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  1. #1
    the Thirsty thirstyVan's Avatar
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    Near Future Sci Fi

    I recently read Rule 34 and absolutely loved it, so I blew through Halting State, and now I'm about to finish Ready Player One (which is pretty good).

    Now I have Robopocalypse, The Quantum Thief and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom qued up in my phone (audio). (Which, I believe, are all "near future" but if not oh well).

    Anyway, I realized I am really enjoying this whole "near future" sci fi thing. In fact, I started wondering if that wasn't partially why I loved Ender's Game so much (my top sci fi novel), because it's sci fi but in an easily recognizable future. I didn't particularly enjoy Hyperion, for example (well, I DID, but it took awhile and I had no urge to read the sequels) or Consider Phlebas, maybe because they were so difficult to get into, being such unrecognizable futures, with entire civilizations full of new technology/terminology/etc. to understand.

    So. Best Near Future Sci Fi? Any recommendations? Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson is my favorite in the genre. Check it out, I think you'll love it (Halting State is another favorite of mine and I just read Ready Player One also).

  3. #3
    Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds begins in the 2050s I believe.

  4. #4
    Registered User Luke_B's Avatar
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    I'm currently reading Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, which is set in 2018 Cape Town. I'm a quarter of the way through and it is interesting, so far.

    Ian McDonald's recent books have all been moving closer to the present day; The Dervish House is set in 2027 Istanbul. I have seen people on this forum detracting it, but it was nominated for the Clarke award and the Hugo award and I thought it was impressively executed.

    The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi isn't what I would call "near future"; it's set in 23rd century Thailand. But I think Bacigalupi creates a very recognisable future, extrapolating in a logical way from current political and environmental issues. It was nominated for just about every major SF award.

    If you like Charles Stross, checkout Accelerando. It starts in the early 21st century and follows the Macx family through a technological singularity up to the year 2070. The book is exploding with ideas, but might be too chewy with neologisms and techno-babble for your tastes.

    I would be surprised if you dig The Quantum Thief. I haven't read it yet, but I own a copy, which I've browsed and it doesn't look "near future" to me; it looks full of:

    ...unrecognizable futures, with entire civilizations full of new technology/terminology/etc. to understand.

  5. #5
    the Thirsty thirstyVan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I finished Ready Player One today. I liked it, wasn't blown away but it was really good. I also tore through Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Liked it, didn't love it.

    Still, I am really enjoying these books overall. I actually grabbed Snow Crash today, and hopefully it's as good as I hear. I've read The Windup Girl, I thought it was pretty ok. It was an interesting setting but I wasn't in love with the story.

    So anyway. Too bad about the Quantum Thief. I'll probably give it a shot anyway. I enjoyed the Takeshi Kovachs books, so who knows. It's not like I necessarily HATE other sci fi, I'm just rarely in the mood to decipher it.

  6. #6
    Registered User offog's Avatar
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    If I remember right Starfish by Peter Watts is near future and the technology is not extremely speculative.

    I think a lot of Jack McDevitt's books are set in the next hundred years or so, the indulgences with the technology are there at times although nothing is terribly difficult to grasp. Maybe the same goes for Allen Steele's work and certain Michael Crichton novels too.

    I liked Counting Heads by David Marusek which is near future but rather densely packed with advanced technology.

  7. #7
    Repudiated Ursus s271's Avatar
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    Richard Morgan Black Man(Thirteen )

  8. #8
    Pretty well everything written by Robert J. Sawyer is a near-future, recognisable Earth story. Try The Terminal Experiment, or Factoring Humanity.

  9. #9
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    James P. Hogan's The Two Faces of Tomorrow is way better then Robopocalypse.

    Robopocalypse has some interesting moments but it is mostly cliched boredom.

    The robots are coming! The robots are coming! Run for your lives! YAWN

    Hogan's book is set around 2030 but it implies things have happened by now which haven't happened. It presumes more Lunar development by now.

    psik

  10. #10
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllenS View Post
    Pretty well everything written by Robert J. Sawyer is a near-future, recognisable Earth story.
    Good call, much of Sawyer's fiction is set "Twenty Minutes into the Future."

    A fair amount of Philip K. Dick could fit the bill, too.

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