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  1. #16
    Joshua A.C. Newman Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfinx View Post
    Ah, Banks....I really enjoyed some of his work (Matter was really good, Player of Games was interesting, as was Consider Phlebas) but Against a Dark Background was disappointing and Use of Weapons...that was just plain boring. Still, an interesting writer.
    See, this is interesting. I thought Matter was kind of boring and Consider Phlebas to have a couple of neat ideas but ultimately sort of a corn chip book.

    I'd second Morgan, Heinlein and LeGuin, and considering the OP's handle I assume you've read the Foundation series? Not to everyone's taste (I am not a fan for instance) but certainly a good fit with your criteria. Null-A by Van Vogt could also be an option - political system in casu "non-Aristotelian logic".
    I felt like Null-A wasn't so much a political philosophy as it as a superpower. Like, while Dune is obviously about politics, it would be much less so if it was about Prana-Bindu. The Spice, Prana-Bindu, and so forth are setting material that orbit analogues for real-world phenomena like the Turkish empire, oil monopoly, and religious fanaticism. I consider The World of Null-A to be a more psychedelic experiment, where the political considerations are loosely sketched in, and it orbits the world in which the Null-A philosophy gives people superpowers.

    Foundation is neat because every story discusses a different sociopolitical order. It's one of the big influences on Shock:Human Contact for that reason.

    Heinlein's a good call. While I first thought of Stranger in a Strange Land (not at all space opera, Asimovking), Starship Troopers is an exploration of what a warrior society might look like, how it benefits, and what it costs its members.

  2. #17
    Ben Bova for sure. Also the David Weber's Honor Harrington Series. The first few books are mainly military sci fi, but towards the middle the books become a LOT more political.

  3. #18
    Science-Fantasy Zealot symbolhunter's Avatar
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    Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy is a fairly enjoyable exploration of different political systems with a Space Opera dimension.

  4. #19
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Of Bujold's Vorkosigan series the books

    Shards of Honor
    Barrayar
    Komarr


    Have politics to a significant degree. It comes in a little in other books of the series.

    psik

  5. #20
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    On a pure whim I picked up Kris Longknife: Mutineer by Mike Shepherd and I'm almost finished with that first book in the Longknife series. I was a bit surprised to find it quite enjoyable and will probably read the next one if I can find it! Anyway the title character is the Prime Minister's daughter in a very political family so she joins the space navy as an escape but her illustrious name insures that politics follow her everywhere she goes. The politics in this story reminds me of Cherryh's Earth-Union series but the story reads a lot like an Elizabeth Moon space opera. Well written for the most part with some very good characters. Interesting because I've never heard of Shepherd before the this series now runs to several books.

  6. #21
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Just to be different how about the politics without the space?

    I don't like most of the stuff I call Space Opera anyway.

    1632
    1633
    1634 The Baltic War


    It's a mass time travel story that all takes place on Earth. No Space, but there is opera.

    psik

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Just to be different how about the politics without the space?

    I don't like most of the stuff I call Space Opera anyway.

    1632
    1633
    1634 The Baltic War


    It's a mass time travel story that all takes place on Earth. No Space, but there is opera.

    psik
    Agree, not a space opera, but full of conflict, politics, social collisions, and cultural shock. Interesting how Eric Flint invites other authors to co-write different storylines; he even publishes short story anthologies related to the central story that he orchestrates. Some of these outsider efforts are quite good and some are God-awful (hint, avoid Virginia Demarche if you can; her stories are like sitting in on a large multi-generational family dinner with complete strangers listening to them gossip about extended geneologies of relatives that have little or no relevance to the story at all. After about ten pages of this I want to put a gun to my head...).

  8. #23
    There is a fair amount of politics in Elizabeth Bear's Carnival. I am not sure if it counts as space opera as almost all the action is on one planet although some of the protagonists do arrive from elsewhere and the consequences flow to other planets. The ambassadors come from an interesting political history and find themselves involved with another original political system.

  9. #24
    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Leviathan Wakes. It may not talk about specific political systems, but it has a fair bit to say about the political use and control of information.

  10. #25
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    How did I forget this...
    The Fall Revolution universe of Ken Macleod. The guy breathes and writes politics. He's known for it. All of his books are about it. The futurism and science is, in his case, just window dressing.

    Here's a snippet of his Wiki page:
    Ken MacLeod (born 2 August 1954), is a Scottish science fiction writer. MacLeod was born in Stornoway. He graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in zoology and has worked as a computer programmer and written a masters thesis on biomechanics. His novels often explore socialist, communist and anarchist political ideas, most particularly the variants of Trotskyism (MacLeod was a Trotskyist activist in the 1970s and early 1980s) and anarcho-capitalism or extreme economic libertarianism. Technical themes encompass singularities, divergent human cultural evolution and post-human cyborg-resurrection. MacLeod's general outlook can be best described as techno-utopian socialist, though unlike a majority of techno-utopians, he has expressed great scepticism over the possibility and especially over the desirability of Strong AI.

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