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  1. #1

    Recommended 2011 Releases?

    It's getting to the end of the year and I'm looking at the SF books released in 2011 that I haven't read, but want to. Books like Leviathan Wakes, The Departure, Deadline, War in Heaven, The Iron Jackal. Basically, I've read plenty of reviews about most of them and just don't know which should be given priority. I get the impression that LW is going to be highly rated by lots of people on lots of best-of lists, but are there other books I've overlooked that I really should get around to?

    I've read the following 2011 SF releases, so no need for recommending them!
    The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown
    Dreadnaught by Jack Campbell
    Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
    A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
    Final Days by Gary Gibson
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    The Recollection by Gareth Powell
    A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber
    Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton

    My reading time is rather sparse at the moment, so any ideas would be great Thanks!
    Last edited by chitman13; November 8th, 2011 at 02:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I'll just say Leviathan Wakes so that you get around to it!

    We've had a release of the whole first series of Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet (or at least I think it started this year), and whilst it's not going to knock your socks off or make you squeal like the legions of girls who will get Justin Bieber dolls this Christmas, but they are quick reads that - for all their repetitiveness and simplicity - are pretty good. I think the best way to describe them is pulpy. When I was working this year, I was getting through one in two days.

  3. #3
    I'll definitely add Leviathan Wakes to the list then Forgot about the Lost Fleet books - read them all last year, but also read them again early this year before Dreadnaught was released. I liked them!

    I've got a nagging feeling I'm missing something obvious, but can't think what...

  4. #4
    Registered User odo's Avatar
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    I'm reading Embassytown by China Miéville right and it's really good. I also liked The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma (I read it in the original Spanish, so I don't know about the translation) and The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan (though the infodumps were hard to follow).

  5. #5
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    My top sf of 2011 in order is:

    1: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - ok this is maybe not quite pure sf but still it is the best of 2011 and it is very sfnal, enough so to confuse the mainstream critics and make me laugh out loud at some of the pearls in their reviews

    2: A Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan (great main character and just awesome sf speculation)

    3. Dancing with Eternity by JP Lowrie (small press debut but a novel that just blew me away - I would say it has the best take on long lived humans and what it will really mean that I've seen in a long time)

    4. Leviathan Wakes by James Corey (great duo of characters and world building not unlike the superb Paul McAuley Quiet war universe)

    5. By Light Alone by Adam Roberts - literary sf and a book that I would not mind seeing considered for any mainstream literary award

    6: The Islanders by Christopher Priest - mind blowing stuff but not as coherent as I wished (even by CP standards I mean) and I really needed to read it together with the Dream Archipelago collection to fully appreciate it; Glamour and Affirmation are still CP's masterpieces imho

    7: Embassytown by China Mieville - this one has been receding as time passes by; impressive writing though very conventional story I've read countless times; as time passes by though what I remember is the storyline and as mentioned it is such a standard sf one that away from the writing the book fades in the huge mass of other sf I've read (even in its resolution, now I wish CM would have done an Ancient Light or at least an Earth Made of Glass on us...)

    8. All Men of Genius by Lev Rosen - steampunk and Shakespearean pastiche so maybe someone who does not love either will not appreciate it so much, but for me it was a hoot end to end and I had just pure fun; reminded me a little of the great "boarding school life and pranks" books of my childhood from Kipling on

    Notable anthology: Solaris Rising - some excellent stories with something for everyone

    Notable standalones or series debuts: Debris, Final Days, Home Fires, Equations of Life, Kings of Eternity, Camera Obscura, Into the Hinterlands

    Notable series books: How Firm a Foundation, 1636 The Saxon Uprising, The Immorality engine, A beautiful Friendship, the Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, Vortex

    Notable literary sf: The Testament of Jessie Lamb

    Notable small press or indies: Der Sternwolker, Encrypted, Napier's bones

    Disappointments: the Departure, The Noise Revealed, The Recollection, the Map of Time, Up Against It, the 2nd and especially 3rd Petrovich book after the superb Equations of Life

    Worst sf I've touched in 2011: The Highest Frontier

    Promising sf not yet read: Count to a Trillion

  6. #6
    Registered User JustaStaffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suciul View Post
    My top sf of 2011 in order is:

    1: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - ok this is maybe not quite pure sf but still it is the best of 2011 and it is very sfnal, enough so to confuse the mainstream critics and make me laugh out loud at some of the pearls in their reviews

    2: A Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan (great main character and just awesome sf speculation)

    3. Dancing with Eternity by JP Lowrie (small press debut but a novel that just blew me away - I would say it has the best take on long lived humans and what it will really mean that I've seen in a long time)

    4. Leviathan Wakes by James Corey (great duo of characters and world building not unlike the superb Paul McAuley Quiet war universe)

    5. By Light Alone by Adam Roberts - literary sf and a book that I would not mind seeing considered for any mainstream literary award

    6: The Islanders by Christopher Priest - mind blowing stuff but not as coherent as I wished (even by CP standards I mean) and I really needed to read it together with the Dream Archipelago collection to fully appreciate it; Glamour and Affirmation are still CP's masterpieces imho

    7: Embassytown by China Mieville - this one has been receding as time passes by; impressive writing though very conventional story I've read countless times; as time passes by though what I remember is the storyline and as mentioned it is such a standard sf one that away from the writing the book fades in the huge mass of other sf I've read (even in its resolution, now I wish CM would have done an Ancient Light or at least an Earth Made of Glass on us...)

    8. All Men of Genius by Lev Rosen - steampunk and Shakespearean pastiche so maybe someone who does not love either will not appreciate it so much, but for me it was a hoot end to end and I had just pure fun; reminded me a little of the great "boarding school life and pranks" books of my childhood from Kipling on

    Notable anthology: Solaris Rising - some excellent stories with something for everyone

    Notable standalones or series debuts: Debris, Final Days, Home Fires, Equations of Life, Kings of Eternity, Camera Obscura, Into the Hinterlands

    Notable series books: How Firm a Foundation, 1636 The Saxon Uprising, The Immorality engine, A beautiful Friendship, the Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, Vortex

    Notable literary sf: The Testament of Jessie Lamb

    Notable small press or indies: Der Sternwolker, Encrypted, Napier's bones

    Disappointments: the Departure, The Noise Revealed, The Recollection, the Map of Time, Up Against It, the 2nd and especially 3rd Petrovich book after the superb Equations of Life

    Worst sf I've touched in 2011: The Highest Frontier

    Promising sf not yet read: Count to a Trillion
    Good list. I'd throw in:

    The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod (2011 in the US anyway)

    God's War and Infidel by Kameron Hurley (arguably SF)

    The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

    After the Apocalypse by Maureen McHugh (short story collection, AMAZING)

    Seed by Rob Ziegler (Windup Girl esque)

    Germline by T.C. McCarthy (psychological military SF)

    Son of Heaven by David Wingrove

  7. #7
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    I'll third, fourth, whatever Leviathan Wakes.

    I'll second Germline.

    I liked Philip Palmer's Hell Ship, I just put up the review.

    Dan Abnett's Embedded was pretty good.

    I'd avoid Robert Beuttner's Overkill, which I thought was a major let down compared to his Jason Wander books.

  8. #8
    Hell Ship was pretty good. Someone quite different than the normal sci-fi I read.

    I'd add Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson.

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