Good Modern Science Fiction

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telemark
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by telemark » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:55 pm

KarenC wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:27 pm
Elric wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:05 pm
ABSOLUTELY second the recommendation for William Gibson's trilogy of Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive! They are fantastic.
FWIW, the SFWA just named William Gibson their 35th Damon Knight Grand Master:
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) is pleased to announce that William Gibson has been named the 35th Damon Knight Grand Master for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy. []
I remember when he was one of the new kids, now he's a Grand Master. Geez, I must be old. Anyway, congratulations.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:09 pm

Just read Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina. Obviously a Star Wars work, it features short stories of which the lead character in each is someone who appeared in the "cantina scene" of the first movie.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Sandi_k » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:17 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:09 pm
Just read Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina. Obviously a Star Wars work, it features short stories of which the lead character in each is someone who appeared in the "cantina scene" of the first movie.
Daniel Keys Moran wrote for that collection, IIRC. His works are FINALLY becoming more available, and he's got e-books now on Amazon. Highly recommended.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by protagonist » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:39 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:04 am

protagonist wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:10 pm
ps....I made up androcentric....don't know if it is a word.....
Apparently, it is. See: androcentric
Thanks for doing the legwork, LG.

By the way, I finished Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy as books on tape on a drive from MA to FL.
My final conclusion- I still really enjoyed Oryx and Crake- I thought it was excellent- though I thought the other two books were not of the same caliber. Engaging enough to finish (at least as a captive audience on a long drive), and with some great moments, but really just OK. I don't know if I would have finished them if I had to actually read them.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:56 pm

Finishing up Elysium Fire, by Alastair Reynolds. This is a direct sequel to The Prefect. This is a police procedural/thriller set in his Revelation Space universe.

This is during the Golden Age of human settlement in the galaxy. The planet Yellowstone has just one habitable location, Chasm City, but there are a thousand orbiting habitats. The people live in unprecedented luxury and security. They are Demarchists, meaning that there is little central government and most things are dealt with through direct democracy, people voting via brain implants.

Maintaining the integrity of voting is Panopoly and its police force, the Prefects. Reeling from the events of the previous book, which resulted in the loss of some habitats with their population, mistrust of the Prefects and Panopoly is at an all-time high. Some habitats are seceding. A rabble-rousing agitator, Julian Garlin, is promoting this idea. Then people start to die, their brains cooked from within by their implants.

The Prefects race to find out the cause of the Wildfire malfunction, and what if anything Julian Garlin has to do with it.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by forgeblast » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:02 am

Just started reading David Macks https://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Front-D ... +dark+arts
first book midnight front.
Its really well written. set in ww2 its magic users fighting each other on various sides. I am 4 chapters in but was hook after the first few pages.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:22 pm

Finished Shadow Captain, by Alastair Reynolds. This is a sequel to Revenger. This post will have spoilers for the first book, so bear that in mind. You can see the previous message for some information about the general background:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=146455&p=3327342#p3327342

After the events of the previous book, Arafura Ness has rescued her sister Adrana. The dread pirate Bosa Sennon and her crew are dead. Adrana had been slated to become the next in a line of Bosas, with the process of transformation already underway. Has it been stopped in time?

Before Bosa's end, she had revealed some of the motivations behind the pirate's actions. The "quoins" used all over the Congregation, and the involvement of the alien Crawlies are the key.

They have been left with the most infamous pirate ship in the Congregation, and a skeleton crew. Arafura has been immersing herself in Bosa's papers, and it's clear that the young "bonereader" is not only hardened by her experiences of the past book, but now has motivations that she is unwilling to share even with her sister.

Their immediate problems are what to do. The ship needs supplies, and it becomes evident that they're being stalked. They disguise the ship as best they can and head for an outer reaches habitat called Wheel Strizzardy. Although nominally the choice of the crew, Adrana is sure that Fura manipulated the selection for her own purposes.

Wheel Strizzardy is a rundown habitat under the heel of a criminal organization. On the way, they must fight off the stalkers. They find out that the business interests of the Congregation have decided to end the Bosa situation for good, starting with bounties. It's clear that turning themselves in and declaring Bosa dead won't work. So they have to get free of Strizzardy and "Mr. Glimmery".

A succession of adventures follows, a few more bits of information about the secrets of the Congregation, the Crawlies, and the quoins are revealed.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:47 pm

Neuromancer, by William Gibson. I've read this book several years ago in paperback.

Several years ago, my husband and I gave our ~1,000 book sci-fi paperback collection to a good friend's son. I'm now "recollecting" those books on my Kindle.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by forgeblast » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:32 am

LadyGeek wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:47 pm
Neuromancer, by William Gibson. I've read this book several years ago in paperback.

Several years ago, my husband and I gave our ~1,000 book sci-fi paperback collection to a good friend's son. I'm now "recollecting" those books on my Kindle.
That is a great one! I really love his world that he creates. I had a bunch of the Shadowrun books books set in the cyberpunk arena.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:07 pm

Continuing on to the next book in the series - Count Zero, by William Gibson.

I'll finish the trilogy, then go to Pattern Recognition and complete what I've read before. Unless something else catches my eyes first.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by jibantik » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:50 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:06 pm
DigitalJanitor wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:27 pm
Tim Powers, 'The Anubis Gates", a time travel / historical fiction / fantasy novel with compelling characters, great plot, and a twist. Also good are "Dinner at Deviant's Palace", "Last Call", and "The Drawing of the Dark".

One that I keep coming back to is "The Killing Star" by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski, a pretty good hard-science end-of-the-world story.

A good alternate history novel is "The Alteration", by Kingsley Amis, which takes place in 1976 and posits what Europe would be like had the Protestant Reformation never occurred.

Greg Bear, "Blood Music". This was a short story first, later a novel. The short story is the better of the two. Chilling.

Ken Grimwood, "Replay". A man gets to live his life over and over again.

Michael Crichton, "Timeline". Time travel and historical fiction with some hard science, good characters, and swords.

I also wanted to add a vote for Niven and Pournelle's "The Mote in God's Eye", which is one of my favorites of all time.
Replay is my all time favorite fiction book. I read it 2-3x per year.

Since you mentioned it, I assume the other titles you mentioned are worth a look.

Which one (or three) should I start with? Thank you.

"The Killing Star" seems like it'll be hard to find.
I read Replay and Dark Matter from the recommendations here and really enjoyed both.

I'd appreciate any other recommendations that are like those books. Dan, how is Anubis Gates? Do you have any other books that you like that are like Replay or Dark Matter?

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by SpideyIndexer » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:11 pm

Too many great recommendations to +1!!!

A couple I haven't seen yet:

Nicky Drayden's THE PREY OF GODS. Fascinating pastiche of a battle of two goddesses and personal robots becoming self-aware, set in future South Africa.

Eli K. P. William's CASH CRASH JUBILEE. Frightening take on the privitization of everything. Book one of a trilogy. Book two, THE NAKED WORLD has been published but I haven't yet read it.

I was surprised that Heinlein's STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND got so many knocks. Maybe it is too un-Bogleheadish? I'd say it is much better than TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, I WILL FEAR NO EVIL etc. Though FRIDAY was more like his older stuff. Probably THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS is his best world IMO.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by lightheir » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:30 pm

Stranger in a strange land was one of the worst sci-fi books I've ever read.

I will def admit that I am younger than his era and thus the tropes of the day used on that book seem totally dated and ridiculous to me, likely because I don't relate to that era.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by bhsince87 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:42 pm

I'm loving this new book!

Today I am Carey

https://www.amazon.com/Today-Am-Carey-M ... 1-fkmrnull
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by robphoto » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:21 am

If you want to be exposed to SciFi and fantasy authors or works you might not otherwise find, you might want to check out Levar Burton's podcast:

http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com

He reads things you might not have heard by well-known authors as well as excellent work by authors with whom you might not be familiar.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:47 am

Just finished book 6 of the Expanse series. Read it on one flight to China.

I’m hooked obviously, but I concerned they can’t get to the SF part. This book was more about politics and war, and little about the SF of the series to date.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by legio XX » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:19 am

lightheir wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:30 pm
Stranger in a strange land was one of the worst sci-fi books I've ever read.

I will def admit that I am younger than his era and thus the tropes of the day used on that book seem totally dated and ridiculous to me, likely because I don't relate to that era.
I think the problem with Stranger is that Heinlein was not of "that era," assuming you mean the 60s. He was in his mid-50s when Stranger was published, so carrying forward a lot of much older material. I remember being reminded of Huxley's Savage in Brave New World. Not sure when I first read Stranger, but not when it was first published in '61 - and it's surprising how early that book was - but I didn't care for it then, and I doubt it would read better today.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by forgeblast » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:13 am

Half way through the Passage, by justin cronin The funny thing is that it must have been a free sci fi kindle book I remember reading a bit of it.
Its also a show on FOX right now so it will be interesting to see where they take it.
Overall a good book.

Update: finished the passage trilogy. The 3rd book is my favorite. The ending does not disappoint!!!!
Last edited by forgeblast on Fri May 31, 2019 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by msmorr » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:16 am

The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver, is a must-read for finance/economics nerds

https://www.amazon.com/Mandibles-Family ... 006232828X

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by alphabeta01 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:19 am

I have a tweenager, who is very interested in Science fiction. Is there a way to know which of these books are appropriate for that age level?

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by forgeblast » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:19 pm

alphabeta01 wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:19 am
I have a tweenager, who is very interested in Science fiction. Is there a way to know which of these books are appropriate for that age level?
https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/tween

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by WildBill » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:21 pm

lightheir wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:30 pm
Stranger in a strange land was one of the worst sci-fi books I've ever read.

I will def admit that I am younger than his era and thus the tropes of the day used on that book seem totally dated and ridiculous to me, likely because I don't relate to that era.
Howdy

There are plenty of novels that are worse, but Stranger in a Strange Land is definitely uneven, tending towards being tedious and didactic. Unfortunate, as the premise of a human raised by aliens is a superb set up for a novel,and Heinlein had the ability to explore it

I think that the problem was that Heinlein had been successful enough to escape from his editors. He had an unfortunate tendency toward being didactic, which ruined all of his later books. Where he had strong editorial oversight, such as in his “Juvenile” series, he produced superb books.

One mans opinion

W B
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:25 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:07 pm
Continuing on to the next book in the series - Count Zero, by William Gibson.

I'll finish the trilogy, then go to Pattern Recognition and complete what I've read before. Unless something else catches my eyes first.
I finished the trilogy with Mona Lisa Overdrive. Looking for a change of pace, I found something that caught my eyes.

Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons. This is yet another series and author that I've never read before. The intro looked interesting, so I purchased the 4 book bundle for my Kindle. I'm only a few pages in and don't know what's going on yet, but I like the writing style and can start to see the complexity of what's about to happen.

Purchasing note: If you want the entire series, don't get the 4 book series at $31.96 - which is shown in your Kindle. Instead, go online and get the The Hyperion Cantos 4-Book Bundle for $24.99. Then, download it to your Kindle.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:44 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:25 pm
Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons. This is yet another series and author that I've never read before. The intro looked interesting, so I purchased the 4 book bundle for my Kindle. I'm only a few pages in and don't know what's going on yet, but I like the writing style and can start to see the complexity of what's about to happen.
As you've probably noticed, the first book is in the style of "The Canterbury Tales".

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by forgeblast » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:35 am

I am on the second book out of three of The Passage series. (its also a tv show on fox). I enjoy it so far, the characters are well written.

Also working on the Darkest minds book series, its more of a teen book but it held my attention.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:04 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:44 pm
LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:25 pm
Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons. This is yet another series and author that I've never read before. The intro looked interesting, so I purchased the 4 book bundle for my Kindle. I'm only a few pages in and don't know what's going on yet, but I like the writing style and can start to see the complexity of what's about to happen.
As you've probably noticed, the first book is in the style of "The Canterbury Tales".
Make that two authors that I've never read before. :) I've read quite a number of the "classics" in high school, but missed Chaucer.

I did read a quick overview and I do see the similarities.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by book lover » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:50 pm

Any book by Jack Chalker, he is the master of complexity.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by scottyja » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:56 pm

I've seen some China Mieville recommendations in this thread. I just finished Embassytown by Mieville and really enjoyed it. I'm starting Perdido Street Station now.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Thu May 30, 2019 7:39 pm

The Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. Book #2 of the "Hyperion Cantos" series picks up where the first book left off. I'm still enjoying the writing style; the plot holds my interest. Things are taking shape and I have no idea what's going to happen next.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by forgeblast » Fri May 31, 2019 6:13 am

https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Dodge-Hell- ... 006245871X

Fall by Neil Stephenson will be out June 4th!!!!

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by shawndoggy » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:47 pm

I read The Last by Hanah Jameson recently. Highly recommended in the near-post apocolypto category.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Wemick » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:51 pm

If you like space opera, you might try John C. Wright's "Count to the Eschaton Sequence" beginning with the first volume, Count to a Million.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Hubris » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:36 pm

If you like dystopia, Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller.

Also anything and everything by William Gibson, Neal Stephenson and Bruce Sterling.

Recently started reading the catalog of Blake Crouch after reading Dark Matter.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by heartwood » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:49 am

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. It won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards for best novel back in the '90s. Essentially a story set in a future Britain with time travel and in medieval Britain in plague times.
Well crafted, but overwritten in parts, especially early on over language communications. I almost stopped reading at one point but am glad I kept at it.
She has you positing on the horrors of the Black Death, but also the risk of a pandemic today. Just a hundred years ago 50 -100 million died of flu. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Koogie » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:58 pm

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley.

"From the Hugo Award­­–winning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars."
https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/ ... ht-brigade


This one was not Hugo worthy. If you have seen the movie "Edge of Tomorrow" with Tom Cruise this book is a very similar riff on sci-fi military time travel (not aliens). It still had it's moments though. The protagonist was well written as were some of the secondary characters. The ending... well it kind of petered off into nothing.

Lukewarm recommendation.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:46 pm

Endymion, by Dan Simmons. Book #3 of the "Hyperion Cantos" series. This book picks up many years later after The Fall of Hyperion. It's still keeping my interest and want to keep going. I like it.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:02 pm

The Rise of Endymion, by Dan Simmons. Book #4 of the "Hyperion Cantos" series. This finale continues where Book #3 left off. It's somewhat interesting, but seems to be long and drawn-out.

You get a sense that the author knows this is the last book and is rushing to close this story out. I'm most of the way through it and will continue. meh.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:20 pm

forgeblast wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 6:13 am
https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Dodge-Hell- ... 006245871X

Fall by Neil Stephenson will be out June 4th!!!!
It's out and got a ton of bad reviews. I'd skip it.
bhsince87 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:42 pm
I'm loving this new book!

Today I am Carey

https://www.amazon.com/Today-Am-Carey-M ... 1-fkmrnull
Thanks! I just downloaded it. The writing style and plot are intriguing, very different than what I'm used to reading. I'm hooked.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Artful Dodger » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:14 pm

I just picked up Children of Time by Adrian Tschaikovsky on an Audible sale. Reviews looked good. Have only begun listening.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by HockeyFan99 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:29 pm

I recently read Quantum Space by Douglas Phillips and thought it was pretty good, and definitely fast. It didn’t make me want to dive immediately into the sequel, but good airplane fodder. Somebody described it to me as Da Vinci Code meets The Martian, which seemed fair.

I also really enjoyed Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill, but read that pre-baby and most specific memories are now lost to sleep deprivation.

Going to give Today I Am Carey a read soon - reviews look very strong, thank you for the recommendation.
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by TSR » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:24 pm

I didn't see anyone post this upthread, but my book club just read Exhalation by Ted Chiang, and that was universally loved. Extremely thought-provoking, beautiful, and oddly optimistic.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:32 pm

HockeyFan99 wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:29 pm
Going to give Today I Am Carey a read soon - reviews look very strong, thank you for the recommendation.
One of the "complaints" is that the book was too short. I was thoroughly engrossed and couldn't put it down. "Heartwarming" would be a good description.

I'm on my next book, Corsair Menace (Privateer Tales Book 12) , by Jamie McFarlane. I've previously read books 1 - 11 and will pick up from where I left off. So far, the series goes to book 17.

All of the Privateer Tales Kindle books are priced at $3.99, which sort of makes up for the $8.99 (+ tax) I paid for "Today I Am Carey".
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