Laundry and the Merchant Princes are in that realm. His stand alone novel "Accelerando", however, was brilliant though unsettling, and highly relevant to today's times (and to Bogleheads a bit).

moghopper
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by moghopper » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:59 pm

I must have simpler tastes than most... I've mainly been reading (er... or listening to) more military Science Fiction.

Vaughn Heppner - Lost Starship Series:
The Lost Starship
The Lost Command
The Lost Destroyer
The Lost Colony
The Lost Patrol
The Lost Planet

Also Jack Campbell, who was a Naval Officer, and brings a different perspective to space battles in his books.
He has a very enjoyable series called the "Lost Fleet". So, maybe I just enjoy books with "Lost" in the title?

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by downshiftme » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:47 pm

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Blackout / AllClear by Connie Willis

The Name of the Wind / Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Martian (movie is good, but the book is a different experience) by Andy Weir

chuckb84
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by chuckb84 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:35 pm

Cryptonomicon is SO good. Not "scifi" exactly, but just extraordinarily good.

"Neal Stephenson was mentioned - The Diamond Age I can't recommend enough. It has held up well as predictive of our future and has a lot to say about the intersection of technology and culture and economic impact. "

Yep. If you follow nanotechnology, the book now reads more like a road map than fiction.

I also have to recommend "Snowcrash". Great fun read, because who can't love a main character named Hiro Protagonist?

And...Vernor Vinge. Oh my. "A Fire Upon the Deep" and "A Deepness in the Sky", of course, but his early, almost unknown novella, "True Names", written in 1980(!!) is still so far ahead of its time, about what the internet may evolve into. The writing is a bit rough, because it was so early in his career, but the ideas are mind blowing.

John Varley. The early stuff "The Persistence of Vision" is haunting, while the Gaea trilogy is still utterly stunning. The strength of this isn't the tech, but the characters. Cirocco Jones in the Gaea trilogy is one of the most compelling characters in scifi.

And Larry Niven, of course, but sadly, like Heinlein before him, it's the older stuff that is truly great. Protector, Ring World. His Known Space universe has become a playground for many authors through the Man Kzin Wars series and many of those are good, although a bit uneven.

In a completely different sub-genre, Roger Zelazny. He's most famous for the Amber series, which ultimately went on WAY too long (I gave up on it after the first 4 or 5 books, which were great), but check out "This Immortal" or "Lord of Light" for a very different take on what "scifi" is.

Nice thread....

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legio XX
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by legio XX » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:39 am

S&L1940 wrote:This has got to stop.
I am at an advanced age and already have tons of books bought through the years that I have yet to read (many are sci-fi, both novels and short stories). My book bucket also includes my fifth attempt to finish James Joyce's Ulysses. From this thread I have added enough to keep me reading for another 30 years and I fear my assets (much less my body) will not hold out that long...

Where is the moderator when a topic thread really needs to be locked?
+1 - except the part about locking the thread - don't you dare!! (Please . . . )

Just bookmarked this thread for future ref. There goes any chance of catching up on stuff over Spring Break.
Ulysses is worth the effort, btw.

Vic

protagonist
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by protagonist » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:04 am

Sandi_k wrote:
protagonist wrote:
I have been following him for a long time as well, Sandi. I read all of his books, though I think The Long Run is, by far, the best. Interesting to find another fan since his stuff is pretty obscure. I don't know why it has never been picked up for a movie. It's a film begging to be made IMHO.
You can ask him - he's active on Facebook.

I figure he'd have issues getting the rights to use Bugs Bunny. ;)
I have asked him. We have been facebook friends for quite awhile.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Sandi_k » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:42 pm

protagonist wrote: I have asked him. We have been facebook friends for quite awhile.
Me too. :D

protagonist
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by protagonist » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:39 pm

Sandi_k wrote:
protagonist wrote: I have asked him. We have been facebook friends for quite awhile.
Me too. :D
I respond to his political rants from time to time. My facebook name is Michael Curri (in case you notice my posts there). It used to be Hiro Protagonist, but I got kicked off. Like a phoenix I rose from the ashes with a new pseudonym.

trystero
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by trystero » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:52 pm

Thanks so much for this thread - added many many samples to my kindle for future reference based on the recs here. As a new member I'm thankful the thread was resurrected.

Just wanted to take a moment to recommend Christopher Priest, an author that's new to me this year and I've been ripping through his books. They're truly fantastic. He often uses unreliable narrators to make the reader question the reality of what they're reading. It's often unclear which "reality" presented is the real one and much of the brilliance (and fun of reading) in his novels is noticing the shifts between these various realities. I know it's a cop out, but I don't want to say too much about the novels because there's been so much pleasure in allowing myself to be disorientated by his writing that even a short synopsis would harm. Over the last year or so I've read and thoroughly enjoyed:

A Dream of Wessex (1977)
The Affirmation (1981)
The Prestige (1995) (Basis for the Christopher Nolan movie)
The Inverted World (1974)
The Adjacent (2013)

I also read The Space Machine (1976) which I separate out because it's an extended homage to HG Wells' The Time Machine and whilst fun to read was not nearly in the same class as the others.

His other books are on my list - and best of all, he's not dead yet so he may write more!

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Dutch
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Dutch » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:21 pm

chuckb84 wrote:In a completely different sub-genre, Roger Zelazny. He's most famous for the Amber series, which ultimately went on WAY too long (I gave up on it after the first 4 or 5 books, which were great), but check out "This Immortal" or "Lord of Light" for a very different take on what "scifi" is.
+1 Zelazny is/was one of my favorite writers. "This immortal" is a great introduction to his writing. After you read it, you will want to get your hands on the rest of his novels and short stories.

He won the Nebula Award 3 times, and the Hugo 5 times. Unfortunately he was not a prolific writer and he died too early.

jordank
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by jordank » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:02 pm

+1 for Peter F. Hamilton. Start with "Fallen Dragon", before you get into the big sagas...

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Koogie
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Koogie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:19 pm

BrandonBogle wrote:I very much enjoyed "The Rook" by Dan O'Malley (http://www.rookfiles.com). It's Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Mystery all rolled into one. Couldn't put it down. Full disclosure: I know the author personally, which is how I was introduced to the book.
I just finished two weeks vacation and The Rook was one of the books I read. Quite enjoyed it and have already got the next one "Stilleto" on hold at the library.

Also read "The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction" anthology. A few good short stories in the mix.

Also plowed through "A Game of Thrones" All 800 pages. I told my DW that should count as 3 or 4 books.. :D GRRM does go on a bit but it was fun seeing the divergences from the TV version of events. Realize this is more fantasy than SF.

mhalley
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by mhalley » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:30 pm

It was interesting how the game of thrones HBO show reignited my interest in the books. I read the first book, and liked it but not really enough to complete the series. After watching the first season, I reread the book and read the rest of the series. Movies are so often worse than the book, leaving you disappointed. Nice to have a show complement the book and fan your interest.

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telemark
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by telemark » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:49 pm

Dutch wrote:
chuckb84 wrote:In a completely different sub-genre, Roger Zelazny. He's most famous for the Amber series, which ultimately went on WAY too long (I gave up on it after the first 4 or 5 books, which were great), but check out "This Immortal" or "Lord of Light" for a very different take on what "scifi" is.
+1 Zelazny is/was one of my favorite writers. "This immortal" is a great introduction to his writing. After you read it, you will want to get your hands on the rest of his novels and short stories.

He won the Nebula Award 3 times, and the Hugo 5 times. Unfortunately he was not a prolific writer and he died too early.
I've just been reading a collection of new stories set on Old Mars, and most of them are okay (and the Waldrop is a lot better than okay), but none of them are a patch on A Rose For Ecclesiastes.

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Koogie
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Koogie » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:23 pm

I finished "Saturn Run" by John Sandford. It came highly recommended as "hard" sci-fi but was really more like a poor mans version of The Martian.

It is set only 50 years in the future and a lot of effort went into accuracy in engineering, orbital mechanics, etc.. and that does show.
However, it is let down by poor pacing, laughable characters and a nearly boring climax.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:58 am

telemark wrote:I've just been reading a collection of new stories set on Old Mars, and most of them are okay (and the Waldrop is a lot better than okay), but none of them are a patch on A Rose For Ecclesiastes.
I'm guessing that's the anthology edited by Martin and Dozois. They had another anthology called "Old Venus" along similar lines.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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telemark
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by telemark » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:55 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
telemark wrote:I've just been reading a collection of new stories set on Old Mars, and most of them are okay (and the Waldrop is a lot better than okay), but none of them are a patch on A Rose For Ecclesiastes.
I'm guessing that's the anthology edited by Martin and Dozois.
That's the one. Not bad but not as good as I wish it had been. Many of the stories could have been improved simply by trimming them back by ten or twenty percent. But thick books are popular now, and this is a thick book.
They had another anthology called "Old Venus" along similar lines.
Zelazny wrote one of those too, The Doors of His Face and the Lamps of His Mouth.

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Koogie
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Koogie » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:20 pm

gerrym51 wrote:Harry Dresden novels. I started number 1 2 months ago and know have completed all 15.
Harry dresden/detective/practicing wizzard.
The Dresden Files
Just finished the first Dresden Files novel, Storm Front, by Jim Butcher.
Pretty decent. Sort of a mix of crime noir and supernatural fantasy. A bit fluffy but entertaining. I'll probably do another one.

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Cloudy
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Cloudy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:50 pm

Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun is my favorite story. I've read it multiple times and always find new things to appreciate.

China Mieville's Perdido Street Station and The Scar are fantastic as well.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:45 am

Bruce wrote:Just finished reading and enjoyed, The Privateer Tales (an 11 Book Series to date) by Jamie McFarlane.

Rookie Privateer (Privateer Tales Book 1) is a free download at the Kindle store.

I enjoyed the book and quickly moved on to another and another in the set.

The story line in the early books compares very favorably to "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" or "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" or similar Heinlein books, though these have a bit more humor in the story.

From Book 1: "When you are old enough to finally become an Earth Mars citizen, everything should be perfect. Right? Not for Liam Hoffen. He's stuck on a mining asteroid called Colony 40, helping his father work a claim that is never going to pay out. His best friend, Nick James is set for life in James' Rental business and Liam just discovered that the girl he's known forever thinks he's pretty great and now she's leaving for the Mars Naval Academy"

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MT ... rw_dp_labf
Although the first book is free, I downloaded the whole series using your link. The intro was good enough that I knew I'd be reading them all. I had a $1 promotional credit from Christmas burning a hole in my virtual pocket, so I might as well use it.

I'm more than 50% through Rookie Privateer and can't put it down.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by TTBG » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:32 pm

downshiftme wrote: Blackout / AllClear by Connie Willis
My favorite Connie Willis book is Doomsday Book, which Amazon describes as "an intelligent and satisfying blend of classic science fiction and historical reconstruction." I also had fun reading To Say Nothing of the Dog, which is more a blend of time travel and romantic comedy. But I was disappointed by Blackout & AllClear -- maybe I just had had enough of time travel, or of Willis' writing style, but I didn't find either to be nearly as compelling as Doomsday Book.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:45 pm

Recently read Revenger by Alastair Reynolds. It's a new background for him, sort of a space opera/pirate tale.

It's set in a system where sometime in its distant past, the old planet (ours? doesn't say) was blown into a million chunks. Many of those have artificial gravity generators and have been converted to inhabited wordlets. There have been many rises and falls of civilizations, called Occupations, dating back millions of years. Many of those reached heights that the current inhabitants can only dream of, or try to find. Among the wordlets are some that serve as caches for old technology, commonly called "baubles". Usually these are blocked off with energy shields, but periodically open to allow adventurers to land and attempt to find artifacts.

The main form of transport in the system are lightsail ships. Some are special crews to exploit the baubles. Most ships contain a particular type of ancient technology, what appears to be an alien skull that serves as a telepathic conduit for instant communication. "Reading the bones" is requires special aptitude, and is only possible with younger people.

Adrana Ness wants to break away from her controlling father. She has the aptitude, and she escapes to join a crew, bringing her also talented younger sister Arafura along. The ship's captain tells then about his past encounter with notorious pirate Bosa Sennon, who raids ships for artifacts and crew as she desires, including Captain Rackamore's daughter Illyria. With that, it's not too surprising that they soon run into Bosa again. Bad things happen, Adrana is taken, and Arfura left alone(ish) in a dying ship.

The rest of the tale is the transition of bookish, high society Arafura, into the hardened Fura, and her quest to rescue her sister and mete justice to Bosa. No matter who gets hurt along the way. Plus some hints of a conspiracy and the true nature and motivations of Bosa Sennon.
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Koogie
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Koogie » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:27 am

"The Collapsing Empire" by John Scalzi.

I have enjoyed Scalzis earlier work (Old Mans War, Red Shirts) and I enjoyed this one a lot. He writes dialogue well (including adult situations and profanity) and does great world building without being to expository and is decent at character development (not to many unrealistic characters).

That being said, the ending was disappointing and rushed. Feels as if as he was setting it up for a sequel. You can't help feeling that he did a great job for 90% of the novel though and then was told to just wrap it up neatly in a bow inside two chapters. Most unsatisfying.

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legio XX
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by legio XX » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:01 pm

Just finished Martha Wells' novella All Systems Red. Just cracked up as the humans try to get a Murderbot to talk about its feelings. Wells' Raksura books are also well worth the read.

BTW, liked Old Man's War. Reminded me of Heinlein's Starship Trooper where the recruits were laughing as some old fart, at least 35, was carried off the field vowing to be back the next day. Obviously written well before the days of 80+ marathoners . . .

Vic

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:18 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Bruce wrote:Just finished reading and enjoyed, The Privateer Tales (an 11 Book Series to date) by Jamie McFarlane.

Rookie Privateer (Privateer Tales Book 1) is a free download at the Kindle store.

I enjoyed the book and quickly moved on to another and another in the set.

The story line in the early books compares very favorably to "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" or "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" or similar Heinlein books, though these have a bit more humor in the story.

From Book 1: "When you are old enough to finally become an Earth Mars citizen, everything should be perfect. Right? Not for Liam Hoffen. He's stuck on a mining asteroid called Colony 40, helping his father work a claim that is never going to pay out. His best friend, Nick James is set for life in James' Rental business and Liam just discovered that the girl he's known forever thinks he's pretty great and now she's leaving for the Mars Naval Academy"

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MT ... rw_dp_labf
Although the first book is free, I downloaded the whole series using your link. The intro was good enough that I knew I'd be reading them all. I had a $1 promotional credit from Christmas burning a hole in my virtual pocket, so I might as well use it.

I'm more than 50% through Rookie Privateer and can't put it down.
I'm in the middle of the last book (#11 - Blockade Runner) and still want to keep reading.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by lightheir » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:03 pm

Kind of an aside, but I just finished China Mievelle's book "October."

If you've heard of China mievelle, he's known as a highly experimental sci-fi writer, and his scifi stuff is weird but very interesting.

In "October", though, he detours completely and gives a shot at nonfiction, writing about the Russian Revolution of 1917, and not in novelistic format. (There are a lot of web interviews inquiring as to why he wanted to do this -he's a good speaker on youtube as well.)

It's completely different stylistically from his scifi, and if you're expecting more scifi or similar from him in this book, stay away, as you can barely recognize the author as being the same.

That said, I've found that I've enjoyed committing to heavier-reading type books that actually require a re-read, and this one fit the bill given my prior literally 100% ignorance of anything about the Russian Revolution. My first read was quite chaotic given the countless characters that make appearances, but the 2nd time around (and after Wikipedia summaries), I'm greatly enjoying it, and I'm glad I took a risk on the author to try something different.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Gadget » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:58 am

Koogie wrote:
gerrym51 wrote:Harry Dresden novels. I started number 1 2 months ago and know have completed all 15.
Harry dresden/detective/practicing wizzard.
The Dresden Files
Just finished the first Dresden Files novel, Storm Front, by Jim Butcher.
Pretty decent. Sort of a mix of crime noir and supernatural fantasy. A bit fluffy but entertaining. I'll probably do another one.
The first 3 or 4 books of the dresden files start off slow compared to the rest. He sort of becomes a much better author after the first few. The series gets pretty addictive after that. So if you liked the first, it only gets better.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by asdf1 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:45 am

legio XX wrote:Just finished Martha Wells' novella All Systems Red. Just cracked up as the humans try to get a Murderbot to talk about its feelings. Wells' Raksura books are also well worth the read.

BTW, liked Old Man's War. Reminded me of Heinlein's Starship Trooper where the recruits were laughing as some old fart, at least 35, was carried off the field vowing to be back the next day. Obviously written well before the days of 80+ marathoners . . .

Vic

The entire book series of Old Man's War is excellent!

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Koogie
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Koogie » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:38 pm

Koogie wrote:
BrandonBogle wrote:I very much enjoyed "The Rook" by Dan O'Malley (http://www.rookfiles.com). It's Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Mystery all rolled into one. Couldn't put it down. Full disclosure: I know the author personally, which is how I was introduced to the book.
I just finished two weeks vacation and The Rook was one of the books I read. Quite enjoyed it and have already got the next one "Stilleto" on hold at the library.
Finally got around to reading "Stiletto" Took another vacation to get around to it, lol. Picks up where the previous novel left off, with the British supernatural secret service trying to merge with their Belgian counterparts. It is mostly told from the point of view of one of the Belgian "Grafters" but with a lot of the same characters and issues from the first book.

Overall, quite decent. Not awarding winning like the first one but good enough. He is supposedly at work on another so it will be consumed in due course.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by chuckb84 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:09 pm

Hmm. "Modern" science fiction is always open to some interpretation. I think good SF can be modern regardless of when it was written, so:

True Names by Vernor Vinge.
Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward

The second one is --hard-- SF and, frankly, the writing and the characterizations are not the best. But, oh the SCIENCE.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Dantes » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:21 pm

Cloudy wrote:Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun is my favorite story. I've read it multiple times and always find new things to appreciate.
Got to agree with you. I read it when it was relatively new , and have reread every few years since - given that that makes it about 35 years, 8 times seems conservative.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:59 pm

I've really enjoyed the Liaden universe books written by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Agent of Change was the first one I read and now there are twenty some odd books in the universe. Space opera, and thoroughly enjoyable. Saltation is another good starting point that leads into another half dozen novels in the universe.

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Koogie
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Koogie » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:23 pm

Just back from a vacation and read "The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth" an anthology of short stories set in the Emberverse milieu created by S.M. Stirling.

While a fan of Stirling, I was never much into the Emberverse as I thought the founding event (death of energy dense technology) was just to nonsensical. I also didn't care for his writing in that setting as compared to other things he has written.

The anthology was good however, as other authors did a better job with his fictional universe than he tends to (his short story was one of the few I didn't like). It also helped that the other authors expanded the story of what became of the survivors far beyond the Pacific NW, which in my view has been one of the series largest failings so far.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Bacchus01 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:16 pm

Ged wrote:
Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:58 pm
Left Hand of Darkness Ursula LeGuin
Snowcrash Neal Stephenson
Neuromancer William Gibson
Ringworld Larry Niven
The Forever War Joe Haldeman
Startide Rising David Brin

Edit: added authors
I thought OP said modern. Some of these are 40 years old. Any modern stuff, like the last 5 years?

alex_686
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by alex_686 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:26 pm

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.

It is modern and a very good read. The trilogy has just been finished so you don't have to wait years waiting for the next book. Try to read it blind - that is don't read up on what the book is about. I read it blind and felt it was one of the better books that I had read that year.

mrb09
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by mrb09 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:38 pm

+1 for anything written by Scalzi, and +1 for Ancillary series, that was some of the best "made you think" SF I had read in a while.

Hadn't seen it mentioned, but I really like Nathan Lowell's "Solar Clipper" series. No epic space battles, just folks making their living in space. Written by an ex-merchant marine, you really get the feel of moving between space stations like ships between ports.

For Urban Fantasy: Seanan McGuire's October Daye, Max Gladstone Craft Series, Peter Cline's Ex-Heroes.

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