Good Modern Science Fiction

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getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:30 am

LadyGeek wrote:
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.
The final books in the series aren't quite as good, but Fall is amazing.

I'll suggest The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Fantastic world-building, and a distinctive style from many other writers.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:43 am

^^^ Thanks, I'll keep an eye on it. Currently, I'm on Book 15 in the Privateer Tales series by Jamie McFarlane. The series is getting a bit complacent, but it's keeping my interest. I ended up purchasing Books 12 - 17 and will finish out the series.
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rj342
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by rj342 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:01 pm

getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:30 am
LadyGeek wrote:
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.
The final books in the series aren't quite as good, but Fall is amazing.

I'll suggest The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Fantastic world-building, and a distinctive style from many other writers.
For some reason I never got around to reading Hyperion when it came out (in the late 80s?), although I was all over Bear, Benford, Brin, Card.
Other day it was on sale for Kindle for $1.99 so I grabbed it. Regarding 3rd and 4th books falling off in quality, is there a reasonable stopping point short of finishing all?

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:52 pm

rj342 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:01 pm
getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:30 am
LadyGeek wrote:
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.
The final books in the series aren't quite as good, but Fall is amazing.

I'll suggest The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Fantastic world-building, and a distinctive style from many other writers.
For some reason I never got around to reading Hyperion when it came out (in the late 80s?), although I was all over Bear, Benford, Brin, Card.
Other day it was on sale for Kindle for $1.99 so I grabbed it. Regarding 3rd and 4th books falling off in quality, is there a reasonable stopping point short of finishing all?
The first and second make a complete unit. The third and fourth do, too, and they're not bad, but they are weaker in the manner of many sequels. The series is essentially two duologies (?) in the same universe. The first book is still one of my favorite sci-fi books (I don't know when it came out by I read it in the late 90s in college.)

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Kagord » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:54 pm

Mentioned before, fantasy, but if you like sci-fi, you'll probably like like these, 1st one is awesome:

Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (like RR Martin, may never finish the darn series, but hey, Brandon can always finish it as a backup)
Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson (more of a fun read, and you can watch his BYU lectures on Youtube)

I've read most of Simmons.

rj342
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by rj342 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:42 pm

getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:52 pm
rj342 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:01 pm
getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:30 am
LadyGeek wrote:
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.
The final books in the series aren't quite as good, but Fall is amazing.

I'll suggest The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Fantastic world-building, and a distinctive style from many other writers.
For some reason I never got around to reading Hyperion when it came out (in the late 80s?), although I was all over Bear, Benford, Brin, Card.
Other day it was on sale for Kindle for $1.99 so I grabbed it. Regarding 3rd and 4th books falling off in quality, is there a reasonable stopping point short of finishing all?
The first and second make a complete unit. The third and fourth do, too, and they're not bad, but they are weaker in the manner of many sequels. The series is essentially two duologies (?) in the same universe. The first book is still one of my favorite sci-fi books (I don't know when it came out by I read it in the late 90s in college.)
Thanks, good to know that #2 is a good stopping point.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by alex_686 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:52 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:55 pm
I'm reading this now and am about 70% through. While I would agree the writing is excellent, I don't think I will continue in this path.

The story is categorized as "adventure romance" and "speculative fiction", which is not for me. I was more interested in the dystopian setting than the character development. Worth a try, though.
I would try the other 2. They are pretty different then the first. Different characters, different perspective. I would argue that this is her first SF work, not Handmaiden's tale. Unless you count the Blind Assassins tale within a tale.

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tooluser
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by tooluser » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:25 pm

Cloudy wrote:
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.
It's fascinating. I'm halfway through the second volume of four, and I'm still not quite sure what's going on.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by tooluser » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:28 pm

rj342 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:01 pm
getthatmarshmallow wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:30 am
LadyGeek wrote:
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.
The final books in the series aren't quite as good, but Fall is amazing.

I'll suggest The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Fantastic world-building, and a distinctive style from many other writers.
For some reason I never got around to reading Hyperion when it came out (in the late 80s?), although I was all over Bear, Benford, Brin, Card.
Other day it was on sale for Kindle for $1.99 so I grabbed it. Regarding 3rd and 4th books falling off in quality, is there a reasonable stopping point short of finishing all?
You could stop after the second volume, but all four are worth your time. The story is focused differently in volumes 3 and 4, but still entertaining and informative.

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FreeAtLast
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by FreeAtLast » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:44 pm

"The Long Sunset - An Academy Novel", by Jack McDevitt (Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster, Inc. 2018)

On the front cover of this paperback edition, a partial quote from Stephen King is highlighted, referring to McDevitt, "The logical heir to Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke...." Look, I am sorry, but not even close! McDevitt has written a goodly number of entertaining sci-fi novels, but he does not fall into the pantheon of Asimov and Clarke and Heinlein and Bester and (Poul) Anderson and Pohl, etc. Not yet, anyways. One man's humble opinion; you may beg to differ.

I liked "Sunset" for these 3 reasons:

1) The first part of the book relates a intriguing interstellar mystery that will keep you guessing until the reveal.
2) McDevitt portrays a future Earth arguing vociferously over what I call "The Hawking Warning", that is, should our civilization search out other possible lifeforms in our galaxy? Or should we hide from these potential thems because they may be much more scientifically advanced than us and hostile to us at the same time?
3) What if we discover an alien civilization that is slightly behind our level of sophistication, but friendly and also involved in an existential crisis? Are we morally obligated to come to their aid?

Hey, for $8.99 at Barnes and Noble, you can't go wrong! :D
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Dude2
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Dude2 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:55 pm

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers. Series continues.

The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story by Stephen R. Donaldson . Series continues.

Neuromancer by William Gibson. Series continues.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Series continues.

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville. Series continues. (Delving into fantasy now, i.e. the "new weird".)

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by protagonist » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:57 pm

FreeAtLast wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:44 pm

2) McDevitt portrays a future Earth arguing vociferously over what I call "The Hawking Warning", that is, should our civilization search out other possible lifeforms in our galaxy? Or should we hide from these potential thems because they may be much more scientifically advanced than us and hostile to us at the same time?
With deference to Hawking, who was WAY smarter than I am, and as much as I loved Star Trek and all those old 50s movies, I don't think we have to worry much about that.
If we find extraterrestrial life I think the chance of us finding life that is more technologically advanced than us is quite low.
After all, WE are the ones with the technology sophisticated enough to travel to THEIR planet to find THEM, not the other way around. (If they HAVE found us, they are clearly smart enough to make sure we don't know it). If WE find THEM, they would much more likely be less technologically developed than us.
And given the way we treat other species on earth (or even other people) that we consider less sophisticated or "advanced" than we are, I think they would have a great deal to worry about being found.

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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by Artful Dodger » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:31 pm

Foundation by Isaac Asimov & Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov

I listened to Foundation via Audible then picked up Prelude on Kindle, and read while traveling.

This was probably the fourth time I had read the original Foundation, first as a teen, then rereading a few times later along with the other books in the original trilogy. The book is a collection of four stories written in the early 40s, early in his career, and published in Astounding, plus a intro chapter written later prior to the book being published in 1951. It is a great tale. Thousands of years in the future, the Galactic Empire is falling. Hari Seldon, the mathematician turned psychohistorian, establishes a project to to shorten the Fall so that civilization is able to recover in one thousand years vs ten thousand years of barbarism. While I always enjoyed the series, it's interesting reading it now after 50 years, with more experience reading a broad range of writers, and more outside of SF than within the genre. These were some of the earliest stories Asimov wrote. The characters, pretty much all male, advance the story through dialog. Not a lot of descriptive prose, very little to let you into the minds of the characters.

I was intrigued enough after my revisit to pick up his prequel, Prelude to Foundation. This was written in 1988, as his publisher was asking for more books to fill out the Foundation series. Hari Seldon is introduced as a young mathematician visiting the capital of the Galactic Empire to present an early paper on psychohistory. He is challenged by people within the Empire to prove his thesis and make it practical, and he visits different societies within the capital world. There are some surprises which I won't give away, but the book links to other stories in Asimov's "future history". There is a bit of social commentary in the book as well.

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FreeAtLast
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Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Post by FreeAtLast » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:04 pm

"Imagined Life", by James Trefil and Michael Summers (Smithsonian Books 2019)

This book is not a science fiction novel, but it belongs in this thread anyways. Trefil is a physics PhD who has been a prolific writer of popular science books for 40 years. Summers is a PhD in planetary science and astronomy who has worked on several projects for NASA. They have joined together to rationally discuss the possibility of life on other planets that science fiction writers have hypothesized about for a century. Their starting point is the wonderful first discovery of an exoplanet (51 Persei b) orbiting a main sequence star in 1995. The two astronomers that made the discovery just received the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics. At this time we are up to over 4000 more confirmed exoplanets in 25 years! Trefil/Summers have decided that it is time to scientifically discuss the types of exoplanets that could support life:

1) Ice Planets
2) Ice planets with subsurface oceans. We've got multiple examples of these in our own solar system with the moons of Jupiter and Saturn: Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, Enceladus. My greatest hope is that if I live another 30 years and remain reasonably cognizant, I will be blessed to hear of the confirmation of (at least) microscopic life on one of these worlds.
3) "Goldilocks" worlds, like the Earth: We exist is a Circumstellar Habitable Zone, or CHZ. The great lesson of this chapter is that a planet in a CHZ does not necessarily harbor life AND that a planet does not have to be in a CHZ to harbor life.
4) Water World
5) A "Halo" world: This is an exoplanet that is tidally locked in its revolution around its star, creating a "terminator zone". The authors detail absolutely extraordinary possibilities for life-potential environments in a planet of this type.
6) Rogue planets: Planets traveling through space, not in orbit around any star. What, no continuous bath of life-giving electromagnetic radiation, you object?! Read the chapter and you will be converted.
7) Super earths: large, rocky planets with a heavier gravity than Earth.

In the "Goldilocks" chapter, they also discuss their ideas about the Fermi Paradox. Near the end of the book, they kick around ideas concerning the possibility of non-carbon chemistry based life and even life based upon superconducting materials. "Imagined Life" is greatly stimulating and a huge amount of fun and probably should be read by every serious Sci-Fi fan. :D
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