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  1. #1
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    What do you recommend I read?

    I am currently reading Peter F. Hamilton's "The Temporal Void" and am going to finish the void trilogy. I am enjoying it a lot, having read the Commonwealth Saga directly beforehand.

    But after that, I have some options already available for me on my shelf.

    If I want to take multiple-book-space-opera route again, I have these to choose from: Ian Banks, Consider Phlebas and/or Matter; Allastair Reynolds, Revelation Space(I also have Diamond Dogs and Turquoise Days if I want something shorter); more Hamilton with the Reality Dysfunction or Fallen Dragon; Stephen Baxter, Manifold Time; or I could finish off Allen Steele's Coyote trilogy with Coyote Frontier.

    I have some other science fiction books like Arthur C. Clarke's, Rendevouz with Rama, Eon by Greg Bear; Anathem by Neal Stephenson; Glasshouse by Charles Stross, Allen Steele, Orbital Decay, or the last two books of Frank Herbert's Dune books.

    I have more to choose from, but these are all likely candidates. I also like fantasy and have Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana.

    I can't say for certain whether by the end of the Void trilogy, I will be Hamilton'd out or not. But I would appreciate any help from someone knowledgable about any of these books listed. Or if you have any new recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

  2. #2
    I'm a big fan of Hamilton and have read all his series - all of them were a hell of a ride. However, personally, I like breaking up my space opera. I feel like I enjoy it more that way. So it it were me, I'd read some fantasy then move back into scifi.

    That being said -
    The Night's Dawn saga was awesome, as well as Fallen Dragon (if you don't want to jump into another series right away)

    Rama and Relation Space series were good (but the latter has some haters around here, so I think it's a matter of personal preference)

    Diamond Dogs and Turquoise Days actually disappointed me a bit - couldn't tell you why as I read it five years ago and it was pretty unmemorable

    I read Consider Phlebas - not sure what all the hype is about.. I think something might be wrong with me though, because everyone seems to like Banks. I'm told the rest of the series picks up from there, but I haven't got a chance to read anything else by him.

    I haven't read another of the others, but looks like you have your work cut out for you, happy hunting!

  3. #3
    I love Hamilton too. Obviously, your best bet % wise for something you would really dig is more Hamilton, say the Neutronium Alchemist. I mean, lots of other good stuff on your list, but its different, so not as high % chance you'll really dig it per se.

    just read and really did not like Revelation Space. Don't understand why its highly rated. The author is a big idea guy, but he essentially doesn't do characterization at all. The main character's only trait is arrogance. I like one or two of his other books a good deal more, but Revelation Space seemed complex for the sake of being complex, and the web of big ideas didn't impress me nearly enough to make up for the writing. It is probably technically a space opera, but it is definitely not a space opera in the mold of Hamilton.

  4. #4
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krisbslick View Post
    I read Consider Phlebas - not sure what all the hype is about.. I think something might be wrong with me though, because everyone seems to like Banks. I'm told the rest of the series picks up from there, but I haven't got a chance to read anything else by him.
    LOL

    I have tried 4 books by Banks and only finished two, Player of Games and Look to Windward. I started Consider Phlebas and Use of Weapons. I also started Altered Carbon and Pandora's Star. What was that thing with the Vomit Zombies? I finished it but it really wasn't worth the time.

    I think a lot of stuff called science fiction these days is "exciting" to some people but intellectually shallow. It has nothing to say or think about in the long term. But we do live in a real world with changing technology that is affecting us and altering the environment but this so called sci-fi contributes nothing to helping us decide how to cope.

    Try Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin. In the end it presents a question. Who Owns Knowledge?

    We have this so called information society but most of the so called info flying around is shallow crap that wastes your time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNN_tTXABUA

    That is better than entire computer courses I have taken.

    psik

    PS - Oh yeah, Leviathan Wakes with vomit zombies. I think there is an issue with the bandwagon effect. A lot of people won't tell the majority that they are full of baloney. Maybe SF readres were more inclined to do that before the 70s.
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; March 2nd, 2014 at 08:58 AM.

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't go so far as to accuse Banks of being intellectually shallow. Lumping his stuff in with Altered Carbon strikes me as irresponsible - Altered Carbon is absolute trash, as far as I'm concerned, while Banks at least has a good grasp of craft and ideas behind what he's doing. He wrote in the social commentary side of SF, which might not be everyone's cup of tea (including those who don't want politics in their SF, and those who only want to read the hard stuff). Thanks to his dry humor, he's more akin to Vonnegut than, say, Reynolds, to make an arbitrary distinction. I also found Consider Phlebas disappointing after all the excitement. The Player of Games was quite good, and The Algebraist also.

  6. #6
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suboptimal View Post
    I wouldn't go so far as to accuse Banks of being intellectually shallow. Lumping his stuff in with Altered Carbon strikes me as irresponsible - Altered Carbon is absolute trash, as far as I'm concerned,
    Every reader has to decide for her/himself what matters.

    If someone asks for suggestions he will probably get responses from people who think Altered Carbon is great. That is why I tried it. If you look through Goodreads you will find some people gave 5 stars to every book and some people gave 1 star to that same book.

    It is like we need different categories of readers to rate books differently and every reader needs to figure out his category. Otherwise we just have endless ego games. But I get the impression that is what some people want.

    Check out C.P. Snow's Two Cultures for categories of people.

    psik

  7. #7
    As far as Altered Carbon, I'll be your huckleberry. I consider it an excellent balance between extreme action, big ideas (sleeves, needlecasting, alien technology) and philosophy (Quellism, etc.) Some of the ideas from Quellism are quite deep ("Tear open the diseased heart of a corporation, and what spills out? People.") but he forces you to piece it together through multiple novels. I find this vastly superior and more subtle, requiring a more careful read than, for example, writing it all down in a 70 page speech like Atlas Shrugged. Different strokes, but I think it goes beyond pulp fiction in a couple of ways.

  8. #8
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil_geo View Post
    As far as Altered Carbon, I'll be your huckleberry. I consider it an excellent balance between extreme action, big ideas (sleeves, needlecasting, alien technology) and philosophy (Quellism, etc.)
    I don't see how "sleeves" are a big idea. Just rather derogatory terminology that helps rationalize .the casual attitude about violence.

    I gave up on it half way thru so I can't comment on the rest. It is mind transfer technology which has been in SF since the 50s and 60s but has become more popular with the advances in micro-electronics since the 70s.

    psik

  9. #9
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    Alastair Reynolds is, IMHO, far and away the best science fiction writer of the past decade. I love everything he's written. And, I've read all the heavy hitters. Iain M. Banks is his closest competitor but his aren't nearly as epic in scale. Also really good are Donaldson's Gap Cycle and James S.A. Corey's Expanse.

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