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Thread: Recommendations for sci-fi novels

  1. #51
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    Probably long overdue, but I got a collection of short stories by Philip K Dick from the library. If I like that I'll probably try some of his novels.

    I already knew quite a bit of his work has been adapted to the big screen (Bladerunner, Total Recall, Paycheck, Minority Report, Adjustment Bureau, A Scanner Darkly, Imposter), but there's probably more than that. A few pages into the story "Second Variety" I thought it reminded me of the movie "Screamers." Googled it, confirmed it. Will be interesting to see how many more of the stories remind me of movies.

  2. #52
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    Not really loving PKD. Interesting ideas, prose isn't very good in my opinion. The shorts come off more as outlines than fleshed out stories. No character development at all either.

    While I'm struggling a bit thru that I also just started Orwell's "Animal Farm." Now that's an engaging book. Language feels crisp and alive, not dated at all. I didn't even realize it when I got it from the library but it also includes "1984."

  3. #53
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    Here's a new Sci-Fi available from Amazon! It's a first book, and a good read (yes, I did get a preview).

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MXNVZ7X...9732357&sr=1-1

    The kicker? It's by a GU board member, if you didn't get your own private invitation...and no, I won't 'out' him!
    At least someone, somewhere, is laughing.

  4. #54
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    Hadn't picked up anything by John Scalzi for quite a while, now reading "The Android's Dream." Entertaining so far. I think it's a stand alone novel but it feels similar to some of the Old Man's War series. Lots of alien/human political intrigue weirdness. And the title is absolutely a nod to Philip K. Dick, in the story there is a genetically engineered variety of sheep that are called Android's Dream.

  5. #55
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    This thread has been dormant for a while. I'm currently thoroughly enjoying "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. You don't have to be a gamer or fan of 80's culture to enjoy it, but if you are either or both of those things I'm sure it enhances the book. Set in the near future (2040 something), very dystopian, but seamless virtual reality has finally been brought into existence, and most of humanity spends most of their time immersed in it to escape the bleakness of the actual world. When the mega billionaire designer of the VR system dies heirless, he leaves as a legacy a massive interactive game/quest/hunt with the winner gaining his entire fortune and controlling stock of his company. I think it is being adapted to the big screen. I'm about 3/4 of the way thru it. Hard to put it down!

  6. #56
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    I just finished 'Cold Welcome" by Elizabeth Moon. It is the latest in her ongoing 'Vatta" series. She is a military/sci fi writer.

    Also just finished the latest from David Baldacci. He is not known for sci fi but has a three book series, of which this is the third, and there is obviously a 4th needed...or more.

    Both great reads.

    Currently reading Skeleton God by Eliot Dattison. It isn't sci fi but is a good read about a police inspector in upper Tibet. Lots of information about the Tibetan reaction to China.
    At least someone, somewhere, is laughing.

  7. #57
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    Breezed thru John Scalzi's latest, The Collapsing Empire. I read some reviews that weren't that favorable, but I really enjoyed it. Seems to be clearly the beginning of a new series, had a complete non ending. As usual he has a collection of zany characters and plot/action that sucked me in quickly. I don't remember this so much from his other books, this one had quite a bit of profane language used by one character in particular, but sprinkled throughout the book.

  8. #58
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    I just finished a 2 book series by Daniel Suarez, Daemon and Freedom. Very interesting story of an online video game writer that, as he was dying, set up a daemon to change the world away from the capitalistic/monetary greed that currently holds and runs the world.

    His first 2 books, and worth the read. I also have his next 2 but haven't started them. I'm reading another of Eliot Pattison's books about the Chinese policeman, Shan, and what occurs in Tibet. Also a good read, but not sci-fi.
    At least someone, somewhere, is laughing.

  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    Breezed thru John Scalzi's latest, The Collapsing Empire. I read some reviews that weren't that favorable, but I really enjoyed it. Seems to be clearly the beginning of a new series, had a complete non ending. As usual he has a collection of zany characters and plot/action that sucked me in quickly. I don't remember this so much from his other books, this one had quite a bit of profane language used by one character in particular, but sprinkled throughout the book.
    Scalzi definitely has certain tropes he uses. On the other hand he's never boring.

    Also, I think his fiction isn't nearly as captivating as his blog - and he keeps you on your toes if you have a face-to-face conversation.

    In a certain era he's be called "a wit" or "a raconteur".
    History has its eyes on you.

    Sage of the GU Message Board

  10. #60
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    Daniel Suarez I just finished the latest by Suarez (again), "Change Agent".

    He has 5 books out that are all set on planet earth in present or close time eras. They are great reads. I encourage you to try at least one.
    At least someone, somewhere, is laughing.

  11. #61
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    After dabbling in some older sci fi (PKD, Asimov, Heinlein, "Dune") previously I'd moved on. Kind of on a whim I picked up "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs from the library, just starting that. It predates all that other stuff, published in 1917! The basis of the movie "John Carter of Mars."

  12. #62
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    "Arcadia," by Iain Pears ... multi-layer time travel thingy
    So many brackets, so little time.

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    Bump for Woohoo. There were some excellent recommendations on this thread.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Centre Mad Man View Post
    Bump for Woohoo. There were some excellent recommendations on this thread.
    Thank you. I just re-read this thread and wrote down a handful of them!!
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Once and Future Zag View Post
    Just got done re-reading "City of Stairs" by Robert Jackson Bennett since the second book was just released.

    Damn good.
    Reviving this thread again.

    I read Foundryside (his latest) and loved it! After that read his Divine Cities trilogy. First one didn't really grab me but each book in the series got better in my opinion, ended up really enjoying the trilogy.

  16. #66
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    I've really enjoyed the t.v. series "The Expanse." 3 seasons on Sci Fi, then it was cancelled but Amazon Prime picked it up, will resume eventually. I knew it was a based on a book series. Finally read the first one, "Leviathan Wakes" by James S. A. Corey. I skimmed thru this thread, didn't see it mentioned.

    Humankind has expanded out from Earth. Mostly to Mars, but there are also the "Belters" on asteroid belts distant from Earth. There are tensions between the 3 factions. Someone sets off a series of events which manipulates various factions into entering into open hostilities with each other. In the middle of this is some kind of alien artifact (protomolecule) that is not understood at all and throws everything into chaos. Enjoyed the book, tv series followed the plot line fairly closely. Haven't moved onto book 2 yet but definitely will.

  17. #67
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    No harm in posting this again. The author is … someone close.

    It was featured on Amazon last month (E-edition only), reviews fantastic, and something that combines suspense, spirituality, humor and interesting characters. Last month was the best ever.

    https://www.amazon.com/Alienation-Ja.../dp/B01MXNVZ7X
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

  18. #68
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    Read the second book in The Expanse series, "Caliban's War." Took me a while to get thru it. Almost 600 pages. Several point of view characters and it keeps jumping around. Some of the characters I enjoyed less than others. I'll probably continue w/ the series but I think I'll take a break.

    In the mean time I stumbled onto the 4 part series of novellas known as The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Quick reads, you can blow right thru them. Finished the first and I'm most of the way thru the second. A cyborg that works on contract as security has overridden some of it's protocols and despite it's extreme discomfort with humans actually has some humanity of its own. I think there's a big overarching plot but you only get little bits and pieces of it. The usual big greedy corporation not caring how many people it has to kill to get what it wants.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by DixieZag View Post
    No harm in posting this again. The author is … someone close.

    It was featured on Amazon last month (E-edition only), reviews fantastic, and something that combines suspense, spirituality, humor and interesting characters. Last month was the best ever.

    https://www.amazon.com/Alienation-Ja.../dp/B01MXNVZ7X
    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    Read the second book in The Expanse series, "Caliban's War." Took me a while to get thru it. Almost 600 pages. Several point of view characters and it keeps jumping around. Some of the characters I enjoyed less than others. I'll probably continue w/ the series but I think I'll take a break.

    In the mean time I stumbled onto the 4 part series of novellas known as The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells. Quick reads, you can blow right thru them. Finished the first and I'm most of the way thru the second. A cyborg that works on contract as security has overridden some of it's protocols and despite it's extreme discomfort with humans actually has some humanity of its own. I think there's a big overarching plot but you only get little bits and pieces of it. The usual big greedy corporation not caring how many people it has to kill to get what it wants.
    Read the book that Dixie linked. It is a great read, and the author has posted here on the GU forum a few times.
    At least someone, somewhere, is laughing.

  20. #70
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    Bumping again. Ernest Cline wrote a sequel to Ready Player One, called Ready Player Two of course. Just starting.

    Read all of The Expanse novels, skipped a handful of related novellas. There is another book (last in the series?) due later this year.

    Pierce Brown decided he wasn't done with the characters yet, so has written 2 more in the Red Rising series. The last one was incredible, but quite bleak and heavy.

    Read another Blake Crouch novel--Recursion--that was kind of mind blowing.

    Scalzi's last series kind of went off a cliff by the 3rd book.

  21. #71
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    Cat, this may interest you. I stumbled across him bc I fall asleep listening to documentaries. It is not science fiction but it is geared to address real science fiction and futurism. The podcast is done by a crazed sci-fi fan and physics savant, so he "reads into" what the future will be like, what is possible with respect to science fiction, what real scenarios could be encountered, etc.

    Again, it's not like I think these are like books, they are documentaries, but a sci-fi guy might really bond with these sci-fi guys in this now massive podcast. Just some examples: (They are all about 25-35 minutes long - perfect.











    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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