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  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Pushing Ice is indeed quite solid, I read it a year or two ago and really liked it. House of Suns by Reynolds is quite epic, too.

    Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold, right? It is the third book in the overall series, but the first to feature the main character Miles Vorkosigan. Funny you should ask about that one since I just got back into The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold today (about 7 years after initially reading Young Miles, the omnibus containing Warrior's Apprentice). Don't let the long lag between me reading the books be an indication of their quality because they are very solid in many ways - plot, setting, character, pace.

    So yes, give it a shot.

    I probably mentioned it in one of the threads I linked initially, but Helix by Eric Brown is solid epic SF/Space Opera, too.
    I think I'll look into Warrior's Apprentice, too. So I've got three solid books, then, right? Haha. That's good. I was beginning to think I wouldn't find anything!

  2. #32
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderCrawler View Post
    Thanks! I'll be sure to browse through those lists. Bad things with lists, though, is a lot of times it's just a, well, list... You never know exactly why the books are on the list. Like, what makes them good.
    I know the above was in response to this thread I linked (Epic SF and Space Opera: Here's my giant list, what's missing?) but you can always ask questions about some of the books in that thread, so don't fret about "I was beginning to think I wouldn't find anything"

    Jack McDevitt's Alex Benedict series which begins with A Talent for War, from the couple of books I read, is fun.

    The Uplift Saga by David Brin is very well regarded. I plan on reading at least one or two of them this year.

    Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap cycle (though tough to track down) is highly regarded Space Opera, it is modeled/based on Richard Wagner's Opera The Ring of the Nibelung. I tracked down a full set of US MMPBs and will be reading it soon, too.

  3. #33
    +1 on the The Uplift Saga by David Brin...the sheer creativity and world building...awesome. There is a reason folks still talk about that 20-30? year old series.

    Folks also really dig the Mote in God's Eye series which if I recall right was co-written by Niven and Pournelle. Another very creative alien race, massive space battles, humanity threatened, etc. To me, that is what space opera is all about.

    I tend to think the Miles Vorkosigan books are beach reads, without the scope and imagination that to me marks a "space opera" but folks do like them, and I havent read that many.

    I agree with you on the dubious value of giant lists. However, the threads where people vote their all time favorite -- and Rob usually links a bunch when he gets in one of his linking frenzies, are infinitely more valuable.
    Last edited by ArtNJ; January 12th, 2012 at 02:39 PM.

  4. #34
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Has anyone read the Mageworld series by Debra Doyle and James D macdonald? Are they any good?

  5. #35
    I read the preview of one of the Uplift novels on Amazon and wasn't impressed with the writing. Then I read some reviews on another site, and people said Brin wasn't a good writer, and the characters were pretty bad. But I don't know, haha.

  6. #36
    Registered User odo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap cycle (though tough to track down) is highly regarded Space Opera, it is modeled/based on Richard Wagner's Opera The Ring of the Nibelung. I tracked down a full set of US MMPBs and will be reading it soon, too.
    I think they're available as ebooks now.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I know the above was in response to this thread I linked (Epic SF and Space Opera: Here's my giant list, what's missing?) but you can always ask questions about some of the books in that thread, so don't fret about "I was beginning to think I wouldn't find anything"

    Jack McDevitt's Alex Benedict series which begins with A Talent for War, from the couple of books I read, is fun.

    The Uplift Saga by David Brin is very well regarded. I plan on reading at least one or two of them this year.

    Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap cycle (though tough to track down) is highly regarded Space Opera, it is modeled/based on Richard Wagner's Opera The Ring of the Nibelung. I tracked down a full set of US MMPBs and will be reading it soon, too.
    The Uplift books by David Brin are very good. I would skip Sundiver though and go staright to Startide Rising. Come back to Sundiver later, easily the weakest of the Uplift books.

    Also loved The Gap cycle. Slower paced but if you want character development, Donaldson does it better then any of the aforementioned authors. Takes a disgusting antagonist in Angus Thermopyle and has you rooting for him in the end.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by SpiderCrawler View Post
    I read the preview of one of the Uplift novels on Amazon and wasn't impressed with the writing. Then I read some reviews on another site, and people said Brin wasn't a good writer, and the characters were pretty bad. But I don't know, haha.
    Character development didn't strike me as something Brin really cared about. More about the ideas and action. Not that his characters were poorly written, just too busy with the survival of the human race. His sequel series follows individuals more closely so more room for development.

  9. #39
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap cycle (though tough to track down) is highly regarded Space Opera, it is modeled/based on Richard Wagner's Opera The Ring of the Nibelung. I tracked down a full set of US MMPBs and will be reading it soon, too.
    I think they're available as ebooks now.
    Point for you, I think I recall seeing on SRD's site that this is the case (or would be soon at the time he wrote the post).

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigan View Post
    The Uplift books by David Brin are very good. I would skip Sundiver though and go staright to Startide Rising. Come back to Sundiver later, easily the weakest of the Uplift books.
    This seems to be the (almost universal) consensus on the series.

  10. #40

    Advices on Space Opera

    Hi all,

    I would like some advices about some Space operas.

    Firstly, I have read a lot of topic on this forum. Therefore I have read a lot of lists (or best list) from different people. So why a new thread ? because there are a lot of advices but I'm a bit lost between all these advices to be honest. Some people dislike what some other people like and it makes it a bit complicated to make a choice that could match what I am looking for. apologies if you feel like repeating yourself but I think that each of us like very specific kind of SF...

    Background : I have read some SF when I was a teenager (between 15 and 20 years old), Series like Dune, Hyperion, foundation... I have read as well some more specific SF like Bradbury or Zelasny (but the short stories style and very naked SF style are not my favourite)

    I would say that for me, Foundation from Asimov is one of the top (on the opposite, I did not like all his robot short stories and novels). The first book of Dune is at a high place in my collection (But I must admit that I loved a lot the movie from David lynch so maybe I'm a bit partial about it). Hyperion is really great but it is sometimes a bit too far from "humanity" for me, it is a world that is too different from a human world and it makes it difficult to imagine.

    I would say that the top for me would be something that mix Foundation and maybe a more paced military/spacebattle adventures. I guess I would have enjoyed to read a "battlestar galactica" if it exists as book (though I would not read them, I do not like to know the story in advance).

    I did not read any SF during 15 years (I should say I did not read at all). I decided to read again and I chose a bit randomly to read Gary Gibson (Stealing light, nova war and Empire of light from the shoal sequence) and I really enjoyed it. Simple, fast paced and all the ingredients I like were in the book. I recommend this book to whoever wants like me to start to read again some SF. Maybe I'm wrong but I think a lot of SF fan will think that the Shoal sequence is a bit too simple...??

    Another important point : English is not my first language. though I'm leaving in an english language country (UK) since 5 years, it is not always easy to read in english for me, depends how are written books I guess. Therefore, I think it is important to have this point in mind when advising.

    I have read this forum in details and my next choice (just bought it) is Peter F hamilton Dawn's night trilogy. I just read 4 or 5 pages of the reality dysfunction and it seems all-right, thought a lot of "technical" terms hard to understand but I guess I will get use to it. I was quite attracted by Ian M banks but after reading a lot of reviews on it, I have the impression that It is a bit hard SF and I will have some difficulties to enter into it...??? Maybe a wrong impression ??

    So here is my little background in SF, all advises are highly welcome, thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Dakota; January 30th, 2012 at 02:59 PM.

  11. #41
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    I would say that the top for me would be something that mix Foundation and maybe a more paced military/spacebattle adventures. I guess I would have enjoyed to read a "battlestar galactica" if it exists as book (though I would not read them, I do not like to know the story in advance).
    Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet might work in this regard, though one could also lump this series into Military SF. There's a small flavor of myth in the Lost Fleet novels I found similar to Battlestar Galactica

    Also, Mark L. Van Name's Jon and Lobo novels are fun Space Opera adventure novels, the first couple of novels are available in omnibus format: Jump Gate Twist.

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet might work in this regard, though one could also lump this series into Military SF. There's a small flavor of myth in the Lost Fleet novels I found similar to Battlestar Galactica

    Also, Mark L. Van Name's Jon and Lobo novels are fun Space Opera adventure novels, the first couple of novels are available in omnibus format: Jump Gate Twist.
    thx for the moving of my post and for these 2 recomendations. For the level of military/space battle thinggy, The shoal sequence of Gibson is a good example of the "amount" I would need .

  13. #43
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    thx for the moving of my post and for these 2 recomendations.
    No problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    For the level of military/space battle thinggy, The shoal sequence of Gibson is a good example of the "amount" I would need .
    Hobbit and perhaps liviu might help as I think both of them read Gibson's novels.

    Also, Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan novels are terrific and cover many bases of SF - Adventure, Space Opera, some Military SF, genetic manipulation. Regardless, the books in the series I've read are very good and many books in the series have been nominated or won genre awards.

  14. #44
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    Hi Dakota!

    Have you tried the last Gary Gibson? If you liked the Shoal books, I think that Final Days you'll like.

    Neal Asher might be worth a try. Try Gridlinked.

    For Iain M Banks, try The Player of Games Less epic than many of the Culture, it's a good place to start.

    And thinking about how easy these books are to get Alastair Reynolds Blue Remembered Earth (out in the UK now, the US later in the year) is a good place to start.

    Of the older stuff: Jack Campbell Rob's suggested, Jack McDevitt I would add also. Good page turners without too much complication. John Scalzi's Old Man's War is stylistically very easy to get along with too. Not Space Opera as such (not quite the epic scale!) but a cracking read.

    Even older: Glen Cook's SF I think is great. (His Fantasy too but that's another story.) Try The Starfishers series, starting with Shadowline. The Dragon Never Sleeps is an underrated book.

    Should keep you going!

    Mark
    Mark

  15. #45
    If you read DUNE and HYPERION without difficulty in understanding, can't imagine you would have too much trouble with Banks's Culture series. Banks is about the best thing going right now. I love Al Reynolds's stuff too but you should go with the later stuff rather than the REVELATION SPACE trilogy.

    For military SF I think you could do worse than to read the Starfire series from Steve White and David Weber. Very good battle scenes and an interesting universe.

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